Flamboro, ON --- Trevor Henry, consistently one of the leading drivers in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, captured three of the four $16,560 Grassroots events for 2-year-old trotting fillies on the opening night of Flamboro Downs’ fall meet Tuesday evening (Sept. 2).
All of the fields were reduced by at least one filly with a few having to be scratched due to an accident on the 407 highway which prevented them from making it to the track on time.
Just before the first division got underway the field was reduced to seven with the late scratch of Unrelenting and was reduced again when Wicked Speed made a break at the start over the track rated good due to earlier rains.
Bella Santanna and Tyler Moore grabbed control early and hit the opening quarter in :29. She was challenged throughout the next quarter by Lady Jen and that pair hit the half in :57.3. Bella Santanna put that challenger away and was at the three-quarters in 1:27.4. OK Heartbeat gave chase down the stretch but Bella Santanna held on to win in 2:00.1. OK Heartbeat was second with P L Impressive third.
Sent off at 50-1 odds, Bella Santanna paid more than $114 for a $2 win ticket. She was recording her second lifetime win for owner Brydown Farms Inc. and trainer Heather Toll. A daughter of Santanna Blue Chip, Bella Santanna was making her first OSS appearance of the year.
The second division was also reduced by one with the scratch of Marachere. It was Ms Mac N Cheese grabbing the lead early and never relinquishing it in that division, craving out fractions of :29, :59.4 and 1:29.3 and rolling to a nine length win in 1:59.1. OK Heavenly was second followed by Missy Ann.
It was the fourth win in six career starts for Ms Mac N Cheese, a daughter of Badlands Hanover owned by David Ratchford, who developed her and got her started at Northside Downs in the Maritimes before shipping her to Ontario. It was also her second straight Grassroots victory.
The third division was minus two starters with the scratches of Sassafras Girl and Katie Snoops. Machin Marley and Fiftyshadesofbay reached the :28 opening quarter together with the latter filly taking over for Trevor Henry and hitting the half in :58.1. OK Hallelujah came up quickly to challenge but Fiftyshadesofbay rallied back and hit the third panel in 1:27.3 and was a three length winner in 1:58.1 over OK Hallelujah and Little Miss Artist.
It was the first lifetime victory for Fiftyshadesofbay who had two seconds and three thirds from five starts coming into Tuesday night’s contest. Rick Zeron trains and co-owns the daughter of Armbro Deuce with breeder Linda Condon.
Out from the fourth and final split was Stonebridge Quest. Hello Marylin had the early lead but was passed by Maralika at the :27.3 opening quarter. Twin B Honour paced past the leader at the :57 half and was at the three-quarters in 1:27.2. Down the stretch she had company in the form of Shes A Pansation and that pair drew away from the field with Twin B Honour hitting the wire first in 1:58.1. Blissfulla Cin was third. However, it was deemed that Shes A Pansation caused interference which moved her to third and Blissfulla Cin to second.
Trevor Henry was at the lines behind Twin B Honour to give him a driving triple in the OSS events. Vic Puddy trains the winner, a daughter of Sportswriter, for owner Percy Elkins. She is the second foal from a half-sister to C$1.4 million winner Our Lucky Killean.
The final Grassroots event for this division will take place on Sept. 11 at Mohawk followed by the semi-finals on Sept. 19 at the Campbellville oval. Flamboro’s next OSS event will be contested on Sept. 11 when the 3-year-old trotting fillies come to town for Grassroots action.
To view the results from Tuesday night’s card, please click this link.
Torches Star shines again in Grassroots
Torches Star picked up her third consecutive victory and added to her lead atop the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots standings in the 3-year-old filly trot group with a 1:57.2 victory in the last of five $16,560 splits on Tuesday night at Mohawk Racetrack.
With Hall of Fame driver Steve Condren in the bike, Torches Star made a first-over rush into the lead past the :28.4 opening quarter. She would go on to click off the half in :58 and then she faced a first-over challenge from K D Bella (Mike Saftic) at the 1:28 three-quarters.
Torches Star and K D Bella continued to duel into the stretch and early leader Chelseas Chance (Randy Waples) came out of the pocket to make it a three-filly fight. Torches Star was unyielding at the inside, though, and she held sway to prevail by a half-length. Chelseas Chance was the runner-up and K D Bella checked in third.
