It was a banner night for trainer Casie Coleman and driver Chris Christoforou as they teamed up to sweep the trio of $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series events for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers on Wednesday (July 16) at Grand River Raceway.
All three winning colts – Bob Ben And John, Southwind Indy, and Rollwiththepunches – are from the first crop of Sportswriter, who Coleman also trained throughout his career, including his victory in the 2010 North America Cup.
In the first Gold Series test, Bob Ben And John and Christoforou moved from third to first before the :56.3 half-mile marker. From there, he went on to reach three-quarters in 1:26.2 before closing with a :28.2 final kicker to win by a length and three-quarters in 1:54.4, which was the fastest of the three divisions. Go Daddy Go (Randy Waples) challenged Bob Ben And John first-over in the final half but had to settle for second and early leader Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell) checked in third.
West Wins Stable of Cambridge and Adriano Sorella of Milton, Ont. own Bob Ben And John, who is a perfect two-for-two in his career, with both victories coming in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series events. Bob Ben And John, who was bred by Frank Coleman and sold for $17,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, is the fifth foal out of the Cambest mare My Best Girl, making him a half-brother to the likes of Ohmybelle ($223,097).
Odds-on favourite Sporting The Look (Jody Jamieson) was in control through stations of :28, :58.1, and 1:27.1 in the second section, but he made a break in stride and left the course just past three-quarters. With Sporting The Look out of contention, Southwind Indy and Christoforou inherited the lead from the pocket and went on to win by a length and a quarter in 1:56.3. Sports Bettor (Randy Waples) was the runner-up and Windsong Lightning (Eddie Green) grabbed third.
The win was the first in two tries for Southwind Indy, who is owned by West Wins Stable, Steve Calhoun of Chatham, Ont., and Southwind Farms LLC. of Pennington, New Jersey. Southwind Farms also bred Southwind Indy, who was purchased for $45,000 out of the 2013 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Southwind Indy is the first foal out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Its Only Rocknroll. Its Only Rocknroll’s dam is Armbro Wallflower (Village Jasper), a multiple-time OSS winner at two and three, including the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for three-year-olds in 2002.
Deetzy (Randy Waples) showed the way through fractions of :29, :58, and 1:26.4 in the OSS Gold Series nightcap, but Christoforou fanned Rollwiththepunches wide for the drive following an off-the-pace trip and took the lead at the top of the stretch. Once he was in control, Rollwiththepunches drew away to score by two and half lengths in 1:56.2. Win One Soon (Phil Hudon) finished second, followed by Lyons Jimmydean (James MacDonald).
Like Bob Ben And John, Rollwiththepunches improved his record to two-for-two in his career and in OSS competition for owner West Wins Stable. Bred by Concord Stud Farm LLC, Paul Stromick, and Birnam Wood Farms, Rollwiththepunches was taken out of last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for $17,000. Rollwiththepunches is the first foal out of the Western Terror mare Terroronthebeach, a half-sister to Guestimate ($656,546) and Dinner Guest ($554,867).
Between the OSS action, six-year-old chestnut gelding Clic K won the evening’s $7,000 Preferred 3 Trot. Driven by Paul MacDonell, the Ben Wallace trainee converted a pocket trip into a 1:53.3 six-plus length victory for owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ont.
Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series action for the rookie colt and gelding pacers will resume on August 10 at Georgian Downs.