News ArchivesArchives for July '16
Muscle Hustle and Warrawee Roo step to centre stage
Less than two weeks after they made their 2016 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) debut, Mohawk Racetrack welcomed back the three-year-old trotting colts on Monday for two $105,000 Gold Series divisions and crowned a pair of first-time OSS winners.
Impressed with his runner-up effort in the season opener, fans sent Muscle Hustle off as their top choice from Post 3 in the first division. The colt and driver Randy Wales responded with a confident move to the front just past the :27.4 quarter, a spot they refused to relinquish when pressured by last year’s division champion Tony Soprano heading for the :56.4 half.
Having dealt with the initial challenge Muscle Hustle pulled away from the field by the 1:24.2 three-quarters and powered across the wire one and one-half lengths ahead of Sass and Smoke Monkey. The 1:52.4 clocking lowered the colt’s personal best by almost two full seconds.
“He’s never been there before, and that’s a big mile for any three-year-old trotter this early in the year,” said Milton, ON resident Waples from the winner’s circle. “He just seems to be getting a little bit better each week too. He started out good, but each week he seems to get even a little bit more better than he was, so it’ll be interesting to see what he does down the road.”
Waples drives the son of Muscle Mass and Crown Laurel for trainer Per Henriksen and owner Ecurie Bergh Inc. of Norwood, ON. In seven sophomore starts Muscle Hustle has tallied five wins and one second for earnings of $112,100. The trotter made just three starts last season, posting one win and one third-place result.
The second division saw June 27 winner Will Take Charge established as the heavy favourite and driver Paul MacDonell also chose to the put the colt on the front, leaving strongly from Post 6 and taking command just after the :27 quarter. Will Take Charge went unchallenged through a :56 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters, but Warrawee Roo had been stalking the pace from the outer lane and when the field squared up in the stretch and driver Sylvain Filion asked for another gear, Warrawee Roo sprinted by the pacesetter to a 1:53.3 victory. Will Take Charge settled for second and Dia Monde was third.
“Tonight I thought he was maybe second best with the nine-hole, but it turned out he raced really huge and he dug in,” said Filion. “He’s a really, really nice horse.”
Warrawee Roo looked poised to win his division in the opening leg of the Gold Series, but skipped off-stride and finished seventh. He also made a mistake in his sophomore debut, but in between he was flawless, scoring three victories between May 19 and June 16. Milton resident Filion pilots Warrawee Roo for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and Determination of Montreal, QC and gives high praise to Blais for the work he has done on the colt.
“Luc’s working very hard with him and trying to figure him out, all his little problems,” noted the reinsman. “If he ever gets him 100 per cent, he’s the best in there, in that category anyway.”
The three-year-old trotting colts will square off in their third Gold Series event on August 10 at Grand River Raceway.
On Tuesday evening the Grassroots colts will take over where their Gold Series peers left off, arriving at Mohawk Racetrack for five $18,000 divisions. Racing begins at 7:30 pm and the sophomore trotting colts and geldings will battle in Races 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9.
For complete results please visit Mohawk Racetrack Results — Monday, July 11, 2016>