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"Mystician Doesn’t Worry Me One Bit"


Published: November 11, 2010 11:12 am ET

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Metro Pace winner Mystician has the rail and the status of morning line favourite heading into Saturday's Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals at Woodbine Racetrack, but Dave Menary, trainer of Prodigal Seelster and Watermelonwine, isn't losing any sleep over it.

“We’ve taken some of Rick Zeron’s advice and made a few changes,” Menary said about Watermelonwine, who will line up at Post 6 in the sixth race. “He’s right in the middle of the gate, and if he can work himself out a trip, he can really kick for home.”

Through 11 starts, Watermelonwine has tallied two wins and two seconds for owner Brad Gray of Dundas, Ont. and banked a total of $100,840. The Life Sign youngster has played second fiddle to stablemate Prodigal Seelster this summer, but both Menary and Zeron are very happy with the momentum the colt is carrying into the season finale.

“If everything works as we have planned for Watermelonwine, he’s going to get a big chunk of it on Saturday,” said Zeron.

Prodigal Seelster will be further along the starting gate at Post 8, but Menary is confident that driver Randy Waples will be able to carve out a trip that puts the winner of $329,455 in a position to add to his freshman bankroll. The son of Camluck is heading into the season finale off a commanding victory in the October 24 Gold final at Ottawa’s Rideau Carleton Raceway.

“Since Ottawa he’s been really good,” noted Menary, who trains the colt for his father Larry Menary of Cheltenham, Ont., Denis Breton of Welland, Ont., Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Ont. and Double Or Nothing Stables of Hamilton, Ont. “We chose to miss the Governor’s Cup and concentrate on the Super Final.”

Menary and Jeff Gillis are longtime friends whose charges have battled tooth and nail in the two-year-old pacing colt ranks this season — Prodigal Seelster prevailed in the Battle of Waterloo and their Metro elimination, while Mystician captured the $1 million Metro prize — but Menary figures he has the upper hand in Saturday’s skirmish.

“Jeff and I are very good friends, but Mystician doesn’t worry me one bit. He hasn’t raced for six weeks and in his last start he had a hard time handling Watermelonwine,” noted the trainer. “Mystician is going to have his hands full when Prodigal Seelster comes knocking this week.”

While he hopes to prevail in the freshman battle, Menary is willing to concede that Gillis has the edge in the three-year-old pacing colt ranks. Menary will send Big Bay Point after his second Ontario Sires Stakes win from Post 2, while Gillis packs a one-two punch from Posts 7 and 8 with Code Word and Twin B Warrior.

“I think Gillis’ colts are pretty fresh,” admitted Menary. “I think Mach Dreamer (Post 1) and Twin B Warrior are the ones to beat.”

Mario Baillargeon will steer Big Bay Point on Saturday and Menary is hoping the Camluck colt has one more big effort left for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA.

“I treat them all different, but he is one I train hard,” reflected Menary. “So it’s been a long year, a lot of hard training, a lot of hard racing, and he is maybe a little tired. Hopefully he’s got one more big mile in him.”

Woodbine Racetrack’s Saturday evening program will get underway at 7:30 p.m., with Ontario’s most talented two and three-year-old pacers lighting up the Toronto horizon in Races 3 through 10.

To view the entries for Woodbine Racetrack's Super Final program, click here.


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