10/10/2012 12:11PM

Harness Racing: Resurgent Warrawee Needy faces top foes in Gold final at Flamboro

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Warrawee Needy looks for his fourth straight win on Friday.

It’s a long season for three-year-old colt pacers. Even though we’re just in the beginning of October many in this class have been shaken by the battles and wars of the major stakes action. On Friday night October 12 at Flamboro Downs, three of this year’s better and more preserved sophomores will face off in the final $130,000 Gold Series final for Ontario-breds. The event brings together Little Brown Jug winner Michaels Power, recent Bluegrass winner Mel Mara and Warrawee Needy, a colt many thought destined to be the best in the class when the year commenced.

“He’s been battling a lot of things, mostly allergies,” said Carl Jamieson about Warrawee Needy’s sophomore storyline.

“I think the cold weather has helped him,” Jamieson said in regards to his colt that has caught fire in recent weeks and enters this Gold final as good as ever.

“He did draw outside and it’s a half mile track,” said Jamieson who recognizes that the obstacles this week may be great with the confirmed half-mile specialist Michaels Power starting inside of his colt.

But the big picture for Jamieson now that the dust has settled somewhere far away from Warrawee Needy’s lungs, is the Breeders Crown event scheduled for October 27 at Woodbine.

“I think he’s coming into that race fresh while a lot of the others have been through some tough races,” Jamieson said.

The son of E Dees Cam looked like a world-beater when he qualified back in May for Jamieson at Mohawk. His 1:49 2/5 effort in the morning opened eyes throughout North America with many expecting Jamieson to have the favorite for the North America Cup and perhaps win consecutive events after Up The Credit captured the 2011 event.

Warrawee Needy was scheduled to race in the Upper Canada Cup at Georgian Downs when a routine veterinary check revealed an irregular heartbeat. The colt was “shocked” back into a normal beat, but he missed the race and would not have a competitive start heading into the North America Cup.

On the outside looking in, many people questioned whether Jamieson was asking too much of his trainee, tackling the best colts off a pair of qualifiers.

“He was incredible in the eliminations,” said Jamieson recalling the stellar second-place effort carved out by Warrawee Needy, a 1:47 4/5 mile where he made Sweet Lou work for every inch of the mile.

In the final, Warrawee Needy cut an even more taxing early pace and succumbed. “Jody (driver Jamieson) said he just couldn’t get any control of him at all,” said Jamieson.

Those two North America Cup efforts appeared to put a kink in Warrawee Needy, something he did not recover from that easily on the racetrack. Following the race in June, Warrawee Needy did not win a race until September, something quite notable since he was virtually unbeatable during his two-year-old campaign.

Cooler weather in September has led to three consecutive victories for Warrawee Needy and renewed hope that some of the lost purse money may yet be recovered by Jamieson and his partners, Thomas Kyron, Michael Wilson and Floyd Marshall. Those wins included a stunning 1:48 4/5 career best mile in the $130,000 Gold final on September 22 at Mohawk.

Flamboro’s Gold final goes as race 10 with first post slated at 6:00 p.m.

Joining Warrawee Needy (post 7) will be Michaels Power (post 6) and Mel Mara (post 4) in the field of eight.

Michaels Power hasn’t raced since capturing the Little Brown Jug in straight heats on September 20.  He also captured the final of the Confederation Cup contested at Flamboro in August among his 13 victories in just 16 starts this year. Michaels Power, a gelded son of Camluck, hails from the Casie Coleman stable and will be handled again by Scott Zeron.

Mel Mara finished a solid second behind Warrawee Needy in the Ontario Sire Stakes final at Mohawk in September then ventured to the Red Mile for Grand Circuit action over the last two weeks. The Lis Mara-sired colt scored a 1:49 4/5 career best in the Bluegrass racing without cover and defeating Sweet Lou. He then finished a solid fourth to Sweet Lou in the Tattersalls Pace despite starting from post ten and getting mired behind a dull cover flow. North America’s leading driver Tim Tetrick guides Mel Mara.

Michaels Power, the leading money-winning pacer in North America this year with a bankroll of $1,288,725, is the 3-5 morning line favorite with Warrawee Needy rated at 9-5 and Mel Mara a 7-2 offering.