CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Driver Paul MacDonell says three-year-old trotter Define The World is a confident horse heading into Sunday’s Gold Final, and the Guelph resident says that confidence should be of some concern to the gelding’s peers as they head back to Mohawk Racetrack for the $140,000 showdown.
“He’s brave, you know. He’s got a lot of confidence, he thinks he can beat everybody,” explains MacDonell. “It means a lot to a horse’s psyche when they come into a race feeling that good about themselves.”
Define The World’s confidence stems from a three race win streak that started with a 1:54.2 Ontario Sires Stakes record in the Aug. 17 Gold Final at Flamboro Downs. Since then the Duke Of York son has captured his division of the Simcoe Stake at Mohawk on Aug. 30, and last weekend’s Gold Elimination at the Campbellville oval.
Through 17 starts this season Define The World has posted a record of 10 wins and five seconds. The gelding has failed to bring home a cheque on just one occasion, in the season opening Gold Series Elimination at Mohawk on May 18, and has banked a total of $404,751 for owner and breeder Al Libfeld of Pickering. Raced four times as a two-year-old, MacDonell says the gelding just needed to gain some experience this season before cracking the winner’s circle in the major stakes events.
“Last year he didn’t have that much experience, so he was a little slow out of the gate his first few starts, but his last three or four have just been great,” says the reinsman. “He was a little green, a little dumb, but he’s got the idea now.”
MacDonell will send the gelding after his second Gold Final title from Post 9 on Saturday, but the horseman does not see the outside post playing a major role in the outcome of the race.
“I can’t see that being a concern. It hasn’t been up to now,” he elaborates. “He is equally as good off the pace as he is on the front.”
Another successful outing on Sunday may land the John Bax trainee in the toughest race of his career. Owner Libfeld is considering putting up the $50,000 necessary to supplement Define The World to the Oct. 4 Kentucky Futurity at Lexington’s famed Red Mile. MacDonell will already be in Lexington steering three-year-old pacing colt powerhouse Somebeachsomewhere, and he feels Define The World has also earned a crack at North America’s best.
“I think he deserves the shot,” opines the driver. “He just seems to be getting better all the time. You have to be enthused about a horse like that.”
MacDonell gives credit to Bax for the gelding’s ongoing improvement, noting that horses Bax trains often follow the same pattern.
“It’s the John Bax way. His horses are trained for the whole season. They are never tired at the end of the year,” says MacDonell. “They have a lot of grounding under them.”
The driver will hope to put that foundation and Define The World’s growing experience to good use on Sunday. Among the colts he will have an eye peeled for in the fifth race are the other elimination winner Striking Rich from Post 4, and last year’s Ontario Sires Stakes champion Windsong Espoir, making his third start back off a two and a half month lay off from Post 6.
The sophomore trotting colts will battle for Gold Final supremacy in Race 5 on Mohawk Racetrack’s Sunday evening program, which gets under way at 7:30 pm.
For complete entries please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/entries/data/emohssu.html#N5.