Day At The Track

$75,000 Grassroots Finals at Mohawk

06:43 PM 11 Oct 2020 NZDT
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Lovedbythemasses, harness racing
Three-year-old trotting gelding Lovedbythemasses and driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville defended their Grassroots Championship title with a 1:53.4 effort at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, Oct. 10 for trainer Ed Peconi of Peterborough and his co-owners
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MILTON, OCT. 10, 2020 - Woodbine Mohawk Park showcased Ontario's top harness racing Grassroots competitors on Saturday night and the division stars were shining bright as six of the eight $75,000 championships were captured by favourites, including defending champions Lovedbythemasses and Mayhem Hanover.

In the three-year-old trotting colt showdown, Lovedbythemasses and driver Mike Saftic took control heading for the half and never needed to look back, sailing home to a one and one-half length victory in 1:53.4. Semi-Final winner Ripped And Ready was second and division point leader Mikey Mass trotted into third.

"He was real good last week and he was good today, good and strong. He's probably at the top of his game right now," said Campbellville, ON resident Saftic. "All night long they were coming off the pace, the front end wasn't holding very good, but I kind of landed about the four-hole and coming up the backside I didn't want to let them get too cheap of a half and be first over so I brushed to the front. He was good."

Saftic steers Lovedbythemasses for trainer Ed Peconi of Peterborough and his co-owners Nicholas Peconi of Lakefield, ON and Wade Peconi of Stanchel, PEI. The win was the Muscle Mass gelding's fourth in Grassroots action this season and the ninth of his career.

One race later three-year-old pacing colt Mayhem Hanover defended his Grassroots title, sprinting home off a first-over trip to deliver a commanding two and one-half length win in a personal best 1:50. Bettorbuckleup, who caught Mayhem Hanover in the Semi-Final, finished second and Poseidon Seelster was third.

"He raced great tonight. He couldn't have raced any better," said driver Doug McNair. "Last week, it's kind of my own fault, I started him up real early and he just got picked off late. He should have never got beat last week I didn't think. The drive didn't look much better tonight, but he just kind of idled his way up to the lead. I didn't make him pace as fast as he can until the top of the stretch and he paced right to the wire."

Gregg McNair of Guelph trains Mayhem Hanover for Scott and Clay Horner of Toronto, ON, who also watched the Sportswriter son try his hand against the Gold and Grand Circuit horses this summer before returning to the Grassroots program.

Three-year-old pacing colt Mayhem Hanover and driver Doug McNair

Division point leaders Four Wheelin and Profound Paragon also capped off their impressive Grassroots seasons with a championship title.

Two-year-old trotting colt Four Wheelin kicked off the evening with a two length score in a personal best 1:56.4. In rein to Louis-Philippe Roy the Wheeling N Dealin son got away fourth as Lifelong Wish sprinted out to a :27.2 quarter and then swept to the lead heading for the :57.3 half. The fan favourite did not face a challenge through the 1:26.2 three-quarters and pulled away to a two length victory over Warrawee Windsor and Tymal Chrome.

"I expected it to be a two-horse race pretty much," said Roy, who was concerned about the other Semi-Final winner Highland Mowgli and driver Bob McClure. "At first I wasn't really happy because the horse I had to beat was sitting on my back, but when (Mike) Saftic (with Lifelong Wish) slowed, I was able to re-move and get mine in a better position and get Bob's horse in a bad position. The last three starts I never used him. He did it all by himself and was never tired so I knew he had a little more left in the tank."

Saturday's win was Four Wheelin's fifth in five Grassroots starts. Trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge, ON and Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueil, QC share ownership of the talented youngster, who boosted his career earnings to $101,002.

Like many of her peers, three-year-old trotting filly Profound Paragon used a come-from-behind trip to score her fifth Grassroots win, and her twelfth of the season, in 1:55.4. Sonadora Deo finished one length behind the fan favourite and Chelseas Magic was third.

"She's been amazing," said trainer Julie Walker. "There's not too many horses that win that many races, when you consider the overnights and Grassroots, and at every race track in Ontario, so it's been fun."

