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Menary On His Friday Gold Trio

Published: September 26, 2012 10:55 am ET

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Three of the 10 starters in Friday night’s $130,000 Gold Final will hail from the Dave Menary stable — two of them former Gold Final champions — so the Cheltenham resident is feeling fairly hopeful that one of his two-year-old pacing colts can reach the Mohawk Racetrack finish line first.

“I’m pretty confident in all the colts,” says the trainer. “I think they all kind of have a chance. Hopefully one of them can get the job done.”

Reigning Gold Final champion Windsong Jack will defend his title from Post 3, season opening Gold Final champ Tarpon Hanover will line up behind Post 4, and Slight Touch will make his bid from Post 10. The colts, who are currently ranked second, third and fourth in the division point standings, matched those rankings in last Saturday’s Gold Eliminations.

Starting from Post 8 Windsong Jack finished second behind Up Up And Out in his split, but Menary was satisfied with the Santanna Blue Chip son’s effort, noting that he was boxed in for part of the 1:53 mile. Regular reinsman Scott Zeron piloted Windsong Jack in his elimination effort, but Randy Waples will pick up the steer on Friday as Zeron opted for Tarpon Hanover in the Final.

Menary conditions Windsong Jack for his father, Larry Menary, of Cheltenham, Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Denis Breton of Welland and Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Burford. The consistent youngster boasts a record of three wins and three seconds in seven starts for earnings of $144,000 and has been the low maintenance member of the trainer’s powerful freshman pacing colt contingent, which also includes Sept. 21 Grassroots Semifinal final winners Panpero Firpo and Panongahela.

“Jack has — knock on wood — so far been super sound and super healthy,” Menary explains. “I don’t think there’s been a day this year when I’ve had to worry about Windsong Jack.”

Unfortunately the horseman has spent a few days this week worrying about the colt’s stablemate Slight Touch, who finished fourth in the other elimination after carving all the early fractions. Following the race an endoscopic exam showed a significant amount of mucous in the colt’s airway.

“We started treating him right away and his blood (white blood cell count) was not too far out of whack today (Tuesday),” says Menary. “He will not train this week and should be close to 100 per cent on Friday.”

The trainer, who conditions Slight Touch for owner Robert Seguin of Gatineau, QC, adds that the colt’s biggest obstacle will be the outside Post 10 in the talented Gold Final field. The Badlands Hanover son is all too familiar with the 10-hole at Mohawk, having started there in the season opening Gold Final captured by stablemate Tarpon Hanover. In that event he finished fourth and Menary is hoping driver Chris Christoforou finds a way to improve on that result Friday.

Tarpon Hanover finished just ahead of Slight Touch in last week’s elimination round, crossing the wire three and one half lengths behind winner Mach It Go in the 1:52.3 mile, and Menary is expecting the colt to be much sharper on Friday.

“In his last start he’d basically been off three weeks and he was really short,” says the horseman. “I preach all the time about having them tight, so it was my fault. I guess I had the end of the year in mind and took it too easy on him.

“He’ll be tighter this week, and I’m happy to have a good post.”

Since capturing the Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway on Aug. 6, Tarpon Hanover has not enjoyed much in the way of post position luck. He started from Post 2 in his Aug. 18 Nassagaweya Stakes division at Mohawk, but landed Post 8 for his Metro elimination at the Campbellville oval on Aug. 26, Post 9 for the Metro Consolation one week later and Post 9 for last week’s elimination, posting two fourths and two thirds along the way.

Menary shares ownership of Tarpon Hanover with Brad Gray of Dundas, Bruce Norris of Caledon East and Breton, and the trainer has confidence that the colt will be on his toes Friday and that Oakville resident Zeron will be able to carve out a productive trip from Post 4.

Having said that, Menary acknowledges that there are seven other colts in Friday’s eighth race looking to earn their own Gold Final trophy.

“There are some other colts in the field that are starting to step up a little bit, that haven’t had that many starts,” points out the horseman. “But I am pretty happy to have these colts.”

Mohawk Racetrack sends its first race behind the starting gate at 7:10 p.m., and the talented two-year-old pacing colts will light up the Campbellville oval in Race 8.

To view the harness racing entries for Friday at Mohawk, click the following link: Friday Entries - Mohawk Racetrack.


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