view counter
view counter

Steacy Talks OSS Semifinal Starters

Published: October 21, 2009 9:34 am ET

No Comments | Jump to Comments

Ontario’s harness racing stars will flock to Rideau Carleton Raceway this weekend, as the Ottawa oval will play host to eight two-year-old Grassroots semifinals on Friday and eight three-year-old Grassroots semifinals on Sunday.

Trainer Mark Steacy will be a fixture at Rideau Carleton on both nights, as his powerful Lansdowne, Ont. stable will attempt to qualify starters in seven of eight Grassroots finals. On Friday, the horseman will harness four young contenders — two in the freshman trotting filly division, one in the trotting colt division, and one in the pacing filly contest.

Trotting filly Canada Cool will kick off Steacy’s attempt at Grassroots glory from Post 3 in Friday’s first race, and the trainer is hoping the feisty youngster can keep her cool and advance to the $100,000 final.

"She’s an excitable mare, kind of over aggressive," Steacy explained. "She’s perfect in the barn, but on the track she’s all business. She wants to get things done right now. Sometimes that can be her worst enemy, she wears herself out."

Canada Cool heads into the semifinal off an eighth-place finish in the last regular season Grassroots event. Starting from the trailing Post 9 at Kawartha Downs, the Angus Hall miss was frustrated by her inability to charge off the starting gate, and made a miscue heading by the halfway marker. Prior to that error, Canada Cool had not finished worse than third in seven starts.

"She likes things her own way," noted Steacy, who conditions the filly for Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, David Reid of Glenburnie, Ont., Dr. Malcolm Man Son Hing of Campbell River, BC and Joe Loring of Canmore, Alta. "But she’s nice gaited, and she does have quick speed, too."

In the second trotting filly semifinal, J M Annie will carry the stable’s torch from Post 6. The Angus Hall miss delivered an impressive Grassroots victory at Hanover Raceway on September 5 to secure her berth in the post season, but Steacy says the filly has not been at her best since that performance.

"She raced super at Hanover, but since then she’s been kind of flat," the horseman lamented. "She got a little sick and she just hasn’t bounced back from that. She just hasn’t got the same pop that she did early in the year."

Landmark II Racing Stable of Elginburg, Ont., David Reid of Glenburnie, George Judson of Athens, Ont. and David McDonald of Cornwall, Ont. share ownership on J M Annie, who has recorded two fourths and one fifth-place finish in her three starts since September 5.

While J M Annie has struggled through her recent Grassroots outings, two-year-old trotting colt Hava Kadabra heads into his semifinal battle off a personal best effort at Windsor Raceway on October 6. The son of Kadabra circled Windsor’s five-eighths mile oval in 2:00.3, reaching the wire 11 lengths ahead of his peers.

"He’s been a good horse all year, and pretty consistent," said Steacy. "I expect pretty good things from him."

Steacy says the only thing that may hinder Hava Kadabra’s shot at a Grassroots final berth are a pair of quarter cracks he popped in his front feet following the Windsor start.

"He had one in one foot and three or four days later we noticed another one," Steacy recalled. "Hopefully the blacksmith has taken care of that for us and they’re not going to be an issue going into the semifinal."

Landmark II Racing Stable of Elginburg, David Reid of Glenburnie, breeder Stan Klemencic of Trenton, Ont. and Diane Bertrand of Edmonton, Alta. own Have Kadabra, which has posted four wins, one second and two thirds through his nine freshman starts, and will start from Post 4 in the sixth race.

The last entry from the Steacy stable in Friday’s semifinal round is freshman pacing filly Modern Music, which squeaked into the post season with impressive efforts in the last two Grassroots events.

"She had to be first or second at Flamboro, first mostly, and she got second," explained the trainer. "She lacked five points, she was 17th on the list, but all of the top 16 did not enter, so she got in.

"She got a late start, and I think that helped her. She’s kind of fresh," he added.

Modern Music will make her bid for a championship berth from Post 5 in Race 11. The daughter of Modern Art is owned by Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Clarke Steacy of Gananoque, Ont. and Landmark II Racing Stable of Elginburg. The filly will face a tough semifinal field, including division point leader Lyons Anitacol from Post 2, but Steacy thinks she is poised for success in her eighth lifetime start.

"There are a couple of good fillies in against her, but she’s not a bad mare herself," said the horseman. "She’s got a pretty good attitude; she tries."

Rideau Carleton Raceway will play host to eight two-year-old Grassroots semifinals on Friday and will send them postward as Races 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11. Canada Cool and her peers in the first race roll in behind the starting gate at 6:30 p.m.

To view Rideau's harness racing entries for Friday, click here.

To view TrackIT prelim program pages for Sunday’s card, click here.


view counter

© 2021 Standardbred Canada. All rights reserved. Use of this site signifies your agreement and compliance with the legal disclaimer and privacy policy.

Firefox 3 Best with IE 7 Built with Drupal