TORONTO, ON — Oakville resident Rick Zeron has six shots at $300,000 during the Super Final Championships at Woodbine Racetrack this Saturday.
The veteran reinsman will steer six contenders for Ontario Sires Stakes glory on the rich evening of racing, starting with two-year-old trotting filly division leader Peach Martini.
“She feels good, she’s nice and sound, and she’s got a nice middle position. We look for good things from her,” says Zeron, who also trains and co-owns Peach Martini.
Through 10 starts this season the consistent daughter of Striking Sahbra and Armbro Martini delivered five Gold Series trophies into the hands of Zeron and his partners Stephen Waldman of Toronto, Michael Katz of Thornhill, ON, and Rojan Stables of Wilmington, DE. The filly won all four of her Gold Eliminations, and captured the last Gold Final with an impressive 1:57.2 effort from Post 10 at Woodbine.
While Zeron attended the Harrisburg, PA Yearling Sale this week, attempting to purchase next year’s division leader, his son Scott schooled Peach Martini in preparation for her last freshman outing.
“Scott schooled her for me on Tuesday and he was very pleased with her, with the way she trotted,” notes the trainer. “She was very, very good.”
Zeron will send Peach Martini after win number six from Post 5 in the first $300,000 Super Final of the evening on Saturday.
The reinsman will be back behind the number five in the second Super Final, steering two-year-old pacing filly Monkey On My Wheel for trainer Travis Umphrey of Guelph, ON and owner-breeder Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON. Since her September debut Monkey On My Wheel has accumulated three wins and three seconds, with the Mach Three daughter’s 1:54.1 personal best coming in a Gold Final victory at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 25.
“I was with Travis Umphrey down in Harrisburg and he said she’s right on her game,” notes Zeron. “And she drew a good spot too. I’m very happy with how we drew with her.”
Zeron is also expecting two-year-old pacing colt Watermelonwine to deliver a first class effort on Saturday. The Life Sign son has made steady improvement through the season, and Zeron and trainer Dave Menary recently put their heads together to make a few changes to the colt’s program.
“We just put our heads together to reach a good solution to get the best out of the horse,” explains Zeron, who steers the colt for owner Brad Gray of Dundas, ON. “I will be very disappointed if we don’t take a large chunk home with us Saturday.”
Watermelonwine will make his bid for a third freshman victory from Post 6 in the sixth race.
In the three-year-old pacing colt division, Mach Dreamer heads into the season finale atop the point standings with three Gold Elimination and two Gold Final wins, and Zeron will send the son of Mach Three after his ninth sophomore victory from Post 1.
Trainer Murray Brethour opted out of the Nov. 6 Gold Final at Western Fair Raceway to concentrate on prepping Mach Dreamer for Saturday’s Super Final, and owner-breeder Steven Scarff shuffled his horses to ensure the colt would have regular reinsman Zeron in the race bike.
“Mr. Scarff requested that I drive Mach Dreamer in the Super Final, and the only way to resolve that was to send Broadies Song back to Murray Brethour,” explains Zeron, who conditioned $163,730 winner Broadies Song through the regular season and would have been required to drive the Camluck son had he remained the gelding’s trainer. “I had no qualms with it. He went back about three weeks ago to Murray’s.”
Broadies Song will line up from Post 5 in the $300,000 skirmish and Scott Zeron, currently the top driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, will replace his father at the former Gold Final winner’s helm.
Two races later Zeron will be aboard Zorgwijk Kingpin in the three-year-old trotting colt Super Final, and the reinsman is hoping the sharp looking chestnut gelding can recapture some of the magic that propelled him to earnings of $244,716 last season.
“He was a great, great two-year-old, but Ronnie told me he had issues he’s had to deal with this year,” notes Zeron, who steers the Southwind Lustre son for trainer Ronnie MacLean. “Ronnie was real happy with getting into the Super Final, and he was telling me that Kingpin will be right on his game.”
Owners Murray Neilson, Scot Wood and Joseph Serratore of London, ON and Crown And Coke Stable of Ingersoll, ON will be cheering Zorgwijk Kingpin on from Post 4 in the ninth race on Saturday.
Zeron’s other Super Final Saturday mount is two-year-old trotting gelding Tymal Colossus, who will benefit from Post 2 in a talent laden field.
“He’s a nice two-year-old trotting colt,” says the driver. “I think he’s going into Saturday as an under dog, but with two-year-olds anything can happen.”
London, ON resident Jack Wray trains Tymal Colossus and shares ownership on the gelding with Scott Wray of London. The Striking Sahbra son’s best efforts in Gold Series action were a second and third in his July 12 and Oct. 14 Gold Eliminations at Mohawk.
Tymal Colossus will be lined up alongside reigning Gold Final champion Air Stewart, who has Post 3, and three-time Gold Final winner Buckhams Bay, who gets Post 4. John Smith conditions Buckhams Bay, and says the division point leader should be ready to rumble.
“I think he’s ready to race, but I imagine they all are,” says the Woodlawn, ON resident. “When you get a field of horses like this you need a little racing luck. We’ve started off with a little; we’ve got a decent post.”
Smith bred the son of Ken Warkentin and his top flight broodmare Merles Image, and sold the long legged trotter to Courant AB of Halmstad, Sweden in August. The colt’s new owners will be in attendance on Saturday, and Smith is hoping they have a chance to cheer their acquisition home.
“I think they booked a flight,” notes the trainer. “I hope he does them some justice.”
Buckhams Bay raced eight times in the Gold Series program this season, scoring six wins and two seconds. The colt heads into Saturday’s test off his only loss in Gold Final action, but Smith says the runner-up effort on Oct. 21 was simply a result of poor racing luck.
“I wasn’t disappointed in the horse at all, just with the way the race went,” says Smith, who had an inkling things might not go his way when Buckhams Bay and driver Jacques Hebert were parked to the :27.3 first quarter coming out of the nine hole. “I thought he raced real good.”
The versatile young trotter and Hebert will be aiming for a share of the $300,000 Super Final lucre in the fifth race on Saturday.
Woodbine Racetrack’s first race parades in front of the grandstand at 7:30 pm on Saturday, and the province’s most gifted two and three-year-old trotters and pacers will battle for a total of $2.4 million in Races 3 through 10.
To watch all the regular season Gold Series races click: Regular Season Results
For complete entries click: Woodbine Racetrack Entries — Nov. 13, 2010