Day At The Track

Second record falls at Woodstock Raceway

02:13 AM 03 Aug 2011 NZST
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Mark Steacy
Mark Steacy
Dave Landry - Sportsman Photo

Ontario's two-year-old trotting fillies descended on Woodstock Raceway Tuesday afternoon (August 3) and theMark Steacy trainee Lovely Vacation wrote her name into the half-mile oval's harness racing record books with a sharp 2:02.3 victory.

With Steacy in the race bike the filly powered away from Post 6 to a :30.2 opening quarter and sailed along to a 1:00.3. Quantum Ladyabra mounted a challenge up the outside heading toward the 1:32 three-quarters, but went off stride around the final turn and left Lovely Vacation with a clear run to the wire.

Uncommon Grace finished eight and one-quarter lengths back in third, with Quantum Ladyabra recovering her composure in time to secure the third-place share of the $24,000 Grassroots purse.

Lovely Vacation, a daughter of Steacy’s former superstar Majestic Son, is now two-for-two in Grassroots action after making a break in the Gold Series season opener. A $15,000 purchase out of the Forest City Yearling Sale last fall, Lovely Vacation has already returned $24,000 to her owners Shawn Steacy of Lansdowne, ON, David McDonald of Cornwall, ON, Joe Loring of Canmore, AB and Dr. Malcolm Man Son Hing of Campbell River, BC.

With a total of 100 Grassroots points, the filly sits in a tie for second spot in the two-year-old trotting filly standings.

De La Noche moved to the top of the standings with her 2:04.3 victory in the fourth Grassroots split on Tuesday. The Amigo Hall lass and driver Doug McNair controlled the pace from start to finish, rolling under the wire one and a half lengths ahead of Joys Mutinee and Tyrone Conchie.

Gregg McNair conditions De La Noche for Vince Mastrangelo of Brampton, ON, who also hoisted a Grassroots trophy in the season opener at Flamboro Downs on July 10. The filly finished third in the July 23 event at Kawartha Downs, giving her a total of 112 Grassroots points.

English Cherry picked up her second straight Grassroots victory on Tuesday for owner-breeder Doug Millard of Woodstock and his partners Charles Eden and ME Stables Inc. of Woodstock. The Striking Sahbra daughter and trainer-driver Terry Kerr cruised home three and one-half length winners in 2:04.2. Carscot Shalamar finished second and Barbie And Ken recovered from an early miscue to grab third-place honours.

English Cherry also captured her career debut in the Grassroots event at Kawartha Downs, and currently sits tied for second in the standings with 100 points.

Local filly Margarita De Vie found her way to the Woodstock Raceway winner’s circle with a 2:05.1 effort in the ninth race on Wednesday. With owner and trainer Eli Wagler of Dorchester in the race bike the Ken Warkentin lass sailed home to a three and three-quarter length advantage over Magic Will Work and fan favourite Incredible Her Bee, who spotted the field 25 lengths on an early break before rallying to finish third.

Wagler acquired the daughter of $121,690 winner Excusez Moi for a bargain basement $2,000 at last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale and has already recouped $15,360 through the filly’s first four starts.

The other filly to post a second Grassroots victory was Dayplanner, who moves into a three-way tie for second in the standings with English Cherry and Lovely Vacation.

Off a front-end steer from trainer-driver Paul Walker, Dayplanner reached the wire three and one-half lengths ahead of favourite Northern Senorita and Stirling Abacus in 2:03. Owen Sound resident Brenda Walker bred and owns the daughter of Oaklea Julian and Our Day.

The other Grassroots divisions were captured by Winbak Tess in 2:03.3; Stormont Fried in 2:05.1; Striking Forever in 2:03.4; Happy Everything in 2:05.4;and Dee Dee Pucker in 2:04.1. The two-year-old trotting fillies make their fourth of six Grassroots starts at Hiawatha Horse Park on Aug. 13.

Tuesday’s contest wrapped up the 2011 Woodstock Raceway Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, which saw track records set by both the freshman trotting fillies and the three-year-old pacing colts.

Sandra SNYDER

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