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Bax’s Boys Heading To Hiawatha

Published: September 6, 2010 10:35 pm ET

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Hiawatha Horse Park wraps up its 2010 Ontario Sires Stakes season on Thursday evening with seven Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts.

Trainer John Bax will send three colts after a share of the $168,000 total purse money, and the veteran conditioner is hoping Sombrero Hall, Lukes Raoule and Incredible Kadabra can also add a few more Grassroots point to their total in the second last regular season event. At present Incredible Kadabra sits tenth in the division standings with 92 points, Lukes Raoule is ranked fifteenth with 80, and Sombrero Hall is tied for twentieth with 62 points.

“We might have waited too long to go to the Grassroots,” says Bax of Sombrero Hall, who started his OSS season at the Gold Series level.

Bax shares ownership on Sombrero Hall with Don Allensen of Camlachie, ON, Harry Locke of Oshawa, ON and Glengate Farms of Campbellville, ON. On Aug. 31 the partners celebrated Sombrero Hall’s first lifetime victory, a gate-to-wire tour around Georgian Downs that saw the gelding best a non-winners of one race field in 1:59.1, pushing his lifetime earnings to $101,930.

“It’s not often when you have a horse break his maiden and go over $100,000,” says Bax wryly. “He likes to follow. It doesn’t seem to matter where we put him, he likes to follow.”

In his first three Grassroots starts, Sombrero Hall posted two seconds and one third. Regular reinsman Stephen Byron will send the Striking Sahbra son after another top three result from Post 3 in the first $24,000 Grassroots division on Thursday. Among the colts they face are four who have already taken home a Grassroots trophy — Lexis D J (Post 1), BI Barrister (Post 4), Merlincrest (Post 5), and Daring Dreamer (Post 7).

Sombrero Hall’s stablemate Incredible Kadabra heads into Thursday’s contest on a two-race win streak, including a 1:58 victory in Grassroots action at Hanover Raceway on Aug. 14. The Kadabra son made it two in a row with a 1:57.1 score in non-winners of two races company at Georgian Downs on Aug. 31. In four Grassroots starts the gelding has recorded one first, one second, one third and one fifth-place finish.

“He’s made the biggest jump,” explains Bax, who conditions the gelding for owner-breeder Len Kordy of Kingston, ON. “Up in Hanover he finally got on the front end, and he seems to have liked it. He was always kind of hesitant leaving, but his last two starts he’s shown a little more.

“He’s got some confidence right now. He’s starting to think he’s pretty good,” adds the Peterborough, ON resident.

Byron will steer Incredible Kadabra from Post 5 in the last Grassroots division Thursday, facing off against a field that includes former Gold Series regular Poof K from Post 1.

The final entry from the Bax stable is Lukes Raoule, who was also a winner in the Aug. 14 Grassroots event at Hanover, stopping the clock at 1:59.3. Through his four Grassroots appearances Lukes Raoule has earned one win, one second and one fifth. Bax says the son of Ken Warkentin and Lady Prospect has been slow to mature, but seems to have found his groove in the last four weeks.

“I always expected him to improve. It’s taken quite a while, but he’s finally getting to be a racehorse,” says the trotting specialist. “He’s one that’s going up instead of down, and you get that at this time of year, horses going down instead of up.”

Owned by Bax’s Parkhill Stud Farm and Paul Kinmond of Peterborough, ON and Harry Locke of Oshawa, ON, Lukes Raoule will make his bid for a second Grassroots trophy from Post 5 in the sixth race on Thursday. He faces a tough field that includes division point leader Santo Domingo from Post 6.

Hiawatha Horse Park sends its first race behind the starting gate at 6:30 pm on Thursday, with the three-year-old trotting colts taking over the program in Races 5 through 11.


To view Thursday’s entries, click here.

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