Local harness racing filly Chandelle kicked off an evening of Ontario Sires Stakes action at Kawartha Downs on Saturday, circling her hometown oval in 2:03.3 to earn her first Grassroots trophy.
In rein to Doug Hie, Chandelle sprinted away from Post 5 and led the field of two-year-old trotting fillies through fractions of :30.2, 1:02.1 and 1:33.3. Stormont Fried, who never saw the rail, got a head in front at the top of the stretch, but Chandelle fought her way to a three-quarter length victory. Stormont Fried finished a game second, with fan favourite Carscot Shalamar rounding out the top three.
Trainer Roger Hie of Cobourg, Hielite Acres Inc. of Fraserville and Fabulous Farms LLC of Verona, NJ share ownership of Chandelle, who was a $15,000 purchase from last fall’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The daughter ofand $124,888 winner Aeronautess made an early miscue in the July 10 Grassroots season opener that left her at the back of the pack, but she was flawless on Saturday.
Trainer-drivers enjoyed tremendous success in Saturday’s Grassroots event, capturing six of nine $24,000 divisions. Terry Kerr started the horsemanship parade with a 2:01.4 victory aboard English Cherry in the second race, sprinting home to a half length triumph over favourite Joys Mutinee and pacesetter De La Noche.
Sarnia resident Kerr conditions English Cherry for owner-breeder Douglas Millard, Charles Eden and M2 Stables Inc. of Woodstock, ON. Thedaughter was making her first lifetime start off a July 14 win in qualifying action at Sarnia’s Hiawatha Horse Park.
Trainer-driver Paul Walker captured the next two divisions, steering Dayplanner to a 2:00.4 score in Race 3 and Uncommon Grace to a 2:02.1 victory in the fourth. Favourite Incredible Her Bee and Striking Forever finished behind Dayplanner, while Uncommon Grace bested favourite Tymal Teegan and P L Fairlady.
Brenda Walker of Owen Sound bred and owns Dayplanner, andaughter out of her mare Our Day. Saturday’s outing was the filly’s first.
The Owen Sound based trainer-driver shares ownership of Uncommon Grace with Malcolm and Robert MacPhail of Dover Centre, ON. The partners offered up $16,000 for thedaughter at last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale.
The next trainer-driver to grace the Kawartha Downs winner’s circle was Wayne Henry, who crafted a come from behind score for Phoenix Goal in Race 6. Themiss bested fan favourite Cool Creek Breeze and Italienne Girl, halting the teletimer at 2:01.3.
Henry shares ownership of Pheonix Goal with his partners in the Arthur, ON Henry Stable, David Brown of Cannington and Dr. John McKnight of Meaford. The partners acquired the daughter of $172,282 winner Tessel for $17,000 at the 2010 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Phoenix Goal started her freshman career at the Gold Series level, but a mid-race break and eighth place finish convinced Henry to try the filly at the Grassroots level.
From his eight starters, Mark Steacy picked up one Grassroots trophy when Lovely Vacation hit the wire one and a half lengths ahead of favourite Cest Facile. Pickmup N Putmdown landed the third-place share in the 2:01.4 mile.
Steacy trains Lovely Vacation, a daughter of his former stable star, for Shawn Steacy of Lansdowne, David McDonald of Cornwall, Joe Loring of Canmore, AB and Dr. Malcolm Man Son Hing of Campbell River, BC.
The final trainer-driver to score a victory also did so in the fastest time of the nine Grassroots divisions. Henrik Hollsten teamed Im On Cloud Nine to a five and three-quarter length romp in a sharp 1:59.4. Tyrone Conchie, owned by Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, finished second and Northern Blaze rounded out the top three.
In On Cloud Nine, anson, is owned by Reve Avec Moi Dreamwithme of Grand Valley, who purchased the filly for $35,000 at the Lexington Select Yearling Sale last fall.
The other two Grassroots divisions went to Seeking A Dream in 2:01.3 and Gourmandine in 2:02.
The two-year-old trotting fillies make the third stop on their Grassroots tour at Woodstock Raceway on Aug. 2. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Kawartha Downs on Thursday, Aug. 11 with Grassroots battles for the two-year-old trotting colts.