Day At The Track

Dayplanner wraps up her season perfectly

04:49 AM 14 Sep 2011 NZST
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Dayplanner and Paul Walker
Dayplanner and Paul Walker - in a previous victory.

Two-year-old trotting filly Dayplanner wrapped up her regular harness racing season with a flawless record in Grassroots action by scoring a come-from-behind victory at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening (September 13).

With trainer Paul Walker at the helm, Dayplanner eased away from Post 5 and settled in seventh on the rail as Ithinkshestheone rolled the field through fractions of :28.4, 1:00 and 1:30. Walker waited patiently until the fillies turned for home before sending Dayplanner after the leaders and the fan favourite breezed home a one and three-quarter length winner in 2:01.1.

Little Misshubbard came up the outside to claim the second-place finisher’s share of the $24,000 Grassroots purse and Ithinkshestheone held on for third.

Walker conditions Dayplanner for his wife Brenda Walker of Owen Sound, who also bred the daughter of Oaklea Julian and Our Day. Through four Grassroots starts the talented youngster scored four victories and rounded out her six starts with a win in her elimination and a third in the final of the Balanced Image Stake at Hanover Raceway in August.

Dayplanner leads the two-year-old trotting fillies into the Sept. 23 Semifinals at Mohawk Racetrack with a total of 200 points earned in her four regular season starts.

Thundering Ovation opened the Grassroots programming at Georgian Downs on Tuesday and made an impressive leap up the division standings with her second straight victory.

Anthony MacDonald fired the Thunder Road daughter straight to the front from Post 6 and never needed to glance over his shoulder as Thundering Ovation sailed through fractions of :29.1, 1:00.4 and 1:30.2 on her way to an applause-worthy seven and three-quarter length victory in 2:00.4. The pair easily bested runner-ups Random Choice and Northern Blaze.

MacDonald engineered the victory for trainer Gerald Sloan and owners Joanne and Courtney Sloan of Harley. From just four starts this season the homebred Thundering Ovation has tallied two Grassroots wins — for a total of 100 points — and one runner-up effort in an overnight event. Sitting in thirtieth spot heading into Tuesday night’s event, Thundering Ovation shoved her way into the post season with the win and heads to the Semifinal ranked seventeenth.

Can I Say and Winbak Tess also made significant moves up the standings with wins on Tuesday evening. One race after Thundering Ovation’s commanding performance, Can I Say laid down a :29.4 last quarter to eke out a quarter length victory over fan favourite Majestic Taglet. The pair halted the Georgian Downs teletimer at 2:00.3, with Striking Forever well to the rear in third.

Since trainer Jim Whelan added trotting hopples to her equipment bag in early August, Can I Say has been flawless in Grassroots action, scoring wins at Hiawatha Horse Park and Sudbury Downs leading into Tuesday’s triumph. Her third victory vaulted Can I Say from eleventh to fourth in the standings. The Fourth And One daughter is owned by Troy resident Whelan and his fellow breeders Clarence and Terry Devos of Langton.

Winbak Tess delivered a solid effort up the outside from Post 7 to earn her second Grassroots victory in the last division, and move from sixteenth into a tie for sixth. The Mutineer daughter hit the wire one and one-quarter lengths on top in a personal best 2:01.1. Filly In Pink also corralled pacesetter and fan favourite Warrawee Nuke to grab second-place honours, leaving Warrawee Nuke to settle for third.

Kathleen Girling of Rodney owns and trains Winbak Tess, who boasts a record of two wins, two seconds and two thirds from nine starts this season.

The other Grassroots divisions went to The Magic Of Paris in 2:01.2; Special Spur in 2:02.3; and Elin in 1:59.3.

The top 20 point earners will now begin preparations for the Sept. 23 Semifinal round, from which 10 fillies will advance to compete in the $100,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack on Oct. 1.

Joining the fillies at Mohawk for Grassroots Championship night will be Tuesday’s Win The Thrill finalists, Mark Wideman of Barrie, Darren Nolan of Bradford, Blaj Ilie of Tottenham, Denise Cook of Newmarket, Don Phair of Wasaga Beach, Monica Nadeau of Gilford, Stephen Cook of Newmarket, and Klaus Baunfeld of Alliston.

Georgian Downs fans will have one last opportunity to qualify for the Win The Thrill Grand Prize — a share in the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association’s (SBOA) New Owner Mentoring Program — on Saturday, Sept. 17 when the Innisfil oval hosts the regular season finale for the three-year-old pacing colt Grassroots contenders.

More information about the Win The Thrill contest and the SBOA New Owners Mentoring program is available at www.ontariosiresstakes.com and www.standardbredbreeders.com.

Sandra SNYDER

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