Day At The Track

Trotters shine in Grassroots at Georgian Downs

12:26 PM 17 Aug 2020 NZST
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INNISFIL, ON - AUG. 16, 2020 - Trotters were the stars at Georgian Downs on Sunday, Aug. 16 as the Innisfil oval hosted six $23,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old harness racing trotting fillies and the $75,000 Earl Rowe Invitational Trot for older horses.

Profound Paragon delivered the quickest mile of the Grassroots divisions, powering around the Georgian Downs oval to a four and three-quarter length in a personal best 1:56. Fan favourite Moana finished second and early pacesetter Eternal Jewel finished third.

"With Moana in there we were definitely concerned with the seven-hole," said trainer Julie Walker of the filly's Post 7 starting position. "There's always good horses, so you kind of always have to just hope you don't get any road trouble and it works out, so it did, it worked out."

The win was the third in Grassroots action and the sixth straight for Profound Paragon, who sits atop the division standings with a perfect 150 points. Jean Bernard "Bert" Renaud drives the daughter of Muscle Mass for Carlisle, ON resident Walker and her co-owner Steven Titus of Manalapan, NJ.

Off Sunday's impressive performance, Profound Paragon may have earned a promotion to the Gold Series for the September event.

"The next Gold is on a half. The Gold is tough competition, everyone knows that, but maybe being on a half we might give it a shot. We'll have to discuss," said Walker with a laugh. "We've kind of stayed away from Mohawk, because we've stayed away from the speed train to let her learn speed on her own and not push her. I think tonight was the first night that, you know, the speed keeps coming."

Trainer Susanne Kerwood captured two $23,150 Grassroots divisions with fan favourites Brinys A Flight and Susies Lady.

In the fourth division Brinys A Flirt and driver Robert Shepherd took command before the half and made it look easy from there, cruising along to a one and one-quarter length win in 1:58.3. Oh Lina finished second and Golden Gavel was third.

The win was the Holiday Road filly's first in 12 lifetime starts. She started her sophomore Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) campaign at the Gold Series level, finishing sixth in the July 2 event at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and then delivered a runner-up result in the second Grassroots leg at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 26.

"She's not easy, I'm telling you, she's a tough cookie. Rene (Dion), he's worked with her pretty much all winter and just tried to get her to settle down, so every time she behaves it's like, 'Phew'," said Kerwood. "She is getting better and better and better, she's learning how to go faster and she's learning how to behave, so it's all good. I mean she's out of a great mare, so if she just is a quarter as good as her we'll be all right."

Brinys A Flirt is owned by breeder Terry Devos and Clarence Devos of Langton and Peter Porter of Port Dover, ON. The filly is out of the Devos' great race mare Snazzy Millie, who earned $1.1 million in her nine-year career.

One race later Susies Lady started from Post 7 and spent most of the mile leading the charge up the outer lane. The Muscle Mass daughter had a head in front of pacesetter Highland Foxytrotr at the top of the stretch and managed to fend off Pier Ho Kado in the stretch to secure a neck victory in 1:57.4.

Scott Coulter engineered the win for Acton, ON resident Kerwood and her co-owner M And L Of Delaware LLC of Wilmington, DE. The win was the filly's first in OSS action this season. Susies Lady battled the Gold fillies in the first two legs, finishing fifth in the track, OSS and Canadian record mile by P L Notsonice at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 26.

"She's a nice filly, that's for sure, and she's got a great name," said Kerwood with a chuckle. "In Rideau there she had a super tough trip. And I raced her in Georgian here last week and she come up super flat and I drew blood on her and sure enough she had a high white (count). I said to the owner, 'I can't get her good in four days, it's impossible, but I may be able to get her good for Sunday and that's a Grassroots so why don't we just try her in there and we'll go from there'. I took another blood on her yesterday and she was good to go. I think the next Gold is in Flamboro, so we may try her there again. I'll talk to the owners and we'll go from there, but she was very good tonight."

The three-year-old trotting fillies make their fourth Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 1 and their fourth Gold Series start at Flamboro Downs on Sept. 27.

The other three Grassroots divisions went to Rockadero, Protostar and Letstaketothesky.

Muscle Mass daughter Rockadero toured the Innisfil oval in 1:58.1 for driver Jonathan Drury, trainer Carmen Auciello and owner Bedrock Stables of Stouffville, ON. Favourite No Angel Here was second and Ride To Justice finished third.

Protostar delivered a 1:59.2 effort for driver Ryan Desroche, trainer Dustin Jones and owner-breeder Andrea Lea Racing Stables Inc. of Lakefield Gore, QC. She Must Be Magic and Chelseas Magic finished second and third behind the fan favourite, making it a Kadabra-sired sweep.

Letstaketothesky and driver Anthony Haughan stopped the teletimer at 1:59.2, besting favourite Alexa Blue Chip and Peppas Angel. Trainer David Holliday and Ben Holliday of Mount Forest, ON bred and own the Wheeling N Dealin daughter.

In the $75,000 Earl Rowe Invitational Trot, reigning champion P L Jill defended her title with a front-end effort from Post 9. The Kadabra mare held off a charging Free Willy Hanover in the stretch, keeping a head in front for the 1:53.2 victory. Majestic Son gelding Perfetto completed the top three.

Mike Saftic guided P L Jill to her second Earl Rowe Invitational title for trainer Ben Baillargeon and owners Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON, Jill Coleman of New York, NY and Alan Christensen of Calgary, AB.

From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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