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Hoping To Haul Away Points In Ottawa

Published: September 25, 2009 12:04 pm ET

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Rideau Carleton Raceway fans are in for an exceptional night of racing Sunday as nine talented two-year-old pacing colts square off in a $130,000 Gold Final, and 20 two-year-old trotting colts battle in a trio of $40,000 Gold Eliminations.

Heading into last week’s pacing colt Gold Eliminations, trainer Dave Menary was nervous. Haul Away had only been in his barn for six days, and the trainer was hoping he had a horse that could hold his own in the Gold Series, but he really was not sure.

"I was nervous about racing him, just because he was a new purchase," admits the horseman, who acquired Haul Away from trainer and breeder Joe Hudon on Sept. 14. "I trained him Thursday (Sept. 17) in 2:05 over Flamboro, but that really didn’t let me know too much. Going to Ottawa I didn’t really know what to expect."

What Menary — and owners Larry Menary of Cheltenham, Denis Breton of Welland and Phil Silvestri and Joseph Settimi of Hamilton — got was an impressive 1:55.1 elimination win and Post 3 for Sunday’s Gold Final.

"He’s unbelievable. Joe’s (Hudon) taught him really, really well. You can do anything with him; he doesn’t know where the end of a mile is," says Menary. "I think he’s going to be a better three-year-old. He’s such a big horse, he’s probably the biggest two-year-old in the Gold, next year he’s really going to fill out and be a nice looking horse."

Prior to arriving in Menary’s barn, Haul Away posted three victories for Hudon, two of them in the Grassroots program where he earned a total of 108 points in three starts. The Modern Art son’s early season Grassroots success has virtually assured him of a berth in the post season, giving Menary the opportunity to try out the Gold Series without pressure.

"Right now he’s ninth in Gold points, and he’s also second in Grassroots points," says the Cheltenham resident. "I think we’re going to go the Gold route, but even if he didn’t race in any more Grassroots, he should still make the Semifinal."

Jody Jamieson will make the trip to Ottawa on Sunday to steer Haul Away in his first Gold Final, facing off against reigning Gold Final champion Wellthereyougo from Post 1 and elimination winner Future Million from Post 2. The two-year-old pacing colts square off in Race 10 on the Sunday evening program.

Sunday’s opening act is Gold Elimination action for the two-year-old trotting colts, and Hava Kadabra will attempt to follow in Haul Away’s footsteps, making a successful leap from the Grassroots to the Gold Series.

Also a two-time Grassroots winner, Hava Kadabra will make his Gold Series debut from Post 7 in the last $40,000 Gold Elimination. Mark Steacy trains the Kadabra son for owners Landmark II Racing Stable of Elginburg, David Reid of Glenburnie, Stan Klemencic of Trenton and Diane Bertrand of Edmonton, AB, and Landmark’s coordinator Howard Pearce says the trainer thinks highly of the young trotter.

"Mark (Steacy) is fairly high on the horse. As you can see, we’re moving him up from the Grassroots to the Gold," says Pearce. "We think we’ve got a spot clinched in the Grassroots Semifinal, so we thought we’d give him a shot in the Gold, it’s at our home track."

Made up of 25 shareholders from across Canada and the United States, the Landmark II Racing Stable has had an exceptional year. All seven yearlings the group purchased shares in last fall have raced this summer.

"All seven of them have raced, which is remarkable. Not all two-year-olds make it to the races, so that’s pretty special," says Pearce. "It really keeps the enthusiasm going for members of the group."

Hava Kadabra started his career in a leg of the Majestic Son Series at Rideau Carleton and has raced at four other tracks across the province, but wherever the young trotter goes, he always has a fan club. With the number of people involved in the Landmark stable, and the diversity of their locations, the colt is always racing near someone’s local oval.

"At any given race there are five or six of the members there," says Pearce. "It’s a lot of fun."

Should Hava Kadabra make a successful transition from the Grassroots program and earn a spot in the Oct. 4 Gold Final, his fan club is liable to swell significantly. Paul MacDonell will steer Hava Kadabra in Sunday’s elimination, which is slated as Race 6.

Rideau Carleton Raceway kicks off its Sunday evening program of harness racing at 6:30 pm, and features the two-year-old trotting colts in Races 1, 2, and 6, while the two-year-old pacing colts square off in their $130,000 Gold Final in Race 10.

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