Ontario Sire Heritage Series Concludes Friday At Woodbine

A pair of main track stakes, the Lake Ontario and Ashbridges Bay, share top billing on Friday’s eight-race card at Woodbine.

The 1 1/16-mile Tapeta events represent the finale of the Ontario Sire Heritage Series, an eight-leg stakes series open to Ontario Sired 3-year-olds, contested at Woodbine and Fort Erie racetracks.

Ontario Racing and its Thoroughbred Improvement Program (TIP) Committee unveiled the series in March. With a total purse structure of $750,000, the Heritage Series showcases a total of four races – three opening legs and one final – for both three-year-old colts and three-year-old fillies who are sustained to the Ontario Sires Stakes program.

The $100,000 Lake Ontario, carded as race seven, has attracted a field of six colts & geldings, including Secret Reserve.

Trained by Mike Mattine for owners Carlo D’Amato and Stacey Van Camp, the son of Giant Gizmo is riding a three-race win streak heading into the Lake Ontario.

After a fifth to launch his 3-year-old campaign, Secret Reserve has made three straight trips to the winner’s circle, including victories in the seven-furlong main track Elgin Stakes on August 29, and most recently, a two-length score in the Lake Superior Stakes, run at seven panels over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course on October 22.

“Every one of the wins was different and special,” said Mattine. “He just keeps on improving. Last year as a baby, I could tell he was a good horse, when he started breezing. He’s been very good this year. When he goes out and trains, he’s all business.”

Friday’s engagement marks the first time Secret Reserve, bred by Dr. Brian Van Arem, will test two turns.

The dark bay arrives at the Lake Ontario in good order.

“He’s in good shape,” offered Mattine. “Obviously, we’ll have to see if he can get the distance. It’s going to be his toughest race so far. There are plenty of good horses in here. This is definitely his toughest test. Hopefully, he can perform just like he has in his last three starts.”

Secret Reserve debuted last September at Woodbine, recording a 2 ½-length win at 7-1 in the five-furlong Tapeta race.

The gelding has won his past three starts by a combined 10 lengths.

“He’s a nice horse and it helps that he’s Ontario-sired because he fits that program very well. He’s got good numbers, that part we know, but we’ll have to see how he handles two turns. It’s a tougher field, too, so we’ll hope he comes up with another big effort.”

Five fillies will face-off in the $100,000 Ashbridges Bay Stakes, slated as the first race.

Multiple stakes winner Lorena, trained and co-owned by Stuart Simon, goes after her fourth career added-money title.

A five-time winner from seven starts, the daughter of Souper Speedy won the Fury Stakes in July, the Algoma Stakes in August, and the Thunder Bay Stakes on October 22.

Red Equinox, winner of the Rondeau Bay Stakes on September 14 at Fort Erie, has three victories from seven races. The daughter of Signature Red is trained by Jamie Attard.

First post time for Friday’s card is 4:45 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com and the Dark Horse Bets app.

FIELD FOR THE LAKE ONTARIO

Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer

1 – Secret Reserve – Rafael Hernandez – Mike Mattine

2 – Artie’s Storm – David Moran – Paul Buttigieg

3 – Jelgo – Sahin Civaci – Matt Douglas

4 – Perfect Crime – Eswan Flores – Patrick Dixon

5 – Avoman – Patrick Husbands – Don MacRae

6 – Dragon’s Brew – Kazushi Kimura – Robert Tiller

FIELD FOR THE ASHBRIDGES BAY

Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer

1 – Jolene Jolene – Justin Stein – Harold Ladouceur

2 – Jilli Marie – Steven Bahen – Katerina Vassilieva

3 – Lorena – Gary Boulanger – Stuart Simon

4 – Practical Gizmo – Jodeien Anderson – Marjorie Paterson

5 – Red Equinox – Luis Contreras – Jamie Attard

The post Ontario Sire Heritage Series Concludes Friday At Woodbine appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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