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Grumpy Jake’s connections all smiles at Woodbine Friday
October 30, 2009
By Sandra Snyder

TORONTO, ON — Grumpy Jake put a smile on owner Bryan Haryott’s face on Friday night, as the two-year-old trotting colt captured the second of two $40,000 Gold Eliminations at Woodbine Racetrack.

With trotting specialist Trevor Ritchie at the helm, Grumpy Jake floated away from Post 3 and landed in third spot behind early leaders War King Ton and Lucero. The pair sat on the rail through the :29.1 opening quarter, but by the 1:00.3 half Ritchie had Grumpy Jake heading up the outside to wrestle the lead away from War King Ton.

Grumpy Jake reached the three-quarters in 1:30.4 and was on top by three lengths when he turned for home, then dug hard down the stretch to hold on to a three-quarter length victory over a hard closing Ja El Express. Over a track rated one second slower than normal, the Striking Sahbra son swept under the wire with a 1:59 clocking.

Keystone Swagger also closed hard to be third, with Lucero and War King Ton rounding out the qualifiers for next Friday’s Gold Final.

Owned by Haryott Stables Inc. of Etobicoke, Grumpy Jake’s second elimination victory boosted his freshman record to three wins, one second and two thirds for earnings of $109,719. Campbellville resident Michael Guitard trains the gelding, who seems to be back on track after making a pair of breaks earlier in the month.

Ritchie also engineered a victory in the other Gold Elimination, steering Zorgwijk Kingpin to a two and three-quarter length score from Post 3. The Acton resident settled Zorgwijk Kingpin into third spot on the rail, but waited until the three-quarter marker to send the chestnut gelding to the outside. Zorgwijk Kingpin responded with a smart kick that saw him reach the front around the final turn and power home to a 1:59 victory.

Fan favourite Text Me followed Zorgwijk Kingpin up the outside, but could not catch him in the stretch and had to settle for second spot. After controlling the pace through the middle stages of the race, Reach Higher faded to third. Pointe To Pointe and Sombrero Hall picked up the fourth and fifth-place cheques.

Friday’s victory marked Zorgwijk Kingpin’s third appearance in the winner’s circle following a Gold Elimination. Through eight starts the consistent young trotter now boasts three wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $143,716.

The Southwind Lustre son is owned by trainer Ronnie MacLean of Ingersoll, and Murray Neilson, Scot Wood and Joseph Serratore of London, and the partners would love to see the youngster find his way to a Gold Final winner’s circle next Friday.

Zorgwijk Kingpin will line up behind the Woodbine Racetrack starting gate from Post 6 in next week’s $130,000 Gold Final, with the remainder of the field arranged as follows:

Post 1 Sombrero Hall

Post 2 Grumpy Jake

Post 3 Pointe To Pointe

Post 4 Text Me

Post 5 Keystone Swagger

Post 6 Zorgwijk Kingpin

Post 7 Lucero

Post 8 Reach Higher

Post 9 Ja El Express

Post 10 War King Ton

Also Eligible 1 Expressway K

Also Eligible 2 Quantum Starship

For complete results please go to: