TORONTO, November 15 - Riveting Rosie wasn't messing around Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack in preparation for next Friday's Breeders Crown final. The three-year-old daughter of Muscle Mass won a $20,000 conditioned trot in 1:53 to set a new Woodbine track record for three-year-old trotting fillies. Driven by Paul Macdonell for trainer John Bax, Riveting Rosie got away in third, but was quickly sent to the lead in the second quarter. Once on the lead, Riveting Rosie kept the tempo honest with fractions of :56.3 and 1:24.4 before trotting home in :28.1 to establish the new track record. The clocking of 1:53 shaved a fifth of a second off One More Ginny's track record from November of 2012. Last year's O'Brien Award winner as two-year-old filly trotter of the year, Riveting Rosie has now won five of 16 starts this season to increase her career bankroll to over $880,000. Her biggest victory this season was in the $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final at Mohawk on October 11th. The Bax trainee is now set for next Friday's $500,000 three-year-old filly trot Breeders Crown final at the Meadowlands. Eliminations were not required for the three-year-old filly trot division because only nine fillies entered. Riveting Rosie has drawn post position eight in next Friday's final. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
It might have taken a while, but trainer John Bax has gotten the best kind of “stubborn” from 2-year-old female trotter Stubborn Belle. “She’s a lot like her name, she’s a fighter,” Bax said. “You need that to have a good horse. “But it took a while to get on the same page with her. She was pretty single-minded. At first, you had to do things her way. As the year has gone on, she’s gotten a little more manageable. But there sure was a learning curve with her. She’d always rather fight than switch. “It’s frustrating sometimes, but when it goes right it’s pretty good.” Stubborn Belle starts from post seven in the second of two eliminations in the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female trotters. The top five from each elim advance to the $500,000 final on Nov. 21. A daughter of Taurus Dream-Musetta Hanover, Stubborn Belle is owned by Al Libfeld and Bax’s Parkhill Stud Farm. She has won five of 12 races, including the Peaceful Way Stakes, and earned $448,354, a total good enough to lead all 2-year-old female trotters and trail only the colt Habitat. She enters her Breeders Crown elimination off a second-place finish to Smexi in the Goldsmith Maid. “A lot of times it’s a deal with the females that you have to let them think they’re boss, and usually they are,” Bax said. “It’s a fine line.” Stubborn Belle went off stride in her first two races, but has since won five of 10 starts and finished on the board a total of eight times. “She’s big and strong,” Bax said. “She actually looks like a colt. There’s nothing petite about her. Hopefully down the road she can keep it going. “At the end of the day, she’s been pretty good to me.” Wild Honey, who has won nine of 10 races and finished second in her only loss, is the 4-5 morning line favorite in Stubborn Belle’s elim. Wild Honey, a daughter of Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy, is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and Jim Fielding. She heads to the Breeders Crown off a win in the Matron Stakes on Nov. 6 at Dover Downs. Multiple-stakes-winner Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Southwind Serena, is the 3-5 morning line favorite in the first elimination. She has won seven of 11 races for owners Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. She is the fastest 2-year-old trotter in history, thanks to a 1:50.3 win in October at The Red Mile, but has gone off stride in all four of her losses. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
TORONTO, October 27 - Second round action of the Autumn Series got underway Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack and new faces found their way to the winner's circle. A pair of $14,000 divisions for both the two-year-old pacing and trotting fillies were contested. In the first division for pacers, Evas Girl and Jody Jamieson rebounded from a sixth place finish in the first leg to score a leg two victory in 1:53.3. A daughter of Rambaran, Evas Girl got away fourth and was sent first up around the final turn. In the stretch, Evas Girl powered to the lead and cruised to a 2 ¼ length victory. Little Miss Artist finished second, while Lady Hill took the show spot. Trained by Peter Core, the second leg victory was the second win in nine starts for Evas Girl and pushes her career earnings to over $17,000 for owner Nicolas Stoukas. Evas Girl paid $4.40 to win. In the second division, a big opening quarter might have been the turning point to allow Dublin Rose to score the victory. Tessa Seelster blasted off the gate to the front and hung up a wicked opening quarter of :25.4. As the field entered the backstretch, Dublin Rose came out and around to the lead for driver Paul Macdonell. In the stretch, Tessa Seelster came out of the two-hole, but didn't have enough to get by Dublin Rose, who scored a length and a half victory in 1:53.4. Marachere finished third. A daughter of Major In Art, Dublin Rose is owned and trained by Allen Tomlinson and had finished third in the opening leg. The second leg victory is the second win in eight starts for Dublin Rose and increases her career earnings to over $22,000. She returned $8.30 to win. Cum Laude Hall took the opening division for the two-year-old filly trotters. Trained and driven by Rick Zeron, Cum Laude Hall got away third and was pushed first up in the second quarter. After clearing to the lead just past the half, Cum Laude Hall never looked back and trotted clear to a 3 Â¼ length victory in 1:57. Magic Shelley finished second, while Battle Mage got up for third. The second round victory was a maiden breaking victory for Cum Laude Hall, who had finished third in the first leg. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Cum Laude Hall is owned by Walnut Hall Limited and now has career earnings of $24,353 in eight starts. She paid $6.40 to win. In the second division, Meadow Seelster was a gate to wire winner in 1:58.1. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Meadow Seelster set fractions of :27.4, :59 and 1:29.3, before digging in late to hold off a late surge from Hape to win by a length and a half. Yanks Ball Girl finished third, while leg one winner Mischief Smile had to settle for fourth. Trained by Bill Budd, Meadow Seelster, who finished second in the first leg, has now won three of 10 career starts. The daughter of Holiday Road is owned by William Dixon and has now earned $26,030 in her young career. She returned $6.30 to win. The Autumn Series is for Ontario sired two-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2014. The finals for both Autumn Series categories will take place next Monday, November 3rd. Autumn Series action continues Thursday night with second leg action for the two-year-old colts and geldings. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie, for WEG
October 11, 2014. Harness racing driver Paul MacDonell has won more Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals than any other driver and he showed exactly why in tonight’s $250,000 Super Final for two-year-old pacing fillies with Code One Hanover who picked the perfect time to produce the best race yet of her career. Code One Hanover grabbed early control for MacDonell but was covered by Capela before the :27 first quarter. That filly wasn’t there long though as Wrangler Magic took over well before the :56.3 half. Steve Condren had I Wonder Why first up and pressuring at that point leading several fillies in the outside lane but Wrangler Magic was managing to hold them off. The three-quarters was reached in 1:24.4 and down the lane MacDonell had Code One Hanover in high gear up the inside and at the wire she and Wrangler Magic seemed to reach it at the same second with Code One Hanover getting the nod in the photo. Akissfromtheart took third while Sports Chic was fourth. The time of the mile was 1:54.1. “There’s no question about it we were going to need a trip no matter how things unfolded. She was able to get out of the gate well and get away third and things worked out for her,” explained MacDonell who was notching his 15th Super Final victory since the championship races were introduced in 2000, and notched his 16th in the very next race with Riveting Rosie. “She won her race at Grand River earlier in the summer (an OSS Gold event) fairly handily, she qualified well early but she did tail off mid season and we were a little concerned about her, but she came right back around tonight. Everything worked in our favour.” Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario, trains and owns the winner, a daughter of Sportswriter he purchased as a yearling last year at the Lexington Select Sale for $75,000. This was the second win in 10 tries for Code One Hanover who has earned $182,000 so far in her young career. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, the filly is from the $380,000 winner Current Hanover. "That's the end of her season," noted Darling. She'll have a rest before getting prepped for her sophomore campaign. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News
October 11, 2014. Riveting Rosie backed up her Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final victory last year by doing the same thing this year, winning the $250,000 test for harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:55. Driver Paul MacDonell sighted Riveting Rosie at the front from her post nine starting position, and she would stroll through fractions of :27.4, :57.1, and 1:26.2 while never facing a threat to her outside. The fillies began to fan out behind Riveting Rosie in the lane, but they just couldn’t get to her as she reached the wire half a length ahead of Margie (Sylvain Filion). Sweetie Hearts (Randy Waples), who had the pocket trip behind the eventual winner, snagged third. White Becomes Her (Mario Baillargeon) overcame post ten to get fourth and Muscle Babe (James MacDonald) finished fifth. “She got good at the right time of the year. We’re pretty happy with her,” said winning trainer John Bax. “She had an accident at the farm (explaining her slow start to her sophomore campaign) – scraped up her legs – with all the scar tissue; just little things were bothering her. She’s gotten through it. The race at Flamboro (September 21), when she won in the mud there in 1:57, she looked pretty good. I thought everything’s good. “She’s eligible down in Hoosier Park for the Moni Maker and she’s also eligible for the Breeders Crown at The Meadowlands.” Bax’s Parkhill Stud Farm of Peterborough, Ontario, also co-owns the victorious daughter of Muscle Mass with partners Don Allensen of Wyoming, J And T Stable of Newmarket, and John Hayes of Sharon, Ontario. Riveting Rosie, who was bred by Schare Adams and fetched $17,000 at the 2012 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, won for the fourth time from 14 attempts this year, and this was her tenth career victory. She has earned $401,680 in 2014 and $870,293 lifetime. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News
Riveting Rosie was the standout harness racing two-year-old trotting filly in Canada last season but she struggled for that same dominance this year – until recently that is. The three-year-old daughter of Muscle Mass has had to overcome a number of issues this season including some nasty cuts to her back legs from a training accident prior to the start of her 2014 campaign which trainer John Bax treated with Manuka honey on the advice of his vet. “It’s been one thing after another with her this year, I’d love to see her finish the year strong,” Bax said shortly after Rosie finished second to the top filly Shake It Cerry in the Elegantimage final earlier this month. It would appear Bax is getting his wish. In her next race after that appearance, a $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division, Rosie went to the top and never looked back to win by more than six lengths in 1:57 which equaled the track record despite the track being rated good. Tonight at Mohawk, in the final OSS Gold event for this division, Riveting Rosie was once again the best of her group by open lengths, winning in a new life best of 1:54, again over an off track. Rosie left from post six in the compact field of a half dozen in the second of two divisions and she was quick to the first quarter in :27. Rosie pulled Paul MacDonell to the half in :56.3 and three-quarters in 1:26. White Becomes Her came up to challenge in the final turn, and tucked in behind the leader down the stretch as she could not gain on Rosie who was home with more than four lengths to spare over White Becomes Her and Mayberry. Bred by Schare Adams of Kentucky, Riveting Rose sold for $17,000 at the Lexington Select Sale to Bax, Don Allensen, Wyoming, J And T Stable, Newmarket and John Hayes, Sharon, Ontario. Rosie’s summary on the year now reads 3-2-2 in 13 starts for $276,000 earned this year and $745,293 lifetime. In the first division Muscle Babe powered to the front early to hit the opening quarter in :27. Randy Waples pulled Sweetie Hearts out from second just past that point and she trotted by the half in :57. Miss Liv came up on the outside to challenge and that pair were neck and neck at the 1:26.2 third panel. Sweetie Hearts put away that challenger and was home first easily in 1:55. Kate Smith closed a ton to take second while Miss Liv held for third. Bob Key of Leechburg, Pa., bred and owns the winner, a daughter of Angus Hall who has four wins in 15 trips behind the gate this year for $280,000 in earnings. Ron Parsons trains the filly whose second dam is a full sister to American Winner, Super Pleasure, Jonlin, etc. The top fillies from the division will meet one more time in OSS action, on Super Final night, October 11, back at Mohawk. To view the results from tonight’s event, please click Mohawk Results - September 30. By OSS News
Stubborn Belle cruised to a new life mark in the first and fastest of two $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for two-year-old trotting fillies tonight at Mohawk. Danielle Hall captured the other division. Amoureuse Hanover and Doug McNair grabbed the lead early in the first test and got the girls by the opening marker in :27.3. She was passed by Youre Majestic whose lead didn’t last long as Paul MacDonell sent heavy favourite Stubborn Belle directly to the top. They passed the half in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:25.1. No one could catch them down the lane as Stubborn Belle cruised to an easy victory in 1:54.1. Youre Majestic finished second followed by Lady Caterina. Trainer John Bax of Peterborough, Ontario, shares ownership of the winner, a daughter of Sir Taurus, with Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ontario. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, Stubborn Belle was an $85,000 yearling buy at Harrisburg. A winner of the Peaceful Way final in her most recent start, Stubborn Belle has five wins in nine tries this year for $361,000 in earnings. In the second division Stubborn Belle’s stablemate from the Bax barn, Juanitas Fury got away second behind Meganou who trotted by the opening quarter in :28. Just past that point MacDonell sent Juanitas Fury to the front and she hit the half in :57.3. She had company in the form of Danielle Hall at the 1:26.2 three-quarters. That gritty pair went head to head down the stretch with Juanitas Fury showing her determination to hang onto the lead and Danielle Hall just as determined to take it. She managed to narrowly edge Juanitas Fury at the wire in 1:55.2. Elegant Serenity was third. Jody Jamieson drove the winner for his father Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario who trains and co-owns with Winnipeg Racing of Concord, Ontario. