Day At The Track

Fillies look to bounce back in Grassroots

07:28 AM 28 Aug 2020 NZST
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Charmbo Princess, harness racing
Mike Saftic guided two-year-old trotting filly Charmbo Princess to a 2:00 victory in the July 13 Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park
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HANOVER, AUG. 27, 2020 - Hanover Raceway kicks off two straight weeks of Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing action this Saturday, Aug. 29 with three divisions of two-year-old trotting fillies battling for a total of $66,650.

The first $22,450 division goes postward in Race 2 and trainer Mark Etsell is hoping Top Of The Bar can bounce back from sickness to add a few more points to the 62 she accumulated in her first two Grassroots starts. The daughter of Muscle Mass finished third in the July 13 season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park and won her division in the July 29 leg at Grand River Raceway before missing the Aug. 17 event.

"We just went through a bout of the sickness, that's why we missed the last Grassroots, so I qualified her there Tuesday (Aug. 25) just to tighten her up a bit, so hopefully we're coming in good," said Hanover native Etsell. "We had 15 out of 17 sick there, so it was pretty rough."

Etsell, who currently calls Rockwood home, shares ownership of Top Of The Bar with Robert Newton of Walkerton, Graham Hopkins of Chesley and Peter Porter of Port Dover, ON. The partners offered up $25,000 for the filly at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.

Top Of The Bar and driver Bob McClure will line up at Post 2 on Saturday, alongside local filly Charmbo Princess, who starts from Post 3 for driver Mike Saftic and owner/breeders Randy Rier of Hanover and John "Jack" Rier of Kitchener, ON. In her Grassroots appearances, Charmbo Princess has tallied one win and one fourth for a total of 58 points and also missed one leg due sickness.

"We're hoping she's a little sharper. She was sick, she was off five weeks before she raced two weeks ago there (Aug. 17) and I'm hoping she's a little sharper, we were able to get her trained a little better and stuff like that," said Randy Rier of the homebred daughter of Royalty For Life and Hetties Charm. "So we'll keep our fingers crossed."

The other two $22,100 Grassroots divisions will go postward as Races 5 and 7 on the Saturday afternoon program, which gets under way at 2 pm.

Next Saturday, Sept. 5 the Hanover half-mile will host the last regular season Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Competition will be fierce as the fillies vie for one of 20 spots in the Oct. 2 Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Although in-person attendance is limited to 100 people for both Grassroots events, fans can download a program and find links to the live stream on the Hanover Raceway website.

For the full program click here

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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