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Plante’s Eye Fixed On Gold Final Goal

Published: August 13, 2010 10:03 am ET

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On Sunday afternoon, harness racing enthusiasts from across Ontario will congregate at Flamboro Downs for the track’s signature event, the Confederation Cup, and driver J.R. Plante would love to win his first Ontario Sires Stakes Gold final during his home track’s biggest day.

Plante will be aboard Dr Dew, who made short work of the opposition with a 1:54.1 victory in last weekend’s Gold elimination, and the Burlington, Ont. resident has little doubt that the two-year-old pacer can deliver another strong performance in spite of landing Post 7 for the $130,000 final.

“Of course I am a little worried about the seven-hole, but I am extremely confident in the colt,” the driver explained. “He was excellent last week. He had lots left, and judging by that I am extremely confident for the final.”

Last week’s elim was the second successful tour of Flamboro Downs for Plante and Dr Dew. The pair delivered a 1:54.2 score on August 1 in the Royal Mattjesty son’s first outing for trainer Bill Windsor and the Uncirculated Stable of Brantford, Ont. Uncirculated’s principals Aaron Waxman of Brantford and Isaac Waxman of Dundas, Ont. acquired the gelding from breeder Joseph McLead of Delaware, Ohio following the season opener at Mohawk Racetrack, where Dr Dew delivered a third in the July 8 Gold elim and a fourth in the July 15 Gold final.

After getting to know the gelding for two weeks, Windsor was confident he had a nice horse on his hands when he passed the lines over to Plante for the first time, and the driver has found no reason to disagree with the trainer’s assessment.

“He has a lot of speed, obviously. He’s definitely very well mannered, very well gaited, very nice,” noted Plante, who added that the gelding does not act like a typical two-year-old. “He’s a sweet horse to drive. He’s just extremely smart.”

Since his first appearance in the provincial program in 2002, Plante has only driven in 44 Ontario Sires Stakes events. Prior to Dr Dew’s Gold elim win, the 30-year-old horseman had only appeared in Grassroots winner’s circles. As a result, he would love to hoist the Gold Final trophy following Sunday’s sixth race.

“I really want to get it done,” says the reinsman. “I’d really love to win and be able to say I accomplished that goal. I’ve never won one before, so I would love to break the ice there.”

Standing between Plante and his Gold final goal are seven gifted freshman pacing colts. Among the contenders for Sunday’s crown is the other elimination winner, Cam B Zipper, who will be guided from Post 3 by Milton, Ont. resident Randy Waples who is currently ranked seventeenth in the Ontario Sires Stakes driver standings.

Plante expects that Dr Dew will be awarded some respect by his peers on Sunday in spite of landing the outside post, but adds that he will tailor his strategy to the events that unfold as the starting car pulls away from the field.

“I’ll play it by ear when I go behind the gate,” said the driver. “The way he left last week I don’t think it will be any problem.”

The two-year-old pacing colt battle is the second Gold final on Flamboro Downs’s Confederation Cup program. The first $130,000 skirmish will be fought by the three-year-old trotting colts, with elimination winner’s Text Me and Waples looking to claim their second Gold final title of the season from Post 7. The other elimination winner, Windsong Geant, will be looking for his first Gold final score from Post 4 with Moffat, Ont. resident Jody Jamieson in the race bike.

Both Jamieson and Waples will also participate in the Confederation Cup. Waples will steer Outrageous Art for trainer Mark Steacy in the first elimination and Wellthereyougo for Dr. Ian Moore in the second, while Jamieson gets Foreign Officer for Tony Alagna in Race 8 and Tobago Cays for Darren McCall in the ninth.

The top four finishers from each elimination, plus one fifth-place finisher selected by random draw, will return to the half-mile oval in Race 12 for the $547,000 Confederation Cup final.

Flamboro Downs raises the curtain on its talent laden Confederation Cup program at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 15. The sophomore trotting colt Gold final will take place in Race 3, the two-year-old pacing colt Gold final goes postward in Race 6, and the Confederation Cup eliminations are Races 8 and 9, with the big finale taking place in Race 12.

To view the entries, click here.

(OSS)


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