Day At The Track

McClure pilots pair of Grassroots winners

09:38 AM 23 Aug 2020 NZST
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Adrenaline Rush, harness racing
Driver Bob McClure piloted a pair of two-year-old pacing geldings to Grassroots victories at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday, Aug. 22, including Adrenaline Rush, who was a 1:57 winner for trainer Kevin McMaster and fractional ownership group TheStable Adr
Holly Chaytor - Photos By Design

SARNIA, AUG. 22, 2020 - Hiawatha Horse Park welcomed the two-year-old pacing colts on Saturday, Aug. 22 for four $23,000 Grassroots divisions and driver Bob McClure kicked off the harness racing program with wins in the first two splits.

Starting from Post 1 in the first division, McClure and Next Big Thing got away second behind Lil Red Sportsstar, who led the field of eight to a :28 quarter. The driver sent Next Big Thing to the front before the :56.4 half and the gelding fought off a sustained challenge from fan favourites No Plan Intended and driver Jody Jamieson through the 1:26 three-quarters before pulling away to a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:54.4. No Plan Intended settled for second and Beef N Cheddar was third.

"I watched the Gold that he was in when Desperate Man won (July 3) and he was locked and loaded and he went a very big mile that night and I thought he was going to be very legit," said McClure, who had not driven the gelding before Saturday's contest. "After that, I guess he doesn't really like the front and he ended up on the front a couple times, and they said he had some sickness issues, so it looks like they've got everything ironed out now because he was lethal today."

McClure engineered the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his co-owner/breeders Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The Shadow Play gelding started his Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) career at the Gold Series level, finishing third in both the July 3 season opener and the July 18 leg, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

"He was going against the Gold colts and just coming up a little short so, confidence is a big thing, and I decided to drop him down and see if we couldn't braven him up. I did make a big change, he had a blind bridle on and once he made the front he would get lost and just let a couple by him, but I put an open bridle on him and I trained him in the open bridle and he was much better," said McIntosh. "Today, I just watched it on the Hiawatha website there, but if he had the blind bridle on he probably would have let Jamieson go by, but with an open bridle he fought him off.

"I think with the open bridle on he might go back to the Gold. He'll be proud of himself now."

McClure was back in the winner's circle after the second Grassroots division with fan favourite Adrenaline Rush, who took command just after the midway point and opened up to a three and one-half length victory in 1:57. All Cheddar was second and Hez My Buddy finished third.

"He's been off a month, I didn't know what to expect," said Rockwood, ON resident McClure. "When I moved him out first-up he was coming, and then he cleared the front, and you know what, he took care of the rest from there, but that was a surprise because I thought he'd be a bit short."

The win was the second straight in Grassroots action for McClure and the Royal Mattjesty gelding. The pair was also victorious in the July 20 event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on behalf of trainer Kevin McMaster and fractional ownership group TheStable Adrenaline Rush of Guelph, ON. Saturday's win moved Adrenaline Rush to the top of the division standings with the win with a total of 102 points.

Cantstoplying claimed the third Grassroots title, outsprinting Next Big Thing's stablemate Last Bet for a neck victory in 1:55.1. Finkle Is Einhorn was one length behind the battling leaders in third.

Louis-Philippe Roy piloted Sunshine Beach gelding Cantstoplying to his first lifetime win for trainer Nick Gallucci and owner/breeder Millar Farms of Stouffville, ON.

"I was really happy with how he beat the horse down the stretch. It looked like he might have been second there, but he fought back and won the race, so I was really impressed with that," said Gallucci. "He's still learning; every race he seems to get a little bit better. He's very fast, it's just a matter of getting his mind more into being a racehorse and I think that will come with time."

Take Control claimed the final Grassroots division, overtaking pacesetting favourite Proline on the final turn and romping home to a 15 length victory in 1:54.3. Mustang Beach, who led the main pack as a distant Proline rang up fractions of :26.4, :53.1 and 1:23.4, finished second and Marlboro Seelster was third.

Anthony Haughan engineered Take Control's first lifetime win for trainer Dan Lagace of Cambridge and his co-owner Ben Mudry of Toronto, ON. The partners were delighted with the result and with the progress the Control The Moment son has shown through his five lifetime starts.

"He's a nice little colt. Ben was kind of looking for a Control The Moment colt because he owned Control The Moment and so he had approached me in the fall about looking at some babies," recalled Lagace. "So this colt was in London (Selected Yearling Sale) and I said I'd go to $15,000 on him and Ben's like, 'Well you know when you say $15,000 they always go for $20,000'. And I said, 'Well I'm only buying a quarter, you're buying three-quarters so if we go to $20,000 I don't care'. So I went in and made one bid and bid $8,000.

"You know that commercial where the girl is leaving Walmart and she's leaving the building and she's like, 'Start the car!' I said that's the way I felt," said Lagace with a laugh. "He's not a great horse or anything, but you know he's maturing into a nice horse. And for $8,000 you can't go wrong; $8,000 is my wheelhouse."

The two-year-old pacing colts will make their last two Grassroots starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 8 and 17. The top 20 point earners through the five regular season events will then move on to the Oct. 1 Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Complete results for Saturday's program are available at Hiawatha Horse Park Results.

OSS Program Information

For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com

Ontario Racing

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