Over $114,000 is up for grabs in stakes action at Kawartha Downs on Saturday, Aug. 15 as Ontario’s top three-year-old trotting colts arrive at the Fraserville oval for the third leg of their Grassroots campaign.

Local colt Awesomedabra heads into the event with a flawless record of two wins in the first two legs for a share of top spot in the division point standings. In his most recent start the Kadabra gelding finished second in the Aug. 1 Dream Of Glory Final at Hanover Raceway, drawing in off the also eligible list after two horses were forced to withdraw from the final due to sickness, something owner-trainer Gary Lance was dealing with before the elimination.

“He was sick the week before and he just wasn’t himself,” said Port Perry, ON resident Lance. “Luckily he drew in. He was the second also eligible and he drew in, you don’t see that happen very often, and he raced good. Chris has done a great job with him.”

Awesomedabra will be without regular pilot Chris Christoforou, currently sidelined with injuries suffered at the beginning of the month, but top Kawartha Downs reinsman Nick Boyd will step in to steer the gelding from Post 4 in the fourth Grassroots division. The pair face a stiff test, starting in between last year’s Grassroots champion and current Gold Series regular Lovedbythemasses, trained and co-owned by Peterborough resident Ed Peconi, at Post 3 and Dream Of Glory champion and division co-leader Remember Titans at Post 5.

“We kind of drew in a little tough on Saturday, but you never know. That’s why they give the money out after the race,” said Lance with a chuckle. “Hopefully we’ll have some luck.”

So long as Awesomedabra emerges happy and healthy from Saturday’s start he will embark on a new adventure next week. The gelding was bred and raised in Kentucky and as a result he is also eligible to that state’s sires stakes program.

“I’m going to send him down to Anette Lorentzon. There’s only 46 colts eligible and I’ve be been keeping track of them all spring and summer, so I think he’ll be competitive. He’ll go down there probably Monday or Tuesday and then he’s got three races, and hopefully he’ll make the final, and then he’ll be back here for the (Grassroots) Semi-final (Oct. 2),” explained Lance. “I just wanted to do it for the experience. I go to the sale all the time and watch the races during the Grand Circuit and I would have just loved to go down there and race one, but unfortunately with this COVD it’s not worth taking the chance.”

Before heading south, Awesomedabra will look to pad his Grassroots point total in Saturday’s fifth race. The other Grassroots divisions are slated as Races 1, 2, 4, and 6 on the program, which also features a single $7,200 Prospect Series division for Ontario Sired two-year-old trotting fillies in Race 8. Post time for the stakes laden program is 4 pm.

With on-track attendance limited to 100, fans can download a program and catch all the stakes action via the live stream on the Kawartha Downs website.

In addition to Saturday’s stakes action, Kawartha Downs also has three more Prospect Series legs on its 2020 calendar. The two-year-old trotting colts and three-year-old pacing fillies will battle in their fourth leg on Saturday, Aug. 22 and the two-year-old pacing fillies will square off in leg four on Saturday, Sept. 5.


Featured Image: Chris Christoforou drives three-year-old trotting gelding Awesomedabra to a Grassroots win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 16, 2020. (New Image Media)