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Nichol Discusses Super Final Starters

Published: November 11, 2010 11:22 am ET

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In just his second year owning horses in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, Mac Nichol has had a superlative season which will be capped off by watching five of his contenders in Saturday’s $2.4 million OSS Super Finals at Woodbine Racetrack.

“The three-year-olds I’ve got now, that was where it started,” said Nichol, who moved from Alberta to Burlington, Ont. in 2007. “And so far, so great.

“It’s great to have one qualify for the Super Final,” he added. “To have five qualify is a really super great day.”

Since May, horses Nichol co-owns have captured six Gold eliminations and four Gold finals, and earned $593,520 within the confines of the provincial program. They have also produced impressive results beyond the program’s borders, led by two-year-old pacing colt Mystician, who was victorious in the $1 million Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack in early September.

2010 Metro Pace - Mystician - 1:53.4

Mystician and driver Jody Jamieson will make their bid for a sixth victory from Post 1 in Saturday’s $300,000 Super Final, and Nichol is only slightly tongue in cheek when he hopes for the sort of weather that turned the Mohawk oval sloppy the night of the Metro Final.

“He trained good this week, and he needed to, because he’s in against some really nice two-year-olds,” said the owner. “Maybe if it rains it will help him more.”

Nichol shares ownership of Mystician with trainer Jeff Gillis of Hillsburgh, Ont., Ken Henwood of Mississauga, Ont. and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. Through 11 starts, the son of Camluck--Mystic Mistress has delivered them to the winner’s circle five times, finished second four times and banked $784,670.

Gillis also trains Nichol’s three-year-old pacer Twin B Warrior, who heads into his Super Final off a pair of impressive efforts in overnight action at Woodbine. Since his October 5 Gold final win at Windsor Raceway, the gelding has laid down a 1:52.1 win on October 23 and a runner-up effort against older horses on October 30.

“He’s living up to his name, that’s for sure,” said Nichol. “Since it cooled off and Jeff put him on lasix, he seems more relaxed. He used to get so worked up in the paddock, by the time he got onto the track he was all washed out. It looks like that’s in the past now, hopefully.”

Randy Waples will send Twin B Warrior after his fifth sophomore victory from Post 8 in the seventh race Saturday, and the Milton, Ont. resident will also be aboard two-year-old trotting colt Sim Brown in the fifth race.

Unfortunately, Sim Brown will be handicapped by the outside Post 10, and Nichol expects that he, Gillis and Stay will have to wait until 2011 to see the son of Angus Hall realize his full potential. Although he has threatened on a number of occasions, Sim Brown has just one Gold elimination victory to his credit this season, a problem shared by Nichol’s other trotter, three-year-old gelding Arriba Amigo.

“He shows that he’s got some talent, but it’s hit and miss with him,” reflected Nichol, who shares ownership of Arriba Amigo with Robert Burgess of Campbellville, Ont., Karin Olsson Burgess of Milton, Ont. and the Champagne Stable of Toronto, Ont.

“He drew pretty good in there, (Post 2) is a good place for him,” added the owner. “Hopefully everything works out for him.”

Blair Burgess conditions the son of Amigo Hall, and trotting specialist Trevor Ritchie will be at the lines on Saturday.

Nichol’s fifth entry on Super Final Saturday is two-year-old pacing filly Monkey On My Wheel, whose late season success has been doubly satisfying as she is the seventh foal from his broodmare Legislation. The filly missed the October 22 Gold final due to sickness, but looked back to her old self in a November 4 overnight at Woodbine that saw her sprint home in :26.3 to finish second to reigning Gold final champ Modern Connection.

“Travis (Umphrey) had to pull her out of the other final there, she was sick. She didn’t have much temperature, but she had ‘the snots,’ they call it,” noted Nichol, who shares title on the filly with trainer Travis Umphrey, another Alberta transplant who now calls Guelph, Ont. home.

Monkey On My Wheel and regular reinsman Rick Zeron will line up behind the starting gate from Post 4 in the fourth race this weekend.

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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