Campbellville, ON --- Chris Christoforou landed a pair of favorites in the Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots winner’s circle at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening (Aug. 22).
The reinsman opened the evening aboard heavy favorite Flanagan Memory, who was making his Grassroots debut after dominating the Gold Series program this season. Starting from post one the 3-year-old Kadabra colt made a break and spotted the field more than 20 lengths before Christoforou was able to get things back on track, but still managed to reel in the leaders and eke out a half-length victory in 1:56.
Rene Dion trains Flanagan Memory for his partner Liette Flanagan. Through eight starts this season the colt, named in honor of Flanagan’s late father Michel, now boasts a record of five wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $248,930.
Christoforou’s next Grassroots mount was Mo Dhabi in the third division and this time the reinsman chose to employ come from behind tactics. After sitting sixth through much of the race, Mo Dhabi kicked it into high gear in the stretch and powered by the pacesetters to a 1-1/2 length triumph in 1:57.3.
The win was the second this season, and the first in Grassroots action, for the Angus Hall gelding, who is trained by Barry Treen. Leonard Gamble, Kevin Kobus, Peter Howarth and Daniel Smith share ownership of the trotter.
The quickest mile of the four Grassroots divisions was clocked by Crosbys Clam Bake and driver Doug McNair, who rocketed around the Mohawk oval to a 1:53.3 triumph. The clocking was a personal best for the Kadabra gelding, who hit the wire 7-1/2 lengths ahead of his peers. Per Henriksen trains the two-time Grassroots winner for breeder/owner Edward Lohmeyer.
The other division went to lightly rated Loco Caballo and Anthony MacDonald, who posted a 1:56 upset for trainer Blair Burgess and owners Robert Burgess and Karin Olsson Burgess.
The 3-year-old trotting colts wrap up their Grassroots season at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sept. 8, while Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday (Aug. 26) with the fifth Grassroots contest for the 3-year-old pacing colts.
For complete results go to this link.
Champagne Phil looking for Grassroots win number five
Ontario Sires Stakes fans will be heading to Mohawk Racetrack on Monday (Aug. 26) to see whether 3-year-old pacing colt Champagne Phil can extend his Grassroots win streak to five.
The Shanghai Phil gelding and driver Chris Christoforou will line up at post seven in the first C$18,000 Grassroots division, taking on a field of 10 rivals. The duo opened the Grassroots season at Mohawk on June 21 with a 1:52.4 victory and scored a second win over the Campbellville oval on Aug. 9. In between those starts Brad Forward piloted Champagne Phil to a personal best 1:51.4 in the Georgian Downs Grassroots event, and on Aug. 16 Jody Jamieson teamed the gelding to a track record 1:52.1 clocking at Grand River Raceway.
Ken Oliver conditions the division leader -- who currently sits 50 points ahead of his nearest rival in the sophomore pacing colt standings -- for ICR Racing. In 11 sophomore starts Champagne Phil has posted five wins for earnings of $35,294.
With 100 points tallied in his three Grassroots starts, George Jettison is 100 points behind Champagne Phil and will be looking to close the gap from post five in the second division on Monday. After making one start at the Gold level, George Jettison earned a win in his first Grassroots outing, circling Georgian Downs in 1:53.4, and then finished second by three-quarters of a length in the next two.
Jack Darling owns and trains the Jereme's Jet son, who boasts a sophomore record of four wins, three seconds and two thirds in 19 starts for earnings of $51,368. The gelding faces a tough field in Monday’s eighth race, facing off against four other Grassroots winners. Sea Harrier will start from post two, Santanna One gets post three, Stonebridge Adam gets post six, and Classic Gent starts from post eight.
The 3-year-old pacing colts will battle in races four, eight and nine on Mohawk Racetrack’s Monday evening program, which gets underway at 7:25 p.m.
For complete entries go to this link.