Toronto, ON --- Driver Scott Zeron is hoping to experience a few moments of déjà vu at Flamboro Downs on Friday evening (Oct. 12) as he sends 3-year-old pacing gelding Michael's Power after a fourth Ontario Sire Stakes Gold final title from the same post they drew for the Confederation Cup final in August.
“We’ve drawn the same position we won the final from,” says the Oakville resident. “I’m actually going in there pretty confident.”
|USTA/Mark Hall photo|
|Little Brown Jug winner Michael's Power returns to action this Friday at Flamboro Downs.|
Zeron’s confidence stems from more than his success out of post six at the Dundas oval. He and Michael's Power head back to Gold Series competition off a stirring two-heat victory in the historic Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio, on Sept. 20. A dream accomplishment for both Zeron and trainer Casie Coleman, the Little Brown Jug victory has launched the 23-year-old reinsman’s already stellar career into another stratosphere.
“The Jug was truly a dream win. It’s still kind of sinking in; it’s a surreal experience,” says the young reinsman.
“You need that one horse to put you over the top, and that’s been him,” Zeron adds. “He’s put my name out there in the States, and that’s really important.”
Since Michael's Power made his sophomore debut in May, Zeron has guided the gelding to 13 wins, one second and one third in 16 starts, banking $1,278,762 for owner-breeder Jeffery Snyder of New York, N.Y.
In addition to the Little Brown Jug and Confederation Cup titles, the pair swept the Upper Canada Cup stake at Georgian Downs in May, captured a division of the Somebeachsomewhere stake at Mohawk Racetrack in June, claimed the Canadian Breeders Championship at Mohawk in July and picked up two Gold elimination and three Gold final trophies in five Ontario Sire Stakes starts.
In spite of their dominance in Gold Series action to date, Zeron is expecting a stiff test at Flamboro on Friday.
Mel Mara returns to Ontario from two impressive outings at The Red Mile in Lexington, including a 1:49.4 victory on Sept. 29, and while Michael's Power was basking in his Jug victory Warrawee Needy posted an Ontario Sire Stakes record 1:48.4 in the Sept. 22 Gold final at Mohawk. Mel Mara will be looking for his first Gold final win from post four in the tenth race, while Warrawee Needy will be looking to defend his title from post seven.
“Mel Mara was gigantic two weeks in a row in Lexington and Warrawee Needy is coming back into top form,” notes Zeron. “It’s going to be a tougher task than most of the Sires Stakes races have been for him this year.
“I’m happy we are inside Warrawee Needy,” he continued. “And the half-mile track is Michael’s specialty. One thing I know, he’s going to try his best.”
Once Friday’s Gold final is in the books Coleman and Snyder must make a decision about Michael's Power’s next start. With his flawless record in Gold Series action the Camluck son is assured of a berth in the Nov. 10 Super Final, but he could also be added to the list of Breeders Crown contenders through a supplemental entry fee of $62,500. The 3-year-old pacing colt Breeders Crown eliminations will be contested at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 20 with the $500,000 final held Oct. 27.
“Everyone wants to know what’s next for Michael's Power,” notes Zeron. “There’s still no word on the Breeders Crown.”
While he has captured several Super Final titles, including two in 2011, the young reinsman has yet to make an appearance in the winner’s circle following a Breeders Crown final; another dream accomplishment that would cap off what has already been a superlative season.
Post time for Flamboro Downs’ Friday (Oct. 12) program is 6 p.m. and Michael's Power and his 3-year-old pacing colt rivals will engage in their last C$130,000 Gold final showdown in race 10.