Two-year-old pacing colt Surrealist cruised to an effortless victory on Saturday evening in the richest race ever offered at Kawartha Downs. Starting from post four in the $180,000 Gold Final, Surrealist surged away from the starting gate and was on top by one and a half lengths when he swept by the quarter pole in :28.4. Driver Anthony MacDonald backed the pace off through the :59.1 half, but Surrealist was still able to maintain a comfortable lead over the field. As MacDonald stepped up the tempo heading for the 1:27.2 three-quarter mile mark, Mild Mannered was attempting to make some headway on the leader up the outside, but the pacesetter still had plenty in reserve.
Kicking into high gear in the stretch, Surrealist sprinted home to a 1:55 victory, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of pocket sitter OK Boromir and two lengths ahead of fan favourite Rescue Plan, who closed from sixth at the top of the stretch to earn the third-place share of the lucrative Ontario Sires Stakes purse.
The win marked the second winner’s circle appearance of the season, and the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, for Surrealist. The Modern Art son now boasts a record of two wins, two seconds and two thirds in six starts.
Chadwick Schmiedge of Waterdown trains Surrealist, who was sold to Milton resident Bradley Grant one day before his Gold Final victory. The victory made a $90,000 dent in the purchase price Grant paid to former owner Gregory Martin of Calgary, AB. Heading into Saturday’s contest, the colt had earned just $19,260.
Surrealist is not the first Ontario Sires Stakes campaigner Grant has acquired at the midpoint in their two-year-old season. In 2006 he purchased Spun Sugar following an impressive Grassroots victory and the Camluck daughter went on to earn a total of $286,675 and amass an impressive resume on the provincial circuit, culminating with a victory in last fall’s sophomore pacing filly Grassroots Championship.
In addition to inflating his earnings, Saturday’s victory also boosted Surrealist up the freshman pacing colt point standings. With one third to his credit in the Sept. 20 Gold Eliminations at Mohawk Racetrack, Surrealist went into Saturday’s Gold Final sitting in fifteenth spot with 12 points. The victory elevated him to fifth spot in the standings with 62 points.
The colt will have an opportunity to add to his point tally and defend his Gold Final crown when the two-year-old pacing colts wrap up their regular season rivalry on Oct. 21 at Western Fair Raceway.
The provincial program makes one final stop in Fraserville, when the two-year-old pacing fillies make their way to Kawartha Downs on Nov. 28 for the last of three Trillium Series events on their calendar. (OSS)