Southwind Coors Prevails In Emotional Goodtimes Nailbiter

Southwind Coors Prevails In Emotional Goodtimes Nailbiter

MILTON, June 17, 2023 – For the second time since the Goodtimes Trot was introduced 19 years ago, John Bax presented the trophy for the race named in honour of his career changing horse to himself and his partners. That honour was courtesy of Southwind Coors in an extremely exciting $250,000 Goodtimes final for three-year-old trotting colts tonight at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

As the race got underway it was What An Angel leaving hard from post seven to grab the early lead but he was covered up before the opening quarter of :28 by Warrawee Yang. Gaines Hanover then swept up to grab the front well before the :55.4 half for Louis-Philippe Roy.

Scott Zeron pulled the right line on Southwind Coors, sitting in fourth, and they started their charge for the top and had reached the leader by the three-quarters reached in 1:23.4.

As they turned for home it was Gaines Hanover and Southwind Coors battling throughout the stretch with neither colt giving way and it was very tough to separate the two at the wire reached in 1:52. After a review it was announced that Southwind Coors’ nose reached the wire first. The tables were turned for Gaines Hanover who defeated Southwind Coors by a neck in their elimination but had to settle for second tonight. Tuscan Prince was third.

James MacDonald had driven Southwind Coors in his elimination, but he was up behind Hasty Bid, who ended up finishing fourth in the final, as he owns a share of the gelding.

“After the elimination James asked me who I was going to go with and I said ‘I can throw a rock on North America Cup night and probably hit about three great drivers.’ I thought Scott was a great fit for him and they worked well together tonight,” explained trainer Matt Bax.

Zeron noted that he talked to James before tonight’s race. “I knew he’d raced well coming into this race, James couldn’t praise him enough. He owned his own horse in this race so I was lucky I was able to get this one. I feel like last week he was tracking him (Gaines Hanover) late; he sure went past him after the wire. ​ I was confident in his ability, he’s just a little bit green.

‘As much as it’s nice having everyone cheer him on, I think he was more focused on people in the crowd and that’s why he made it as close as he did, I don’t think we hit the bottom of his lungs.”

As to whether he thought he’d won at the wire Zeron said: “I thought I did, I don’t think his head couldn’t have been any lower to stick his nose out so I was confident he got it.”

“It’s been a long trip with him, he was a little nervous, green. I have to give a lot of credit to (driver) Mike Saftic last year, he really managed him (driving him in all 11 of his rookie races). He wouldn’t be here where he is now without that. He’s been coming off trips, he likes coming off a helmet and this year he’s really turned a corner and coming into tonight he’s never been better,” said Matt.

A $65,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Select Sale, Southwind Coors is owned by the Bax Stable, Glengate Farms, Dave Hudson and Craig Wilson. The son of Walner has now banked over $230,000 to date lifetime from 16 starts.

While Southwind Coors’ win was a very popular one and fitting for the Bax family in the race named in honour of their iconic trotter Goodtimes, a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and one of the best trotters ever produced in Ontario, it was also bittersweet as tonight’s final was the first since the great horse was laid to rest last December at 31.

Over the years Goodtimes provided the family with a myriad of wonderful memories both on and off the track and tonight Southwind Coors provided them an exciting new memory to add.

Heather MacKay for Woodbine Communications

Grace Martin
Grace Martin Communications Specialist, Woodbine Entertainment
Horse Racing - SB
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Woodbine Racetrack is Canada’s home the biggest and most exciting thoroughbred races. Located in Toronto, Woodbine Racetrack typically operates thoroughbred racing from April through December. Premier races include the longest continuously ran horse race in North America, The Queen’s Plate, Breeders Cup win and you’re in races the Woodbine Mile, Summer and Natalma Stakes, along with the fan-favourite Canadian International Stakes. 

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