Campbellville, ON --- Trainer Bob McIntosh will harness a total of six starters on Saturday’s (Sept. 21) C$400,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots Championship program at Mohawk Racetrack, including four of the top freshman trotters in the province.
The 2-year-old trotting colts Pasadena Star and Tyrone Haji finished first and third in their division, while trotting fillies Chelseas Chance and Lenny Mac finished one-two. McIntosh says the trotters, all offspring of Kadabra, trained well this week and are ready for a serious run at their respective division titles.
“We were real lucky this year to have four nice trotters,” says the Windsor resident, who sends out Pasadena Star and Tyrone Haji from posts two and three in the first of the eight Grassroots Championships on Saturday.
Pasadena Star finished fourth in the June 29 season opener at Kawartha Downs, but the gelding has not been bested in Grassroots action since. In addition to his four Grassroots victories, the homebred son of former Gold Series competitor Pasadena Princess ($190,951) also captured his division of the Champlain Stakes at Mohawk on Aug. 30 and finished third in a leg of the Gold Series at Georgian Downs on Aug. 17.
“He’s a very nice colt. He’s really not done a thing wrong since the day we started with him,” says McIntosh, who bred and owns the gelding in partnership with C S X Stables. “He’s two fingers to drive; you can take him off or put him on the front end.”
Stablemate Tyrone Haji was a winner in the Aug. 18 division at Clinton Raceway and finished second in his other four Grassroots outings. McIntosh shares ownership of the gelding with breeder Dave Boyle and is expecting continued improvement from the long-legged youngster.
“He’s a nice big colt and he’s got some talent,” notes McIntosh, a seven-time winner of the Johnston Cup as the leading trainer in the Ontario Sire Stakes program. “He trained good on Wednesday and I expect he’ll race good. We made a little bridle change, opened him up a bit.”
Randy Waples will pilot Pasadena Star and Steve Condren will steer Tyrone Haji in the second race and the drivers will also be in the race bikes behind trotting fillies Chelseas Chance and Lenny Mac.
Chelseas Chance put together a regular season record of four wins and one second in five Grassroots starts for McIntosh and C S X Stables. The division point leader and Waples will start from post eight on Saturday and McIntosh is expecting her to be in the hunt.
“She trained extremely well on Wednesday,” says the trainer. “She’s got a really high burst of speed. She can go as fast as a hobbled pacer for an eighth of a mile.”
While Chelseas Chance has impressive tactical speed, McIntosh says the other half of his trotting filly entry is more of an endurance athlete.
“She’s a nice size filly, she’s great gaited and she can go the distance. The more they move along the better she is,” says the Hall of Fame horseman of Lenny Mac. “She has a good set of lungs on her.”
Lenny Mac posted three wins, one second and one fourth in her five regular season starts to finish 42 points behind her stablemate. McIntosh shares ownership of the filly with Earl Hill, Jr. and Condren will send her after a share of the C$50,000 purse from post one in race five.
In addition to his impressive contingent of trotters, McIntosh will also have a starter in the 2-year-old pacing colt and 3-year-old pacing filly championships.
Rather Swell and Randy Waples take on a talented group of freshman pacing colts from post one in the fourth race. In five regular season starts the Western Maverick son delivered one win, two seconds and two thirds to finish sixth in the point race.
“He tries very hard; he’s had a couple of issues,” says McIntosh, who owns Rather Swell with Dave Boyle. “I think he’ll be a Gold colt next year.”
Western Empress will wrap up the evening for the McIntosh stable, making her bid for the sophomore pacing filly crown from post three in the sixth race. In four Grassroots starts the filly, also by Western Maverick, posted two wins and two thirds for McIntosh, Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. and Larry Pollard.
“She has a super drive to her, a heart to her,” says McIntosh. “I look for her to race good Saturday.”
Waples guided the filly to her 1:51.3 personal best over the Mohawk oval in an Aug. 23 overnight contest and the pair will be looking to match that on Saturday.
Post time for Mohawk Racetrack’s Saturday evening program is 7:25 p.m. and the Grassroots Championships will be featured in races two through six and eight through 10.
For complete entries go to this link.