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Il Mago Ready For OSS Debut

Published: August 2, 2011 8:22 pm ET

Last Comment: August 3, 2011 1:21 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Of the 11 freshman trotting colts headed to Rideau Carleton Raceway for Friday’s Gold Series Eliminations, five will be making their debut in the provincial program.

Among the first time starters is Rod Boyd trainee Il Mago, who will try his hand against the province’s best from Post 2 in the first $40,000 Gold Elimination. The son of Kadabra and Northern Style has two qualifiers and two prep races under his belt, and it was a July 28 runner-up finish at Mohawk Racetrack that secured the colt his berth in Friday’s elimination.

“We were going to make our mind up after that start if we were going to go to Ottawa or not, and Trevor (Ritchie) said definitely put him in the box,” explains Boyd, who conditions the colt for breeder Chris Alexander of Aurora, ON and former trainer Mark Harder of Freehold, NJ.

“Mark owns 20 per cent of the horse, and he’s like, ‘You know what, if you think he’s a Grassrooter, just put him in the Grassroots.’ So I trained him and he felt good, but you never know,” continues Boyd, who received the colt from Harder in mid-July. “When Trevor says ‘Yeah definitely,’ you’re… you know you’re okay. He kind of knows what he’s doing.”

Trotting specialist Ritchie will make the trip to Ottawa from his Acton home for Friday’s Gold Elimination, steering Il Mago against four other hopefuls in the first race. Only Six Bax (Post 1) and Majestic Image (Post 3) have previous Gold Series experience, so Boyd is hoping Il Mago can trot home to a top four result and earn a return invitation to Rideau Carleton for the Aug. 12 Gold Final.

“You know he’s not the biggest by any means, but he does everything like an old horse, he’s not scared of anything,” says Boyd. “He‘s very easy; easy gait to him. He’s nice to have in the barn, that’s for sure.

“It worked out pretty good, he’s a small horse, so Trevor can see over him,” adds the trainer with a chuckle.

On Friday morning Il Mago will join his fellow competitors Majestic Image and Heres The Magic on a horse trailer headed east, and Boyd says the trio will make the return trip immediately after the races. The colt has already logged his fair share of miles on a trailer shipping up from Harder’s New Jersey base, and Boyd says the youngster was completely unfazed by the journey, which occurred during the heat wave that swept through southern Ontario in mid-July.

“He handled it really, really well. He dug right into his feed,” says the Cambridge, ON resident. “I don’t think anything bothers him too much.”

A half-brother to $439,218 winner Shoeless White Sox, Il Mago - Italian for ‘The Magician’ or ‘The Wizard’ and Toronto Raptors’ centre Andrea Bargnani’s nickname - is the fifth and last foal from Alexander’s mare Northern Style so any success the colt enjoys this summer will be doubly enjoyable for his breeder.

A top four finish will be required from the colts in both eliminations to secure a spot in the $130,000 final. One fifth-place finisher will be added to the field through a random draw. The other Gold Elimination, Race 4 on the Rideau Carleton program, features reigning Gold Final champion Good Sound Advice from Post 2 and current division point leader Heres The Magic from Post 1.

Rideau Carleton Raceway fans will watch the two-year-old trotting colts parade onto the five-eighths mile oval at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, with the second elimination hitting the track three races later.


To view entries for Friday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Friday Entries – Rideau Carleton Raceway.

August 3, 2011 - 1:21 pmRodney Vincent Boyd looks

Rodney Vincent Boyd looks like he might have another good one here. The young and upcoming trainer is having a very good year with another one his pupils, Look Cheap. Wishing you all the best in Ottawa Mr Boyd.

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