The 46th Ontario Sires Stakes season gets under way this Sunday (May 19) with eight races on the $538,551 Confederation Cup program at Flamboro Downs.
Ontario’s top three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will kick off the Dundas oval’s signature event at 6:55 p.m. with the first Gold Series leg of the season. Race one features last year’s champion Forbidden Trade, who makes his sophomore debut from post 4 for U.S.-based driver Daniel Dubé, trainer Luc Blais, and owner Determination.
Louis-Philippe Roy, who earned his first Lampman Cup title in 2018 as the top driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program, will steer last season’s number-two colt, Dream Nation, from post 1 in the second $72,267 Gold Series division.
“Dream Nation was one horse coming back for his three-year-old season that I was excited to drive again, and so far it looks good for him. We schooled him Monday and he was really solid,” said Roy, who steers the Archangel gelding for trainer Jacques Dupont and his partners Ecurie CSL, Gestion C. Levesque 2005 Inc. and Marc Camirand. “He was good-sized at two, but he looks even better to me, bigger and stronger. He drew good for Sunday, and that’s a big thing on the half-mile.”
In addition to Dream Nation, Roy will steer trotting colt Tymal Houdini from post 3 in the first Gold division. The Guelph, Ont. resident will also be hoping for success in the three-year-old pacing colt Grassroots season opener, piloting Keystone Prestige from post 1 in the first $22,800 division, Chanting Hanover from post 1 in the second split, Sugartown from post 2 in the third of five divisions, and Sports Charm from post 8 in the last Grassroots battle.
The Gold Series colts and geldings will battle in races one, four and six, while the pacing colts and geldings square off in races three, five, seven, eight and nine. All eight races will serve as an opening act for the main event, the $188,500 Confederation Cup Final, which features nine of the best four-year-old pacers in North America.
Roy will steer Jimmy Freight from post 2 in the rich final, and the driver is expecting the son of Sportswriter to deliver the kind of consistent effort that led him to the OSS sophomore pacing colt division title and a year-end O’Brien Award in 2018.
“Jimmy Freight got us qualified for the Confederation Cup final last Sunday with a nice effort (fourth) from the eight-hole,” said Roy, who steers the pacer for trainer Richard Moreau and owner Adriano Sorella. “I like his chances with the draw; Jimmy never disappointed me.”
In addition to the thrilling racing, fans will have an opportunity to win one of five shares — including training fees for the remainder of 2019 — in a Thestable.ca racehorse.
To view the entries for Flamboro Downs’ May 19 Confederation Cup program, click the following link: Sunday Entries - Flamboro Downs.
In addition to Sunday’s OSS season opener, Flamboro Downs will also host two more Gold events this fall: three-year-old pacing fillies on Sept. 22 and two-year-old trotting fillies on Oct. 2. A complete schedule can be found here.