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Odds Are 'Osiris' Will Be Better

Published: August 26, 2020 10:31 am ET

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Odds On Racing's Odds On Osiris has wreaked plenty of havoc in his home state of Indiana, amassing eight wins against the best of the best in the Hoosier State over the past two seasons. And while the Pepsi North America Cup looms three days hence, Peter Wrenn isn't daunted at all by what will be the colt's toughest test to date.

After Odds On Osiris' narrow miss behind divisional standout Tall Dark Stranger in last Saturday's (Aug. 22) North America Cup elimination at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Wrenn doesn't have any reason to be.

"I'm not totally surprised," Wrenn told Trot Insider. "I think he's a rugged enough horse; I think he's got a lot of speed."

The son of Rockin Image gave a serious account for his abilities in the elimination, yielding for the pocket behind Tall Dark Stranger before lifting stoutly through a :26.1 closing sectional -- but a minor misstep left him a half length away from converting a 15-1 upset.

"Talking to Sylvain (Filion), he had to check him a little bit late, and it might have cost him some momentum. But with that happening, and first time against that company, I think he came out of the race really well ... The horse has come out of the race very strong."

Just the week before, Odds On Osiris won the $250,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at MGM Northfield Park in what was his first outing against open company this year. It served as a useful preparatory race for his brief foray north of the border -- one which has Wrenn in an unfamiliar place: on the sidelines rather than in the driver's seat.

Odds On Osiris, winning the 2020 Carl Milstein Memorial

"Melanie (Wrenn) has him up at Port Huron (Mich.) right now," Wrenn said. "I'm going to run up there and help Melanie train him up a little bit (Wednesday) morning, and then she's on her own."

Despite having to hand Odds On Osiris' lines over to another driver as a result of international travel restrictions associated with COVID-19 mitigation plans, Wrenn feels comfortable with the colt's accommodations and the care he's receiving.

"I think it's 110 miles (from Port Huron to Mohawk)," Wrenn said. "He was back in his stall after racing the other night at 12:30 a.m. It all worked pretty smooth; he didn't know what country he was in.

"We've got a good relationship with our neighbours in Canada; they're able to work with us. We've got a good caretaker in the paddock, and Brad Maxwell has been real kind about stepping forward when he had to -- detention barn, taking care of the horse, getting him warmed up. Everything has gone smoothly other than not being hands-on. But I feel very confident in the whole group that's behind him.

"In times like this, people step forward, and I appreciate every bit of it."

For their unified efforts to pay off in the end, Odds On Osiris will have to overcome post 10, which is a back-row starting spot at Mohawk. Wrenn doesn't find the draw particularly disadvantageous, especially given the likelihood of a pressured early pace with elimination winners Captain Kirk and Tall Dark Stranger both likely to leave, along with Tattoo Artist and Allywag Hanover from the outside wing of the gate.

"I do know there are some people who would rather have the gate, but in a race like this, I don't want to be that far out. I think there's going to be a lot of action; there's not going to be too much crawling ... They'll be at the quarter in :25 and a piece. I personally see it setting up as a very good race for him. I think we're going to have a chance to see how good he is, and it may work out for the best. I think there's going to be a lot of early speed for position, and it may work out in our favour."

Regardless of how the race unfolds, Wrenn feels Odds On Osiris is up to the challenge, and that his versatility can help him be a major player on the international stage -- even if yet a bit under the radar.

"My colt's very well-mannered that way. Even though he can leave, he doesn't get chewed up about it. He'll come back the other way if he needs to. I'm guessing he can be just about anywhere he has to be."

Odds On Osiris and Peter Wrenn, winning at Hoosier Park

While he will spend Saturday night at his home base of Harrah's Hoosier Park -- 700 kilometres away from Mohawk -- none of the excitement that comes in participating in one of harness racing's modern pacing classics is lost on the veteran horseman.

"It's really a feather in the cap. It's really exciting to be part of this, whether you're training, driving, whatever it may be. It's fun, getting a lot of 'attaboy's, so that's good. It's good advertisement, and it sure brings a lot of adrenaline."

The 37th Pepsi North America Cup for a purse of $1-million headlines a stakes-filled card this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Here’s how the field will line up behind the gate in Saturday’s rich final:

$1,000,000 Pepsi North America Cup
1. Mayhem Hanover (TBA / Gregg McNair)
2. Moneyman Hill (Jonathan Drury / Carmen Auciello)
3. Captain Kirk (Jody Jamieson / Tony Alagna)
4. Tall Dark Stranger (Yannick Gingras / Nancy Takter)
5. Capt Midnight (Doug McNair / Tony Alagna)
6. Denali Seelster (Trevor Henry / Dr. Ian Moore)
7. Tattoo Artist (Bob McClure / Dr. Ian Moore)
8. Allywag Hanover (Louis-Philippe Roy / Brett Pelling)
9. Captain Barbossa (James MacDonald / Tony Alagna)
10. Odds On Osiris (Sylvain Filion / Melanie Wrenn)

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