Carlisle, ON resident Walker shares ownership of Profound Paragon with breeder Steven Titus of Manalapan, NJ and Jean Bernard "Bert" Renaud has driven the Muscle Mass daughter through her successful sophomore season.

Second Bruiser capped off a perfect Grassroots season with a championship title in the two-year-old pacing colt showdown. The Believeinbruiser son and driver James MacDonald took command heading for the half and never faced a serious challenge, cruising home one and one-quarter length winners in 1:51.4. Proline finished second and Semi-Final winner Take Control was third.

"It was awesome," said trainer Vernon Cochrane. "I was a little bit worried about the front end. He'd never got to the front that early before and he's always trained better off a helmet, he likes to chase them home, but a good horse can do it any way, right."

Fergus resident Cochrane shares ownership of Second Bruiser with breeder Stefan Piekos of Palgrave, ON. The gelding made four appearances in the Grassroots program, two regular season legs, the Semi-Final and final, and won all three in identical clockings of 1:51.4.

Fan favourite HP Mama B also rewarded her backers in the two-year-old trotting filly championship. In rein to Sylvain Filion HP Mama B powered from sixth to first in the final quarter, trotting under the wire one length ahead of Doing It All and division point leader Top Of The Bar in 1:57.3.

"That mare raced good. I am a happy man. When they win it's always nice," said trainer Ben Baillargeon who also bred the filly. "I got rid of the broodmare, and I even sold half of that one when she was a year old and I gave the rest of it to my wife, so she's happy. I haven't seen a dime of what that mare made so far. I don't think I'll see a penny out of that, but that's okay, my wife will put it to good use probably."

Baillargeon's wife Guylaine Picard of Guelph shares ownership of HP Mama B with Celine Paquin of Ayers Cliff, QC. The win boosted the Royalty For Life daughter's career earnings to $76,087.

Louis-Philippe Roy was back in the winner's circle after the three-year-old pacing filly showdown, guiding Mia Culpa to victory from Post 10. The Shadow Play daughter sprinted home to a three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:51.4. Semi-Final winner Lyons Tilt Hanover and Free Flyin Ticket also closed hard to be second and third.

"Jean Tourigny did a good job making her peak at the right time. She's as good now as she was two months ago. She's not tired and I was really happy with the trip I got with her," said Guelph, ON resident Roy. "I raced her a few times on the front, but she's not really that type of horse."

Jean Tourigny trains Mia Culpa for Roland Trudel of Becancour, Michel Damphousse of Louiseville and Guy Lavoie of Terrebonne, QC. The win was the filly's fifth of the season and just her second in Ontario Sires Stakes action.

Jonathan Drury and two-year-old pacing filly Cyclone Sister opted to follow in the footsteps of the fillies that preceded them, getting away sixth from Post 1 and advancing toward pacesetter Ourlittlemiracle through fractions of :28.2, :57.1 and 1:24.4. Rolling out three-wide at the three-quarters, Cyclone Sister kicked home to a one and one-half length win in a personal best 1:53.2. Fan favourite Chiefs Dream Girl was second and Semi-Final winner Amini was third.

"She raced great. Jonathan gave her a perfect trip. The first four or five starts she always kicked home really well and I was kind of hoping she could have that kick one more start and she did," said owner/breeder George Millar of Stouffville, ON. "I'm thrilled. I was just saying to my wife (Sondra), we were so close to selling the mare in foal with Cyclone Sister, I'm kind of glad there was no buyers and I ended up keeping her."

Nick Gallucci trains Cyclone Sister, who started her career with two wins at the Grassroots level and then took two runs at the Gold Series fillies before returning to the Grassroots program. Saturday's boosted the Shadow Play daughter's earnings to $99,682.

Complete results from Saturday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results.

Videos: Race 2 - Four Wheelin; Race 3 - HP Mama B; Race 4 - Mia Culpa; Race 5 - Cyclone Sister; Race 6 - Lovedbythemasses; Race 7 -Mayhem Hanover; Race 8 - Profound Paragon; Race 9 - Second Bruiser

OSS Program Information

For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com

Ontario Racing

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