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe who sold for $21,000 for breeder Walnut Hall Ltd. at the Lexington Select Sale, Danielle Hall improved her summary to 6-1-1 in nine starts for $253,000 banked. This was the final regular season OSS Gold event for these girls. The top point earners will hook up once more in the season ending Super Final on October 11 at Mohawk. To view the complete results from tonight’s program, please clickMohawk Results - September 25. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Riveting Rosie and Kate Smith captured the two $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies contested over a track rated Good tonight at Flamboro Downs. Riveting Rosie was the dominant performer in the first division, as she never relinquished her pole position and led through splits of :27.4, :58.3 and 1:27.4 and was home by more than six lengths in 1:57 for Paul MacDonell. Sweetie Hearts recovered from an early miscue to finish second while Magic Feeling was third. Trainer John Bax of Peterborough, Ontario, shares ownership of the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, with Don Allensen of Wyoming, J And T Stable, Newmarket and John Hayes, Sharon, Ontario. Last year’s two-year-old trotting filly of the year, Riveting Rosie was recording her second win of her three-year-old campaign and upped her 2014 earnings well over $220,000 and lifetime to $690,000. Bred by Schare Adams of Kentucky, Riveting Rosie was a $17,000 yearling buy in 2012. In the second division it was Margie and Sylvain Filion setting the tempo of :29.2, 1:00.1 and 1:29.4 but she could not hold off Kate Smith in the lane who was to the wire first in 1:59.3 for Anthony MacDonald. Margie was right there for second while Mayberry finished third. Herb Holland trains the winner, a daughter of Cornaro Dasolo owned by breeder Carolyn MacIsaac of Milton, Ontario. This was the fifth win this year for the filly who sent her earnings well over the $100,000 mark with tonight’s effort. This group has one more Gold event before the October 11 Super Finals, on September 30 at Mohawk. To view the full results from tonight’s program, please click Flamboro Results - September 21. OSS News
Harness racing three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits set the fields for their $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series Finals with eight $20,000 Semifinals Saturday (September 20) at Mohawk Racetrack. The top five horses in each Semifinal moved on to next week’s Finals. Pacing Males High Flier (J. Harris) left out fast from his post nine starting spot in the first Semifinal, and he had the lead at the :26.1 opening quarter. Shadow Place (Trevor Henry) was in second at that point, but he moved to the outside and took control before the :55.1 half. Regal Son (Randy Waples) then rolled the dice first-over out of fourth, and he would match strides with Shadow Place at the 1:23.2 three-quarters. Regal Son forged his way around Shadow Place in the lane, but High Flier got a lane up the inside, and he took advantage, getting up to win by a head in 1:52.1. Shadowbriand (Mike Saftic) turned a second-over trip into the runner-up spot and Regal Son finished third. Some Major Beach (Doug McNair) came in fourth, followed by V I P Bayama (Sylvain Filion). Trainer David Taff of Waterdown, Ontario, shares ownership of High Flier, a Shadow Play colt, with Christopher Nicol of West Yorkshire, England. High Flier, who won at the Grassroots level on June 13 at Mohawk, has won five times from 11 attempts in 2014, and he has six career tallies. He has earned $43,436 this year and $47,386 in his life. Atomic Million AM (Rick Zeron) shot through from the pole position to take the field of ten to the :27.1 first quarter in the second Semifinal, but favoured Titus Seelster (Sylvain Filion) vacated the pocket past that marker, and he became the new front-stepper before the :56.3 half. Titus Seelster still had command at the 1:24.4 three-quarters while he felt some first-over pressure from Regal Babe (Doug McNair). Titus Seelster continued to hold Regal Babe off as they raced through the lane, but a number of horses began to close in on the leaders inside the final sixteenth, and it would be 50-1 shot Nirvana Seelster (Phil Hudon) charging up on the far outside to win the race in 1:53.4. Atomic Million AM, who lacked room for much of the stretch drive, was the runner-up and Regal Babe checked in third. Titus Seelster faded to fourth and Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) rallied to get fifth. Nirvana Seelster is a Camluck gelding trained by Bill Budd for owner Bruce Davy of Brockville, Ont. Nirvana Seelster, who was unraced at two, now has a trio of wins from 19 efforts and has put away $52,296. He was bred by Seelster Farms. Trotting Males Warrawee Promesse (Wayne Henry), who was starting from post ten and gunning for his eighth consecutive victory, took the lead away from 80-1 shot Hetties Commander (Paul MacKenzie) just after the :27.4 first quarter in the Semifinal opener for this bunch. Warrawee Promesse