News ArchivesArchives for November '07
Windsong Espoir shoots for ninth straight in Super Final
REXDALE, ON — Good horses often have an indefinable something that brands them as a star and two-year-old trotting colt Windsong Espoir, the early favourite for Saturday’s $300,000 Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack, has it in spades.
“On the racetrack he’s all business. He’s the most professional two-year-old I’ve ever raced,” asserts conditioner Brad Maxwell, whose list of former trainees includes division champions Pure Ivory ($1,442,888) and Elegantimage ($955,368). “When he goes to the paddock he knows he’s there to race, and he gets himself ready.
“He’s the kind of horse, you race him and two minutes later — he doesn’t blow after he races — and he’s looking for something to eat,” adds the Cambridge resident. “He doesn’t get tired this horse.”
The young trotter’s mature work ethic has earned him eight wins and one third in nine starts this season for earnings of $558,004. Undefeated in four Gold Series starts, the colt also captured the Final of the Bridger Series, a division of the Champlain Stakes and his elimination and the final of the William Wellwood Memorial.
Windsong Espoir qualified twice at Mohawk Racetrack, on July 30 and Aug. 6, then made his debut in an Aug. 16 leg of the Bridger Series where he finished third. Maxwell says the late start to the colt’s season was intentional, and that he will wrap up his freshman campaign after Saturday’s Super Final.
“There is lots of money in the fall for them, and I think it’s a little better for the horse. They last longer as a two-year-old,” explains the horseman. “He grew up slowly, and by around August he was a man. He’s really thickened up and muscled up, he’s a big horse.”
Maxwell conditions the colt for Jerry Vanboekel of Bright, Peter Heffering of Port Perry, Hope Stables of Port Perry and William Loyens of London, whose wife Paulette Loyens bred the son of Kadabra and Diamond Dawn. The partners always liked the leggy youngster, but Maxwell says they had no idea they were in for the kind of season Windsong Espoir has produced.
“He was a big sloppy-going colt all winter. He wouldn’t wow you, not like Pure Ivory could as baby,” recalls the horseman. “So much of it is luck, it just worked out.”
Maxwell says the colt is a bit full of himself and admits that he and his staff have adjusted their daily routines to accommodate the talented youngster.
“We’ve got to wait for him to get up in the morning. He comes in from the paddock and lays flat out for a couple of hours,” explains Maxwell. “We just go about our business until he gets up.
“He’s not studdy at all,” adds the conditioner. “He’s been a real pleasure to train.”
Regular reinsman Steve Condren will steer Windsong Espoir from Post 7 in the fifth race on Saturday, the outside post in a field that will feature just seven freshman trotting colts.
In contrast, 10 youngsters will line up behind the gate in the hotly competitive two-year-old trotting filly division and veteran conditioner Jimmy Takter is hoping Its My Time can capitalize on Post 4 to earn a sizeable chunk of the $300,000 purse.
“She has a good post. She might get lucky and get the top three. I’d be very happy with that,” says Takter, who trains the Angus Hall miss for his wife Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ, John Fielding and Jim Fielding of Toronto, ON and Free Money Stable of Bethlehem, PA.
While she has not visited the winner’s circle since her July 20 victory in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stake at Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY, Its My Time has been the model of consistency, amassing one win, four seconds, two thirds, one fourth and earnings of $106,831 through her first nine starts.
“She’s been picking up the pieces and done well,” notes Takter. “She’s not a very big filly, so she’s had to work very hard. She has a big heart and she tries hard.”
Rick Zeron will pilot Its My Time in Saturday’s Super Final, and Takter says he would like to see the Oakville resident engineer the same sort of trip that has stood her in good stead all season.
“Try to get away as easy as possible and take your speed to the end,” explains the horseman. “She is not the type of filly you want to be first up with for too long.”
After setting track and Ontario Sires Stakes records across the province this season, the two-year-old trotting fillies are the perfect division to kick off Saturday’s $2.4 million Super Final program. Woodbine Racetrack’s first race rolls up behind the starting gate at 7:40 pm and all eyes will be on the gifted trotting fillies in Race 3. The other seven Super Finals are slated as Races 4 through 10.
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