Honestly, I still think (the Ontario Sires Stakes is) the best program. I know that we’ve been hit a bit and it’s not as good as it was, but I think the program’s great.”
With stables on both sides of the border, trainer Casie Coleman doesn’t have to buy and campaign Ontario-bred horses. But the recent Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame inductee is bullish on the Ontario Sires Stakes program.
“I know I made some big money last year racing in it and a lot of horses can make good money racing in just the Ontario Sires Stakes, so I’m pretty happy with it the way it is,” said Coleman in an article published by the Guelph Mercury. “I think it’s better than (sires stakes programs in) New York and in (Pennsylvania). It’s very good.”
Part of what makes the OSS program so good is that first S: Sires. Sires the likes of former Coleman pupil Sportswriter, whose offspring were the toast of the pacing classes in 2014. One of the top Sportswriter two-year-olds from last year made a late but memorable splash in the freshman pacing colt division: Reverend Hanover.
Reverend Hanover made his 2015 debut last week with a 1:54.3 qualifying win. While a freshman in 2014, Reverend Hanover capped his undefeated, four-win season with a victory in the $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final. Pegged as the 5-1 second choice in Trot Magazine’s 2015 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book, he is owned by Steve Calhoun of Chatham, Ont., West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Ont., and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, Ont.
“It’s obviously early, but Reverend Hanover has been training back like a creature. I’ve been extremely happy with how he’s training back,” said Coleman, who has ‘The Reverend’ and nine of his stablemates back into qualify on Friday at Mohawk Racetrack.