News ArchivesArchives for August '05
I Am Irish triumphs in the slop at Sudbury Downs
SUDBURY, ON — I Am Irish not only scored a win in Saturday’s Grassroots event at Sudbury Downs, the local colt did it in fine style, clocking the fastest time of four $25,383 divisions.
Leaving from Post 2 with trainer Wayne MacLean in the race bike, the three-year-old trotting colt dropped onto the rail behind pacesetter Armbro Cameron. Through fractions of :29.3, 1:00.1 and 1:31.1 MacLean was content to watch the action up front while fan favourite I Am Irish saved ground on the rail. Heading around the final turn MacLean made his move to the front and I Am Irish trotted home to a half length victory in 2:02.2, over a sloppy track rated three seconds slower than normal.
Armbro Cameron settled for second, while Scan Disk earned the third-place finisher’s share.
The win was I Am Irish’s fifth of the season and his second in Grassroots action. The Balanced Image son, owned by Chelmsford residents MacLean, Jocelyne Menard and Lesley Kennedy, now has a total of 108 Grassroots points from two wins and one fourth and should advance to the post season Semifinal as one of the top 16 point earners.
Tyrone Spitn Image came closest to matching I Am Irish’s turn of foot with a 2:03.1 clocking in the final Grassroots division. Another son of Balanced Image, Tyrone Spitn Image has been sharp in recent weeks, scoring two wins and one second in Grassroots action and a win in an overnight event at Windsor Raceway on Aug. 17. LaSalle resident Bob McIntosh trains the young trotter for his partner, and the gelding’s breeder, Dave Boyle of Bowmanville.
Oaklea Nolan, who captured the Aug. 13 Dream of Glory Final at Hanover Raceway, challenged Tyrone Spitn Image through the middle stages of the race, but had to settle for second, while Shawland Zorro was well back of the leaders in third spot.
Surfing Angus scored his first lifetime victory in his third attempt with a 2:03.2 upset in the first Grassroots division. The Angus Hall son and driver Torgeir Hagmann sat at the back of the pack through the first three-quarters of the race, storming around the final turn to eke out the nose victory over Industrial Strenth. Presidents Choice was six lengths back in third.
Harald Lunde of Campbellville trains Surfing Angus for his partner Kjell Magne Andersen of Oslo, Norway. The pair acquired the colt for $55,000 from the 2003 Kentucky Standardbred Sale and had to wait until July 9 to see him start, a seventh-place effort in the third Grassroots event of the season. Saturday’s victory gives Surfing Angus an opportunity to squeak into the post season if he can capture a few more points in the last regular season event.
The other Grassroots division went to Berning Image and Larry Small, who also used come-from-behind tactics to steal a half length victory in 2:04.4. Just Do It and St Lads Speedy rounded out the top three in the fifth race.
Todd Gray trains Berning Image for Costas Demetrious of Campbellville and Aubrey Friedman of Burlington. The win was the Berndt Hanover son’s third this season, and second in a row. After five Grassroots events the gelding has amassed 142 points from two wins, one second, one third and one fifth-place finish.
The last opportunity for the three-year-old trotting colts to obtain Grassroots points comes Sept. 22 at Hiawatha Horse Park and then the top 16 point earners are off to Georgian Downs for a pair of Semifinals on Oct. 7.
Saturday’s mud spattered battles marked the end of the 2005 Ontario Sires Stakes season at Sudbury Downs, but fans can look forward to the top two and three-year-olds making their way to the northern oval for next summer’s provincial competition.
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