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'Bruiser' Nominated To Molson Pace

Ramegade Bruiser.jpg

Published: March 1, 2009 11:38 am ET

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In spite of a narrow loss on Saturday night, he’s taken Canada by storm in 2009 by dominating the Open Pace at Woodbine and in less than 12 weeks Ramegade Bruiser could be facing the continent’s elite at Western Fair’s marquee annual event, The Molson Pace.

“I suppose this will be one of the biggest tests of his career so far,” muses his owner and trainer, David Brown of the decision to nominate his star pacer to The Molson Pace. “He’s been in some series like The Ontario Masters at Georgian Downs and he won the Valedictory Series and Ontario Boys Series at Woodbine. Apart from the Spring Championship Series last year, I suspect this will be a whole new level for him to try. There’s not only the current group of Open and Free-For-All horses to think about, but horses like Shadow Play returning for his four-year-old season too.”

Brown was asked to comment on how Ramegade Bruiser performs on a half mile surface.

“He did have a history of hitting his knees on the half mile tracks, but not badly,” Brown says. “In his career he's won at Grand River in 1:55.3 and at Flamboro in 1:53.3. A big turning point seemed to be early last Fall when I had some splints taken care of that were bothering him. Just how we’ll fare in The Molson Pace will depend of course on whether I can keep him in perfect health. And like everyone we’ll hope for the post position draw luck to be with us.”

Ramegade Bruiser has gone a long way towards putting Cannington, ON on the map again. Until now the town had been mostly remembered as the hometown of Rick MacLeish, a star centre for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers from 1970 through 1981.

An appearance in the Molson Pace would be a bit of a homecoming for Ramegade Bruiser. The pacer was bred by London area horseman Ken Pollard who trained trotting winner Up Front CR last Friday night at Western Fair.

“He’s been a life and career changing horse,” Brown states of the winner of almost $800,000. “We have a young family and operate a stable of only four to six horses at a time. In June, it will be three years exactly since we bought him at the mixed sale in London for just $3,500. I doubt me or anyone can have two strokes of luck like that in this business in their lifetime.”

Western Fair’s Molson Pace dates to 1972 and it’s been held every year except for 2003 due to construction. The eliminations for the 37th Molson Pace will be held on May 22 and the final is set for Friday, May 29. Last year’s Molson Pace final, at $280,000, was the richest single race in the history of extended pari-mutuel meets at Western Fair dating to 1961.

Michigan’s Bobnoxious Marching Towards $1 Million

Prolific Michigan based pacer Bobnoxious is returning to London and headlines the Monday, March 2 Preferred Pace in the 12th race for a purse of $18,400.

The nine-year-old Nude Beach horse is trained by Paul Kennedy Jr. for Michigan owners Dan and Tom Courtemanche. Brad Forward has been hired to drive the career winner of $955,000 from Post 4 as he goes out in search of his 58th career win.

In his last start Bobnoxious toppled the winners over company at The Meadows in 1:52. He was last in London’s top weekly pacing event on November 3, 2008 when turning in a runner-up effort to Keith Waples’ Junior K.

Monday also marks the first London start in 2009 for Brawn Seelster, the track’s 2008 Trotting Horse of the Year. Callie Rankin’s stable stalwart has been ordered to the outside Post 7 in the fifth race by Racing Secretary and GM Ian Fleming in the $18,400 Preferred Handicap Trot.

Also ordered to the outside Post 7 is A Feisty Affair in the ninth race Filly & Mare Preferred Pace Handicap for a $15,200 purse. Casie Coleman trains the four-year-old daughter of Camluck for Bob Hamather of Exeter, ON, with Brad Forward hired to drive. In eight starts at Western Fair since last May’s OSS Gold Series, A Feisty Affair has truly been a ‘horse for a course’ with 6 wins and 2 seconds to her credit.

Through June, post time at Western Fair each Monday and Tuesday afternoon is 3:35 p.m. and on Friday evenings at 7:05 p.m.

(Western Fair Raceway)

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