Bronx Seelster wins Ontario Gold
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Ontario Sired two-year-old pacing colts took over Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday evening, competing for a total of $337,850 in two Gold and eight Grassroots divisions.
Bronx Seelster moved to the top of the division standings with his second straight Gold Series victory in the evening’s eighth race. Driver Trevor Henry eased the colt away from Post 7 and settled him in fifth as Arcane Seelster led the field to a :26.4 opening quarter. Heading for the :56.1 half Henry moved the fan favourite into the outer lane and then edged the colt out three-wide heading by the 1:24.2 three quarters. Just three-quarters of a length behind pacesetter Arcane Seelster at the top of the stretch, Bronx Seelster sprinted home to a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:52. Caviart Rockland also closed hard to be second and The Regulator was third.
"I like the little horse, he’s all right, and he raced great tonight," said Henry from the winner’s circle. "He’s just a little horse, but he’s got a good brush to him."
Henry piloted Bronx Seelster to the win for trainer Wayne McGean of Sydney Mines and Capers 3 Stable of Sydney, Nova Scotia, who offered up $22,000 for the colt at last fall’s London Selected Yearling Sale. The son of Big Jim and Tarport Baccarat now has two Gold wins and one second in overnight action on his resume through four lifetime starts, giving him earnings of $86,500.
"January on I liked the colt, and I had opportunity to go away on trips and I wouldn’t go, because I liked this colt," admitted McGean to Woodbine Mohawk Park’s Chad Rozema. "And he come along the way I thought he would really; he’s all right."
Bettors Wish earned the win in the other $98,800 Gold division when Stag Party was ruled to have interfered with him near the halfway marker. As a result Stag Party, who crossed the line one-half length in front, was place back to second and Bettors Wish was moved up to first. Sunshines Finest was two lengths behind the duelling leaders when they crossed the wire in 1:51.2.
The win was the second lifetime for Bettors Wish, who captured a July 5 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park before finishing third to Stag Party in the July 12 Gold Series opener. Guelph resident Paul MacDonell has piloted the Bettors Delight son in all three of his outings on behalf of trainer Chantal Mitchell of Hamilton, Ontario.
Chris Ryder of Allentown, New Jersey, Bella Racing Ltd. of Delaware, Ohio, Fair Island Farm Inc. of Versailles, Kentucky and Kenneth Solomon of Coral Springs, Florida share ownership of Bettors Wish, who was a $20,000 US purchase at the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.
Better Moonon Over paced to one of the fastest miles of the eight Grassroots divisions, rolling out of the pocket in the stretch and pulling away from pacesetter Moonshine Kisses to a three-quarter length victory in 1:52.4. Face the Challenge finished two more lengths back in third.
Campbellville resident Chris Christoforou, Jr. crafted the win for trainer Blake MacIntosh of Cambridge, and MacIntosh admitted he was pleasantly surprised with the Betterthancheddar son’s effort.
"He was in the second group (training down) and he was a nice colt, but he just didn’t show the speed," said the trainer. "I was as shocked as anybody today when he win in 1:52.4, that was a good mile out there for a two-year-old.
"I’m really happy for Dan and Kim, they’ve had some rough luck the last couple years and this colt looks like he’s going to be a nice little colt for them," MacIntosh added, referring to the gelding’s owner-breeders Kim and Dan Sergeant of Straffordville, Ontario. "He does everything right, and he tries every time, and he’s just one of those little colts that keeps improving every start."
Better Moonon Over will make his fourth lifetime start in the Battle of Waterloo eliminations at Grand River Raceway on July 30, along with his stablemates Sports Hero, Da Delightful and Fast N First, who finished second, third and fifth in their respective Grassroots divisions on Monday.
The other Grassroots divisions were captured by Prairie Midnight in 1:54.1, Quickstar Bluechip in 1:55.3, JMs Delight in 1:52.4, Battle Strong in 1:53, Machdavid in 1:53.3, Cliffhanger in 1:54 and Keystone Concrete in 1:53.1.
The two-year-old pacing colts and gelding will make their third Grassroots start on August 14 at Georgian Downs, while the Gold Series competitors make their third start on August 15 at Grand River Raceway.