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Sportswriter sons dominate in OSS opener
Friday, July 07, 2017 - from the Ontario Sire Stakes

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Toronto, ON --- Sons of Ontario sire Sportswriter put on a show at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening (July 7) in the first Gold Series event for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings.
A total of 10 Sportswriter offspring went postward in two C$97,200 Gold Series divisions and it was Dancin Doug who emerged from the first battle with a Gold trophy.

Starting from post four the colt, in rein to Doug McNair, landed third and watched from a respectful distance as fan favorite Taste Of History and second choice Simple Kinda Man rocketed out to a :25.3 opening quarter, a :53.4 half and a 1:22.3 three-quarters. Rolling off the last turn McNair tipped Dancin Doug around the exhausted leaders and the fans’ third choice paced down the stretch to a one-length win in 1:52.2. Western Passage and Lucky Sport, also sons of Sportswriter, closed well to finish second and third.

 
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Dancin Doug paced to a one-length win in OSS action on Friday at Mohawk Racetrack.

“I actually thought I had him up too close because the speed was real hot,” said McNair. “But he kept up and he did everything I needed him to do.”

McNair crafted Dancin Doug’s first lifetime win for trainer Ron Adams of LaSalle and owners David Kryway of Amherstburg and numbered company 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor, Ont. The partners acquired the half-brother to C$1.5 million winner Dancin Yankee at the 2016 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale for $95,000 and have recouped C$50,280 through the youngster’s first two starts.

Friday's outing was the fourth time McNair has sat in a race bike behind Dancin Doug and the Guelph, Ont. resident has been slightly more impressed with the colt after each outing.

“I schooled him about a week before he qualified. They told me to go in 2:05 and I went in 2:00, but he just did it so handy,” McNair recalled. “And then — I knew he had a little go to him, I didn’t know how much go he had — and then after the first qualifier (June 10) obviously, last quarter in :26 flat, you know that’s pretty good speed. A lot of horses can go in :27 and a piece or :28 last quarter, but :26 flat in the first start is pretty impressive.

“He’s a big horse, he’s nice gaited and he’s smart. I mean it’s still early, but he’s doing everything right.”

Four races later the second group of novice pacers lined up behind the Mohawk Racetrack starting gate and once again it was Sportswriter sons crossing under the wire first. Fan favorite Goth Hanover took control early and led a parade of colts through a :27 quarter, :55.3 half and 1:23.4 three-quarters. Goth Hanover was being shadowed by Atomic Seelster and Sports Legend and as the leader squared up in the stretch both colts were preparing their charge. Laying down a :27.4 final quarter, it was Sports Legend who reeled in Goth Hanover, scoring a one-half length victory in 1:52.2. Atomic Seelster, a son of Shadow Play, finished third.

Like Dancin Doug, Sports Legend prepped for Friday's Gold test with a 2-year-old event at Mohawk on June 30, finishing second, but Mohawk fans overlooked the gelding, sending him off as their seventh choice. Even trainer Richard Moreau admitted that he was a bit surprised by the pacer’s victorious effort.

“They deal with the babies all winter and they had good expectations for this horse,” said the Puslinch, Ont. resident, who conditions Sports Legend for Gestion J Y Blais Inc. of Montreal and welcomed the gelding to his barn just before his June 24 qualifier at Mohawk. “I didn’t really believe until tonight.”

Milton, Ont. resident Sylvain Filion piloted Sports Legend to the win and noted that the gelding was significantly improved over his maiden outing.

“Last week he raced pretty good, but he got bumpy late because he lost his momentum, if he doesn’t do that last week he’s way closer to the leader you know,” explained Filion from the winner’s circle. “But tonight he was pacing way better and he raced big.”

The first foal from C$258,417 winner Island Terror, Sports Legend was a $50,000 purchase from the 2016 Harrisburg Yearling Sale and has earned C$52,100 in his first two starts.

The 2-year-old pacing colts will return to Mohawk Racetrack for their second Gold Series event on July 20.


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