Plenty Of Thursday Power For Zeron

Published: September 17, 2012 09:22 pm EDT

Oakville resident Rick Zeron will pilot two Ontario Sires Stakes heavyweights in Gold Final action at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening.

The Campbellville oval will host the province’s toughest three-year-old trotting fillies and pacing fillies and Zeron will be aboard division point leader Miss Paris in the trotting filly contest. Miss Paris heads into the fourth Gold Final test of the season off a strong runner-up effort in the Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk on Sept. 6.

“I was really pleased with Miss Paris’ last start,” says Zeron. “She was back to herself. She threw a little bit of a clunker in the race before, but in her last start she came back, she was a monster for me.”

Zeron pilots the daughter of Kadabra-Pizza Dolce for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman and owners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL. The reinsman says Norman had indicated Miss Paris would be back on her game in the Sept. 6 event and the filly’s 1:53.2 effort — featuring a 27 second final quarter — proved the trainer correct.

“He said she would be a lot better her last start, and she was,” says Zeron. “She got home the way she’s supposed to get home,” he adds.

Miss Paris will make her bid for a third Gold Final title from Post 5 in Thursday’s ninth race. The filly earned her first two trophies in the season opener at Georgian Downs on July 7, where she logged her personal best 1:54.2, and in the second event at Flamboro Downs on Aug. 12. The “clunker” Zeron refers to came in the Aug. 30 Gold Final at Mohawk where she gave up the lead in the stretch and settled for third behind winner Lexus Helios.

Through 11 sophomore starts last year’s division champion has tallied three wins, three seconds and three thirds to add $265,767 to her $486,656 freshman bankroll. Among the fillies hoping to prevent Miss Paris from adding to her nest egg are reigning Gold Final champion Lexus Helios, who will defend her title from Post 3, and the number two ranked filly in the division standings, Sugar Wheeler, who will start from Post 1.

Once Zeron has steered Miss Paris after a share of the $130,000 trotting filly Gold Final purse, the reinsman will be aiming to land pacing filly Mach A Wish her second straight title. The pair will line up behind the Mohawk Racetrack starting gate at Post 7 in the tenth race and Zeron is feeling confident about the Mach Three daughter’s chances of defending the title she earned at Mohawk on Aug. 27.

“I schooled her the other day, I schooled her last Friday and I was quite pleased with the way she schooled,” says the horseman.

Cambridge resident Tony O’Sullivan conditions Mach A Wish for his partner David Goodrow Stable of Cambridge. The pair purchased the Mach Three daughter in late February and started her Ontario Sires Stakes campaign in the Grassroots Series after an injury kept her out of action for the months of May and June.

Mach A Wish won that July 27 Grassroots start with a 1:56.1 effort over Grand River Raceway, and then finished second in an overnight event at Mohawk on Aug. 10, pacing her own mile in 1:52.2, to earn a shot at the Gold Series fillies. Second by one-half length in the Aug. 20 Gold Elimination, Mach A Wish was a commanding winner in the final, posting a personal best 1:50.2.

“Tony said she would be very, very good and he was right on point,” recalls Zeron.

Two-time Gold Final winner Cooking The Books will be looking to reclaim her title from Post 1, while last year’s division champion Apogee Hanover will be aiming to mount a late season charge from Post 3, and $510,196 winner Class Of O Nine looks for her first sophomore Gold Series win from Post 6.

“You never know who can step up and be a contender,” says Zeron pragmatically. “So I’ll go into the race like every one of them are, and hopefully I’ll come out a winner.”

Mohawk Racetrack sends its first race behind the starting gate at 7:10 p.m. on Thursday and the tough three-year-old trotting and pacing fillies will wage their Gold Final battles in Races 9 and 10, respectively.


To view entries for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Entries – Mohawk Racetrack.