For any horse person, winning the signature race at your home track is pretty special. For Russell Bax, winning the Goodtimes Invitational at Kawartha Downs carries even more weight as the race’s namesake was a trotter campaigned to a Hall of Fame career by his brother John Bax.
Russell’s entrant in Saturday night’s $10,000 contest, Ramas Last Son, also happens to be the defending champion having won the Goodtimes last year. “It’s always nice to have a title to defend,” said Russell with a chuckle.
“It’s the Goodtimes. When you have an opportunity to race in an event that’s related to your family and at my home track, I make an effort to support it. If I have a horse good enough, I will make sure I enter. It was nice to win a race named after a horse that meant so much to my brother John. Our family has been around Kawartha for a long time, and regardless of how we finish this year, it’s always nice to have everyone home for the event.”
A six-year-old gelding by Majestic Son, Ramas Last Son has drawn post four in the Goodtimes which is carded as race eight on the Kawartha Downs’ program with Rick Webb tapped to drive.
“Rammer has a loyal following at Kawartha. I purchased him privately from Ed Peconi when he took time off from training to have shoulder surgery. Ed made him a nice horse and I have been fortunate to keep him going. When I have an opportunity to bring him back here, I try to take advantage of it,” noted Bax whose trip to Kawartha is far closer than Mohawk where the horse has been racing.
Russell and John aren’t the only Bax brothers involved in racing and Russell is quick to give brother Carl a nod when speaking about Ramas Last Son.
“Rammer has been very good to me, but a lot of the credit to goes to my brother Carl who looks after the blacksmithing. Carl rarely misses watching a race and quickly spots any corrections that need to be made. He’s the brains and I’m the grunt,” Bax noted wryly.
The Goodtimes anchors Kawartha Downs’ Titans of Trotting evening which celebrates the careers of three extremely talented trotters who started their careers at Kawartha Downs and ended them with induction into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame – Goodtimes, San Pail and Billyjojimbob.
The connections of all three horses will be on hand prior to the start of the races to sign free posters for fans. The track will also host races for San Pail and Billyjojimbob as well as the OLG’s Thrill of Winning Race. Post time is 7 p.m.