Day At The Track

Grassroots and Kin Pace at Clinton

08:36 AM 03 Jul 2020 NZST
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Preeminence, harness racing
Three-year-old pacing filly Preeminence and driver Bob McClure captured their Kin Pace Elimination at Clinton Raceway on June 28
Jessica Carnochan photo

CLINTON, ON - JULY 2, 2020 - Three-year-old fillies will be the stars of the show this Sunday at Clinton Raceway as the half-mile oval plays host to six $22,800 Grassroots Series divisions for the sophomore trotting fillies and the $64,700 Kin Pace Final for their pacing counterparts.

Trainer Marcel Barrieau will start Th Present in the Grassroots season opener and send out elimination winner Preeminence in the Kin Pace Final. Th Present will benefit from Post 1 in the fourth Grassroots split, while Preeminence will have to overcome the outside Post 7 to take home the 2020 Kin Pace title.

"Somebody's got to get it, but I wished it would have been somebody else," said Barrieau of the elimination winner's post position draw. "But what can you do."

Bob McClure piloted Preeminence to a 1:58 score last Sunday, the quickest of the three eliminations, and will be back in the race bike for the final. The other elimination winners, Marzannk Hanover and High Roller Duke, will start from Posts 4 and 8, respectively. Working in the Sportswriter daughter's favour is her familiarity with the half-mile surface and her experience with outside post positions. At two she only saw the inside half of the starting gate three times in nine starts.

"She trains on a half-mile track so she's used to them," said Barrieau, who trains Preeminence for Claude Baril of Mascouche, QC, Gilles Caouette of Sudbury, ON and Michel Daneault of Terrebonne, QC. "She's got a few little quirks, like you know when she tries to get in gear quick you've got to watch her, but she's got a good motor, she can go the distance and she's surely competitive with that bunch."

Both Preeminence and Th Present were regulars on the Grassroots circuit last season, winning two legs each and finishing among the top five point earners in their respective divisions, but Barrieau said trotting lass Th Present was much tougher to race.

"She was hard to manage. She wanted to go 100, and she wasn't easy on herself, and that's why sometimes she'd go on the run, because you couldn't control her," explained the trainer. "But she seems like this year she's so much better, so I hope - and her too, she's been trained on a half-mile track, she loves the half-mile track - so I think she'll be a good start there."

Barrieau said the improvement Th Present has shown through her first two sophomore starts - both flawless, one trotted in 1:57 the other in 1:57.4 - came partly through physical and mental maturity and partly through hard work and repetition.

"She grew up physically, she's stronger for sure, and then mentally I worked on her all winter to try to calm her down, and she responded pretty good," said the veteran horseman. "Last year she was a handful going to the gate and everything, now she just puts her nose on the gate and she goes at her business."

Bob McClure will also steer Th Present, as he did in her June 16 and 23 starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park, for Cambridge, ON resident Barrieau and his co-owner Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueil, QC.

Th Present and her three-year-old trotting filly peers will compete in Races 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 9 while Preeminence and the other seven Kin Pace finalists will wrap up the Sunday afternoon program in Race 10. The first race goes in behind the Clinton Raceway starting gate at 1:30 pm.

While fans cannot be on hand to cheer for their favourite fillies, a complete live stream is available on the Clinton Raceway website and fans can download a program to play along.

In addition to Sunday's Ontario Sires Stakes event Clinton Raceway will also host the two-year-old pacing fillies in Grassroots action on Sept. 6 and two Prospect Series divisions for Ontario Sired youngsters, the two-year-old trotting fillies on July 12 and the three-year-old pacing colts on July 19. A complete schedule can be found below.

Clinton Raceway

Race Date

Post Time

Age/Sex/Gait

Race Type

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, July 5

1:30 pm

3-year-old Filly Trot

Grassroots Series

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, July 12

1:30 pm

2-year-old Filly Trot

Prospect Series

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, July 19

1:30 pm

3-year-old Colt Pace

Prospect Series

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, Sept. 6

1:30 pm

2-year-old Filly Pace

Grassroots Series

 

 

 

 

 

From the Ontario Sire Stakes

 

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