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Knows Nothing Goes For First Gold Title

Published: October 4, 2012 9:30 pm ET

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Woodbine Racetrack hosts its first Ontario Sires Stakes event of the 2012 season on Monday, Oct. 8, welcoming 10 talented sophomore trotting colts for the last $130,000 Gold Final of their career.

With only 10 colts entered into the event, they all advanced directly to Monday’s Gold Final without need for an elimination. As a result many of the colts used overnight events on Woodbine’s Oct. 1 program to prep for the $130,000 test, an option trainer Jeff Gillis had intended to pursue before Knows Nothing showed signs of illness last week and was scratched out of the Preferred class.

“I think he’ll be fine,” says Gillis of the winner of $475,691, noting that the colt did not require treatment for the ailment. “It was more just letting him kind of get over it on his own.”

Knows Nothing and regular reinsman Jody Jamieson will make their bid for a Gold Final trophy from Post 4 in Monday’s eighth race. In spite of winning nine of 14 races this season, the pair was unsuccessful in their only other bid for a Gold Final title, finishing second by a head to Prestidigitator at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 25. The rematch will see two-time Gold Final winner Prestidigitator start from Post 8 on Monday and Gillis is expecting another exciting battle between the division heavy weights.

“In Ontario, I feel like it’s him (Knows Nothing) and Prestidigitator,” says Gillis, who shares ownership of the Kadabra son with Al Libfeld of Pickering, Marvin Katz of Toronto, Mac Nichol of Burlington and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY.
“It’ll be a horse race,” he continues. “Anything can happen. I don’t think they’re just going to cut us a cheque.”

In addition to their Ontario Sires Stakes engagements, Knows Nothing and Prestidigitator have waged battle against the best in North America this summer and head into Monday’s Gold Final from three open stake events at Mohawk Racetrack. In the Sept. 1 Simcoe Stakes Knows Nothing finished third and Prestidigitator finished fourth. Knows Nothing then captured his Sept. 8 elimination for the Canadian Trotting Classic in a personal best 1:52.4, while Prestidigitator was third in his elimination, and in the $1 million final Knows Nothing finished fourth and Prestidigitator was fifth.

“In the finals it’s been kind of one thing or another,” laments Gillis. “He’s had excess cover once or twice and the time he got the best trip he flipped his palate and just wasn’t at his best.”

The trip Gillis refers to was the $1.5 million Hambletonian on Aug. 4 at The Meadowlands in New Jersey. After winning his elimination Knows Nothing was among the favourites for the final, but wound up settling for fifth. The colt has one more opportunity to change his luck in high profile finals when North America’s best come to Woodbine for the Breeders Crown on Oct. 20 and 27.

Before Knows Nothing goes his next round with the top trotting colts in the continent, Gillis is hoping the colt can deliver a big effort in Monday’s Gold Final. The trainer has been tinkering with some bridle changes and is hoping they pay off with a Gold Final title.

“I’m pretty happy with the four-hole,” says the trainer. “I think he’s ready for a good effort.”

In addition to Knows Nothing and Prestidigitator, former Gold Final winner Keystone Orion will be looking for a second title from Post 7, division point leader Cold Certified will start from Post 2 and last year’s division champion The Game Plan makes his first sophomore start from Post 1. The Game Plan heads into the Gold Final off a trio of qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack, the most recent a 1:57.1 effort on Sept. 28.

The three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will square off in Race 8, with Woodbine Racetrack’s first race going postward at 7:10 p.m.


To view entries for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Entries – Woodbine Racetrack.

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