DUNDAS, ON — He may not be the fastest colt in the three-year-old trotting colt division, or the flashiest, but O U Gus earned his first Gold Series victory at Flamboro Downs on Friday night by doing what he does best — delivering a solid, steady mile.
The Angus Hall son and regular reinsman Bill O’Donnell left out of Post 5 in the first $40,000 Gold Elimination and reached the quarter pole in :28.4. O U Gus continued to lead the field of six through a :59.2 half and a 1:29.3 three-quarters, then picked up the pace heading down the stretch and pulled away to a two and one-half length victory in 1:58.4.
Fan favourite Mccarron and Wildcat Shoes dropped in behind O U Gus at the start and played follow the leader around the Flamboro Downs half-mile to pick up the second and third-place cheques. Fourth-place finisher Hot And Coldplay rounded out the group that will return to the Dundas oval on Aug. 17 for the $140,000 Gold Final.
Trainer Jerry Duford and Glengate Farms, both of Campbellville, share ownership on O U Gus, who won his first two sophomore starts in overnight action at Mohawk Racetrack and has added two seconds and two thirds to his tally in 12 starts since. Friday’s victory was the young trotter’s first ever in Ontario Sires Stakes action. At two, the ultra-consistent O U Gus earned $201,507 without winning a race and wrapped up his Gold Series season as the number four colt in the division.
Hampered by outside post positions all season, O U Gus will start from Post 6 in the Gold Final.
Reigning Gold Final champion B Strike Three bounced back from his Canadian Breeders Championship loss to claim the other Gold Elimination trophy with a gate-to-wire effort in 1:58.
Regular pilot Rick Zeron guided the Striking Sahbra son through fractions of :28.4, :59 and 1:29.1, and then urged the trotter down the stretch as Define The World came snapping at their heels. Favourite Define The World had to settle for second, half a length behind B Strike Three, and the rivals were 11 and a half lengths ahead of third-place finisher Start Livin and more than 25 lengths ahead of fourth-placed Red Zeppelin.
Elora resident Raz Mackenzie trains B Strike Three for Ben Robards III of Shepherdsville, KY. Through nine starts this season the colt has now recorded six wins and two thirds for a total of $248,374, and is undefeated in Ontario Sires Stakes action.
B Strike Three and Define The World have been battling for supremacy all season, with B Strike Three triumphing in all their provincial match-ups, while Define The World has blazed the path in their other stakes engagements. In next Sunday’s Gold Final the pair will line up side-by-side, with Define The World getting Post 2 and B Strike Three returning to Post 3.
The Gold Final is part of Flamboro Downs’s outstanding Confederation Cup program, which will also feature a Gold Final for the two-year-old pacing colts.
Providing a counterpoint for the sophomore pacing colts who will compete in the Confederation Cup, Ontario’s talented three-year-old trotters will line up behind the gate as follows:
Post 1 — Hot And Coldplay
Post 2 — Define The World
Post 3 — B Strike Three
Post 4 — Mccarron
Post 5 — Red Zeppelin
Post 6 — O U Gus
Post 7 — Wildcat Shoes
Post 8 — Start Livin
AE1 — Shoeless White Sox
AE2 — Worthy Advantage
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rflmdfr.html.