Day At The Track

Majestic Son lass cruises home by 16 lengths

02:20 PM 14 Aug 2011 NZST
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Mark Steacy
Mark Steacy
Dave Landry - Sportsman Photo

Two-year-old trotting fillies Lovely Vacation and Dayplanner extended their perfect Grassroots record to three with victories at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday evening. In the seventh $24,000 Grassroots division, Lovely Vacation went straight to the front from Post 4 and never looked back, cruising home 16 lengths in front of the harness racing competition in 2:02.4.

Ithinkshestheone circled out three-wide to earn the second-place finisher's share, with Random Choice trotting into third.

Trainer-driver Mark Steacy piloted the filly to her third Grassroots victory for owners Shawn Steacy of Lansdowne, David McDonald of Cornwall, Joe Loring of Canmore, AB and Dr. Malcolm Man Son Hing of Campbell River, BC. The Majestic Son daughter’s only loss through three starts came in her season debut in the Gold Series at Grand River Raceway where she made an early break in her Gold Elimination.

Sharing top spot in the division standings with Lovely Vacation is Dayplanner, who let fan favourite De La Noche do all the work on the front end in the eleventh and then swept by in the stretch to a four length victory in 2:01.3. De La Noche settled for second, losing her spot atop the division standings, and Incredible Her Bee recovered from an early break to finish 15 lengths back in third.

Paul Walker trains and drives Dayplanner for his wife Brenda Walker of Owen Sound. The homebred daughter of Oaklea Julian and Our Day has been flawless through three starts this season.

Both Walker and Steacy made a second appearance in the Hiawatha winner’s circle on Saturday night. Walker turned a catch drive aboard Its All Magic into a photo opportunity after the fourth race, guiding the Kadabra filly to a 2:01 score for trainer Philip Coole of Puslinch and Donald Leschied of South Woodslee. Sent off as the favourite from Post 5, Its All Magic hit the wire two and one-half lengths up on Barbie And Ken, with Tymal Breezee two more lengths back in third.

The win was Its All Magic’s second in four starts. She also captured a leg of the In Free Trotting Series at Mohawk Racetrack on July 25.

Steacy’s other victory came in the eighth race with Warrawee Nuke, who sprinted away from Post 7 to record a front end victory in 2:00.4. Northern Blaze hit the wire two and one-quarter lengths back in second, with Stirling Abacus 10 lengths to the rear in third.

The win was Warrawee Nuke’s first in four outings this season for Landmark IV Racing Stable of Elginburg, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stb. Inc. of Hudson, QC, Diane Bertrand of Edmonton, AB and Dr. Michael Wilson of Rockwood, ON. After finishing third in her Gold Elimination at Grand River Raceway on July 4, the Ken Warkentin daughter made two consecutive breaks in Grassroots action, so Steacy added trotting hopples to her equipment bag and sent her out to requalify at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 9, and the decision paid immediate dividends Saturday, boosting the filly’s bankroll to $18,720.

Northern Senorita and Winbak Tess gave Hiawatha fans a thrilling finish in the sixth race, waging a fierce battle to the wire that saw Northern Senorita awarded the neck victory in a time of 2:02.3. Winbak Tess settled for second after doing all the heavy lifting on the front end and Noble Peace Prize was two lengths behind the leaders in third.

Acton resident Karen Hudon piloted Northern Senorita to her first victory for partners R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington and Herbert Boggs of Duncan, BC. Joe Hudon conditions the Angus Hall daughter, who now boasts a record of one win and two seconds in five starts.

At the other extreme, Seeking A Dream romped around the Sarnia five-eighths to a 23 length victory in the first Grassroots division, besting Magic Lindy and Zorgwijk Madonna.

Kevin O’Reilly trains the gifted daughter of Kadabra and Oaklea Ida for DM Stables LLC of Naples, FL and Joyce McClelland of Zanesville, OH. In addition to Saturday’s trophy, the filly also captured her Grassroots division at Kawartha Downs on July 23 by eight lengths. The 2:01 clocking was a new personal best for Seeking A Dream, who was piloted to the win by Aaron Byron.

The other Grassroots winners at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday evening were Can I Say, who stopped the clock at 2:01.2 for trainer Jim Whelan of Troy and Terry and Clarence Devos of Langton; Striking Forever, who was a 2:00.3 winner for Sylvanus King Jr. of New Holland, PA and John Wagner of Centerville, MD; and Tyrone Conchie, who circled the Sarnia oval in 2:04.1 for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and breeder Dave Boyle of Bowmanville.

The two-year-old trotting fillies make their second last Grassroots start at Sudbury Downs on Sept. 3.

Hiawatha Horse Park wraps up its Ontario Sires Stakes season on Thursday, Sept. 15 with Grassroots action for the talented three-year-old pacing fillies.

Sandra SNYDER

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