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MacIntyre Loving The Ride

Published: October 8, 2009 10:51 am ET

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OK Canada will be hampered by the outside Post 7 in his effort to score a third Grassroots victory on Monday afternoon at Western Fair Raceway, but owner Dan MacIntyre is not complaining.

"He has been fortunate up to now. He has been good and lucky at drawing posts," said the resident of London, Ont. "We’ll still keep our fingers crossed from the seven-hole."

In his Grassroots debut at Flamboro Downs on July 17, OK Canada was a 2:00.1 winner from Post 1. On September 7 at Grand River Raceway, the son of Royal Mattjesty logged a second provincial victory in a 1:56.3 personal best after having started from Post 1. And on September 24, the colt finished fifth in his Grassroots division from Post 2 over the Hiawatha Horse Park oval. Those three efforts have given OK Canada a total of 105 Grassroots points and sole ownership of fourth spot in the division standings.

"Hopefully he’ll have enough points to go to the Grassroots finals at Rideau Carleton Raceway," noted MacIntyre, who shares ownership on OK Canada with his wife, Karen MacIntyre, and trainer Ben Wallace of Milton, Ont. "And then hopefully he comes back as a three-year-old."

A $35,000 yearling purchase from last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale, OK Canada was one of a handful of colts that the MacIntyre’s examined in Wallace’s barn following the sale. The couple liked the colt’s pedigree — he is a half-sibling to $384,486 winner Beachy Girl and $249,528 winner OK Braveheart — and his conformation.

"Ben picked the colt out. He bought a couple of colts and offered us part ownership of whatever one we wanted, and we picked him," MacIntyre recalled. "He seems like a well put together colt, and we liked the mare."

The MacIntyres got to know Wallace when Karen joined the 2006 Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association New Owners Group. Ben Wallace was the group’s trainer, guiding them through the intricacies of yearling ownership along with mentor Ray Bednarz of Brantford, Ont. Pacing filly Cant Quit Smiling earned $49,244 for the group before being sold at the end of her three-year-old campaign, so the MacIntyres decided to purchase a share of a second horse in 2007. Garrick Seelster has earned $27,720 in two seasons at the races.

"In 1989-90, we had a couple horses that raced here at London. We trained them as part time trainers," MacIntyre recalled. "If you remember London 15 years ago; it was pretty tough racing here before the slots came along. We thought this was one way to ease back into the business."

The couple is enjoying its role as owners and has not missed one of OK Canada’s races. In seven trips to the racetrack they have visited the winner’s circle twice, and watched the colt finish second twice and third once.

"I get to be the owner and stand around and watch," MacIntyre said with a chuckle. "We have managed to make every one of his races. We wanted to make sure we were there to get our picture taken if he won."

Should OK Canada overcome his outside post to score a third Grassroots victory, Western Fair’s track photographer will need a wide-angled lens.

"There is quite a crowd that wants to come down and watch him," MacIntyre explained.

OK Canada will square off against a tough field of OSS veterans in the fourth race on Monday, including two-time Grassroots winner Good Bad Lucky from Post 6. The freshman pacing colts kick off Western Fair Raceway’s Monday afternoon program at 3:35 p.m. and will strut their stuff in Races 1 through 4.

To view Western Fair's Monday harness racing entries, click here.

(OSS)


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