Glouster, ON — Rideau Carleton Raceway raises the curtain on its 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes season this Sunday (July 21), featuring the province’s top three-year-old trotting colts in three Grassroots and three Gold Series divisions.
With a flawless record of two wins in two Gold Series starts, Southwind Avenger heads into Sunday’s test atop the sophomore trotting colt standings and co-owner Mel Hartman is hoping the gelding can maintain his momentum from post five in the second C$71,467 Gold division.
“It should be good racing this week, I see they have three divisions there,” said the Ottawa, ON resident. “He’s not the greatest trucker in the world, but hopefully he’s fine. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope that he races good.”
Southwind Avenger will be heading to Ottawa on Sunday from trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman’s Ontario base in Cambridge. The E L Titan son made a foray south of the border last weekend for the July 13 Stanley Dancer at The Meadowlands where he finished fourth, 12 lengths behind heavy favorite Greenshoe.
“His last start he raced with Greenshoe, who’s probably going to be the best trotter of all time,” said Hartman of the gelding’s New Jersey start. “He was eligible to the Hambletonian (at The Meadowlands), but we brought him back home to race him in the Ontario Sires. In Ontario, he’s very competitive, and he’s a pleasure to own, that’s for sure.”
Regular reinsman Trevor Henry will make the trip to Rideau Carleton to steer Southwind Avenger for Hartman and his partners David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY. The pair will face off against five challengers in the ninth race, including third-ranked point earner Magical Journey from Post 6 and fifth-ranked Dream Nation from Post 3.
The other two Gold Series divisions go post ward as Races 6 and 12 while the Grassroots competitors will battle in Races 1, 4 and 7. The colts will kick off Rideau Carleton Raceway’s Sunday evening program at 6:30 pm. Complete entries are available here.
In addition to Sunday’s contest, the Ottawa oval will also Gold and Grassroots action for the three-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday, August 25.