Innisfil, ON --- Noted trainer Dustin Jones has two starters entered this weekend in Ontario Sires Stakes on Saturday (July 12) and Sunday (July 13) at Georgian Downs. One colt he’s known from birth, the other he just met this week.
The Sherbrooke, Quebec, native who now resides in Waterdown, Ontario, will know more about their racing potential after the two perform in the first OSS Gold and Grassroots events for 2-year-old trotting colts on Saturday and Sunday at the Innisfil,
First up are the Grassroots rookies on Saturday night where they’ll contest five C$18,000 divisions in races one, two, four, six and seven. Jones’ starter, The Great Bambino, will leave from post three in the sixth race with Jones himself at the lines.
|New Image Media photo|
|Dustin Jones has two starters entered this weekend in Ontario Sires Stakes at Georgian Downs.|
“I’ve only had him for five days so I can’t tell you much. They told me to make sure his hobbles are tight, so hopefully I’ll get that right,” laughed Jones of the Deweycheatumnhowe colt who was sent to him by US based trainer Dan Daley. The Great Bambino will be making his racing debut in Saturday’s contest.
“He’s owned by Sam and Mike Sergi (of New York). I’ve known them for a long time and I drove for Sam in Quebec for many years,” noted Jones who moved his racing operation to Ontario several years ago.
Jones is far more familiar with his starter in the Gold event the following evening at Georgian where the youngsters will square off in a trio of C$70,000 divisions in races one, three and six. Jones’ homebred colt is Dont Rush, a son of former European star
Infinitif, who will leave from post two in the second division.
“Jean Pierre Dubois (the highly regarded French horseman who raced Infinitif) is a good friend of mine. A couple of years ago we were sitting together on a bale of hay waiting to race our fillies in the Hambletonian Oaks. I had Martiniontherocks and he had Crys Dream. He offered me breedings to any one of his three stallions and I went with Infinitif,” Jones explains.
“I got this colt and a filly called Take Action who I’ll be racing in the first Grassroots event for fillies (on July 15 at Mohawk). They were both raised at Jeff Ruch’s place and I liked them so much I would have bred right back to the horse but he wasn’t standing in Ontario any more.”
The colt’s dam is the unraced Muscles Yankee daughter Color Me Pretty.
“My brother (Michael) raced her dam, and she helped him buy his house. This colt is the best one she’s had,” noted Jones.
Dont Rush trained down very well for Jones who keeps a close eye on him off the track as well as on.
“He likes to bite and if you walk behind him, he’ll kick you. You just need to be careful. He’s not mean, just playful. But he’s perfect on the racetrack so I’ll put up with it,” he explained.
Dont Rush made his first lifetime start in a qualifier at Mohawk on June 27 where he finished second by a neck. When he didn’t draw in to race at Mohawk the next week Jones entered him at Georgian on July 5 where he finished second, timed in 2:01.2.
“He raced really well, enough for me to put him in the Gold.”
Jones has a history of conditioning top trotters including former Canadian Horse of the Year Emilie Cas El (dam of this year’s outstanding trotter Trixton), Uhadadream, Wheeling N Dealin and Prestidigitator. This year he also has a top pacer in the stable in Nat A Virgin, a filly he owns with fellow breeder Lynn Jones. She’s won $108,056 in just five starts this year at three and was second in her most recent test, the $420,900 Fan Hanover final.
To date Jones has had three starters in the prestigious Hambletonian. Next year Don't Rush could be his fourth.
“I’ve kept him eligible. I’ve raced a Quebec-bred in it before with Uhadadream. You have to be a dreamer in this business and you can’t be in it unless you’re eligible.”
For the time being though Jones will concentrate on the Ontario Sires Stakes with his homebred.
The full program for both Saturday (post time 7:15 p.m.) and Sunday at Georgian Downs featuring the OSS rookie trotters is available through the links below.