Wallace Duo Primed For Trip To Flamboro
Published: September 6, 2011 8:58 pm ET
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Trainer Ben Wallace will harness a pair of three-year-old pacing geldings in Friday’s Grassroots skirmish at Flamboro Downs, hoping Pointed Victory and Tara Micket turn in the sort of workmanlike effort that currently has them ranked among the top 20 point earners in the division.
“They are both kind of blue collar horses, they just go and race,” says the Milton resident. “They haven’t had overwhelming summers, but they’ve known they’ve been out there.”
First off the gate from the Wallace stable is Pointed Victory, who will be hampered by the outside Post 8 in his quest for a second Grassroots trophy. Through the first four Grassroots events the Royal Mattjesty gelding has tallied one win, two seconds and one fifth for a total of 105 points, good enough for fourth spot in the division standings with two events left on the calendar.
“He’s come a long way from where he started,” notes Wallace, who shares ownership of the gelding with Holland Racing Stable Inc. of Aurora and John R. Palcit Holdings Inc. of Amherstburg. “I didn’t know if he had the desire to be a racehorse.”
Wallace says driver James MacDonald has been instrumental in Pointed Victory’s Grassroots success this summer, teaching the gelding to race from off the pace and save some energy for the stretch drive.
MacDonald made his first appearance in Pointed Victory’s race bike on July 26 in an overnight at Georgian Downs, piloting the gelding to a fourth-place finish. Three days later he navigated Woodstock Raceway with the gelding and Pointed Victory earned his first Grassroots trophy with a 1:56 off-the-pace effort. In two August Grassroots events, MacDonald and Pointed Victory combined for two second-place results, the first at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Aug. 11 and the most recent at Grand River Raceway on Aug. 24.
“He (James) did a good job teaching him. He wanted to go too fast, too soon and empty out at the end,” says Wallace of Pointed Victory’s early efforts. “He (James) reprogrammed him.”
As the regular season nears its end, competition for Grassroots points is intensifying and MacDonald and Pointed Victory face a stiff test in Friday’s third race. In addition to drawing the outside Post 8, the pair face the three top ranked colts in the division; Musselsfrmbrussels at Post 7, Mach Wheel at Post 6 and Stolen Car at Post 2. In addition to the Grassroots stars is Gold Series regular Drain Daddy, who makes his Grassroots debut from the trailing Post 9.
Like Drain Daddy, Wallace’s second starter will line up from the second tier in the third $24,000 Grassroots division.
Tara Micket has recorded one second, two thirds and one fifth in the first four Grassroots events this season, putting him in sole possession of seventeenth spot in the standings with 54 points.
“He’s a nice little guy. He comes to play, but he’s not very big,” says Wallace of the Mach Three son he co-owns with Doug Millard of Woodstock. “He tries as much as he can.”
The top 20 point earners will advance into the Sept. 24 Semifinals at Mohawk Racetrack, and Wallace would love to see Tara Micket secure his spot in the post season with a strong effort at Flamboro and in the regular season finale at Georgian Downs on Sept. 17.
“He may be in the hunt, but we’ll have to see how it all unfolds,” says the trainer, who will also hand Tara Micket’s lines over to James MacDonald.
Among the colts Tara Micket will face in Race 4 are tenth ranked Buckleberry Finn from Post 1, Gold Series regular Mach Of Ballykeel from Post 2, and recent division winner Rileys Luck from Post 6.
The three-year-old pacing colts will speed around the Flamboro Downs half-mile in Races 2, 3, 4, and 8, on a Friday evening card that gets under way at 6 p.m.
Also part of Friday’s evening’s program is another opportunity for fans to qualify for the Ontario Sires Stakes program’s Win The Thrill contest.
In the designated Win The Thrill race finalists will be drawn from each horse’s ballot box, earning a Flamboro Downs betting voucher and a shot at the Oct. 1 Grand Prize draw for a share in the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association’s (SBOA) New Owner Mentoring Program. The Grand Prize winner will join eight other newcomers to Standardbred ownership, learning the ropes from longtime owner Brian Webster of St. George Brant and trainer Tony O’Sullivan of Cambridge as they purchase and prepare an Ontario-sired yearling in hopes of competing in next year’s OSS events.
More information about the Win The Thrill contest and the SBOA New Owners Mentoring program is available at www.ontariosiresstakes.com and www.standardbredbreeders.com. Ballots and details are available in the official Flamboro Downs program.
To view entries for Friday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Friday Entries – Flamboro Downs.