would go on to reach the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:27, never facing a serious challenge along the way. At the top of the lane Henry asked Warrawee Promesse to kick away, but inside the final sixteenth he was overhauled by several challengers, including Kremlin (Sylvain Filion), who rallied from next-to-last at three-quarters to the win by a quarter of a length in 1:57.1. Hetties Commander shook loose from the pocket and wound up second with Tyrone Haji (Randy Waples) nabbed third. Warrawee Promesse had to settle for fourth and Massive Pockets (Jody Jamieson) survived a tough outside journey to finish fifth. Richard Moreau trains Kremlin, a Kadabra gelding, for owner Mike Wassilyn of Rockwood, Ontario. Kremlin, a winner in Grassroots competition on June 9 at Mohawk, scored his fifth triumph from 15 efforts this season and his seventh career victory. Bred by Overseas Farms Ltd., Kremlin has put away $45,472 on the campaign and $55,352 lifetime. It looked like Totally Ripped (Steve Byron) was going to the lead in the other Semifinal, but then he went off-stride, leaving Jack Litten (Doug McNair) in first at the :27.3 opening quarter. Justcallmeronald (Jody Jamieson) then popped out of the pocket, and he would take the lead before the 58 second half-mile marker. Justcallmeronald would go on to click off three-quarters in 1:27.4, but McNair angled Jack Litten back out of the two-hole in the lane, and he would out-trot Justcallmeronald late in the mile to prevail by just over a length in 1:57.4. Justcallmeronald, Ramas Last Son (Steve Condren), Crowningcrest (James MacDonald) and Taurus Seelster (Randy Waples) rounded out the top-five finishers. Jack Litten is a Muscle Mass gelding trained by Gregg McNair for owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, Michigan. Jack Litten, who did not compete as a two-year-old, has three wins from 12 starts in 2014, and he has put away $48,962. Jack Litten, who was bred by Tony Holmes and Walter Zent, also won in Grassroots competition on June 26 and September 2 at Mohawk. Pacing Fillies 70-1 shot Stellllllla (Jody Jamieson) held the lead at the :27.2 first quarter in the Semifinal opener, but Murrayfield (Sylvain Filion) would take over the front prior to the :56.1 half. Murrayfield then came under siege from first-over challenger Regally Ready (Doug McNair), and Murrayfield and Regally Ready were head-and-head at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. In the stretch Regally Ready put away Murrayfield, but then Bet Ya (Paul MacDonell) came from off cover to duel with the new leader. Meanwhile, 3-5 favourite Dana Dearest (Chris Christoforou), who had been fourth-over at three-quarters, began to close in as well. Regally Ready managed to fight off Bet Ya, but Dana Dearest was unrelenting with her brush, and she got up to win by about a neck in 1:53.3. Regally Ready came in second and Bet Ya was third. Mea Lilley Mark (Mike Saftic) checked in fourth and Double Joy (Mario Baillargeon) finished fifth. Dana Dearest, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner/breeder Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville, Ontario. Dana Dearest was winless in four starts last year, but she’s turned it around in her sophomore campaign, going eight-for-15. She has season’s earnings of $77,820 and a career bankroll of $82,048. Dana Dearest has only been defeated once in five Grassroots starts in 2014. Her Own Land (James MacDonald), the public’s 4-5 choice, led through fractions of :26.4, :56.1, and 1:24 on her way to a 1:54 decision in the second Semifinal. She beat runner-up Shadows Wonder (Chris Christoforou) by about two lengths with Artful Impulse (Randy Waples) back in third. Fourth went to Born To Dream and Royal Mama (Steve Condren) collected fifth. Dave Menary trains Her Own Land, a filly by Blissfull Hall, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Her Own Land now has five wins in Grassroots company and six wins from 14 starts overall this year. Now a seven-time winner in her career, Her Own Land has earned $77,490 in 2014 and $87,050 lifetime. Trotting Fillies In the first Semifinal for this group it would be Serendipitious (Chris Christoforou) who took the field of ten through fractions of :27.4, :58.3, and 1:28. Flexible Woman (Steve Byron) attacked the pace-setter from first-over on the final bend, and that gave a second-over tow to public choice Mystical Wishes (Doug McNair). Serendiptious put away Flexible Woman turning for home, but Mystical Wishes was sent into three-wide territory for McNair, and she would trot past the pace-setter on her way to a 1:56.4 victory. Serendiptious held second, beaten a length by the winner, and Diamonds For Life (Sylvain Filion) took third. Also securing positions in next week’s final were fourth-place finisher Missys Ga Ga (John Campbell) and fifth-place filly Chelseas Chance (Randy Waples). Tony Alagna trains the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, for co-owner/breeder Mystical Marker Farms LLC. of Dyer and co-owner Peggy Hood of Valparaiso, Indiana. Mystical Wishes is eight-for-13 in the win column this year after going winless in four tries as a rookie. Mystical Wishes has earned $63,990 in 2014 and $67,740 lifetime. This was Mystical Wishes’s fourth