Mutinys Child was sharpest in season opener

04:26 AM 25 May 2011 NZST
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Ontario Sires Stakes

Mutinys Child led the parade of three-year-old trotting fillies out of the tunnel at Western Fair Raceway on Tuesday night (May 24) and then led her harness racing peers around the half mile oval to the quickest victory of seven $24,000 Grassroots divisions.

With veteran reinsman Doug Brown at the helm, Mutinys Child sprinted away from Post 1 in the first division and led the field through evenly-rated fractions of :30, 1:00.3 and 1:30. Mutinys Child never faced a challenge and cruised under the wire four and one-half lengths to the good in a personal best 2:00. Ashlake wrapped up second-place honours, with L H Fillybuster four more lengths to the rear in third.

It was the second straight victory for Mutinys Child, who is trained by Orton, ON resident Frank O’Reilly. The Mutineer daughter is owned by breeders Larry and Jackie Drysdale of Orangeville and Dan Drysdale of Acton, ON and boasts a sophomore record of two wins, one second and one third in five starts. Tuesday’s victory marked the filly’s first appearance in the Grassroots winner’s circle, in three provincial starts last season the young pacer recorded one second, one third and one sixth.

In Race 2, Defy Time delivered her third straight victory over the Western Fair oval. The Southfork miss and regular reinsman Robert Shepherd reeled in pacesetter Honey Thorn in the stretch and pulled away to a two and one-quarter length victory in 2:01.1. Motown Mellow finished well back of the leaders in third.

Through eight starts this season Defy Time boasts an impressive record of six wins and two seconds. Her first two victories over the London oval came on May 13 and 20 in legs of the City of London Trotting Series. Ian Downey trains the talented youngster for Susan Downey of St. George Brant and Scott Maracle of Brantford, ON.

Last year’s Grassroots champion Magic Wheel kicked off her sophomore campaign in fine style, romping to a seven and three-quarter length victory in the fourth division. As they did in last fall’s championship skirmish at the Western Fair oval, the Kadabra daughter and driver Karen Hudon were quickly able to overcome the trailing Post 8, reaching the front before the quarter mile marker and blazing a trail around the half-mile to a 2:01.4 clocking.

Acton, ON resident Hudon shares ownership of Magic Wheel with breeder Margaret Payne of St. Augustine, FL, and her husband Joe Hudon conditions the winner of $115,880.

B Cor Janett, owned and trained by Chad Milner of Denfield, ON, overcame an early mistake to land the second-place share of $24,000, while Julie Labelle held off To Dream Again for third.

Harlow Seelster scored her first lifetime win in the last Grassroots division, getting a bold front end steer from driver Jason Brewer. Brewer rocketed Harlow Seelster away from Post 5 and the rest of the field was never able to catch up, allowing the pacesetters to cruise home two and one-half length winners in 2:00.4. Althea M sailed along in the pocket into second, while Alley Oop had to circle out three-wide at the three-quarters to earn third-place honours.

Kevin O’Reilly trains Harlow Seelster, and Aristi Varsakis of Hamilton, ON owns the daughter of Ken Warkentin and Hollywood Beauty.

The other Grassroots trophies went home with Lady Is A Pirate (2:01.4), Here Comes Jenny (2:03), and Mystic Allure (2:02.1).

The three-year-old trotting fillies make the second stop on their Grassroots tour at Flamboro Downs on June 25, while Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues to build at Western Fair with two $130,000 Gold Finals this Friday, May 27, part of the outstanding Molson Pace line up.

Sandra SNYDER

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