Milton, ON — Two-year-old trotting colt Fashion Frenzie made the leap from the Grassroots to the Gold Series on Thursday (Aug. 20) and sailed around the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval to his fourth straight victory.
Coming off a track record performance in the July 25 Grassroots event at Hiawatha Horse Park and seven-length victories in overnight action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 4 and 11, fans made Fashion Frenzie and trainer-driver Dustin Jones their top choice in the first $79,800 Gold Series division.
Starting from post four, the Archangel-Striking fashion son and Jones were sitting on the outside in third when Venturesome reached the quarter in :27.1, but they had taken command by the :56.2 half. On top by two lengths at the 1:25.2 three-quarters, Fashion Frenzie dug in down the stretch to hold off a charging Full Of Muscles for a neck victory in 1:55.2. Tokyo Seelster finished third.
“That was actually the one I was worried about because I raced against him the week before and in the race he came the same last half as I did, on his fractions, and I thought he’d be tough,” said Jones about the stretch battle with Full Of Muscles. “So anyway, we got the job done. For a $7,000 yearling he’s got four starts, four wins and he’s got C$80,000 made, so pretty damn good. And he got stung pretty hard the first three-eighths of a mile. He got to the front just down the backstretch, first quarter in :27.1 I think, and we were marching, not too many would live after that the way he did, so I was pretty happy.”
Jones conditions Fashion Frenzie for Ecurie Francis Richard Inc., Ferme Auclair, Pierre Guillemette and Mario Bourgea. Francis Richard developed the youngster after his purchase at the London Selected Yearling Sale and sent him to Jones just after a July 4 qualifier at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres.
Jones qualified the colt twice, changing his shoes after Fashion Frenzie made a break in the first one, and then entered him for the second Grassroots leg. Since then the colt has done nothing but delight both trainer and owners.
“A $7,000 yearling, everybody hopes to have a Gold winner when you buy one, but you don’t expect them to do what he’s done so far. But that’s what the sales are all about and that’s what the business is all about. That’s what keeps the small owners dreaming, to get a horse like that,” said Jones. “The girl in the paddock beside us, she goes, ‘Is he a homebred?’ And I said, ‘No they bought him at the sale for $7,000,’ And she goes, ‘Darn, I could have bought the horse for that price.’ Everybody could have. I could have too, but I didn’t even look at him so there you go, it’s all about grabbing the right halter.”
With just the Ontario Sires Stakes on his schedule, Fashion Frenzie is now looking forward to a mid-season vacation before preparing for the last two Gold events on Sept. 19 at Woodbine Mohawk Park and Oct. 7 at Flamboro Downs.
In the second Gold division Macho Martini cruised to his fifth straight win and third Gold title. The heavy favorite and driver Bob McClure went straight to the front from post eight, romped through fractions of :29.2, :59 and 1:27.1 and then sailed home to a 1-3/4 length victory in 1:55.4. Emotions Riches finished second and Harry was third.
“He’s a very mature horse. I think he knows what he’s doing, he’s very comfortable right now,” said trainer Luc Blais, who conditions the Muscle Mass-Peach Martini son for Determination of Montreal. “You see tonight, :59 (half), he’s very easy. You can do what you want with him, that’s a plus for a horse, I think.”
Unlike Fashion Frenzie, in the coming weeks Macho Martini is eligible for a full slate of Grand Circuit events at Woodbine Mohawk Park, including the Aug. 27 Champlain Stakes, the William Wellwood Memorial, with eliminations Sept. 3 and the final Sept. 12, and Determination is the owner of one slot in the inaugural Mohawk Million on Sept. 26.
“We’ll see, we go week-by-week,” said Blais. “We have a big month now, it’s Champlain, after that it’s the Wellwood and million dollar race; he’s got lots of stuff coming, tough races. We’re going to go week-by-week and see how he is.”
Blais and his team will be focused on keeping Macho Martini in tip-top physical and mental condition, a task made easier by the colt’s easy-going attitude.
“He’s a happy camper, he’s a nice horse to be around,” said the trainer. “He’s got a good temperament, he’s a cool horse. He’s like more high, a little bit, than Forbidden (Trade), but they’ve got the same manner I think. I think that’s a sign of a good horse.”
Forbidden Trade was the Ontario Sires Stakes division champion at both two and three and the 2019 Hambletonian winner. If Macho Martini’s ability is also similar to his stablemate’s, Determination and the Blais stable could be in for an enjoyable autumn.