WINDSOR, ON — While children across the province go door-to-door in pursuit of candy, Ontario’s talented two-year-old pacing colts will be vying for a sweet purse in Wednesday’s Gold Final at Windsor Raceway.
With only eight colts entered in the last Gold Series of the year, the purse money from the elimination was rolled into the Gold Final, making Wednesday’s contest worth a cool $234,313.
“I saw that two of the good horses, Keystone Horatio and Lennon Blue Chip, were in the Governor’s Cup, so I didn’t think it would be a full field,” says Donald Rankin Jr. “If we finish fifth we get $11,700, and I’d be real pleased if that happened.”
Rankin will harness Memory In Motion from Post 6 in the rich final, and emphasizes that his expectations for the novice pacer are modest. The son of Camotion and $304,285 winner Save The Memories heads into his second Gold Series start off a six week lay off due to sickness, and spent most of the season competing at the Grassroots level.
“I raced him at Mohawk in a Gold Elimination early in the season (July 15) and he didn’t race no heck so I scoped him,” recalls the McGregor, ON resident, who shares ownership on the colt with The Keltic Racers of Brighton, MI.
The test indicated that Memory In Motion was battling a virus, so Rankin laid him off for a month and dropped him down to the Grassroots program for his second provincial outing. The colt responded with a runner-up finish in his Grassroots division at Hanover Raceway on Aug. 18, just nipped at the wire by one of the top colts in the division.
Back at Mohawk on Aug. 26, Memory In Motion delivered an impressive 1:54.1 victory in a non-winners event, and then finished second in his second stab at the Grassroots program, touring the Hiawatha Horse Park oval in 1:54.3 on Sept. 8. Nine days later the young pacer finished fourth in a Grassroots split at Grand River Raceway, trailing home in :31.2, and Rankin had him scoped for a second time.
“I was disappointed with the way he raced,” recalls the trainer-driver. “I scoped him and initially they didn’t see anything, but I investigated further after I trained him, and I had to scratch out of Sudbury (Sept. 29). Then, subsequently, he wasn’t fit to race in Flamboro (Oct. 12).
“He’s a nice little colt, I’m not saying he’s a Gold horse, but we’re trying to salvage something out of the year,” he adds.
Rankin has spent the last six weeks working to restore the colt’s health, and hopes the return of Memory In Motion’s playful attitude is a sign that he is succeeding.
“He’s definitely feeling better around the barn. He’s a playful colt,” notes the horseman. “I took him in yesterday (Thursday) and trained him in 2:00.”
Rankin owns and trains Memory In Motion’s brother Savor The Memory ($550,177), and the horseman says that was the reason he offered up $7,500 for the youngster at last winter’s January Thaw Sale. As the colt grew and developed he started to display many of the same characteristics that his elder sibling possesses, and Rankin hopes he can also match Savor The Memory’s on track success.
The colt tackles a field of Gold Series veterans on Wednesday, including two-time Gold Final champion Deuce Seelster from Post 5. LaSalle resident Bob McIntosh will harness a pair of colts, Go West Young Cam and The Mohegan Pan, from Posts 7 and 8.
Post time at Windsor Raceway is 7 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 31, and the two-year-old pacing colts will battle for their last Gold Final title in Race 6.
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