Maddie's Gold could be the real deal on Oregon Championship
From inside of his stall, two year-old Maddie’s Gold doesn’t look all that impressive. The son of Harbor the Gold has a huge white nose that he sticks out at visitors, while his next door neighbor, stakes winner Midda’s Gold Touch watches the young horse inquisitively.
“Midda’s is worried that Maddie’s Gold might take his spot in the first stall,” said trainer Rolland Fergason, who conditions them both. “Always keep the star of the barn in the first stall. Midda’s still has it, but Maddie’s gaining on him.”
Maddies Gold will bring his speed and experience to Sunday’s $15,000 Bill Wineberg Stakes, when he’ll be a very heavy favorite. He’s already raced four times this past summer, all of those starts at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Most of his opponents will be either first time starters or have just one race under their belt. He acquired a couple of wins, including a score in the $30,000 Osiris Stakes. His two losses were both learning experiences for him.
“In the Graduation Stakes, he just broke bad and found himself with a lot of work to do,” said Fergason. “But he came flying late and ran second behind Megatron Ruler, who was his big rival up there this summer. Then in the $50,000 Winnipeg Futurity he found himself on the lead early on, which had never happened to him before. He was jumping from the lights and didn’t quite know what to do with himself. I really think each start has matured him and taught him some lessons.”
Maddie’s Gold is bred to be Oregon royalty, as his sire, Harbor the Gold is the hottest stud in the Northwest. And his mother was an Oregon-bred runner named Moonlit Maddie, who won multiple stakes down in Arizona at both Turf Paradise and Yavapai Downs. Moonlit Maddie was raced and is still owned in part by Hurliman Enterprises, who own Maddie’s Gold.
“I own part of Moonlit Maddie and what we do is each year one of the partners chooses who to breed her to,” said Fergason. “I chose Harbor the Gold and a year later Maddie’s Gold was born.”
Maddie’s Gold started his two year-old year this season by going with Rolland Fergason’s brother Jim up to Emerald Downs to begin his training early in the spring. Rolland then took the horse up Assiniboia Downs on May 1st and then on June 29th broke his maiden first time out. He finished second in the $30,000 Graduation Stakes on August 5th before winning the $30,000 Osiris Stakes on August 21st. Just a couple weeks later he got caught right at the wire and finished second in the $50,000 Winnipeg Futurity.
Fergason brought Maddie’s Gold and the rest of his Winnipeg string to Portland towards the end of September and has been pointing to the Bill Wineberg with the horse.
“I’m really excited for the race,” said Fergason. “I think he’s the real deal.”
Maddie’s Gold will run in the $15,000 Bill Wineberg Stakes on Oregon Championship Day at Portland Meadows on Sunday November 17th.