OSS win of the year, joining her successes on August 12 at Mohawk, September 2 at Mohawk, and September 11 at Flamboro Downs. Quadrophenia (James MacDonald) blasted out from post ten to take the second Semifinal field to the opening quarter in 28 seconds, but 3-5 favourite and point standings leader Torches Star (Steve Condren) trotted her way to the top before the :57.1 half. Torches Star was still the boss at the 1:27.2 three-quarters, but she didn’t have her best game on this night, and she was overtaken by first-over challenger Doweypuffandhow (Steve Byron) with an eighth of a mile to go. A host of closers were coming after the new leader, though, and trotting fastest of all was Lenny Mac (Randy Waples), who surged from third-over at the top of the lane to win in 1:57.3. Wonderland Snow (Trevor Henry) split horses to get second and Quadrophenia was third. Nickange Two (Mike Saftic) got fourth at 60-1 and Northern Secret (Mario Baillargeon) nailed down the last spot in the final. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, also co-owns Lenny Mac, a filly by Kadabra, with partner Earl Hill Jr. of Ohsweken, Ontario. McIntosh also bred Lenny Mac with C S X Stables and Michael Kohler. Lenny Mac has four triumphs from 14 trips behind the gate this year, and this was her seventh career trip to the winner’s circle. She has banked $57,759 this season and $97,099 in her life. This was Lenny Mac’s third Grassroots win of the season, matching her total from her freshman campaign. Mohawk Racetrack will roll out the red carpet again next Saturday night with eight $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Finals for two- and three-year-olds. For full results of this Saturday night’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0920mohsn.dat. OSS News
This weekend may not be as exciting as the last one for Peterborough, Ontario, trainer John Bax who enjoyed a huge night at Mohawk this past Saturday when his two-year-old trotting fillies finished one-two-three in the $380,000 Peaceful Way final and his champion from last year, Riveting Rosie, was an impressive second in the $409,000 Elegantimage final. Rosie, who captured the Peaceful Way final last year at two, was dominant among the freshman trotting fillies last season and was named Canada’s Two Year Old Trotting Filly of the Year at the conclusion of the season. This year she’s had her share of issues but she’s still be able to compile a summary of 1-2-2 in 11 starts for $171,000 in earnings, $640,000 lifetime from just 19 career starts. Bax’s Parkhill Stud shares ownership of the daughter of Muscle Mass with Don Allensen, Wyoming, J And T Stable, Newmarket and John Hayes of Sharon, Ontario. “It’s just been one thing after another with her this year. Every time you think you’ve got everything straightened out something else happens to her,” noted Bax following the Elegantimage where Rosie finished nine lengths behind winner Shake It Cerry. “I was really happy with her. If she could have gotten out earlier, she wouldn’t have been nine lengths behind. It was the first race where she put it all together, she left hard and finished well. “I think she’s better on the front or first up because then she can get her stride going. She doesn’t trot as pretty when she’s doubled up, in a hole. Having said that, she got away with that at two (intimidating her opposition) and usually you find out at three you’ve got to race. It’s a learning process and I like it when they learn when we’re going for $400,000,” he laughed. Riveting Rosie won’t have much time to rest on her most recent accomplishment as she’s back in to race this Sunday at Flamboro in the first of two $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions. She’s drawn post one in the first split, race three with her usual pilot Paul MacDonell in the sulky. Right alongside in post two is this division’s leading point earner, White Becomes Her with Mario Baillargeon at the lines for brother Ben who trains for owner Twilight Stables of Brampton, Ontario. The filly with the second highest number of points in this division, Muscle Babe, has post five in the second division which goes postward as the 10th race on the program. James MacDonald will guide the Muscle Mass daughter for owner Kjell Andersen of Norway and trainer Dave Menary. Riveting Rosie currently sits in third in the point standings, but that all may change after her performance on Sunday. What will also change within the next few months is the time it takes for her trainer to truck to race at many of Ontario’s tracks. “I’m in the process of buying the main farm at Glengate Farm (just outside of Campbellville, about five minutes from Mohawk). Every time I drive by it I think, ‘gee, in five minutes I’d be home instead of two hours. The wear and tear of going up and down the road, it wears on you that’s for sure. Hopefully it will be settled this fall and we’d like to move in next spring.” This is the next to last OSS Gold event for this group who will meet once more, on September 30 at Mohawk, before the October 11 Super Final. To view the complete card for Flamboro on Sunday, which starts at 6 p.m., please click the link Flamboro Entries - September 21. OSS News
