News ArchivesArchives for July '11
Improving colts hoping for Grassroots success in Sarnia
SARNIA, ON — Ontario’s three-year-old trotting colts roll into Hiawatha Horse Park on Thursday evening for their second shot at a Grassroots trophy, and Sarnia resident Terry Kerr is hoping High Stakes Banker will have a whole pile of hometown luck riding in his race bike.
After missing the first Grassroots event of the season due to sickness, the Here Comes Herbie son will be hampered by the outside Post 9 in the fourth $24,000 Grassroots division.
“He actually come up sick about three days before the draw,” says Kerr of the gelding’s absence from the June 25 season opener. “But I slipped him across to Hiawatha last Thursday (June 30) and went a pretty good mile with him, so I thought he’d be all right, but he sure as heck didn’t need that hole.”
Since returning to action in mid-April High Stakes Banker has logged one win and one third-place finish for Kerr and owner-breeders Bet Max Stables Inc. of Casco, MI and Benenati Inc. of Clinton Township, MI. The winner of $12,880 is the second foal from broodmare Bankers Princess who is a half-sister to Porsche Hall, a mare Kerr teamed to earnings of $642,396.
Kerr is not expecting Porsche Hall-like performances from High Stakes Banker, but he is hoping the gelding emerges as a regular player on the Grassroots program this season.
“He seems all right, he win in 2:02, a half in a minute in London there before that stakes series (City of London Trotting Series),” says Kerr. “I thought he’d maybe be one of the better ones, and he run both starts in it so he didn’t even make the final. He raced good his first two starts there, then he just wasn’t on his game for the stake, hopefully he will be this time.”
Among the horses that High Stakes Banker will face in Thursday’s eighth race are three colts that took an early season swing at the Gold Series. Lampoon Hall will start from Post 1, Con Brio Hall gets Post 2 and Over And Out gets Post 5.
Northern Cato also faces a stiff test in the last Grassroots division. The Striking Sahbra gelding will start from Post 2 in the eleventh race, right alongside recent Grassroots winner Daily Blog, who gets Post 3.
Coming off a third-place finish in his division of the Grassroots season opener, Northern Cato is finally giving owners Don Allensen of Camlachie, Parkhill Stud Farm of Peterborough, Harry Locke of Oshawa and Kenneth Andrews of Peterborough cause for optimism.
“He’s improving, he was a little disappointing last year,” notes trainer John Bax. “He just needs to get a little stronger. He’s got the frame, he’s kind of doing it right, it’s just a slow process. The worst of it is, I think he’s going to be a good four-year-old, which isn’t my cup of tea, but that’s what he looks like. He just keeps getting a little bit better, a little bit stronger.”
The first foal from a full-sister to former Bax trainee Northern Bailey, who earned $963,285 in his racing career, Northern Cato made six starts last season and only managed one third-place finish. Since his return to action this spring the gelding has recorded one second and two thirds and contributed $7,395 toward the $39,000 his owners spent at the 2009 Forest City Yearling Sale.
Driver Stephen Byron will be aiming to help Northern Cato boost that total on Thursday.
Hiawatha Horse Park’s first race rolls in behind the starting gate at 6:30 pm Thursday, with the three-year-old trotting colts featured in Races 4 and 6 through 11.
For complete entries please go to: Hiawatha Horse Park Entries -- July 7, 2011