King Causeway, a three-year-old son of Giant Gizmo, rolls into Saturday’s $100,000 Vice Regent Stakes at Woodbine on a winning note.
It will be a special moment in the career of conditioner John Ross when the gates open on the Vice Regent, a one-mile event for Ontario-sired three-year-olds, which will be contested on the Toronto oval’s Inner Turf.
“It’s a little horse I bred,” started Ross. “This is my first homebred, so it’s a little bit exciting for me and Doug Carter (who co-bred and co-owns the colt). It’s kind of exciting to see this horse break his maiden in his last race, and he looks like he belongs in that Ontario-sired race.”
Owned by JC Stable and Carter, King Causeway arrives at Saturday’s stakes off a strong effort on August 18 at Woodbine. Under Leo Salles, who’ll be aboard again in the Vice Regent, the chestnut, from post 11, rallied impressively in the 1 1/16-mile Tapeta race to notch a 1 ¼-length victory.
“When we went long with him, no doubt you could see the great acceleration he had – that’s what I liked about him,” said Ross.
King Causeway debuted in a six-furlong race over the Woodbine Tapeta on July 14. Sent off at odds of 10-1, he rallied strongly down the lane to finish third, albeit just a neck away from claiming top spot.
In his second start, he was fourth in a seven-furlong race on the Woodbine main track.
“As a trainer, you really don’t know what you’ve got until the gates open up. He had been training very well in the morning leading up to his first race. I put him in a maiden special weight, which normally, I wouldn’t. I might maybe go to the optional $40,000, Ontario-sired, but it was such a nice purse ($65,000), I thought that maybe we could get something, and it worked out. He was narrowly beaten and that’s when I knew for sure that this horse is going to be okay. That’s why I did it that way. The way he was working, he deserved a shot.”
Ross likes how King Causeway has handled himself both on and off the racetrack.
He’s hoping his pupil’s foray into the turf and stakes ranks delivers a win that would be extra special.
“He’s got some class. I didn’t run him as a two-year-old. He needed some time to develop and I brought him in, and did quite a bit of work with him, but I didn’t run him. This year, he just acts like a class horse. Anything you ask of him, he does it well. He loves to train, he’s got character in the barn, he’s got a great appetite, which I love in a horse – it’s all the things you love to see as a trainer. It’s nice to see everything coming together for him as a three-year-old.”
Last year, Stronach Stables’ Silent Poet (who is being pointed to the Ricoh Woodbine Mile), with Gary Boulanger aboard, won the Vice Regent in a time of 1:33.74. Randy Regent won the inaugural running of the race, in 1997, teaming with Sandy Hawley for the victory.
The Vice Regent is scheduled as race eight of 11 on Saturday’s 1:05 p.m. program.
$100,000 VICE REGENT STAKES
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Hungary – Jeffrey Alderson – John Mattine
2 – North Battleford – Steven Bahen – Gail Hughes
3 – Victor’s Dynasty – Omar Moreno – Tony Gattellaro
4 – King Causeway – Leo Salles – John Ross
5 – Ari Gold Speedwagn – Eurico Rosa Da Silva – Robert Tiller
6 – Seguimi – Rafael Hernandez – Stuart Simon
7 – Lucas n’ Lori – Kazushi Kimura – Kevin Attard
8 – Dun Drum – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Ian Black
by Chris Lomon for Woodbine Communications