News ArchivesArchives for October '07
Flamboro Grassroots next step in Riverpath’s education
DUNDAS, ON — Riverpath is the least seasoned of the two-year-old pacing colts heading into the Grassroots fray this Friday, Oct. 12 at Flamboro Downs, but trainer Robert Coulter says experience will be less of a factor than post position in the youngster’s provincial debut.
“He’s a nice colt, he just has not drawn well, and he didn’t draw well again Friday,” says Coulter, who will send Riverpath out from Post 7 in the second $26,890 division. “I think he will show up and show somebody something someday, but I don’t know if it will be Friday.”
Coulter took over training duties on the son of Straight Path and $168,902 winner Blair Creek in June, and brought the youngster along slowly, sending him out to qualify for the first time on Sept. 7. Riverpath toured the Mohawk Racetrack oval in a smart 1:57.3, finishing fourth in the field of two-year-olds.
Eleven days later Riverpath made his racing debut at Grand River Raceway, finishing second in a 2:02.3 mile. In his next start, on Sept. 25 at Georgian Downs, the colt made an early break, bounced back to challenge for the lead at the three-quarters, and then tired in the stretch to finish sixth. Back at Georgian Downs on Oct. 2, Riverpath and driver Anthony Haughan came from well off the pace to finish fifth in a 1:57.1 mile.
“He has a lot of desire, and he acts like he could learn to be a very nice horse, but time will prove me right or wrong,” says Coulter, who conditions Riverpath for Fintec Stables of Hamilton. “We’re just playing it one start at a time.”
While Coulter says Haughan did an excellent job in the driver’s seat at Georgian Downs, his son Scott Coulter will pick up the reins at Flamboro Downs on Friday. Although he jokes that the father-son relationship precludes the offering of any strategic advice, the Brantford resident would like to see the colt get a nice trip and then sprint for the wire.
“He’d take me off his Christmas card list if I didn’t put him down for the Sires Stakes,” says Coulter, with a chuckle. “I’d just like to see him trip the colt out and get what he can at the end. Like I say, the horse is still learning.”
Riverpath faces a talent laden group in Race 3 on Friday, including four former Grassroots winners. Richlyn Hugh will start from Post 2, Be Bop For Life gets Post 3, Excel Nine — the number two colt in the division standings — will start from Post 5, and Doctor J Holiday will fire off the wings from Post 6.
While Coulter believes Riverpath possesses a fair bit of gate speed, he does not expect the novice pacer to engage in the early speed from Post 7 in his Grassroots debut.
“I think he’d be kind of a nice horse off the gate, if you could get a chance to use him that way,” notes the trainer. “I think he’ll lean to be very nice off the gate.”
Riverpath and his more experienced peers will battle in Races 1, 3, 4, and 8 at Flamboro Downs on Friday. The Dundas oval sends its first race in behind the starting gate at 6 pm.
For complete results please go to: