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Stag Party scorches around Grand River in record time
August 15, 2018
By OSS News

On Wednesday evening the top two-year-old pacing colts and fillies in Ontario made Grand River Raceway their stage for the second straight week, and Stag Party wrote his name in lights with a commanding track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record performance in the second Gold division.

Starting from the advantageous Post 1, Stag Party moved smartly off the gate and parked Battle of Waterloo champion Bronx Seelster through a :26.3 quarter. When Bronx Seelster finally backed into the pocket driver David Miller took his foot off the gas and Stag Party cruised to a :55.4 half and a 1:24.3 three-quarters. In the stretch Miller asked the fan favourite to pick up the tempo once again, and Stag Party drew away to a five length victory in 1:52.3. Bronx Seelster finished second and Stag Party’s stablemate in the Casie Coleman barn was third.

“I wasn’t expecting to break the track record with him, but I thought he’d be pretty good,” said Coleman. “I wasn’t expecting that kind of a mile, but he did it well in hand and Dave hardly had to speak to him much finishing, so I was real happy with him.”

The 1:52.3 mile shaved two-fifths of a second off the 1:53 track and Canadian record set by two-year-old pacing colt Tarpon Hanover in the 2012 Battle of Waterloo Final and took a full second off the 1:53.3 Ontario Sires Stakes record for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings on a half-mile track established by Warrawee Needy at Flamboro Downs in 2011.

Coleman conditions the son of Bettors Delight and My Lady Day for her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, John Fielding of Toronto, Mac Nichol of Burlington and McKinlay & Fielding of Toronto, Ontario. The partners acquired the colt for $125,000 at last fall’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale and have watched him record three wins and one second through his first four starts, banking $113,900.

Stag Party will make his next start in the August 25 Nassagaweya Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park and, as long as he continues to impress his connections, will follow that up with several more starts against the best young horses in North America.

“He’s got the four big ones at Mohawk next, the Nassagaweya, Champlain and the Metro, so he’ll be gearing up for those ones next,” said Cambridge resident Coleman. “I might have to dodge a couple of those Ontario Sires Stakes, just with how busy his schedule is going to be. I’ll play it by ear when we get up closer to it.”

Miller made the trip to Grand River specifically to drive Stag Party, to get a feel for the colt before they head into the open stake events, and the New Jersey resident was pleased with the youngster.

“I was really impressed with him. I told them, when I got off the bike, I said I’ll be there when he races next week. That’s a pretty good stamp of approval,” said Miller with a chuckle. “He left the gate very well and his manners were good and I’m excited about him. I baby raced probably 500 babies this year and I had to go all the way to Canada to get one like that.”

The other $96,400 pacing colt Gold division was captured by Battle of Waterloo runner-up Bettors Wish, who cruised home to a two and one-half length victory in 1:55. Keystone Concrete finished second and Coleman trainee Better Up was promoted from fourth to third when his stablemate Sporty Mcsportster, in rein to Miller, suffered interference in the stretch from eventual third-place finisher Sports Teen. As a result, Sports Teen was placed from third down to sixth, behind Sporty Mcsportster.

Guelph resident Paul MacDonell piloted fan favourite Bettors Wish to his second Gold win for trainer Chantal Mitchell and owners Chris Ryder of Allentown, New Jersey, Bella Racing Ltd. of Delaware, Ohio, Fair Island Farm Inc. of Versailles, Kentucky and Kenneth Solomon of Coral Springs, Florida. The Bettors Delight son was a $20,000 purchase from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and has posted four wins, one second, one third and earnings of $185,438 in his first six starts.

Trainer Dave Menary and driver Jody Jamieson swept the $97,200 pacing filly divisions with Battle of the Belles champion Quebec Blue Cup and runner-up Ideation Hanover.

Both fillies controlled the tempo from start to finish, with Ideation Hanover cruising from Post 1 to a 1:55 victory in the first split. Kylie Seelster finished one length behind the fan favourite in second and Menary trainee Blossom Onthebeach was third.

Menary Racing Inc. of Rockton, Michael Guerriero of Brampton and Alan Alber of Thornhill, Ontario share ownership of Ideation Hanover. The Bettors Delight daughter was a $50,000 acquisition from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale and boasts a record of two wins, two seconds, one third and $101,600 through five starts.

Quebec Blue Chip romped to her third straight victory over the Grand River oval, pacing under the wire seven lengths ahead of favourite Sweet Young Thing and Crisp Mane in 1:56. Menary Racing Inc., Michael Guerriero, Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown and Bruce Norris of Caledon East own the Sportswriter daughter, who was a $40,000 purchase from Harrisburg. Through six starts she now has four wins, one second and one third for earnings of $167,488.

“I kind of figured both fillies would be on the front, and that’s the way it worked,” said Menary, who will also give the fillies a chance to test their skills against the best in North American in the upcoming Eternal Camnation Stake at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 25.

“In the last couple weeks I think they’ve earned the opportunity,” said the horseman. “Hopefully they can carry this, translate it to the bigger track.”

The two-year-old pacing colts and fillies will return to Gold Series action on September 28 at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the fourth of five regular season events.

Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Grand River Raceway on Monday, August 27 with the fourth Grassroots event for the three-year-old trotting fillies.

For complete results please visit Grand River Raceway Results — Wednesday, August 15, 2018