News ArchivesArchives for September '08
Late blooming Rock Rico sharp in Grassroots victory
FRASERVILLE, ON — Rock Rico burst onto the Ontario Sires Stakes scene with an impressive 1:56.4 victory in Grassroots action at Kawartha Downs on Tuesday evening.
The three-year-old trotting colt and driver Bill O’Donnell fired off the starting gate from Post 4 and carved fractions of :29.1, :58.1 and 1:27.1, then dug in down the stretch to hang on for a three-quarter length victory over fan favourite Rapid Strategy. Third-place finisher P L Broadway Joe crossed under the wire more than seven lengths behind the winner.
A late bloomer, Rock Rico made his Ontario Sires Stakes debut in his thirteenth lifetime start. The third foal of $406,901 winner Armbro Temple, Rock Rico was a $90,000 yearling at the 2006 Lexington Select Yearling Sale who qualified, but did not race, at two. Through 13 sophomore starts the Kadabra son has amassed five wins, one second and one third for earnings of $34,565 on behalf of owner Ely Iversen of Moffat. Tuesday’s start was the colt’s third under the tutelage of trainer Ira Fisher.
With just one regular season event remaining on the sophomore trotting colt schedule, Rock Rico will need another strong showing in the final event to extend his season through the Oct. 16 Grassroots Semifinal.
Driver Sylvain Filion did his part to land Patriot Seelster and Kangamangus in the Grassroots post season. The reinsman steered Patriot Seelster to a 1:58.3 score in the first $20,000 Grassroots division and Kangamangus to a 1:57.2 squeaker in the third.
Starting from Post 4 with Patriot Seelster, Filion allowed the Berndt Hanover son to float off the starting gate into third place as The Mash Potato sprinted away from the field to a :28.3 opening quarter. Heading by the :57 half, The Mash Potato was still well in front, but Filion opted to move Patriot Seelster to the outside around a rough gaited King Lost, who would be off stride before the 1:26.3 three-quarters.
Around the final turn Patriot Seelster carved The Mash Potato’s lead from 10 lengths to under two lengths, and a solid finishing kick landed the colt in the Grassroots winner’s circle for the second straight time. Baby Boy Grin also closed well to claim the second-place finisher’s share, leaving The Mash Potato to settle for third.
Cambridge resident Ron O’Neill trains Patriot Seelster for Jalade Investments Ltd. of Oakville, Deanmar Sons Stable of Mississauga and Peter Miskolczi of Brampton. Through nine starts this season the colt has posted a record of three wins, one second and three thirds for earnings of $50,154 and Tuesday’s victory boosted him from ninth to fifth in the Grassroots point standings.
Kangamangus jumped from seventh to fourth with his victory on Tuesday. Starting from the outside Post 8, Filion had Kangamangus in gear early, landing in third spot behind pacesetter and fan favourite Worthy Advantage. The pair sat comfortably on the rail as Worthy Advantage carved out fractions of :28.4, :57.3 and 1:26.2, then enjoyed an instant promotion to second when the pacesetter went off stride around the final turn.
Finding themselves just over a length away from a victory, Filion shifted Kangamangus into overdrive and the colt powered down the stretch to eke out a neck victory over pocket sitter Speedy Guard in a personal best 1:57.2. Golden Genes Hall led the rest of the pack under the wire a full ten lengths behind the duelling leaders.
Michael Katz of Thornhill and Larry Moore of Milton acquired Kangamangus for $22,000 at the Aug. 24 Summer Sizzler Sale and the Angus Hall son has already recouped $14,100 of that in his first two starts for the partners. Joe Stutzman handles training duties on the young trotter, who has two wins, one second, one third and one fourth to his credit through the first five Grassroots events.
The other Grassroots divisions went to Dillavec in 1:59.3; Long Ago in 1:57.3; and Abe Linkin in 1:59.2. The three-year-old trotting colts wrap up their Grassroots regular season on Oct. 8 at Windsor Raceway.
Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Kawartha Downs on Saturday, Oct. 4 with Gold Elimination excitement for the remarkably talented two-year-old pacing colts.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rkdftu.html.