INNISFIL, ON — Dave Menary’s two-year-old pacers dominated the Gold Series eliminations at Georgian Downs last weekend and the trainer says all four of his entries are in top shape heading back to the Innisfil oval for Saturday’s $130,000 Gold Finals.
“They all trained pretty good today (Wednesday),” says the Cheltenham resident, who will harness elimination winners Macharoundtheclock and Adventurepan in the pacing filly contest and elimination winner Windsong Jack and his stablemate Tarpon Hanover in the pacing colt battle.
Last weekend’s elimination victories by Macharoundtheclock and Adventurepan came as something of a relief to Menary, whose high expectations for both youngsters had been stymied for the last two months.
Macharoundtheclock opened her season in impressive fashion, capturing the $150,000 Battle of the Belles Final at Grand River Raceway in her third lifetime start, but had not been able to find her way back to the winner’s circle in the five starts that followed. In the September Gold Series event at Flamboro Downs, her first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, she finished a disappointing fifth in both her elimination and the final.
Randy Waples piloted Macharoundtheclock in last week’s Gold Elimination and Menary’s communication to the veteran reinsman centred around the filly’s need to advance on to this week’s final. After earning just 10 points in her first Gold Series appearance the daughter of Mach Three and Summers Soul was well short of the cut off for the post season, and Menary was convinced that she deserved to be part of the Nov. 10 Super Final.
Lining up behind Post 8, Waples sent Macharoundtheclock straight to the front and the filly controlled the tempo all the way to the finish, crossing the wire two and one-half lengths ahead of favourite Kims Royal Day and halting the Georgian Downs teletimer in a personal best 1:53.4.
“She really needed to get into the Final,” emphasizes Menary, who shares ownership of the filly with his father Larry Menary of Cheltenham, Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown and Denis Breton of Welland. “She’s back on the right path and I’m praying she stays that way for the rest of the year.”
Scott Zeron will steer Macharoundtheclock from Post 4 in Saturday’s $130,000 contest, while Waples aims for a second victory with Adventurepan from Post 6. Another daughter of Mach Three, Adventurepan also did her work on the front end in last week’s elimination. The 1:55.2 mile impressed her trainer, who was expecting the filly to be a little short on fitness in her first start since Aug. 18.
“She just had a mid-season bump in the road,” says Menary, who took over training duties from Ron Burke in late July. “She seems to be back on the right path now. Hopefully we can keep her that way.”
Peter Pan Stables Inc. of Pepper Pike, OH bred and own Adventurepan, who was also a Gold Elimination winner at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 15.
Unlike his feminine counterparts, elimination winner Windsong Jack has encountered few bumps in his freshman campaign. In nine starts the son of Santanna Blue Chip has logged four wins and four seconds, with his only miss coming in the Battle of Waterloo Final where he was placed from fourth to sixth for a pylon violation.
Last weekend the gelding rocketed around the Georgian Downs oval all alone on the front end, reaching the finish line five and one-half lengths ahead of his nearest competition in a personal best 1:53.3.
“I was very impressed with that mile,” says Menary. “I think he was the strongest finisher I’ve ever had in my life.”
The winner of the Sept. 15 Gold Final at Flamboro Downs, Windsong Jack will be looking for his second title from Post 5 on Saturday. Waples will be back in the race bike and Menary is expecting another big effort from the duo.
“Knock on wood, if he comes back the way he was last week, I don’t think anyone can catch him, including Tarpon Hanover,” says the horseman, who conditions the winner of $196,500 for his father, Ewen, Breton and Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Burford.
Tarpon Hanover, winner of the season opening Gold Final at Mohawk Racetrack in early July and the Battle of Waterloo final at Grand River Raceway in early August, finished fourth in his elimination last week and will be looking to improve on that result Saturday.
“I’ve been pretty easy on Tarpon Hanover for the last month. It’s been a long year for him,” says Menary, who owns the colt in partnership with Ewen, Brad Gray of Dundas and Bruce Norris of Caledon East. “But I trained him up harder today (Wednesday) than anybody. He was hard at it today.”
Regular reinsman Scott Zeron returns to the Badlands Hanover son’s race bike on Saturday and will be looking to make Menary eat his words from Post 6.
Georgian Downs sends its first race into the starter’s hands at 7:25 pm on Saturday and the two-year-old pacing fillies and pacing colts will star in Races 8 and 10, respectively.
For complete entries please go to Georgian Downs Entries — October 13, 2012