The best performers in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots this year, pacers and trotters, colts and fillies, will be on display at Mohawk Racetrack Friday and Saturday night. Two $20,000 Semi-Finals will be raced for each division to determine the starters for next week’s $50,000 Grassroots finals. The horses earned their way into the Semi-Finals through their performances in the Grassroots races in their divisions throughout the course of the OSS season. The top 20 point earners entered into the Semi-Finals are eligible to compete. The two-year-olds are in the spotlight on Friday night with the trotting fillies kicking things off in races one and two. Leading point earner Summers Jewel, who has yet to finish worse than third in her young career, has drawn post two for breeder/owner/trainer Ben Baillargeon of Rockwood, Ontario, whose brother Mario will be in the sulky. The Angus Hall miss has started in all six Grassroots events this year with three wins, a second and two thirds. The rookie pacing colts are next up in the third and fifth races. The top two colts in the division, Thinkofagameplan and Jeb will square off in the third race from posts six and eight respectively. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario and his cousin Al McIntosh of Leamington, Ontario, bred and own Thinkofagameplan, a son of Ponder who has captured four of six Grassroots events this year. A horse to watch in the fifth race is Moonwards Hanover, who comes into the contest riding a three race winning streak, all in Grassroots events. From the red hot first crop of Sportswriter, Moonwards Hanover is owned and trained by Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario, who also trained her dam, Mouse Hanover. He’s drawn post four with Paul MacDonell aboard. MacDonell will also be up behind Call Me Richard, the leading point earner among the rookie trotting colts, in the next race. Trained by Clare Bradshaw for owner Andrea Arthur of Scotland, Ontario, the Muscle Mass son has won his last two races, both OSS events. The two-year-old pacing fillies are featured in races seven and 10 on Friday’s program with top point earner Ms Mac N Cheese departing from post four in the first split. The Badlands Hanover daughter owned by David Ratchford of Nova Scotia has been on a real roll lately with three straight victories on her scorecard. Sylvain Filion will drive from post four. On Saturday’s card it’s the three-year-old trotting fillies getting the Semi-Finals underway. Torches Star tops the point standings in this group and has post five in race five with regular pilot Steve Condren in the race bike for trainer Ben Wallace and owner Brad Grand of Milton, Ontario. The Angus Hall filly is the second foal from former OSS star Torch, a winner of $357,000 in her career. Their colt counterparts get things rolling in race two and come right back in race three for their two Semi-Finals. Aventure, the leader in this bunch, drew post nine in the third race with Trevor Henry up for trainer Bill Budd. Owned by Orville Rursch of Illinois, Aventure is 4-1-0 in five OSS starts this year. The glamour boy division, the three-year-old pacing colts, are featured in races six and nine on Saturday evening. Top point earner Shadow Place has post three in race six with Henry at the lines for trainer Richard Moreau. Regal Babe, who is less than 10 points behind in second in this division, has post five in race nine. The pacing fillies close out the card in races eight and 10. The latter finds Her Own Land in post five with James MacDonald at the helm for trainer Dave Menary. The leading point getter in this category, the Blissfull Hall filly has three wins and a second in her most recent starts, all Grassroots events. Saturday’s card also features the $286,000 Milton final for pacing mares with three Ontario-sired performers, Monkey On My Wheel, Camille and Voelz Hanover, taking part. To view the entries for Friday and Saturday night at Mohawk, please use these links Mohawk Entries - September 19. Mohawk Entries - September 20. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 13 - The Peaceful Way Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack was 'As easy as 1-2-3' for harness racing trainer John Bax. The Bax trainee Stubborn Belle and driver Paul Macdonell captured the $385,000 final, while Juanitas Fury and Southwind Champane took the place and show spot to make it a 'Bax Triactor'. The entire complexion of the rich final changed before the field could even reach the eighth pole when Mission Brief, the 1/5 favourite, made a break. The costly break by the favourite allowed Stubborn Belle and driver Paul Macdonell to step out to the lead and control the tempo. After posting fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:26.2, Stubborn Belle dug in down the stretch to hold off a late charge from stablemate Juanitas Fury to win the Peaceful Way Stakes by half a length in 1:56. The other Bax trainee, Southwind Champane, was able to get up for third to complete the first-ever 1-2-3 finish for a trainer in Peaceful Way Stakes history. Stubborn Belle's victory also gives Bax and MacDonell back-to-back Peaceful Way crowns after the duo teamed up to win last year's edition with Riveting Rosie. "My hat has to go off to John Bax here," said MacDonell. "To come in 1-2-3, I know we were up against