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Blue Cupertino Collars Foes In OSS

Published: July 23, 2019 11:51 pm ET

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Georgian Downs hosted a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold divisions for two-year-old trotting colts on its Tuesday, July 23 card with Blue Cupertino topping the frosh prospects with an off-the-pace victory in the $105,600 first division.

Hetalkstoangels hustled away from the starting gate in the opening split and led the field of seven trotters to a :28 opening quarter. Favourite Port Perry led the two-wide tier heading for the :58.2 half, followed closely by second-choice Blue Cupertino. By three-quarters in 1:27.4, the favourites had advanced to within a length of Hetalkstoangels and dug into the pacesetter rounding the turn.

Port Perry turned for home with an advantage but Blue Cupertino trotted hard down the stretch and caught the favourite at the wire, getting a head in front for the 1:57.1 victory. The Gregg McNair trainee reversed the result from the first OSS leg, where Port Perry hit the wire first. Scamp, who was fifth in the season opener, improved to third.

“He’s a nice little trotter. He’s been a nice horse all winter,” said trainer Gregg McNair of Blue Cupertino. “We had the sister [Pink Dandelions] to him last year. I probably wouldn’t have bought this one without knowing a little bit about the family, that’s why we took a shot at this one.”

Doug McNair drove Blue Cupertino to the win for his father and the elder McNair’s partners, McKinlay & Fielding and breeder Crawford Farms Racing. The trip was ideal for the son of Kadabra and Rise N Shine, who needs a cautious hand on the lines.

“You’ve got to watch him. He wears trotting hopples, they’re on him for a reason,” said the trainer. “He can go though, he just, he’s a little lazy and then he’s got to know you’re wanting to ask him to go before you ask. If you just tap him or something he’s apt to fly out of gear on you.”

A $20,000 purchase out of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Tuesday’s win pushed Blue Cupertino’s early season earnings to $79,800.

“I’ve had a few horses with Jim [Fielding] before and not much luck, so I’m kind of glad we got a little luck with this guy — a little luck, lots of luck,” trainer McNair said. “They’re hard to get, the Gold wins, they’re real hard to get. It’s a good feeling when it happens.”

The $106,400 second division saw driver Scott Young hustle Crossfit Mouse away from post 2 and carve out fractions of :29.4, :59.3 and 1:29 on the way to a 1:57.2 victory. Favourite Threefiftytwo mounted a late charge but could not reel in the pacesetter, finishing one length back in second. Horse Trader was two more lengths behind in third.

In the season opener both Crossfit Mouse and Threefiftytwo laid down impressive last quarters, with Threefiftytwo prevailing by a head. Horse Trader started his OSS career with a win in the Grassroots opener at Georgian Downs on July 7.

Young drove Crossfit Mouse for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination, who acquired the Muscle Mass colt after the first Gold event. Blais and Determination also acquired Threefiftytwo following the Gold Series season opener, and purchased Port Perry for $85,000 out of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale last fall, giving them a powerful entry in the freshman trotting colt division this summer.

“A little bit nervous you know, with a new horse, but they raced super good,” said Blais of Crossfit Mouse and Threefiftytwo. “I think they’re going to be two nice horses too. They showed the first start at Mohawk that they were nice horses, but that was the first time they race for us and everything turned out good.

“They’re all different, three horses, all different. Port Perry is a big horse, strong, tall. Crossfit is more stocky and low gait, and the other one looks like an athlete, Threefiftytwo. They’re all different.”

Crossfit Mouse’s victory was Young’s first in Gold Series action and the 27-year-old driver was grateful to Blais and Determination principal Serge Godin for giving him the opportunity.

“He’s a complete professional and a beautiful colt. I was very fortunate to drive a colt like this, I’m grateful to Luc and the owner for the opportunity,” said Young. “I grew up wanting to win stake races some day and to win a Gold is fantastic and completely rewarding, a dream come true.”

The Blais trio and their freshman trotting colt peers will make their third Gold Series start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 8.

OSS excitement returns to Georgian Downs on Tuesday, Aug. 13 with the fourth Gold Series Leg for the three-year-old trotting fillies.

Driver Louis-Philippe Roy capped the card by sending 29-1 shot Cloud Nine Hanover from post 8 to an on-the-front score in the $8,500 Preferred 3 Trot.

The six-year-old Muscle Massive gelding cleared control from Power Move past a :27.3 opening quarter and decelerated to a :56.3 half. The Victor Puddy trainee maintained a soft tempo while Power Move edged first over to within a head of the lead passing three-quarters in 1:26. Power Move took a short lead in the stretch before Cloud Nine Hanover retook command to the inside while holding off a late rush from Its Huw You Know, who settled for second after stalking the top two. Power Move settled for third.

Returning $60.70 to win, Cloud Nine Hanover won his fourth race from 27 starts this season and his 13th from 129 overall, earning $258,652. Keith Cassell owns the winner.

(with files from the Ontario Sires Stakes)

To view Tuesday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Tuesday Results - Georgian Downs.


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