Simple Kinda Man/Callahan prevail in Battle of Waterloo

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

ELORA – Driver Corey Callahan’s first visit to Grand River Raceway proved to be a successful one.

Callahan, from Middletown, Del., drove Simple Kinda Man to victory in Monday’s $200,200 Battle of Waterloo, the final and feature event of Grand River’s Industry Day celebration.

“He actually drove real good today,” Callahan said. “He was nice and calm. I could sit up there and race as much as I wanted to go and when I called on him, he sprinted off on me.”

Callahan and Simple Kinda Man made an outside trip around the final corner to grab the lead and they solidified it on the run to the line to give trainer Scott McEneny his first Battle of Waterloo win in 1:55.0.

“When Dougie (McNair and Southwind Grizzly) broke behind the gate, that kind of opened things up for me,” Callahan said. “I was able to slide in front of Jody (Jamieson and Lucky Sport). I kind of thought I’d be getting behind Jody and following him, but when Dougie made a break, I was able to fall into his spot.”

“He got sent to me by the owner about six weeks ago to race up here in Ontario,” McEneny said of Simple Kinda Man. “He’s very fast and very aggressive horse.”

Simple Kinda Man is owned by M and L of Delaware LLC.

Hudson Phil with James Macdonald in the seat was second and Burning Midnight with Trevor Henry driving was third. Simple Kinda Man paid $16.50 for the win, $11.60 to place and $5.40 to show. Hudson Phil paid $30.00 to place and $7.50 to show while Burning Midnight paid $3.20 to show. The $2 exactor was $420.50, $1 superfecta $3,461.95 and $2 triactor $2,316.20.

In the previous race, the Battle of the Belles, Callahan guided Rendezvous Hanover to a second-place finish behind Play the Bell with Bob McClure in the seat. Lady Bubbles and Macdonald were third.

Play the Bell and Grand River veteran McClure were helped when Azure Seelster, with Sylvain Filion driving, broke behind the gate.

“I’d driven her before and she did that to me,” McClure said of Azure Seelster. “I was hoping that would happen. I figured there was a shot and it would make things a little easier, but I still felt that my filly was the better of the two.”

Play the Bell took the lead in the final corner and left the field behind, winning by two lengths.

“I probably could’ve cleared about halfway up the backside, but I was taking it easy,” McClure said. “Then I just kept her attention all the way home.”

“When I bought her at the sale, I really loved her. She’s built like a tank,” winning trainer Casey Coleman said. “She wasn’t the easiest filly to break. Anybody that might have watched her post parade or warm-up, she’s always kind of half galloping when she’s going slow. It took me a while to figure how to get her to pace. She scared me for a while with the money we paid for her, but she’s obviously come around good now.”

Trevor Henry and Phantom Seelster won the Battle of Waterloo Consolation.

Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots 3B three-year-old colt paces were won by A Carroll and Kazimoto in the first, Doug McNair and Dream of Luck in the fifth and Jody Jamieson and Southwind General in the seventh.