(Mark Steacy | Ontario Sires Stakes photo)
Ontario’s best three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will roll into Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday evening to compete for almost $250,000 in three Gold and three Grassroots divisions.
The Ontario Sires Stakes program’s leading trainer, Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON, will send out one Gold Series starter and two Grassroots contenders in Sunday’s event, with Dream Massive helping to kick things off in the first $65,600 Gold Series division.
“He’s been good. He seems to show up, especially in most of his sires stakes, he holds his own quite well,” said Steacy about the Muscle Mass colt, who will start from Post 7 in Race 2. “He’s not real flashy, but he always seems to get the job done. Unfortunately he drew a tough post in a tough division this time, but I’m sure he’ll do well.”
Dream Massive faces a field of six that includes the top three point earners in the division, Magic Night at Post 4, R First Class at Post 2 and Try Try Again at Post 1. With one win, one third and one fourth through the first three Gold Series events, Dream Massive currently sits fifth in the standings with 70 points. The colt’s regular reinsman, James MacDonald, is representing Canada in the World Driving Championship which gets under way August 12 at Alberta’s Century Downs, so Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry will pick up Dream Massive’s lines in Sunday’s contest.
“Trevor should be a good back-up plan,” said Steacy, who trains Dream Massive for Michael Soehnlen of Dalton, OH. “I think he’ll fit that horse good.”
Steacy’s Grassroots starters, More Than Majestic and Dontcrampmystyle, will compete in the second and third divisions, lining up behind Posts 2 and 7, respectively.
“They both should like Rideau I think,” said Steacy. “I know that More Than Majestic will, because he’s been over it a couple times now.”
More Than Majestic shipped into Ottawa in mid-July and has a hard-closing second and a win to his credit in two starts over the Rideau Carleton oval, on July 27 and August 3. The August 3 win was the Majestic Son gelding’s second lifetime and came in a personal best 1:58.4.
“Again, he’s not a real flashy horse either, but he’s always knocking on the door and he raced good last week,” said the trainer. “I think he’ll do okay.”
Steacy’s son Clarke, who also makes his home in Lansdowne, will steer More Than Majestic in Sunday’s sixth race for owners Landmark 9 Racing Stable of Kingston, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, NY.
Like Dream Massive, Dontcrampmystyle will be hampered by Post 7 in his quest for a second Ontario Sires Stakes victory. Another son of Muscle Mass, Dontcrampmystyle has one win, one second and one seventh through the first three Grassroots events and currently sits third in the standings with 77 points.
“I’m not sure what he’s in against, but he did get one OSS win and it’s possible he could do that again,” said Steacy, who conditions the gelding for owner-breeder Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein, ON and will hand the lines over to Trevor Henry in the ninth race. “He’s always kind of the same way, knocking at the doors, and if somebody makes an error he’ll be there.”
The Grassroots competitors will be featured in Races 1, 6 and 9, with the Gold Series colts showing off their skills in Races 2, 8 and 13. The first race goes in behind the starting gate at 6:30 pm.
In addition to the Ontario Sires Stakes battles, Rideau Carleton Raceway fans will also be treated to a Racing Under Saddle (RUS) contest in the fourth race. Among the trotters that will don a saddle and rider rather than a race bike and driver are three former Ontario Sires Stakes competitors, Thor Seelster, Amityville Lindy and Lets Leavem.
Thor Seelster, who will start from Post 2 with Clinton, ON resident Natalie Elliott aboard, was a two-time RUS winner in 2015, Amityville Lindy makes his RUS debut from Post 4 with Stacey Reinsma, of Cambridge, ON, in the saddle, and Lets Leavem comes into Sunday’s contest off an August 4 RUS victory at Grand River Raceway. Freelton, ON resident Sarah Town piloted Lets Leavem to the August 4 win and will be back in the saddle on Sunday, guiding the Angus Hall son from Post 5.
Racing Under Saddle volunteers will be on hand all evening to answer questions about the program and fans are invited to meet the riders following the fifth race. More information about Racing Under Saddle is available at http://rusontario.com.
Fans will also have an opportunity to win one of 10 Ontario Sires Stakes prize packages, with ballots available in the program. The first 100 people to arrive for the evening’s festivities will receive a $2 betting voucher with their program purchase and all programs contain a coupon for a $2.50 hot dog and pop combo.
In addition to Sunday’s Ontario Sires Stakes event, Rideau Carleton Raceway will also host the final regular season Grassroots event for the two-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday, Sept. 10.