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Dreaming Of Glory: The Northern Dude

Published: July 20, 2012 11:51 am ET

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Currently in third place in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series, The Northern Dude has been a breakout star for trainer Susie Kerwood in 2012.

Having raced in the OSS Gold series last year, Kerwood has elected to start him in Grassroots events at Sudbury Downs and Grand River Raceway as a three-year old, and the decision has paid off. In two Grassroots starts, The Northern Dude has a win and a runner-up showing, both times with Riina Rekila in the race bike.

“From the time I warmed up, I really liked that horse," Rekila said. "He’s nice-gaited, handy to drive, and he tries hard. He might still be a little green, but he’s learning and getting better. He’s a really nice horse and will be better.”

Rekila’s instincts were right in Sudbury on June 16, when she engineered a wire-to-wire victory for the three-year-old son of Ken Warkentin. The performance lowered the colt's career mark to 1:59. Overall, in 11 lifetime starts, The Northern Dude has notched two wins for owners Kerwood, Ann Munn, and David Nicol.

According the Kerwood, there was something special about The Northern Dude from very early on.

“Actually, I picked him out when he was six days old," Kerwood explained. "My good friend Ann Munn bred him and I really liked the look of him. She owns a piece of him now.”

Kerwood's initial feelings to the colt were spot on, as he’s gone on to some early success, and the trainer believes he’s still getting better.

“He was immature as a two-year-old, but showed some talent. He won in Flamboro in 2:00.4, so that was pretty good. He started a little late this year due to a little injury problem, but he’s been good lately.”

'Good' might be an understatement, as the colt recently set a new track record in his OSS win at Sudbury Downs. Kerwood credits the horse’s versatility, as well as Rekila, for the recent success.

“He’s a good-gaited, well-mannered colt and great to be around. He can leave if he needs to, and Riina has been a perfect fit with him. She’s done a really great job driving him.”

As for his stakes season, The Northern Dude wasn’t entered into the Canadian Breeders Championships because of the same injury problem, but Kerwood intends to race in the Dream of Glory, Simcoe Series as well as continue in the OSS program.

“We’ll play it by ear, and maybe take a shot at a Gold. We did that last year a little bit. I really like him, so I manage him the best I can. I hope to have some luck this year and bring him back to race as a four-year-old. Hopefully those dreams can come true.”

(Hanover)

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