Mohawk fans had faith in Champagne Phil, sending him off as their top choice in the first C$18,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots division, but they were also extremely interested in Mach Set Go, making his first start for trainer Anthony Montini. Starting from post one, Mach Set Go and driver Keith Oliver heightened the interest when they went straight after the lead, reaching the quarter pole in :26.3.
Mach Set Go and Oliver remained in complete control for the remainder of the mile, sailing through fractions of :54.3 and 1:22 on their way to a 1-3/4 length triumph in a personal best 1:51. D Gs Camme closed well to finish second, leaving Champagne Phil to settle for third.
The win was Mach Set Go’s first in Grassroots action this season and bumped him from 18th to sixth in the point standings. The Mach Three colt is owned by Holland Racing Stable of Aurora, Ont. and Albina Montini of Acton, Ont., who acquired him on Aug. 20 from Sophie Bourgeois’ 9174 7998 Quebec Inc.
Sea Harrier also scored a bit of an upset in the second split, sprinting home to a one-half length decision over Southwind Amazon and Stonebridge Adam. The 1:51.2 clocking, a personal best for the son of Jeremes Jet, served as redemption for Sea Harrier’s Aug. 16 Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway, in which he made an early break and finished at the back of the pack.
Driver James MacDonald of Guelph, Ont. shares ownership of Sea Harrier with Floyd Marshall of Jarvis, Ont. and Peter Porter of Port Dover, Ont. and Benjamin Paquette conditions the gelding. The win was the pacer’s second in Grassroots action at Mohawk and bumped him up to fourth in the point race, with 131.
The final Grassroots battle was the only one in which the favorite prevailed. Dull Roar and Jack Moiseyev sprinted home to a 2-1/4 length triumph, in 1:51, besting Lyonsparkhavenlake and Sea Harrier’s stablemate, Pointsman.
Jeff Gillis of Hillsburgh, Ont. conditions Dull Roar for his partners Ken Henwood of Vaughan, Ont., Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ont. and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, N.Y. Through five Grassroots starts the Mach Three colt has two wins and three seconds, putting him in second spot in the standings, hot on the heels of Champagne Phil.
The 3-year-old pacing colts will wrap up their Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots seasons at Clinton Raceway on Sept. 8.
Mohawk Racetrack’s action-packed Ontario Sires Stakes schedule will continue on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2, with the second-last Grassroots event for 2-year-old pacing fillies.