SUDBURY, ON — A trio of $24,000 Grassroots divisions for the talented three-year-old trotting colts headline the Sudbury Downs program this Saturday, and all of the top colts will be in town hoping to secure a few more points toward the lucrative post season.
With 62 points earned in the first half of the season, trainer Ted Jacobs knows Assignment is going to need a few more to lock up a berth in the Semifinal for the second straight year. At two the son of Ken Warkentin captured his Semifinal over London’s Western Fair Raceway half-mile and finished third in the $100,000 Championship, and Jacobs would love to see him have a chance to match that result.
“He just missed in the $100,000 final last year, and he’s picked it up a little bit,” says the St. Catharines resident. “We’re hoping we can make the final this year; get enough points.”
Assignment faces a tough task in the second division on Saturday, making his bid for a top five finish from the outside Post 8. The colt has seen more of the outside half of the starting gate this season than the inside, and has still managed to post a record of two wins, four seconds and one third in seven starts, adding another $41,880 to the $75,000 he earned at two. In his most recent outing, an Aug. 12 overnight at Mohawk Racetrack, Assignment and driver Chris Christoforou started from Post 9 and sprinted down the stretch to secure a neck victory in 1:56.2. Two weeks earlier the colt and driver Randy Waples started from the same post at Mohawk and employed the same strategy to achieve the same result in a personal best 1:55.3.
“He took a new record of 1:55.3 out of the nine-hole at Mohawk and he really went a big mile,” says Jacobs, who conditions the colt for owner-breeder Glen Campbell of Kingston, ON.
“He seems to know how to get up the stretch. He’s come some good last quarters,” adds the horseman.
Jacobs, who will steer the colt himself on Saturday, says Assignment’s success from the outer half of the starting gate this season stems from the colt’s ability to tough it out in the outer flow of a race. The veteran reinsman says the lanky youngster should be able to handle whatever the rest of the field throws at him on Saturday.
“He’s kind of a grinder type of horse, he doesn’t need a perfect trip,” Jacobs explains. “It takes him a while to get going, but once you get him going he just keeps coming.”
Although Assignment is a tough customer on the racetrack, Jacobs says the colt is more like a pussy-cat around the barn.
“For the size of him, he’s just a nice, big quiet horse,” says the trainer. “He hasn’t got a mean bone in his body.”
Jacobs says the colt is easy to ship and will be heading north either Friday evening or early Saturday morning, in time for an afternoon nap before he takes on the sixth race field. Among the colts Assignment faces in the second Grassroots division are locally-owned Windsun Tudor, who will start from Post 1 for owner-trainer-driver Wayne MacLean of Chelmsford, and the number four colt in the standings, Major Herbie, who will start from Post 3.
Sudbury Downs sends its first race behind the gate at 7:15 pm, and turns the spotlight on the province’s talented three-year-old trotting colts in Races 4, 6, and 8.
To view Assignment’s previous Grassroots starts please go to: Assignment
For complete entries please go to: Sudbury Downs Entries — Aug. 20, 2011