ELORA, ON — Whether Pointe Of Honour delivers an impressive showing in his Tuesday, July 29 Gold Elimination at Grand River Raceway, or comes home a vanquished warrior, trainer Paula Wellwood does not expect the two-year-old trotter’s status in her Cambridge barn will wane in the least.
“He’s a lovable big fellow. He likes a lot of attention and he’s very friendly. He’s spoiled, to be quite honest; a barn full of girls will do that,” says Wellwood wryly. “And he’s very handsome, and he knows he’s pretty nice looking.
“We have him at the front of the barn where everybody sees him and his head is out of his stall constantly,” she adds.
Fortunately for Pointe Of Honour, he seems to have the talent to go along with his handsome face. The son of Striking Sahbra and $246,422 winner Garland Bonita has two solid qualifying efforts under his belt over the Mohawk Racetrack oval. On July 7 he stepped to a 2:04 mile, finishing third, and on July 14 he delivered an impressive 2:01.1 victory over a track rated one second slower than normal.
The first qualifier came before the Gold Series season opener, but after talking things over with her partner, and the colt’s driver, Paul MacDonell, Wellwood opted to skip the July 15 Kawartha Downs event in favour of a second qualifier.
“I could have had him ready,” explains Wellwood. “But we felt another qualifier would be more beneficial.”
Instead, the half-brother to $225,757 winner Abbey Craig will make his provincial debut from Post 4 in the third of three $40,000 Gold Eliminations at Grand River on Tuesday. Wellwood was satisfied with the colt’s draw, preferring that the leggy youngster start more toward the outside of the track, rather than the inside.
“I’m a little concerned, because he’s such a big colt, I’ll be honest,” admits the trainer, who purchased Pointe Of Honour for $85,000 at last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale. “But it’s his first start, and he’ll be raced accordingly. There’s no pressure, it’s just a race, and there are many bigger things later in the year.”
Among the colts that Pointe Of Honour and Guelph resident MacDonell will face in Tuesday’s contest are two other newcomers to the Gold Series, Grassroots division winner Dashing Earl — who will start from Post 3 — and three colts making their second Gold Series start.
Rosesbowls MVP finished third in the July 22 Gold Final and will start from Post 5 in Grand River’s third race Tuesday, Maestro Springs finished eighth in his July 15 Gold Elimination and gets Post 6, and Sin To Win was ninth in the elimination round at Kawartha and will start from the outside Post 7.
Reigning Gold Final champion Senator Hall will benefit from Post 2 in the first elimination, a race stacked with seasoned provincial competitors. The second elimination features Hitithard, who posted a track record in the Gold Consolation at Kawartha Downs and will start from Post 3 in his bid for a top three finish Tuesday.
The top three finishers from each $40,000 Gold Elimination will return to Grand River Raceway on Monday, Aug. 4 for their $120,000 Gold Final, part of the track’s exciting Industry Day festivities. Among the other events at the Elora oval on its Civic Holiday Monday matinee is the $300,000 Battle of Waterloo for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing colts.
Post time for Tuesday’s program is 7:30 pm, with the two-year-old trotting colts kicking things off in Races 1, 2 and 3.
For complete entries please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/entries/data/egrvrtu.html.