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Clements hopes homebred has the speed to stay the course
July 29, 2010
By Sandra Snyder

SUDBURY, ON — Ontario’s talented two-year-old trotting colts are headed to Sudbury Downs on Sunday afternoon for Grassroots action and Peter Clements is hoping P C La Mousse can deliver another steady performance in his second provincial outing.

The homebred son of Mr Lavec and Balladeer finished third in his July 15 Ontario Sires Stakes debut, in spite of the torrential downpour that turned Hiawatha Horse Park’s track into something best navigated by ducks.

“Curtis came back from the first trip and he said it was just a lake on the track, with a river going across it at the grandstand,” recalls Clements, whose son Curtis assists with the care and training of P C La Mousse, a third generation product of the family’s breeding program.

While other colts tried to dodge the flowing water, P C La Mousse trotted steadily around the five-eighths mile oval to a 2:04.4 finish, and Clements is hoping the gelding’s easy-going approach to the soggy racing surface extends to any other unusual situations he encounters this season. A relaxed attitude often translates into on track success, and it is trait that his elder siblings seem to lack.

“He’s the third foal, we actually have the four-year-old, the three-year-old and the two-year-old in the barn right now,” notes the Dobbinton, ON resident. “They all show a little bit of step, but he’s more sensible than the other two. He doesn’t let things worry him.”

P C La Mousse’s mother, Balladeer, was a repeat Grassroots winner at both two and three who earned $128,725 in her racing career, and Clements says the gelding has inherited a number of her personality traits. Among them is an impudent attitude towards warming up on race day, something Clements expects Sudbury fans to catch a glimpse of on Sunday.

“He’ll likely go out on Sunday morning when we warm him up and do his usual little buck in the race bike,” says Clements.

Ross Battin drives P C La Mousse, and the veteran reinsman also piloted Balladeer during her Ontario Sires Stakes career. The filly was one of three the Clements family campaigned in 2000 and 2001, and the trainer says Battin was always partial to Balladeer.

“We had three fillies that year and Ross always said she was the best of the three. We always said that was because he didn’t have to look after her,” recalls the trainer-owner-breeder, who would warm Balladeer out of her pre-race antics before handing her off to Battin. “He never went out the first time with her.”

Battin will steer P C La Mousse from Post 4 in Sunday’s fifth race, and Clements is hoping the gelding can pick up another piece of the $24,000 Grassroots purse.

“He’s a big two-year-old, but he’s able to handle himself right and that’s all I can really say,” says the pragmatic Clements. “We’re hoping he’s got enough speed to keep on trucking, but in this game you never know.”

In an attempt to tip the odds in the gelding’s favour, Clements will make the trip from his Dobbinton farm to Sudbury Downs on Saturday, allowing P C La Mousse a chance to relax overnight before gearing up for his second Grassroots test.

“It is too long a trip to take a two-year-old up that day,” says the horseman. ‘’To have them stand in the trailer for five or six hours and then expect them to get off and have their legs under them to go race.”

Post time for Sudbury Downs’ Sunday afternoon program is 1 pm, with the two-year-old trotting colts slated to battle in Races 3, 5, 7, and 9.

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