Torches Star, an Angus Hall filly, is trained by Ben Wallace for owner Brad Grant. Torches Star has won four times from 11 tries this year, and she posted her fifth career win. She has earned C$40,980 on the campaign and C$88,144 lifetime. Torches Star also won in Grassroots competition on Aug. 24 at Rideau Carleton Raceway and at Mohawk on both June 17 and Aug. 12. As a 2-year-old, she was the winner of a Gold Series consolation at Grand River Raceway.
Back in the Grassroots opener it was Quadrophonia (James MacDonald) winning and picking up her second Grassroots triumph of the season. Quadrophonia was boxed in the pocket at the top of the lane and had almost five lengths to make up on leader Suegrabbitnrun (Randy Waples) at the eighth pole. Quadrophonia was able to track down the loose leader in the shadow of the wire, though, and won by a length in 1:57.2. Suegrabbitnrun had to settle for second and Northern Secret (Mario Baillargeon) checked in third.
Dave Menary trains the victorious Kadabra filly for owner Kjell Magne Andersen. Quadrophonia, who was unraced as a freshman, has four wins from nine attempts this year to go with a bankroll of C$37,900. Quadrophonia’s other Grassroots success came back on June 17 at Mohawk.
Mystical Wishes (Doug McNair) rebounded from a break last time out at Rideau Carleton to win on this night as the heavy favorite. Competing in the second division, she followed Flexible Woman (Steve Byron) from second-over and then powered away in deep stretch to win by three lengths in 1:57.1. Flexible Woman held second with Carefulwhatyouwish (Keith Crawford) back in third.
Tony Alagna trains the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, for co-owner/breeder Mystical Marker Farms LLC. and co-owner Peggy Hood. Mystical Wishes is six-for-11 in the win column this year after going winless in four tries as a rookie. She has put away C$44,990 in 2014 and C$48,740 in her life. This was Mystical Wishes’ second Grassroots win of the year as she also scored on Aug. 12 at Mohawk.
The fastest of the five flights was the third one, and it went to Dream Act (Mario Baillargeon), who halted the clock in 1:55.2. She brushed to the lead past the :28 opening quarter and after she hit the half in :56.4 and the three-quarters in 1:25.2, she trotted a :30 final kicker to win by eight lengths over Aphrodity (Rick Zeron). Missys Ga Ga (Randy Waples) finished third.
Ben Baillargeon trains Dream Act, a Deweycheatumnhowe filly, for owners Andy Miller Stable Inc., Nick Surick and Hannah Miller. This was Dream Act’s first victory from six trips behind the gate this season, and this was her second career success. She has earned C$13,320 in 2014 and C$34,320 in her life. Dream Act’s other career win came in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event last year at Georgian Downs.
The other winner in Grassroots competition on Tuesday night was Serendipitious (Chris Christoforou), who came first-over before three-quarters, took the lead in the lane, and went on to prevail by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:58.2. Doweypuffandhow (Steve Byron) was next, followed by Capturethememory (Per Henriksen).
John Mungillo handles the training of the winner, a daughter of Majestic Son, for owner Guy Polillo. Serendipitious has a pair of victories from 15 efforts this season, and this was her third career success. She has banked C$18,872 on the campaign and C$28,772 lifetime. Serendipitious was also a Grassroots winner at Georgian Downs as a 2-year-old.
In other news, the final Grassroots event for sophomore trotting colts and geldings that was unable to be raced Monday night at Mohawk due to an early cancellation was staged as a non-wagering event before Tuesday night’s card. Winning the race was Jack Litten (Doug McNair), who led through splits of :27.4, :57.2, and 1:26.4 en route to a 1:56.3 score. Class Me Nice (Rick Zeron) was second and Massive Pockets (Anthony MacDonald) nabbed third.
Jack Litten is a Muscle Mass gelding trained by Gregg McNair for owner Jarold Hawks. Jack Litten, who did not compete as a 2-year-old, has two wins from 11 starts in 2014, and he has put away C$38,962. Jack Litten also won a Grassroots dash on June 26 at Mohawk.
The next Grassroots event for 3-year-old trotting fillies will be staged on Sept. 11 at Flamboro Downs. For full results and charts of Tuesday night’s races at Mohawk, please click this link.