News ArchivesArchives for May '12
Mohawk Racetrack kicks off OSS Grassroots season on Victoria Day
CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Mohawk Racetrack will celebrate the first long weekend of summer this Monday with six divisions of Grassroots action for Ontario’s talented three-year-old trotting colts and geldings.
Monday’s event kicks off the Ontario Sires Stakes program’s Grassroots season, and local horse Coe Leader is hoping to use the developmental program as a springboard to bigger things.
“I opted out of racing him at London (on May 18) because he’s too big and he’s too fast off the gate, and I didn’t know if I’d blow the first turn or would he get around it or not,” explains trainer-driver Rick Zeron of the decision to start the gelding’s career at the Grassroots rather than the elite Gold Series level. “So I opted not to go, and just race him in the Grassroots, and then I’ll just wait and I’ll prep him for Georgian Downs (Gold Series) for next month.”
Coe Leader heads into Monday’s test off a pair of wins at Woodbine Racetrack in April. The Here Comes Herbie son scored a gate-to-wire victory in his April 12 debut, halting the teletimer at 1:57.3, and then returned to the Toronto oval with a 1:56.2 effort on April 27. Although he was raced just twice at two — including a runner-up finish in an August Grassroots event at Kawartha Downs — Zeron says the gelding is right on schedule.
“Everything is going, way, way perfect,” reflects the Oakville resident, who shares ownership of Coe Leader with breeder Bowl Stables of Bryn Mawr, PA and Saul Mendelson of Montreal, QC. “He is on schedule right now where I want him to be; where I want him to be and where he’s going to be this year.”
Zeron and his partners opted to truncate Coe Leader’s freshman season because of the gelding’s size and their experience with his half-sister Miss Dangles. Now a winner of $189,860, Miss Dangles did not appear on the racetrack until her three-year-old year.
“He got growthy on me, and he had side bones bother him a little bit in front, and he just kept growing, he didn’t stop growing,” recalls the horseman. “So I said, well, I better shut him down before I hurt him and we’ll pick the pieces up in 2012. I think he can trot in around 1:53, 1:54 right now.”
In spite of the gelding’s limited number of starts, Zeron’s hopes for Coe Leader extend well beyond this year’s stakes season. The veteran horseman is confident that the long-legged trotter will be a serious player on the aged horse circuit next season.
“I want to keep him around too, as a four-year-old,” says Zeron, who continues to campaign the gelding’s five-year-old sibling Miss Dangles.
Coe Leader will take aim on a share of the $24,000 Grassroots purse in the third of six divisions on Monday. The winner of $25,350 faces a number of newcomers to the Ontario Sires Stakes program, including Tie Silk Series victor Knows Nothing, who puts his three race unbeaten streak on the line from the outside Post 10 in Race 3.
Last year’s Grassroots champion Northern Victory returns to the provincial scene from Post 4 in the fourth division, slated as Race 5 on Mohawk Racetrack’s Victoria Day program.
The Grassroots action gets under way at 7:10 pm, and the three-year-old trotting colts and gelding’s are also featured in Races 2, 3, 5, 9 and 11 on the Mohawk Racetrack program.
For complete entries please go to Mohawk Racetrack Entries -- Monday, May 21, 2012