Ontario’s talented two-year-old trotting colts invaded Rideau Carleton Raceway on Thursday evening and Mass Production posted the quickest mile of the three Gold and two Grassroots divisions.
Starting from Post 3 in third $70,000 Gold division, Mass Production made an early break in stride that left him 12 lengths behind pacesetter Parkhill Nonstop by the :28.4 quarter. Still 12 lengths behind at the :58.3 half, Mass Production started to gain ground as Parkhill Nonstop handed over front end control to Vero Amore Bi heading by the 1:28 three-quarters.
Turning for home Mass Production was five and one-half lengths back, but when trainer-driver Rick Zeron saw Vero Amore Bi go off stride he quickly shifted his colt into overdrive. Sprinting down the stretch Mass Production hit the wire three-quarters of a length in front of Parkhill Nonstop in a personal best 1:58.3. Rosberg was promoted from fourth to third after it was determined that Vero Amore Bi did not lose ground while off stride.
“Mass made a miscue in the first turn, I don’t know why, but he came back trotting and settled down,” said Zeron. “So I just sat back with him and waited for the head of the lane, then I spoke to the big colt and he responded perfectly for me.
“He’s a great colt,” added the Oakville resident, who shares ownership of the Muscle Mass son with James Walker of Port Perry, Bruno Dipoce of Wasaga Beach, ON and Rene Allard of Matamoras, PA.
Thursday’s victory was Mass Production’s second in Gold Series action. The gelding, a $32,000 purchase from the Canadian Yearling Sale, was also victorious at Georgian Downs in the July 9 season opener. He finished a narrowly beaten second in the July 25 Gold Leg at Mohawk Racetrack and currently sits atop the Gold Series standings with 125 points.
The first Gold division went to Life Well Lived in a personal best 1:59.3. After getting away fourth from Post 4, driver Travis Henry sent Life Well Lived after the lead before the :59.4 half and the colt was well in control by the 1:28.4 three-quarters. Without facing a challenge, Life Well Lived sailed down the stretch to a three and one-half length victory over Warrawee Shipshape and fan favourite Clarion Hall.
“He’s a nice horse to drive,” said Henry. “He’s very calm and well- mannered and you can do whatever you want with him.”
Carmen Auciello conditions Life Well Lived for Robert Burgess of Cedar Valley, ON, who offered up $33,000 for the son of Muscle Mass and Life Class at the 2015 Forest City Yearling Sale. In his first two Gold Series starts the colt finished second to Rose Run Speedster and Thursday’s victory moved him into third in the Gold standings with 100 points, right behind his rival.
The second Gold division went to Dream Massive, who powered away from Post 4 and landed in second as Magic Night led the Gold Series field to a :29.3 opening quarter. Driver James MacDonald and Dream Massive continued to shadow the pacesetter through the 1:00.4 half and 1:30.1 three-quarters and then tipped out for the stretch drive. As Dream Massive accelerated past Magic Night the pacesetter went off stride and Dream Massive opened up to a two and one-quarter length win in 1:59.1. Pennant Seelster recovered from his own early break in stride to be second, while fan favourite Rose Run Speedster settled for third after dodging the breaking Magic Night.
“He is a nice going colt who finally found his luck,” said trainer Mark Steacy of Dream Massive’s first lifetime victory. “He made a green break in his first race when we felt he would be close, and he raced well last time.
“He fought off a slight virus this time to race very good,” added the Lansdowne, ON resident, who trains the son of Muscle Mass for Michael Soehnlen of Dalton, OH.
Dream Massive finished eighth in the July 9 opener at Georgian Downs after making a break and then bounced back to finish third in the July 25 event at Mohawk Racetrack. Thursday’s victory boosted the colt’s earnings to $43,400 and his Gold Series point tally to 63.
Rideau Carleton Raceway fans were also treated to a pair of $18,000 Grassroots divisions and former Gold Series competitor Santini captured the first one, going gate-to-wire in 1:59.4. A pair of Robert McIntosh trainees — My Big Kadillac and Willie Wonka — finished three and one-quarter lengths back in second and third.
The win was Santini’s first, after the Kadabra colt finished fifth and fourth in the July 9 and 25 Gold Legs. Richard Simard piloted fan favourite Santini to the win for trainer Stephen Oldford of Croswell, MI and his partner Gene Oldford Farms LLC of St. Clair, MI. The colt was a $40,000 acquisition from last fall’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.
After finishing second and third in the first Grassroots division, trainer Bob McIntosh captured the second division with Many A Man. The Manofmanymissions son and driver Randy Waples took control before the half and never looked back, trotting home to a one and three-quarter length victory in 2:00. The fan favourite bested Zorgwijk Rocket and Little Lion Man.
The win was Many A Man’s second straight in Grassroots action and moved him into third spot in the division standings with 113 points. Windsor, ON resident McIntosh and his partners C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON bred and share ownership of Many A Man, who is a half-brother to $389,221 winner Dr Cal.
The fifth Grassroots contest for the two-year-old trotting colts goes postward at Hiawatha Horse Park on August 13, while the Gold Series colts head to Mohawk Racetrack for their fourth event on August 12.
Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 21 with the fourth Gold event for the three-year-old pacing fillies.