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'Brussels' To Show 'The Muscles?'

Published: September 15, 2010 10:05 am ET

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For a colt born and raised in a small town, two-year-old trotting colt Bob From Brussels has been making a lot of noise on the Grassroots circuit this summer.

Heading into the fourth event of the season this Saturday at Woodstock Raceway, Bob From Brussels is tied for second in the divisional standings with 75 points. In his Grassroots debut at Hiawatha Horse Park on July 15, the son of Here Comes Herbie--Nefertiti Dream recovered from an early break caused by interference to finish second. At Kawartha Downs on August 17, Bob From Brussels picked up the first win of his racing career with a 2:01.1 come-from-behind effort.

“We’re pleasantly surprised,” said Dorchester, Ont. resident Anne Shunock of the colt’s early season results. “He tries his best every time and that’s all we can ask for.”

Shunock purchased the colt from breeder Bob Pearson of Brussels, Ont. in the fall of 2008 to serve as a companion to another colt Pearson had raised for her. The two colts enjoyed a year of youthful mischief at Shunock’s farm before being sent their separate ways last fall. Bob From Brussels, named in honour of his breeder, was placed in the care of trainer Lyle MacArthur and Shunock says the St. George Brant, Ont. resident was not initially impressed with the diminutive trotter.

“Lyle got happier with him as time went on. At one point we were going to bring him home, but then he got sick, so I said, ‘keep him there, we don’t want it here,’” recalled Shunock. “I’m thinking that was late fall or early winter. Then, I think it was January, Lyle said, ‘This little guy may have some potential.’”

MacArthur continued to work with the colt, and Bob From Brussels emerged in qualifying action at Mohawk Racetrack on June 12, where he finished second in a 2:04.3 mile. Back at Mohawk for a second qualifier on July 6, Bob From Brussels rolled across the finish line in fourth, trotting his own mile in 2:01.2.

The colt made his racing debut in the Grassroots season opener at Hiawatha Horse Park, where he finished second, and then logged a fourth-place effort in an August 3 overnight at Georgian Downs. Back in the Grassroots at Kawartha Downs, Bob From Brussels picked up his first victory, and then delivered a runner-up finish in an August 28 overnight at Flamboro Downs.

Bob From Brussels heads into Saturday’s test off his second victory, a 2:00 score at Georgian Downs on September 7. MacArthur will steer the youngster from Post 1 in the third race and Shunock is simply hoping he gets around the Woodstock half-mile without errors.

“It’ll be interesting to see him at Woodstock. Sometimes he does have some problems with the turns,” she explained. “We’ll see how he does.”

Shunock and her husband, Mike, will be on hand to root for Bob From Brussels, and they are hoping to be joined by the colt’s namesake.

“We are hoping Bob from Brussels can come down and watch,” she said.

“Bob, now, he says, ‘wherever I go people say, look it, there’s Bob from Brussels!’” she added with a laugh. “Bob has been great to deal with. Right now he has two of our mares up there with their foals, and a yearling filly. They’re up there learning some manners.”

The owner adds that Bob From Brussels has developed in to a very mannerly youngster, but that he still retains a bit of the mischievous streak that was on display in the paddock with his playmate.

“He’s just a real pleasure to go and see, but he has a little bit of spunk in him and mischief in his eye,” she noted.

“He’s still not on the big side, but I think what Lyle likes about him is his endurance,” she added. “Lyle says, ‘I just chirp to him and he seems to know that’s his cue.’ He tries.”

Among the colts that Bob From Brussels and MacArthur face in Saturday’s third race are two other Grassroots trophy owners — Random Holdup at Post 2 and Tymal Recap at Post 4.

The two-year-old trotting colts will kick off Woodstock Raceway’s Saturday afternoon program at 1:00 p.m. and are featured in Races 1 through 8.

To view Woodstock's entries for Saturday, click here.


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