ELORA, ON — On Monday night, 17 colts and 25 fillies will vie for a spot on center stage of Grand River Raceway’s marquee event, Industry Day.
While the 25th anniversary of the horse racing industry celebration is on August 3, finalists in the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles will be decided on July 27, as the Elora, ON track hosts a total of five elimination rounds.
BATTLE OF WATERLOO
Two elimination divisions of the Battle Of Waterloo (for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing colts) are carded for races two and seven. The top four finishers from each division, plus one of the two fifth-place finishers (as determined by draw) will advance to the $207,397 final of the 18th annual Battle Of Waterloo on August 3.
Trainer Bob McIntosh and driver John Campbell won the 2014 Battle Of Waterloo with Go Daddy Go, and look to double-up with Think On It in the first division. The homebred son of Ponder won an Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Grassroots event at Mohawk in 1:54 on July 10. He was fourth a week later in a Gold Series event at the same locale. This will be his first race on a half-mile track and he’ll start from post position one.
Sizing him up from post two is the Tony O’Sullivan starter Semi Automatic. While still on the hunt for his maiden-breaking win, the Badlands Hanover son has amassed $30,100 with a runner-up and third-place finish in two OSS Gold Series events. James MacDonald will steer.
With $44,870 banked in three starts, Carolina Hurricane is the most accomplished earner of the bunch. He’ll start from post six for trainer Ron Adams. The Sportswriter gelding was a speedy runner-up in his last two assignments.
In race seven, Cambridge, ON trainer Casie Coleman conditions the 2-1 early favourite, A Bettors Risk. The Bettors Delight son made a costly miscue getting away from the gate in his career debut at Mohawk Racetrack on July 17 but made a massive recovery in that mile to finish second. He’ll start from the coveted rail position in Monday’s second division.
To his right, Stonebridge Beach will be on the hunt for his first win in four starts. Stephane Pouliot will drive the pacer for trainer Stephane Larocque. Stonebridge Beach rallied nicely to finish third in an OSS Gold Series event on July 18. The freshman is a Mach Three brother to the late great Art Colony (a winner of $863,000 in 13 races) and commanded a yearling price of $48,000 at the 2014 Forest City Sale.
Jimmy Takter hopeful Cruise Patrol will start from post three. The Bettors Delight colt qualified in 1:56.1 over The Meadowlands and finished a close second in his first start at the New Jersey track a few weeks later. He had a rough trip in last week’s Canadian debut in the OSS Gold Series at Mohawk Racetrack, but finished fifth just three lengths behind the winner. Cruise Patrol was a $60,000 yearling purchase in Lexington, KY.
BATTLE OF THE BELLES
Three elimination divisions of the Battle Of The Belles (for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing fillies) are carded for races one, three and six. The top three finishers from each division will advance to the $140,246 final of the 7th annual Battle Of The Belles on August 3.
Heavenly Hill is one of five starters in the Belles elims for Cambridge, ON trainer Dave Menary, who won the final in 2012 with Macharoundtheclock. Jody Jamieson will steer Heavenly Hill from the trailing position (post #9) in the first division. The duo finished second in an OSS Grassroots event last week at Georgian Downs, and won the filly’s maiden trip in 1:54.2 on July 9 at Mohawk Racetrack.
Menary’s others hopefuls are: second division starters Free Show — the early favourite and richest of the field with earnings of $35,000 — and OSS Grassroots winner Twin B Virtue starting from outside post #8; third division starters Vermillion Bird (post #3) and outside starter Maniana which was a lapped-on runner-up in last week’s OSS Gold Series event.
Twenty Three Red is the early favourite from post seven in the first division. The Mach Three miss let a late lead slip away in her most recent OSS Gold Series start and settled for third. Monday will mark her first start in the barn of Cambridge, ON trainer Joe Pereira.
Among her competitors, Boozer Bruiser boasts the quickest mile to date with an impressive 1:54.1 clocking in an OSS Grassroots maiden win at Mohawk Racetrack. She was a runner-up last week for trainer Louis Eftimiadis and driver Mike Saftic, who will send her from post #2 on Monday.
Bold Amoretto was the winner of last week’s OSS Grassroots event in 1:56.1. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, the Big Jim filly was a $52,000 yearling purchase. Her dam, Armbro Amoretto, was Canada’s top two-year-old filly in 2002 and winner of $1.6 million during her own illustrious career. Bold Amoretto will start from post four in Monday’s second division.
Trainer Tony O’Sullivan of Puslinch, ON and driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON won the 2014 edition of the Battle Of The Belles with Win The Gold. The pair are vying to replicate that victory with Win The Gold’s full sister, Golden Idol. She was a solid runner-up in a sharp clocking two starts ago, but finished fifth by eight lengths in last week’s OSS Gold Series event. The Sportswriter filly starts from post #1 in Monday’s final division.
Keystone Paula has earned $40,600 in just two career starts for trainer Ervin Miller. She’s the richest of all 25 fillies after a two-length OSS Gold Series win in 1:54.1 at Mohawk Racetrack on July 6. She was fourth in her follow-up two weeks later. The projected early favourite of race six, she’ll start from post position five with driver Sylvain Filion.
POST POSITION DRAW
Starting positions for the finals of the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles will be determined during a post position draw which will be conducted and broadcast live following race eight on July 27.
Grand River Raceway’s Industry Day Celebration on August 3 features a 12-race card which also includes racing under saddle, consolation races for the Battles, and a Gold Leg for three-year-old pacing fillies in the Ontario Sires Stakes. Festivities and the TV broadcast kick off at 1:00 p.m. Post time for the first race is 1:30 p.m.
For complete event details, visit http://industrydaycelebration.com/
Post time for race one of Monday’s elimination races is 6:30 p.m.