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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Molson Pace Preview

For those of us in the lower 48, the Molson Pace is a race which traditionally gets little attention; admittedly, if it doesn't happen in the United States, we tend to downplay it's importance.  Plus, let's not kid ourselves, if it doesn't happen at Mohawk or Woodbine, what kind of race can it be?

Well this is Ontario, and the 'minor' tracks are not so minor.  The Molson Pace has been raced since 1972 (originally known as the Labatt Pace) and tends to feature some of the best Canadian FFA pacers racing.  However, American horses do race in the the event and last year, Won The West was the victor of the Molson Pace in 1:52.

Well this year Won The West is not defending his title, but there are still a bunch of top horses showing up on May 20 for the elimination races.  Among the nominees are Annieswesterncard, Aracache Hanover, Atochia, Blueridge Western, Clear Vision, Foiled Again, Go Go Solano, Legal Litigator, Stonebridge Terror, Valentino, We Will See and many more.  By the time the eliminations are over on May 20, we will have one heck of a field for the final on May 27.  And like many tracks that have that 'special' race, the program that evening promises to be action packed with the best horses on the grounds racing on the under card.

Don't forget, HANA is having a Pick 4 (Win 4) "pool party" that evening to show it's support to Western Fair for cutting their Win 4 takeout rate from 25% to 15%.  Free programs will be provided and harness fans will be able to vote on which races in addition to the Molson Pace will comprise the Win 4 sequence.  If you have not yet voted on which races you want to be part of the Win 4, you may vote here.  Show you support for reduced takeouts by taking a stab at the Win 4 which features a guaranteed $10,000 pool.  First post on May 20 and May 27 is at 7:05pm.  If your ADW or simulcast location doesn't show Western Fair's races, they offer live streaming on their wesbsite.     

Kelly Spencer of Grand River Raceway had a spontaneous interview with Jim Carr who happened to come out for a night at the races.  As you may know, Jim Carr is the owner of last year's 2yo pacing champion Big Jim.  In the interview, Spencer asked Carr how he was able to turn down an offer of $1 million for a 25% share of Big Jim.  His rationale?  Sure, he thinks the price is not high enough considering what Big Jim can earn this year, but he is having fun with Big Jim and wants to be the one to decide where to race him, and if he wants to bring him back at four, he can without any complications.  We need more owners like Jim Carr.

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