CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Second off a tough trip in his elimination, Twin B Legend will be among the favourites in Saturday night’s two-year-old pacing colt Gold Final at Mohawk Racetrack, but if things do not work out for the pacer on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit trainer Jack Darling can always polish up his jumping saddle.
“I gave him to Laurie Bako to break and on the first day he called me and said, �I’ve got some bad news and some good news for you. The bad news is that I put him out in the paddock and he jumped the fence. The good news is that he cleared it,'” recalls Cambridge, ON resident Darling. “It was a five foot fence, so we knew we had an athlete on our hands.”
Darling says things did not get much easier for Bako, who spent endless hours and vast quantities of patience teaching Twin B Legend his early lessons. Once the gelding was ready to begin a regular training program he returned to Darling’s stable and the trainer says that while the young pacer has done nothing wrong, he is still a tricky horse to work with.
“He was gelded a few days after being born. There was something wrong with him, a hernia or something,” explains Darling. “It’s strange because you’d think being a gelding all his life he’d be calm, but he was a little different.
“He’s sort of a one man horse,” adds the trainer. “He’s fine as long as you move slowly around him.”
Randy Waples will steer Twin B Legend from Post 2 in Saturday’s $130,000 test and Darling says the Milton, ON resident is the perfect driver for the skittish youngster.
“We’ve been careful with him,” says the horseman. “I’m afraid that he could get a little hot if we get too rambunctious early.”
In last week’s elimination Waples and Twin B Legend started from Post 6 on a track rated one second slower than normal. Waples eased the gelding off the starting gate and was sitting seven lengths off the pace in sixth when heavy favourite Mystician reached the quarter pole in :27.4. Heading for the halfway marker Waples sent Twin B Legend to the outside lane, where they made steady gains on the leader through the remainder of the mile, sprinting home in :27.3 to finish second by one and three-quarter lengths.
“I couldn’t have been happier with him,” says Darling. “To be first over and keep coming through the lane like that, you can’t ask for anything more.”
Darling acquired Twin B Legend from last fall’s Canadian Open Yearling Sale, offering up $47,000 for the half-brother to his former Gold Series regular Twin B Survivor ($260,831) and last year’s two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots champion Twin B Warrior ($325,981). Darling says the son of Mach Three and $116,833 winner What An Attitude does not bear a physical resemblance to his half-siblings, but does seem to share their racing ability.
“Twin B Survivor was an Apaches Fame and he had that real showy Apaches Fame look, and Twin B Warrior was the same,” explains Darling, who was the under bidder to Burlington, ON resident Mac Nichol on Twin B Warrior at the 2008 sale. “This guy is kind of a real plain horse. He has a nice body, but a real plain head. He’s got the motor that they had though.”
Twin B Legend will be looking to show off his motor in the tenth race on Saturday, lining up alongside elimination winner Mystician who gets Post 1. The other elimination winner, Watermelonwine, will start from Post 8 while reigning Gold Final champion Mach Of Ballykeel gets Post 7.
Before the pacing colts step to centre stage on Saturday, the province’s top freshman pacing fillies will battle in their own $130,000 Gold Final.
Stonebridge Damsel made her Gold Series debut in last week’s elimination round and finished a strong runner-up to defending champ Lauren. This week the daughter of Mach Three and Stonebridge Madona will make her second start from Post 6 for trainer Frank Colville of Moffat, ON and owners High Stakes Inc. of Moffat, ON, Angie Stiller of Arva, ON and Barbara Bongiorno of Colts Neck, NJ.
“I think both my dad (Frank Colville) and Jack (Moiseyev) always thought she was hopefully a Gold filly, but we couldn’t work things out early in her schedule; she battled some sickness and we gave her some time off,” explains High Stakes co-owner Joanne Colville. “But after her last start at Mohawk (Sept. 9), it was credible enough to step up.”
Stonebridge Damsel finished second in the Sept. 9 start that earned her a ticket to the Gold Series, just a neck behind the winner in the 1:55.4 mile. Prior to that outing the filly, the first foal from a full-sister to $1 million winner Stonebridge Regal, had logged five third-place finishes in five starts, including a division of the Grassroots Series at Grand River Raceway on Aug. 11. In seven starts the consistent youngster has never finished worse than third.
“She has a little bit of an attitude, but that’s okay. You like to see the fillies with a little bit of spunk,” says Colville. “And she likes her work.”
Moiseyev and Stonebridge Damsel will line up beside reigning Gold Final champion Lauren (Post 7) in Saturday’s test, hoping to deliver another consistent result and add a few more points to their Gold Series tally. At the conclusion of the regular season, the top 10 point earners square off in the $300,000 Super Final.
In addition to the $130,000 Gold Finals, slated for Races 5 and 10, Mohawk Racetrack’s Saturday evening program also features the $372,000 Milton Stakes Final for aged pacing mares. Last week’s elimination was captured by former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Dreamfair Eternal. Post time for Saturday’s action-packed program is 7:30 pm.
For complete entries click: Mohawk Racetrack Entries — Sept. 25, 2010
To view Twin B Legend’s previous Gold Series starts click: Twin B Legend
To view Stonebridge Damsel’s previous OSS starts click: Stonebridge Damsel