For the second straight year the Ontario Sires Stakes program will kick off its season during Flamboro Downs’ $425,000 Confederation Cup program, this Sunday, May 20.
Both the three-year-old trotting colts and pacing colts will open their provincial campaigns at the Dundas oval on Sunday, with the trotters battling for Grassroots glory in Races 1 and 3, and the pacers making their highly anticipated return to Gold Series action in Races 5, 8 and 11.
Headlining the pacing colt division is reigning Super Final champion Western Passage, who will start from Post 4 in the eighth race for trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge, her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, John and McKinlay Fielding of Toronto, and Calhoun Racing Ltd. of Chatham, Ontario.
“Western Passage trained back well,” said Coleman on Thursday. “I was disappointed in him his first start (May 12), I thought he should have won, so I made some changes and I expect him to be better Sunday, hopefully.”
A son of Coleman’s former champion Sportswriter, Western Passage heads into Sunday’s test off a pair of qualifiers at Woodbine Mohawk Park and a runner-up finish in a May 12 prep race at the Campbellville track. Doug McNair, who drove the gelding to both victories in his $206,980 freshman season, including a win over The Raceway at Western Fair District’s half-mile oval, will be in his usual place in Western Passage’s race bike on Sunday.
The outstanding program of harness racing will wrap up with the $182,500 Confederation Cup Final for four-year-old pacers in Race 12. McNair will steer elimination winner Western Joe from Post 7.
In between races Flamboro Down fans of all ages will enjoy a wide array of entertainment. Fans will have an opportunity to meet and reminisce with Somebeachsomewhere’s driver Paul MacDonell, who will sign a limited number of portrait cards of the late Ontario Sired superstar. Five lucky fans will also leave the Dundas oval as co-owners of a racehorse, courtesy of Flamboro Downs and TheStable.ca.
Olympic medal winning hockey players Renata Fast, Sarah Nurse and Laura Fortino will be on hand to show off their gold and silver medals and sign autographs, while a sports memorabilia auction will benefit the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. Stilt walkers, a Rodney Dangerfield impersonator and “Flamboro’s Famous Minis” are just some of the other between race entertainment options.
The Grassroots three-year-old trotting colts will raise the curtain on the evening’s festivities at 6 pm. For all the Confederation Cup night details visit Flamboro Downs — Confederation Cup.