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McIntosh Colts Peaking Just In Time

Published: June 7, 2012 9:11 am ET

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With the early season hype for the prestigious $1.5 million North America Cup surrounding the established names of world champions and award winners, one of Canadian harness racing’s most prolific trainers is humbly flying under the radar with a pair of lightly raced homebred colts that may be rounding into form at just the right time.

This year Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh had pinned his hopes of hoisting the coveted Cup trophy that has eluded him in his illustrious career on sophomore pacers Thinking Out Loud and Dapper Dude.

The respected horseman has campaigned seven Cup starters and has come close to glory on two occasions with Squirter finishing second to 1988 champion Runnymede Lobell in his first attempt and Stonebridge Regal placing behind 2005 winner Rocknroll Hanover in his latest.

Although Metro Pace elimination winner D Terminata was pegged as the top McIntosh colt coming into the season, the veteran conditioner says he’s just not ready to compete amongst the high calibre colts at this point in the year. Instead, McIntosh heads into Saturday's elimination round at Mohawk Racetrack with a pair of contenders that have showcased their potential in just a handful of starts.

Thinking Out Loud won three of his four freshman starts, including the Dream Maker Stakes in 1:52.4, and finished second in his only loss.

“Thinking Out Loud came up with a bone bruise,” the Windsor-based conditioner told Trot Insider of the colt’s short freshman season. “We found it at Rood & Riddle in Kentucky and Dr. [Lawrence R.] Bramlage said to give him three weeks and see if he’s any better and if he wasn’t maybe to shut him down for the year, so that’s what we did. But I was very high on him last year; I thought he was one of my better colts.”

Thinking Out Loud has since recovered and returned to the track to win his first three sophomore races, including a 1:50.4 career-best effort, and finish second behind Secretsoftheknight in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes last weekend over a poorly conditioned, sloppy surface at Mohawk Racetrack.

Thinking Out Loud - 1:50.4 win

Dapper Dude earned two wins in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action as a freshman along with two second-place finishes before he broke stride in his Metro Pace elimination.

“Dapper Dude was a big colt last year and he showed a lot of promise,” said McIntosh. “He went in :51 [1:51.2] at The Meadows for a track record and basically the growth just got to him a bit too. He was big and gangly and after he made a break in the Metro elim I thought it was nothing, but it turned out his stifles weren’t really developed, so as painful as it was we shut him down for the year too.”

Dapper Dude - 2012 Debut

Dapper Dude won his first two races back this season, including a career-best 1:49.4 PASS victory, and a runner-up finish of his own in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes behind Michaels Power after suffering interference from a breaking horse.

“Both were nice colts last year and they’ve come back with no problems this year,” noted McIntosh.

A victory with either colt would be a family affair in every sense of the saying for the 59-year-old horseman, who has also become a respected breeder in the industry thanks in part to his Hall of Fame sire Camluck. Both Dapper Dude and Thinking Out Loud are owned and bred by McIntosh along with his wife Patty and cousin Al. The family also has a partner on Thinking Out Loud in the C S X Stables.

Dapper Dude is a chestnut son of The Panderosa and the first foal out of the Camluck mare Dress To Suggest.

“His mother was just an average race mare, but she’s out of a mare called Lingerie (the second dam),” said McIntosh. “I raced against her and when she was going through the mixed sale in Toronto Al and I decided to buy her together and breed her to Camluck and that turned out real well. She had two go in [1]:49 and it looks like this daughter is off to a good start as a broodmare too.”

McIntosh says Dapper Dude is built much like his sire; he’s a big, rangy colt with the look of a thoroughbred.

As for Thinking Out Loud, “he’s a real homebred” as both his parents were campaigned by McIntosh. The brown colt, though smaller in stature, resembles his sire Ponder. He is out of the Camluck mare Los Angeles.

“Los Angeles was a good filly; I think she made almost $300,000,” noted McIntosh. “She was a real good two-year-old and had high speed.”

Dapper Dude has drawn post four in the first of two North America Cup eliminations and will be driven by John Campbell while Thinking Out Loud will start from the outside post nine in the second elimination with Randy Waples sitting in the sulky.

“Thinking Out Loud wasn’t quite so lucky; he drew the nine-hole in what I consider the tough division,” said McIntosh assessing the competition and pegging Sweet Lou as the head of the class at this point in the season. “He’s going to have to hope for some luck off the gate and I guess one good thing about it is there’s only two divisions and you just have to make the top five [to advance]. I guess I have to look at it that way. He’s going to have to sneak in there, but it sure would be nice to get to pick your position.”

While Dapper Dude was ranked above Thinking Out Loud (35-1 compared to 45-1 in Trot Magazine’s Spring Book), McIntosh isn’t sure which colt has more potential and will give him the best chance at capturing the Cup.

“It’s hard to say; they’re two different kinds of horses,” he said. “Thinking Out Loud has a little more explosive speed, but I really can’t separate them right now. Maybe after the next two weeks I will be able to.”

Here are the elimination fields in post position order for the Pepsi North America Cup, with listed drivers and trainers.

Elimination 1 - Race 5 - $50,000 purse

1. Michaels Power - S. Zeron - C. Coleman
2. Pet Rock - B. Sears - V. Morgan
3. Secretsoftheknight - D. McNair - G. McNair
4. Dapper Dude - J. Campbell - R. McIntosh
5. Mel Mara - L. Ouellette - T. Alagna
6. A Rocknroll Dance - Y. Gingras - J. Mulinix
7. Time To Roll - A. Miller - J. Takter
8. Allstar Legend - T. Tetrick - G. Teague
9. State Treasurer - J. Jamieson - I. Moore
10. Hillbilly Hanover - D. Miller - R. Norman

Elimination 2 - Race 8 - $50,000 purse

1. Sweet Lou - D. Palone - R. Burke
2. I Fought Dalaw - D. Miller - S. DePinto
3. Simply Business - R. Pierce - J. Takter
4. Hurrikane Kingcole - T. Tetrick - J. McDermott
5. Major Bombay - J. Bartlett - T. Alagna
6. Warrawee Needy - J. Jamieson - C. Jamieson
7. Easy Again - M. Teague - G. Teague
8. Bettors Edge - T. Tetrick - L. Toscano
9. Thinking Out Loud - R. Waples - R. McIntosh

To view entries for Saturday night's star-studded card of harness racing, click one of the following links:
Saturday Entries - Mohawk Racetrack -- Saturday Program Pages - Mohawk Racetrack

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