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Canadian Record Mile From Stag Party

Published: August 15, 2018 8:16 pm ET

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Stag Party romped in the $96,400 second division of the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold Division for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers on Wednesday, Aug. 15 at Grand River Raceway with a five-length victory in 1:52.3, lowering the track and Canadian record for colts of 1:53 set by Tarpon Hanover in 2012.

Pressing for command from post one, Stag Party parked Battle of Waterloo-winner Bronx Seelster through a :26.3 opening quarter and forced his first-over challenger to sit the pocket moving to the half, timed in :55.4.

Keystone Prestige, stalking the early duel from third, angled off the rail in pursuit of Stag Party heading by three-quarters in 1:24.3. Stag Party opened a two-length on Keystone Prestige and Bronx Seelster turning into the stretch and extended that margin through the line while Bronx Seelster finished second three lengths ahead of Keystone Prestige.

“I wasn’t expecting to break the track record with him, but I thought he’d be pretty good,” said trainer Casie Coleman. “I wasn’t expecting that kind of a mile, but he did it well in hand and Dave hardly had to speak to him much finishing, so I was real happy with him.”

Driven by David Miller for trainer Coleman, Stag Party, by Bettors Delight from the Western Ideal mare My Lady Day, competes for owners John Fielding, Mac Nichol, McKinlay & Fielding and West Wins Stable. The $3.10 winner collected his third victory in four starts, earning $113,900.

Stag Party will make his next start in the August 25 Nassagaweya Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park and, as long as he continues to impress his connections, will follow that up with several more starts against the best young horses in North America.

“He’s got the four big ones at Mohawk next, the Nassagaweya, Champlain and the Metro, so he’ll be gearing up for those ones next,” said Cambridge resident Coleman. “I might have to dodge a couple of those Ontario Sires Stakes, just with how busy his schedule is going to be. I’ll play it by ear when we get up closer to it.”

Miller made the trip to Grand River specifically to drive Stag Party, to get a feel for the colt before they head into the open stake events, and the New Jersey resident was pleased with the youngster.

“I was really impressed with him. I told them, when I got off the bike, I said I’ll be there when he races next week. That’s a pretty good stamp of approval,” said Miller with a chuckle. “He left the gate very well and his manners were good and I’m excited about him. I baby raced probably 500 babies this year and I had to go all the way to Canada to get one like that.”

Bettors Wish rebounded off a second-place finish in the Battle of Waterloo with a near wire-to-wire performance in the $95,600 OSS first division, delivering as the odds-on favourite in 1:55.

Driver Paul MacDonell tucked into the pocket behind early pacesetter Keystone Concrete through a :28 opening quarter. MacDonell then circled Bettors Wish to the front heading to the half while Better Up moved first over from third by the :56.3 station.

Better Up came first up to within a length of the lead as Bettors Wish passed three-quarters in 1:26.1. He continued to cut into the favourite’s margin heading into the stretch but faltered as Bettors Wish expanded his lead. Keystone Concrete, off a pocket trip, finished second while Better Up finished third following a disqualification of Sports Teen, who interfered with Sporty Mcsportster into the stretch when racing second over.

Owned by Christopher Ryder, Bella Racing Limited, Fair Island Farm Inc. and Kenneth Solomon, Bettors Wish, by Bettors Delight from the Western Ideal mare Lifetime Star, won his fourth race in six starts, earning $185,438. Chantal Mitchell trains the $2.70 winner.

Dave Menary-trainee Ideation Hanover led for every pole from her rail-starting spot, pacing a 1:55 mile at 1-2 in the first of two $97,200 OSS splits for the two-year-old filly pacers.

With Linda Lace Hanover, Princess Layla and Clearly Better all breaking to the outside of Ideation Hanover, the favourite inherited control with Better Single securing the pocket from the second-tier. By the quarter in :27.1, Ideation Hanover continued to lead while Blossom Onthebeach, away fourth, edged first over before a :57.1 half.

Blossom Onthebeach gained ground first over approaching three-quarters with Kylie Seelster, sitting third on the rail, fanning wide to catch cover by a 1:26.2 third-quarter. Kylie Seelster closed from second over after Ideation Hanover through the stretch, finishing a length behind the Bettors Delight filly on the wire with Blossom Onthebeach third.

Returning $3.00 to win, Ideation Hanover, from the Western Ideal mare Ideal Weather, competes for owners Menary Racing Inc., Michael Guerriero and Alan Alber. Jody Jamieson piloted her to her second win five starts, amassing $101,600 in earnings.

Menary and Jamieson completed a sweep of the OSS frosh filly paces with Quebec Blue Chip in a seven-and-a-quarter length blowout over favourite Sweet Young Thing in 1:56.

Battle of the Belles-champ Quebec Blue Chip shot to the front and led Village Joules and Sweet Young Thing by the quarter in :28.1. She continued unchallenged on the lead while Revival Cards, positioned fourth, attempted to close ground first over through a :58.1 half.

Quebec Blue Chip paced clear of Revival Cards matching strides with Village Joules approaching three-quarters. In front by four lengths in 1:27, Quebec Blue Chip widened her lead while Village Joules clung to second and Sweet Young Thing shot through the open stretch. Sweet Young Thing held off a three-wide bid from Crisp Mane at the wire to take second.

Winning her fourth race in six starts and compiling $157,488 in earnings, Quebec Blue Chip, by Sportswriter from the Bettors Delight mare Hazes Zure Bet, competes for owners Menary Racing Inc., Michael Guerriero, Kenneth Ewan and Bruce Norris. She paid $5.30 to win.

“I kind of figured both fillies would be on the front, and that’s the way it worked,” said Menary, who will also give the fillies a chance to test their skills against the best in North America in the upcoming Eternal Camnation Stake at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 25.

“In the last couple weeks I think they’ve earned the opportunity,” said the horseman. “Hopefully they can carry this, translate it to the bigger track.”

To view Wednesday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Wednesday Results - Grand River Raceway.

(with quotes from OSS)

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