Six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots dashes for harness racing rookie trotting colts and geldings were the marquee events on Saturday night (August 16) at Georgian Downs. The first three races on the card were all Grassroots races, and driver Trevor Henry won all of them to get his night started off on the right foot.
Henry won the opener with Kadabrasnewrecruit in 2:01.4. Racing over a surface left sloppy and two seconds off due to rain, Kadabrasnewrecruit came from well off-the-pace to gain the lead in the stretch and then stepped away to win by two and a half lengths over Angels Kid (Keith Oliver). Muscles All Over (Eddie Green) finished third.
Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ont. owns Kadabrasnewrecruit, a gelded son of Kadabra. Kadabrasnewrecruit, who was bred by Tymal Farms, broke his maiden in his second attempt, and he has now earned $13,500. He’s the fifth foal out of the Mr Lavec mare Keystone Alberta, who was third in the $100,000 Grassroots final when she was a two-year-old.
Olympic Son then gave Henry the double, leading through panels of :30, 1:01.2, and 1:32.1 on his way to a four and three-quarter length victory in 2:02.1. Parkhill Lancelot (Steve Byron) crossed the finish line in second, but was off-stride in doing so, and following a judges’ inquiry, he was moved back to third, elevating original third-place finisher Covert Operative (Per Henriksen) to runner-up status.
Paul Reid trains Olympic Son, a colt by Majestic Son, for owner/breeder Bob Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania. Olympic Son picked up his first win from three attempts and he has now put away $13,320. The winner is the second foal out of the Yankee Glide mare Graceful Sister ($104,714).
Snapshot Springs overcame post nine to give Henry the hat trick. Snapshot Springs had command through splits of :29.4, 1:01.4, and 1:33.1 en route to a 2:03.1 triumph. Numbers Game (Kevin Sizer) came in second, beaten a length and a half by the winner, and Jayport All Muscle (Keith Oliver) nabbed third.
The Striking Sahbra-Spring Photo gelding is owned and bred by trainer Richard and Regina Beinhauer of Venetia, Pennsylvania. The win was his second (consecutive) in five starts and lifted his earnings to $22,500.
In other action, Mandeville now leads the Grassroots point standings for the group after a 2:01.3 tally in the fifth Grassroots flight with Scott Coulter driving. He also went all the way on the lead, clicking off fractions of :30.4, 1:02, and 1:31 before he trotting a :30.3 final kicker to prevail by one and a quarter lengths over Stormont Wizard (Oliver). Top Dollar (Byron) collected third.
Trainer Wayne Langille of Harley, Ont. also co-owns the victorious Majestic Son gelding with Brett Burleigh of Paris, Ont. Mandeville, who has won three times in Grassroots competition and banked $31,500, was bred by Dr. John Brown of Granton, Ont. and was purchased for $10,000 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale. Mandeville is the fifth foal out of the Yankee Paco mare My Charmer, making him a half-brother to Grassroots winner Momentous (Mr Lavec).
Coulter also clicked in the Grassroots nightcap with Call Me Richard. Call Me Richard circled from third to first after the :30-second opening quarter, and after he reached the half in :59.1 and the three-quarters in 1:30.3, he romped to a 12 length decision in 2:01.3. Ontheroad De Vie (Robby Robinson) was next, followed by Concept (Oliver).
Call Me Richard, who picked up his other career win in Grassroots action on July 12 at Georgian Downs, is trained by Clare Bradshaw. Andrea Arthur of Scotland, Ont. owns Call Me Richard, whose dam is Andover Hall mare Olympic Dreams. Call Me Richard, now an earner of $23,940, was bred by Tri Star Farms Ltd. of Brantford, Ont. and was hammered down for $11,500 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale.
The other Grassroots winner was El Diablo Hall and Keith Oliver, who led at the :29.4 opening quarter, the 1:00.2 half, and the 1:31 three-quarters in the fourth Grassroots race. He had a stern challenge from pocket-sitter Freddie (Trevor Henry) through the lane, but El Diablo Hall held sway, prevailing by a head in 2:00.4. Now Thats Scary (Wayne Henry) finished third.
Tony Montini trains the winner, a Windsong Espoir gelding, for Ontario owners Albina Montini of Acton, Paul Giammichele of Burlington, and Rick Podolinsky of Alvinston. Dale Hunter of London, Ont., the former head coach of the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals, also co-owns El Diablo Hall, who has now won six times from seven tries and banked $26,000. He’s the third foal out of the Andover Image mare EL Mistress Chesea, meaning he’s a half-brother to multi-time Grassroots winner Erin Hall.
The next Grassroots event for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters will take place on September 6 at Hanover Raceway.
From the Ontario Sire Stakes