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"He Comes In With All The Parts"

Published: July 19, 2011 10:19 am ET

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Ontario’s two-year-old trotting colts have one Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series event under their belts, and while San Pietro has yet to pick up a trophy, trainer Ben Wallace thinks the gelding’s attitude and ability will carry him to a solid season on the premier circuit.

“He’s a good-sized colt, he comes in with all the parts,” said Wallace, who will harness San Pietro in the second of three $40,000 Gold eliminations at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, July 21.

“I can’t really embellish much about him because I’ve only raced him a couple times, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen. He’s a great colt to have around the barn; he’s settled right in, and his manners are good,” added the resident of Milton, Ont. “I think his most redeeming feature up to now — and I don’t want to jinx him — is that he’s just a tremendously-gaited horse and that will bode well down the road.”

Wallace watched San Pietro train out of Dan Lagace’s barn all winter; so when Lagace made it known that the gelding was up for sale, Wallace did not hesitate before calling owner Bradley Grant. Based on Wallace and driver Paul MacDonell’s recommendations, Milton resident Grant purchased San Pietro on July 1, six days before the Gold Series season opener at Kawartha Downs.

“I know Paul liked him a lot when he schooled him a couple of times, and we just got together on it, and it looks like we’re going to be okay,” Wallace noted.

San Pietro finished second to Heres The Magic in a July 7 Gold elimination and returned to Kawartha Downs on July 14 for the Gold final, where he finished fourth behind Good Sound Advice. MacDonell, a resident of Guelph, Ont., piloted the gelding at Kawartha Downs and will be back in the race bike on Thursday to send San Pietro after another Gold Series paycheque from Post 8 in the fourth race.

“I see we drew the eight hole again on Thursday, so that doesn’t help us much,” Wallace lamented.

Among the colts that MacDonell and San Pietro will face in their bid for a top-three finish are reigning Gold final champion Good Sound Advice from Post 3, and elimination winner and Gold final runner-up Heres The Magic from Post 5. The top three finishers from each Gold elimination, plus one fourth-place finisher drawn by lot, will earn a return trip to Mohawk for the July 28 Gold final.

While Wallace is not expecting San Pietro to pull off a victory from Post 8, he does expect another strong effort from the easy-going son of Striking Sahbra and Scarlet Lavec.

The other two Gold eliminations are featured as Races 2 and 6 on Mohawk Racetrack’s Thursday evening program, which will get underway at 7:10 p.m. The top 10 colts will return to the Campbellville, Ont. oval on July 28 for their second shot at a Gold final trophy.

To view the entries for Thursday's card of harness racing, please click the following link: Thursday Entries - Mohawk Racetrack.


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