Campbellville, ON --- Making his first start since springing a mild surprise in the famed Hambletonian almost a month ago, Muscle Massive, with driver Ron Pierce, easily wired six rivals while winning the first C$127,947 division of the Simcoe Stakes on Saturday (Sept. 4) at Mohawk.
|New Image Media photo|
|Muscle Massive won his Simcoe Stakes division in 1:56.1.|
Trained by Jimmy Taker, the 3-year-old Muscles Yankee colt rocketed from the seven hole and took over into the clubhouse turn, hitting the first quarter in a leisurely :28.3, then the half in a dawdling :59.
From there, the result was academic, as Pierce just held the reins on the top trotter as he coasted through three-quarters in 1:27.3 before hitting the wire in 1:56.1, a two length winner over Text Me and He’s A Demon.
It was a perfect tune-up for next weekend’s Canadian Trotting Classic eliminations, as the Hambo winner gears up for the C$1 million event on September 18 at Mohawk.
"No, it wasn’t really a tiring trip," said Pierce. "The track’s very good tonight (in spite of rain earlier in the day). The colt was wound up pretty good for the Hambo. I know he’s had an easier time since but I knew he’d be tight enough to beat that bunch."
Sent postward the prohibitive 1-5 choice, Muscle Massive went over the $1 million mark in career earnings with the C$63,973 pot, his fifth win in nine starts this year.
Break The Bank K teamed up with Brian Sears to demolish the field of 3-year-old trotters in the second C$127,947 Simcoe Stakes division.
Windsong Geant (Jody Jamieson) took control of the field from post three and led the way past the opening quarter in :27.4 before odds-on Break The Bank K and Sears made a backstretch brush from third and cleared the lead at the half in :57.4.
The Revenue S-American Misty colt opened up nearly six lengths on his rivals en route to the third quarter in 1:24.4 and continued to extend his lead in the stretch. By the time he hit the wire in a career-best 1:54, he had secured a 13-1/2 length lead. Keystone Swagger (Tim Tetrick) finished second with Arriba Amigo (Trevor Ritchie) third.
"I think it is a big mile tonight, the track is definitely off a couple of seconds," noted Sears in the winner's circle. "He is a pretty talented horse, I thought he might be the best horse out there this year coming into his 3-year-old campaign but he's had some attitude problems. If this horse ever gets his mind right he can be a real strong contender."
Break The Bank K will also head to the Canadian Trotting Classic next weekend and when asked how he stacks up against a horse with Muscle Massive's credentials, Sears said Break The Bank K can be competitive.
"He is coming around and getting into form and you've got to like the way he raced tonight. That horse is definitely a nice horse, Muscle Massive. He's shown what he can do and he's not afraid to race other horses. With the right trip with this horse (Break The Bank K), and like I said, if he gets his mind right, he can be right there with him."
Break The Bank K paid $3.70 to win. Trond Smedshammer trains and Robert Key owns and bred the winner of two races in 12 starts and C$152,732 this year.
-- Standardbred Canada contributed to this report