Bruce Richardson’s Ontario Sired Spring Series winner, Like Chaos, is making progress.
by Melissa Keith
On April 22, a very good 3-year-old trotter won the $45,500 Ontario Sired Spring Series final on a ‘good’ racing surface at Woodbine Mohawk Park (WMP). Like Chaos (Lookslikeachpndale—Misty Breeze) won the prelim on April 7 by four open lengths, with co-owner/trainer Bruce Richardson in the sulky. The 1:58 win came five days after a goal-to-wire game at Flamboro Downs when the gelding finished 2:00 mile 10½ lengths ahead of second-best Creed Hanover. It was Canada’s co-fastest mile by a 3-year-old male trotter on a half-mile track that year.
As of May 5, Like Chaos (3, 1:57.2s; $44,468) had not reappeared after his lifetime win. Richardson, who had arrived at his home in Fergus, ON, said the gelding, who loves black liquorice, is only taking a short but well-deserved vacation. The trotter, bred by Larry R. Miller of Sugarcreek, OH, had already won his prize back as a yearling and then some.
“I bought [Like Chaos] from Harrisburg. I saw that he was a lookslikeachpndale. I covered my mare with Lookslikeachpndale so I wanted to check him out. They were having trouble getting a bid on it, so I bought it,” Richardson said, laughing. “He had OCD chips removed from his ankles or something. I think his ankles were still a bit swollen because people stayed away from him because of it.” Richardson’s bargain $9,000 yearling is co-owned by his friend Joseph Coffey of Orangeville, ON.
The gelding’s improvement at the age of 3 comes after an abbreviated 2-year season in which he went winless.
“[Like Chaos] I’ve always trained well, but he got a little sick as a two-year-old, and I think I rode a start with him at Mohawk when he wasn’t quite ready,” Richardson said. “It set him back a bit. When I kicked him out and brought him back this year, he threw a spanner in the works on one of his first starts that year. He’s kind of gotten around since then.”
As Like Chaos learned his job, he made Richardson’s easier.
“He was really green as a two-year-old,” he said. “He would walk a quarter and then he would let you go. He would just fold straight to you. He didn’t know enough to carry the speed for the full mile, but now he’s starting to figure it out. He figured out what to do I guess.”
The Ontario Sired Series at WMP fitted in perfectly with an improving sophomore year.
“The reason I put him on the show was because he would compete against any Ontario sired horse,” Richardson said. “We just put him in there to get a few starts in him. He came right over.”
Trevor Henry took over the lines on Like Chaos’ last two starts at Campbellville.
“I usually drive in Mohawk myself, but I wanted to go to Florida for a vintage hockey tournament,” Richardson said. “That’s why I put Trevor down because I wouldn’t be there. The first time Trevor drove it [April 14, in the second leg of the series], they went in 1:55. He trotted in 1:55.4 and came a good quarter home in 27.2. In the final he just got a perfect trip: he followed Jody [Jamieson, driving 1-2 favorite Devils Arch] secondly and as he moved, [Like Chaos] walked right past him.”
As for where the WMP Ontario Sired Spring Series champion might appear next, Richardson said there are plans for him to compete at the Raceway at Western Fair.
“After that I gave him a week [Ontario Sired] Series because he had gone five weeks in a row,” he said. “Now he has a series in London, the City of London Series. It’s for non-winners of $10,000 starting February 1st. He hadn’t gotten rolling yet, so he still fits in that class. I think there will be two or three easy starts for him before that [Ontario] Sires Stakes is fueled. I’ll probably drive it in London.”
Like Chaos will ultimately be catered to the Ontario Sires Stakes and is not eligible for Mohawk Grand Circuit events.
“That’s our game plan,” Richardson said. “He didn’t pay into any of it. We’ll probably start in grassroots; first see how he develops there.”
Richardson said he usually drives his own stocks in Mohawk because one of the biggest differences between that and driving in Flamboro and Western Fair comes down to wallet.
“You’re just leaving for so much more money, so it’s nicer when you get a check,” he said.
He believes in the stallion Lookslikeachpndale, and not just because of the recent success of Like Chaos.
“I have a 2-year-old trotter foal [No One] out of a nice mare I named Stormont Kate [4, 1:53.3s; $270,547]said Richardson, who also owns the year-old full brother named Somebody.
Richardson’s experience helped make up for Like Chaos’ inexperience at just the right time for the 2023 Stakes season.
“I started driving in 1990. I’ve been cleaning out booths since public school, I know that,” he said, laughing, adding that he likes what he’s currently seeing in Like Chaos.
“He’s being pretty honest right now,” he said. “He didn’t take any breaks. He just wants to move forward I think.”