DUNDAS, ON — Thursday afternoon at Flamboro Downs marks the final opportunity for Ontario’s three-year-old trotting colts to pad their Grassroots point tally, as the colts wrap up their regular season with four $24,000 divisions.
With a total of 75 points earned through his first three Grassroots appearances, J Cs Magic Man currently sits among the top 16 point earners, and owner Paula Wellwood says the gelding is finishing out the season in peak form.
“He’s finally learning how to race. He’s a slow learner, a very slow learner,” says the Cambridge resident with a chuckle. “He’s just slow at everything.”
Raced just twice at two due to an injury, J Cs Magic Man has tallied three wins, two seconds and one third in 12 starts this season. Eighth in his Grassroots debut at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 12, the long-legged trotter finished third at Clinton Raceway on Sept. 6, but was placed ahead to second, and then delivered a victory at Georgian Downs on Sept. 22 in a personal best 1:58.2.
“He’s a lovely horse, a gentle giant,” says Wellwood, who shares ownership on the Kadabra son with Stake Your Claim Stable of Secaucus, NJ. “He’s not the brightest bulb, but he is sweet, very loveable.”
J Cs Magic Man will make his fourth Grassroots start from Post 5 in the first Grassroots division, with trainer Mike Keeling handing the lines over to Brantford resident Scott Coulter.
Wellwood also owns a share of last year’s division champion Lukas Rossi, who has returned to his freshman form in recent weeks, winning his last two Grassroots starts. The Ron O’Neill trainee currently has 112 Grassroots points from his two victories and a third-place effort, and will try to add to that from Post 7 in the second $24,000 division.
“He has been racing well. He’s got it together,” notes Wellwood. “Ron (O’Neill) has changed a few things around. I know he is swimming him, and I do think that’s helped.”
Wellwood owned sire Roadshow Hall when Cambridge resident O’Neill and his partner Nancy Stephens of Woodstock started looking for a stallion to breed to their mare Pacific Jewel, and the trio worked out a partnership on the resulting foal. Last season Lukas Rossi scored five wins in eight starts for earnings of $68,300, and his owners would love to see the gelding surpass that tally this season. Through 13 starts he currently has three wins, one second and three thirds for earnings of $57,330.
Regular reinsman Randy Fritz will steer Lukas Rossi in the sixth race on Thursday.
The final entry Wellwood will be watching closely is Mutineer son Piracy, who makes his third Grassroots start from Post 8 in the tenth race, guided by Scott Coulter.
“Not a lot of ability and has over achieved,” says Wellwood of Piracy. “He has really exceeded what we ever thought he would do.”
Wellwood and her mother Jean Wellwood of Cambridge own Piracy, whose biggest accomplishment this season has come from his role as caregiver to the top rated three-year-old trotting filly Elusive Desire. The pair were matched up when Elusive Desire returned to the Mike Keeling barn from her winter vacation, and Wellwood says they are now inseparable.
“They live side-by-side, they go outside together, and they miss each other,” she explains. “It’s so funny, when they get home from racing they whinny, each one. Really, to watch them, it’s hilarious.
“She’s the total boss. She just dictates and he just follows her around. He even went on a two week holiday to The Meadowlands,” Wellwood adds, referring to Elusive Desire’s trip to The Meadowlands where she finished third by a head in the Hambletonian Oaks.
Through 22 starts Piracy has posted two wins, one second and nine thirds for earnings of $34,571. In his two Grassroots outings, the gelding has garnered one second and one fourth for a total of 33 points, with the fourth a sharp 1:58.2 effort at Georgian Downs on Sept. 22.
“He seems to have found another little wind,” notes Wellwood. “We never thought he would trot that fast.”
Piracy and his peers will attempt to continue their recent success on Flamboro Downs’s 1 pm program Thursday. The three-year-old trotting colts square off in Races 2, 6, 8 and 10.
For complete entries please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rgeodfsa.html.