Day At The Track

No strangers to Grassroots winner's circle

03:56 AM 15 Sep 2011 NZST
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None of the division winners in Wednesday's regular season harness racing finale at Flamboro Downs were strangers to the Grassroots winner's circle, resulting in very little movement in the upper ranks of the two-year-old pacing filly division.

Machet Rocket will head into next week’s Semifinal round on a high after dominating the first $24,000 division with a front-end effort in 1:56.3. The Mach Three filly and driver Paul Mackenzie hit the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Fine Art Mindale, with Regally Blonde three more lengths back in third.

Sunderland resident Murray Brethour conditions Machet Rocket for his partners Noblock Racing Stable of Collingwood and Fred Brayford of Alliston. In five Grassroots appearances the filly recorded three victories for a total of 150 points, putting her fourth in the division standings. Machet Rocket’s resume also boasts a win and a third-place result in overnight action at Kawartha Downs.

The second and third divisions played out in similar fashion, with fan favourites controlling the tempo and cruising home unchallenged.

Katys Jet and Scott Zeron logged a three and one-half length victory over Twin B Elite and Bruisers Sister in the second split, halting the teletimer at 1:57. The win moved the Jeremes Jet daughter into third spot in the final point standings with 162 points from three wins and one third-place result in four Grassroots starts.

Casie Coleman conditions Katys Jet for Steve Calhoun of Chatham, and moved the filly into the Grassroots program after she failed to make a significant impression in two starts at the Gold Series level.

Simon Allard and Regal Attitude also romped along on the front end to a two and one-half length decision over Lyons Luck in a 1:57.3 clocking. Premier Indigo was well back in third.

Mark Etsell trains Regal Attitude for David Snowden of Bowmanville, and has sent the Stonebridge Regal daughter behind the gate eight times this season, watching her record four wins and two second-place results. In Grassroots action Regal Attitude accumulated 175 points from three wins and one second, putting her just 25 points behind undefeated division leader Eat Me Up.

Memumsnotnice made the biggest leap up the point standings with her 1:57.3 score in the fourth Grassroots division. The Jeremes Jet lass also tried her hand in the Gold Series mid-season, but returned to the Grassroots program where she posted two wins and one third for a point tally of 112. Wednesday’s victory secured the filly a berth in one of two $30,000 Semifinals at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 23.

Sylvain Filion engineered the come-from-behind effort which saw Memumsnotnice reel in pacesetter In Regal Attire and fan favourite Palm Patrol to score the quarter length victory. The filly is owned by trainer Colin Johnson of Le Gardeur, QC, Gilles Caouette of Garson, ON, Fred Brayford of Alliston, ON and Claude Baril of Mascouche, QC.

The last regular season Grassroots trophy awarded in the freshman pacing filly division went home with Stonebridge Sassy, who picked up her second piece of provincial hardware with a 1:58.3 effort. Win After Five finished three and one-half lengths back in second and Almost Midnight was another length and one-quarter back in third.

Jeff Gillis handles Stonebridge Sassy’s care for Scott Horner and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto and breeder Angie Stiller of Arva, ON. Through five starts the Camluck miss has two wins and one second to her credit, all in Grassroots action, giving her a point total of 133. Randy Waples piloted Stonebridge Sassy in her last two starts.

The top 20 point earners will now turn their attention to next week’s Semifinal round. The top five finishers from each Semifinal will advance to the Oct. 1 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack, worth $100,000.

Also making their way to Mohawk on Oct. 1 will be Wednesday’s Win The Thrill finalists, who will be crossing their fingers in hopes of winning the Grand Prize — a share in the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association’s (SBOA) New Owner Mentoring Program. Good luck to finalists David Joseph, Max Newham, Jimmy Chiot, O.J. Poliziani, Albert Czerniga, Doris Pearson, Dani Serratore, and Walt Crooker, who hope to hoist their own Grassroots trophies alongside an Ontario-sired youngster next season.

More information about the Win The Thrill contest and the SBOA New Owner Mentoring program is available at and


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