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Connections Weigh In On OSS Freshmen

Published: July 1, 2012 5:17 pm ET

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Flamboro Downs offers an action-packed afternoon of Ontario Sires Stakes racing on Wednesday, July 4, playing host to the first $130,000 Gold Final of the two-year-old trotting colt season and eight Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts.

Rez Rampage captured a non-winners of one race contest at Flamboro on June 24, and trainer John Hill is hoping the pacing colt can parlay that initial success into a share of the $24,000 Grassroots purse in the second division on Wednesday.

“It was kind of a nice surprise, he got a good trip, and paced for home good,” says the Millgrove resident, who conditions Rez Rampage for his brother Darryl Hill of Ohsweken.

“I wasn’t expecting it no, but hoping,” Hill adds with a chuckle. “It worked out, he got a two-hole trip and popped out and he managed to win.”

Burlington resident Travis Henry engineered Rez Rampage’s June 24 victory and will be back in the race bike for Wednesday’s test, steering the homebred son of Santanna Blue Chip and Mach Bird from Post 3 in the third race. W

hile two-year-old races can be difficult to handicap, Hill is expecting the colt’s first provincial test to be a tough one.

“I checked out the two inside horses and they are the two favourites, so we’ll see how it goes,” explains the horseman. “I think Jody’s [Jamieson] horse is qualified in 1:56, or raced in 1:56, and the other one, Doug McNair’s horse, he won his qualifier in 1:58, so they look like pretty nice horses also.”

Moffat resident Jamieson will steer Instant Refund from Post 2, while Doug McNair sends Aint No Mo after a Grassroots prize from Post 1. Five other young pacers will also be hoping to earn a share of the provincial prize money in the third race, which is the only one of the divisions to feature eight competitors. Races 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12 will all see nine freshman pacing colts step in behind the Flamboro Downs starting gate.

The two-year-old trotting colts return to the Dundas oval in Race 10, primed for battle in the first $130,000 Gold Final of their career. Elimination winners Majestized, Cool Victory and Mario Oneeighthree will line up at Posts 2, 7, and 9 respectively, and Lois Grieve is hoping Cool Victory can find a way to overcome his outside post and score a repeat of last week’s three and three-quarter length victory.

“You’ve got to take things as they are and see if you can work out some kind of trip and see what happens,” says the Union resident. “And it’s early; it’s early in the year anyway.

”Grieve and her husband Gary share ownership of Kadabra son Cool Victory with Kocomo Stables of Moffat, and LLK Stable and Janet Wagner of Mississauga. Along with trainer John Kopas and driver Jack Moiseyev, the group enjoyed an exhilarating 2011 season with two-year-old trotting superstar The Game Plan, who won three Gold eliminations and collected two Gold Final trophies, along with the William Wellwood Memorial Trot title, on his way to a $490,300 season.

“It’s all the same people. We’ve just had a wonderful time together. We’ve enjoyed it, and it’s just great,” says Grieve, adding that it is too early to know if lightning in the form of a star two-year-old trotting colt will strike the group twice.

“I don’t know. As John says, ‘I just couldn’t be that lucky’, but he’s sure a nice horse. At this point, he’s only had one start, but he sure looks nice.”

Among the colts hoping to upset the elimination winners is Musclescorleone, who will start alongside Cool Victory at Post 6.

The Muscle Mass gelding finished third to Cool Victory in last week’s elimination, but trainer Fred Jamieson says he has been tinkering with a few things this week and expects the trotter to be even better in his second career start.

“He had a couple little hiccups going on there, but I think I’ve got them sorted out and I think he’ll be that much better on Wednesday,” says Jamieson, who shares ownership of Musclescorleone with Dave Van Camp of Hamilton and Renato Confortin of London.

Paul Mackenzie piloted the gelding in the elimination round and will be back in the race bike on Wednesday. Jamieson was very pleased with the steer Mackenzie crafted to land the gelding in the Gold Final and figures having the Puslinch resident back in the race bike will stand Musclescorleone in good stead as he goes after a share of the $130,000 purse.

“Paul gave him a real good trip last week and I put him back on to drive again and I think he’ll do a fine job with him,” says the Putnam resident. “With that being Paul’s home track he’s able to maneuver around that oval pretty smoothly.”

Although Wednesday’s Final features the cream of last week’s elimination crop, Jamieson says anything can happen when it comes to young trotters and he figures his charge has as good a shot as the other eight contenders when the starting gate swings away from the tenth race field.

“With young trotters anything can happen, and it usually does,” notes the horseman. “I think that we’ve got a real shot there on Wednesday. John’s got a real good horse, John Kopas, but he’s on the outside of us too, so he has to find himself a spot when the gate folds and see where they all pan out at the end of the day.

“I’m looking for good things on Wednesday. I don’t think I’ll be too disappointed as long as he doesn’t self destruct,” Jamieson adds.

Post time for Wednesday’s Ontario Sires Stakes laden program is 1 p.m. The two-year-old pacing colts and geldings will make their Grassroots debut in Races 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12 and the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings will battle for Gold over the Flamboro Downs half-mile in the tenth race.

To view Wednesday's harness racing entries, click on the following link: Wednesday Entries - Flamboro Downs.

(With files from OSS)


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