The inaugural harness racing 'Grey Huron Stakes Series' will contest its finals this weekend in Hanover and Clinton. Saturday night at Hanover Raceway, the fillies will go to the gate with over $50,000 in purses over two finals. On the pacing side of things, a clear favourite has emerged as the one to beat in the $29,000 dash.
Coming off five straight victories, Sonic Breeze will hope to pose for another photo in the Hanover winner’s circle.
Bill Kirkpatrick of Amherstberg, Ontario trains the four-year old mare sired byfor owner Pamela Loomis. They’ve had her since she was a yearling and always had high opinion of her.
However, Kirkpatrick explains that she suffered an injury as a two-year old and was unable to make a start until four, thus missing the lucrative Ontario Sires Stakes program.
She’s making up for lost time quickly, already bankrolling $51,330, winning one third of her first 15 lifetime starts. When asked if he expected the success Sonic Breeze has had in 2012, Kirkpatrick replied, “We always thought she was a nice mare, but we didn’t think we’d have this kind of success. It’s a pleasant surprise.”
There’s been plenty to be pleased about, including a sweep of the City of London Series at The Raceway at Western Fair District in May. Now, she heads into the Grey Huron Stakes final as the 1-2 morning line favourite.
Sonic Breeze boasts a 1:55.3 lifetime mark that she set in the City of London series final where she produced a come-from-behind win. With the Hanover Raceway track record for aged mares set at 1:55.0, it’s not out of the question that Sonic Breeze could make history Saturday night.
The most important thing for her will be to notch her sixth lifetime victory, and Kirkpatrick says he is “quite confident. She came out of last week good despite losing a shoe somewhere in her last start.”
Sonic Breeze has been very impressive against her competition over her last five starts and is surely the class of the field Saturday night.
As Kirkpatrick says, “she seems at the top of her game.”
Hanover Raceway goes to post at 7:15 p.m Saturday night. The fillies & mares trotting final in the Grey Huron Stakes will be contested as the fifth race, while Sonic Breeze and her rivals compete in the pacing final in the night’s ninth contest. It’s all part of Molson Men’s Night in celebration of Father’s Day weekend.
by Gord DOUGAN