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Allergic To Treatment For Allergies

Published: July 29, 2015 11:00 am ET

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"He had a few problems with food allergies so the vet, after the first race, suggested I treat him for the allergies and it kind of backfired, he was allergic to the treatment.”

After having his early season derailed by allergies, two-year-old trotting colt Willyorwonthe finally found his way to the Ontario Sires Stakes winner’s circle at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday evening.

The colt and driver Mike Saftic fired away from Post 8 in the last $18,000 Grassroots division and reeled off fractions of :28.2, :59 and 1:30.1 before fending off a late challenge from The Land Shark and sailing under the wire a three-quarter length winner in 1:58.4. Sass was well behind the leaders in third.

It was Willyorwonthe’s first win since he turned heads with a 1:56.3 triumph in a two-year-old conditioned event at Mohawk on July 2, and the effort caused owner-trainer Bill Megens of Puslinch, Ont. to breathe a small sigh of relief.

“He raced very good the first start,” said Megens of the colt’s July 2 debut. “He had a few problems with food allergies so the vet, after the first race, suggested I treat him for the allergies and it kind of backfired, he was allergic to the treatment.”

Willyorwonthe broke out in a rash, his throat was inflamed and he developed a cough in response to the allergy treatment. In his first two Ontario Sires Stakes appearances, at the Gold Series level on July 13 and 21, he finished seventh and fourth without the finishing kick he had shown Megens all winter.

“He’d been good all along and I couldn’t figure out what the heck went wrong with him,” said Megens, who learned that 30 per cent of horses have an adverse reaction to the allergy treatment. “Hopefully we’ve got that under control now. He’s not allergic to dust or nothing, it’s just some foods.”

Following Willyorwonthe’s reaction to the allergy treatment, Megens reverted to the simple diet he had been feeding the son of Angus Hall - Mikestory since he was a foal.

“No more sweet feed or any of the mixed feeds. He’s allergic to corn and soy beans both, so it makes it hard to get a feed that don’t contain them, so I put him on straight oats,” said the horseman, who bred both Willyorwonthe and his dam, $246,254 winner Mikestory. “When I trained him down he was on straight oats and he always was good, and then I tried to get him a little better feed and it didn’t work.”

If Willyorwonthe continues to regain his health Megens will send him to Georgian Downs for the fourth Grassroots event on August 4, and a positive result there may see the young trotter take another run at the Gold Series colts.

“Hopefully he’ll stay healthy for a while,” said the horseman. “We’ll see after the next race, if he races well next time we’ll probably try him in the Gold again.”

(with files from OSS)


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