The Ben Wallace trainee, Air Stewart committed first over at the half and overtook heavily favored Buckhams Bay down the stretch to score in Thursday night’s $130,000 OSS Gold final for 2-year-old trotting colts at Mohawk Racetrack.
Imperial Count (Steve Condren) took command off the gate from post nine but allowed Buckhams Bay (Jacques Hebert) to clear to the lead past the opening panel in :27.3. Air Stewart (Mario Baillargeon), who got away in fifth, decided to commit first over just as Buckhams Bay took his rivals past the half in
:57.1 with Imperial Count in the pocket.
With an honest pace, Buckhams Bay and Air Stewart were deadlocked as the talented colts marched past the three-quarter pole in 1:27.4. Imperial Count was still positioned behind Buckhams Bay and Delcrest Julian (Anthony MacDonald) was in striking position second-over behind Air Stewart.
Down the stretch, Air Stewart took over command from Buckhams Bay to win by over three lengths stopping the timer in 1:56.3. Buckhams Bay held on for second over Sim Brown (Randy Waples).
“He’s been a bit of a work in progress all summer. He’s raced great but to be honest he was kind of programmed to be good later in the year than sooner. We didn’t over stress him early,” trainer Ben
Wallace commented. “You got a 1-9 horse in there (Buckhams Bay) and you never know how good they are but it’s the fall of the year and they have all raced tough.
“I don’t think Buckhams Bay was as good as he was earlier or wasn’t on his game tonight. It was a pretty credible performance tonight by my colt. I’m very pleased and I always knew that he was
capable of putting this type of trip together and it’s just taken him all summer to do it.”
Thursday's victory was a maiden breaking effort for the son of Striking Sahbra who is owned by Doug Millard, Hyatt Holdings Inc. and Canamerica Capital Corp. With 11 starts under his belt this season, Air Stewart lifted his freshman earnings to $133,883. He paid $19.70 for the victory. (WEG)