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O'Brien In The 'Stars' For Bossence?

Published: January 25, 2019 10:38 am ET

Last Comment: January 25, 2019 12:17 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

After being out of harness racing for a few years, Kyle Bossence caught the bug again. That choice to return as a trainer had paid dividends, as he has been named as a finalist for the Future Star Award, part of the 2018 O'Brien Awards.

Bossence, who worked under Gregg McNair at the beginning of his harness racing career before a two-year hiatus from the sport, returned to action in November of 2016 with Arockalypse Now. In a $6,500 claiming event at Western Fair, the Rocknroll Hanover gelding finished second in Bossence's first start as a trainer. Bossence captured his first training win later that month in London with They Call Me Gordy.

"We were slower at work one winter and I bought a horse to do before work," Bossence said about his re-entry into the Standardbred sport after spending his time away working for Saudeen Agri Service Ltd. in Kenilworth, Ont., a half-hour drive from Grand River Raceway. "He turned out pretty good, so I slowly got right back into it. I always say horses are kind of in your blood; if you grew up around them, you can never really get out of it."

After sending 16 winners to post in 2017, the Arthur, Ont. resident enjoyed a breakout 2018, posting 42 wins in 244 starts for a 17.2 per cent strike rate and amassing over $240,000 in purses while competing primarily at Western Fair and Grand River. The then-10-year-old gelding Comback Matt provided an early spark to Bossence's year, reeling off four straight wins for $7,000 in January and February at The Raceway at Western Fair District.

"That was a first for me and a great way to start off the year," Bossence said of Comback Matt's four-race winning streak.

"It was a great year for me," Bossence continued. "I acquired new owners and new horses throughout the year. I started out the year with five horses and ended it with 12 horses. I had a lot of luck throughout the year and a lot of great drives with a great team of people behind me."

The crew behind the scenes of Bossence's fledgling stable includes owners Ron Nobles and Bill Pendleton, blacksmith Ondrej Gois, dad Ron, and girlfriend Tamara Vandewiel.

"She is an outstanding groom," Bossence said of Vandewiel. "She started helping me full time in 2018; I definitely could not have done it without her."

While 2018 was definitely a springboard year for Bossence, his O'Brien nomination still caught him pleasantly off guard.

"I was surprised when I got the call," the 27-year-old trainer recounted. "I was kind of just expecting to look online to see who got nominated, so when Standardbred Canada was calling the day before, I had no idea that's what it was about. It sure caught me by surprise that night on the way to London!"

While his O'Brien Award nomination has had time to sink in, Bossence is reeling with excitement as his first occasion to attend the gala event nears.

"I really can't wait to go to the awards," he concluded. "I have only ever watched them online when other people I knew were nominated. It's going to be a lot of fun, and I'm really looking forward to going."

Standardbred Canada will present the 30th edition of the O’Brien Awards on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale Hotel. The black tie gala includes a cocktail reception, gourmet dinner, wine, and complimentary portrait for the night's attendees.

January 25, 2019 - 12:17 pmAs they say in

bob tutton SAID...

As they say in Hollywood,"Break a leg Kyle".
Well done.

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