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Will this colt get the “sympathy” wager?

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Poor baby.

A three-year-old colt by the name of Dixie Mission is cutting a rather strange sight around the barns and in the paddock before a race. You see, he doesn’t have normal perky horse ears. He has stubs.

What happened, according to his owner, Phil Kives, is that he wasn’t born in a nice warm barn. His mother, Officer Mission, dropped him in a frozen pasture "about two to three weeks," before she was expected to give birth — on Feb. 9, 2011. So the newborn had to weather temperatures of -40C before he was discovered, Kives said. Having his ears frozen off wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

"We were lucky he was still alive," Kives said.

No wonder they call him "Frosty" around the stables. And now the question will be: will Dixie Mission get the "sympathy" wager? There are all manner of reasons that people bet on certain horses. Maybe this is a new one.

In his first lifetime start about 10 days ago, he finished a decent third after leaving a bit tardily. Seems he’s still a bit wet behind the, uh, ears.

  ☐☐☐

How do you like your stake? Fast and competitive, probably, given the fact I’m talking about horse racing stakes. And they’re about to begin — exciting races for the best horses in various categories. In fact, if you’re reading this on Wed., June 4, the first stakes race of the season, the $30,000 Golden Boy, is being held tonight.

This race features the best three-year-olds and is a possible preview of a horse or horses that may be talented enough to be entered in the biggest race for three-year-olds, the Manitoba Derby in early August.

One of them could be a Manitoba-bred named for the return of the Winnipeg Jets — Jet Again. The colt has proven in two races already that he’s a worthy representative of the hockey Jets.

He won his first race of the season, on Mother’s Day, by seven lengths. Then he came right back to nail a front-runner in a thrilling charge down the stretch.

Then Saturday the best fillies and mares compete for $30,000 in the La Verendrye stakes — after one of the biggest stakes races of the year from New York: the Belmont Stakes. It will feature California Chrome trying to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. Can you say "huge and historic?"

Live racing goes every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

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