Day At The Track

Steacy trainees celebrate Canada Day in style

12:37 PM 02 Jul 2017 NZST
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Mark Steacy
Trainer Mark Steacy’s three-year-old trotting fillies won three of four Grassroots divisions on Dresden Raceway’s Canada Day program.
Ontario Sire Stakes Photo

JULY 1, 2017 - When Mark Steacy loaded the horse trailer bound for Dresden Raceway's Canada Day harness racing program he was hoping the five three-year-old trotting fillies on board would have a successful afternoon, but his imagination never stretched to the level of success the quintet actually delivered.

"Obviously, when they left the barn this morning I never would have dreamed they would have had three wins, a second and a third," said the trainer. "Shawn did a good really job with them."

Steacy's son Shawn orchestrated the afternoon's efforts, which saw Delcrest Magicstar nose out stablemate Stritch in the first $18,450 division, Magic Maddy sprint down the stretch to a head victory in the second division, Ticket To Seattle go gate-to-wire in the third and Late Shift lead through every station before settling for third in the final Grassroots contest. Driver James MacDonald crafted all three wins and Late Shift's third-place effort, while Jonathan Drury piloted Stritch to her runner-up finish. Both reinsmen reside in Guelph, ON.

Delcrest Magicstar moved to the top of the sophomore trotting filly Grassroots point standings with her second straight win in the series. The daughter of Majestic Son and Stars Balance hit the wire in 2:01.3, rolling out from behind fan favourite P C Pipe Dream to nab pacesetter Stritch by a nose. Stritch and P C Pipe Dream finished second and third.

Steacy conditions Delcrest Magicstar for driver MacDonald and his partners Peter Porter of Port Dover and Johnathan MacKinnon of Guelph, ON.

"They're both nice fillies. Delcrest, she's been getting better and better every start, and she's actually pretty good in the turns too so we figured she'd go around Dresden nicely," said the trainer, who calls Lansdowne, ON home. "But they're both nice fillies."

MacDonald also employed come-from-behind tactics to land Magic Maddy in the winner's circle in the second division. Starting from Post 7 the pair sat fourth as Parkhill Nocredit led the field through fractions of :30.2, 1:01.4 and 1:32.4, then stepped out in the final quarter and trotted home to a 2:03.1 victory, keeping a head in front of Twin B Venus. Local filly Style Spotlight, trained by Mike Carther of Dresden for Malcolm and Robert MacPhail of Dover Centre, finished third.

The win was the first in 14 career starts for Magic Maddy, another daughter of Steacy's former superstar Majestic Son. The trainer's father, Clarke Steacy of Lansdowne, shares ownership of the filly with David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie and A K Malik Stable of Ottawa. ON.

"She's been a little disappointing this year," said the horseman of Magic Maddy. "Last year she showed speed - she raced in the Gold most of the time - she showed speed, but she made breaks. And this year we got her so she's not breaking, but she seemed to lack the same kind of go that she did last year until the last race at Mohawk, she finished third and raced much better. I think she's finally starting to find herself."

With Post 4 in the third division, MacDonald opted to send Ticket To Seattle to the front right off the gate and the fan favourite rang up fractions of :30.1, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1 on her way to a two length victory in 2:01.1. Lady Justice and Jilona rounded out the top three.

Landmark 9 Racing Stable of Kingston, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC and David Reid of Glenburnie, ON share ownership of Ticket To Seattle, who now has three wins and one second in five sophomore starts. Saturday's victory was the daughter of Majestic Son and Travelin Supergirl's first in Ontario Sires Stakes competition.

"She's been a really nice surprise this year, she's been the most consistent of them all," said Steacy, adding that the filly had been hampered by quarter cracks in her hooves as a two-year-old. "When we bought all them fillies I thought she was going to be the best, on her breeding and her looks, but I think just think the quarter cracks hindered her last year.

"Her mother was a nice horse. We raced her mother and she won the Grassroots Championships (at two in 2007) and this mare kind of reminded me a lot of her," Steacy continued.

As the field for the final division trotted away from the starting gate it looked like Steacy and MacDonald had a shot at scooping all four trophies. Late Shift steamed away from her peers, reaching the quarter eight lengths on top in :29.1. The filly, another daughter of Majestic Son, continued to lead at the :59.1 half, but she was under pressure by the 1:30.2 three-quarters and eventually gave way to winner Angora Seelster and runner-up Da Miracle.

"She can get off the gate really fast," said Steacy. "She's got lots of speed for a piece, and you know we've been trying to do it both ways, race her in the two-hole or sit her at the back, but either way she's just not firing home like we want her to. Hopefully she'll get stronger as she goes."

Angora Seelster earned her first Grassroots trophy with the 2:00.3 effort, which was engineered by Bob McClure of Elora, ON. Chris Matthews conditions the daughter of Holiday Road and Amazing Adventure for his partners in the Alot Of Sense Stable of Guelph, Lyons Brothers Stable of Georgetown and Jessica Breese Karn of Guelph, ON.

The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway on July 19.

In addition to the exciting on-track action, Dresden Raceway fans also enjoyed the traditional eight-foot long Canada Day cake and a variety of prizes and giveaways, including Ontario Sires Stakes ball caps and Ontario Racing flip-flops. Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton was also on hand to present the Grassroots trophies to the winners and celebrate Canada Day with Dresden Raceway fans.

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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