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‘Ozzi’ Being Pointed To The Jug

Published: August 22, 2019 10:14 am ET

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Southwind Ozzi, whose eye-popping 1:48 victory in this year’s Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids was the second fastest in the 53-year history of the race, will return to the scene of his greatest triumph for Friday’s $170,058 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes stop at the Meadows.

The event for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers, known as the Tarport Effrat, will be contested as Race 2 and 4. Southwind Ozzi is set to start from Post 7 in Race 4 with Brian Sears in the sulky. First post for the special twilight card will be at 5:30 p.m.

Trainer Bill MacKenzie has been picking his spots carefully for the son of Somebeachsomewhere, who’s owned by Vincent Ali Jr. and Alma Iafelice. In fact, since the Adios, he’s raced only once, a misadventure in the $400,000 Carl Milstein at Northfield Park. ‘Ozzi’ was parked the mile from Post 7, but managed a fifth-place cheque.

“It was an awful trip,” MacKenzie says. “They went the half in (:) 57; you see $3,000 claimers doing that. It was crazy. He had no chance.”

Nevertheless, it was the colt’s first test on a half-mile track, and MacKenzie used it to gauge how he might fare in the Little Brown Jug, which is raced on the half-mile oval in Delaware, Ohio. If the Milstein was a Jug audition, Ozzi aced it.

“He got around the track [well], and he came out of it [well],” MacKenzie says. “So we are planning for the Jug. Who knows where we’re going after that.”

Southwind Ozzi, pictured winning the final of the 2019 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids.

Friday’s PASS will be an Adios reunion of sorts, as 10 of the 14 scheduled combatants raced in the Pace for the Orchids. One alum who’s likely to acquit himself better is Captain Victorious, who captured an Adios elimination but blew up inexplicably in the final, retreating to last after leading at the quarter.

Trainer Ron Burke said he gave the son of Captaintreacherous a complete work-up and found nothing that might explain the dismal performance. But Captain Victorious rebounded in the Milstein with a strong place finish and figures to be a formidable foe for Ozzi. He will start from Post 3 in Race 4 for pilot Yannick Gingras.

Friday’s card will also feature a $40,000 PA Stallion Series event for sophomore colt and gelding trotters. In addition, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) is sponsoring ‘First Responders Night’ to honour the region’s first responders and provide them and their families with an entertaining night at the races. All first responders in uniform or with appropriate ID may receive free wagering vouchers and race programs while those whose names are drawn in a lottery will participate in a match race. Family Fun activities include a bounce house, a balloon artist and face painting.


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