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Rookies Ready For Golden Battle

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Published: October 6, 2011 8:23 pm ET

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The field for Monday’s $170,000 Gold Final may be small, but Woodbine Racetrack fans are looking forward to a no-holds barred showdown between previous Gold Final winners Warrawee Needy, I Found My Beach and Machapelo.

Warrawee Needy captured the first two Gold Finals at Mohawk Racetrack and Rideau Carleton Raceway in July, I Found My Beach triumphed at Flamboro Downs in August, and Machapelo arrives at Woodbine as the reigning Gold Final champion thanks to his 1:54.2 score at Grand River Raceway on Sept. 26. I Found My Beach gets the advantage of Post 1 on Monday, while Machapelo starts from Post 2 and Warrawee Needy will line up at Post 6 in the six-horse field.

“It’s nice to be in that category,” says I Found My Beach co-owner Patrick Ryan, who plans to be front and centre for Monday’s heavyweight showdown.

The London resident saw I Found My Beach win his Gold Elimination at Flamboro Downs on Aug. 7 and immediately set about convincing trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and breeder Robert Kauffman of New Albany, OH that they needed a third partner on the son of Mach Three and Ohio Annie.

“I had to work hard,” recalls Ryan with a chuckle. “But they are two great guys and I am very thrilled about it.

“It’s nice to be with one of the best trainers of all time,” adds the long time owner. “Bob is having a great year.”

What struck Ryan about I Found My Beach was the way the colt finished in the Aug. 7 elimination, just his third lifetime start. With driver Randy Waples at the helm, I Found My Beach circled out three-wide at the three-quarter marker and sprinted home in :27.1 to post a half length victory in a personal best 1:53.4.

“He put his head down and just dug in,” explains Ryan. “He dug in like a horse you dream of owning. He dug in and flew home like a rocket.”

The colt came back the following week with another 1:53.4 effort to claim the Gold Final title, then tested his skills against some of North America’s best, laying down a :26.2 last quarter to finish second in his division of the Sept. 10 Champlain Stakes at Mohawk. In last week’s Gold Final at Grand River, I Found My Beach and Waples were hampered by the outside Post 8, but still managed to sprint into third spot, part of a thrilling stretch drive that saw Machapelo, Warrawee Needy and I Found My Beach separated by less than a length as they roared under the wire.

Through six starts I Found My Beach has accumulated $155,276 from three wins, two seconds and one third. He currently sits fourth in the freshman pacing colt division standings and is already assured of a berth in the $300,000 Super Final at Woodbine on Nov. 12.

Waples will be back in the race bike for Monday’s test, which is slated as Race 2 on a Woodbine Racetrack program that gets under way 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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