Mission Brief and we knew we were up against it, but he had these horses prepared and ready to go tonight." Bax has now won three Peaceful Way Stakes titles. His first victory came in 2002, when the race was known as the Oakville Stakes, with Aimees Image. MacDonell praised Bax for his touch with trotters. "He's just a perfect guy with a trotter, he's relaxed, he doesn't get anxious and worried about how they are coming along at any time of the year. He knows things will fall into place and my hats off to him." The costly break by Mission Brief not only stung for her connections, but the horseplayers who bet almost $18,000 of the $26,377 in the Win pool and the $33,581 of the $41,991 in the Show pool on her. "I didn't expect it, but you have to think about it because if she was going to get beat she was likely going to beat herself," said MacDonell of the break by Mission Brief. "I'm upset for those people, she's still a great filly, but we had to take advantage of it when the time came." Stubborn Belle, who finished second to Mission Brief in their elimination, has now won four of her eight career starts. The daughter of Taurus Dream - Musetta Hanover is owned by Al Libfeld and Parkhill Stud Farm and now has a bankroll of $308,786. Stubborn Belle paid $19.50 to win. The Peaceful Way Stakes Mark McKelvie
Mohawk Racetrack offers a stakes laden harness racing card Saturday evening anchored by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic which has two top Ontario-sired colts taking on five very talented sophomores. The card also features the $385,000 Peaceful Way final with several OSS fillies in contention, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial with one lone Ontario-sired colt, and the $409,000 Elegantimage final with four OSS girls vying for their turn in the winner’s circle. In addition to those great trotting races, the program will also headline the top pacing mares in North America in two eliminations for the Milton Stakes which feature three OSS graduates including a Breeders Crown winner. In the showcase event Harper Blue Chip will attempt to duplicate his sire, Majestic Son’s, 2006 Canadian Trotting Classic victory. Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario, trained Majestic Son, who won the ’06 CTC by more than six lengths over a very talented field, and also conditions Harper Blue Chip. A son of Angus Hall, Majestic Son was a dominant force in the OSS during his sophomore season, winning seven of 10 OSS events. In total, he won $622,000 in the provincial program during his career. Majestic Son now stands at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ontario, and Harper Blue Chip, with $547,000 in earnings, is his second richest performer to date, behind only Charmed Life ($592,000). So far this year Harper Blue Chip has a summary of 4-2-2 in 10 starts and although he’s won two OSS Gold events and swept the Canadian Breeders, he’s best known for finishing third in the $1,006,125 Hambletonian last month at the Meadowlands. The Hambletonian winner, Trixton, is also slated to start in the CTC final, with post five. Trainer Jimmy Takter will drive the colt who has won eight of 10 starts this year. Tatker’s other talented colt in this division, Father Patrick (also eight for 10) is right alongside in post six. It’s a formidable duo facing Harper Blue Chip whose driver Sylvain Filion is cautiously optimistic, especially given that the colt has finally drawn a decent starting position, post two, compared to post 10 in the Goodtimes final and post nine in the Hambletonian. “He’s been drawing real bad all year and he finally gets a good post,” Filion noted earlier this week. “We’ve got a tough bunch of horses to race against, but he’s very good right now. I’m hoping for a good, close to the front trip and hopefully some top horses won’t be on their game, because we’ll need a lot of luck to beat those horses. It’s a very high quality group.” The other OSS colt joining Harper in the CTC final is Muscle Matters, a son of Muscle Mass who will start beside Harper Blue Chip in post three. Mario Baillargeon will be at the lines for his brother Ben who handles the colt’s training. Yet to win a race this year, Muscle Matters has been close, with five second place finishes in six starts, three of those to Harper Blue Chip. The CTC final goes as race nine on the card. In the third race, the $385,000 Peaceful Way final, there are six OSS fillies in the mix including a pair trained by John Bax, Stubborn Belle (post one, Paul MacDonell) and Juanitas Fury (post nine, Steve Condren). Both fillies have two OSS wins to their credit this season and both finished second in their respective Peaceful Way elims. Stubborn Belle was aptly named according to Bax. “She’s always been a lot like her name, that’s why she was named Stubborn Belle. She’s been a little hard to get to do it the way we want her to.” Despite that the Taurus Dream daughter, owned by Bax of Peterborough and Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ontario, has set two records so far this year – a track record at Rideau Carleton (1:55.4) in an OSS Gold event and a stakes record in a Champlain stake (1:54.2). Bax also starts the Muscle Hill filly Southwind Champagne in the Peaceful Way final. She has post six with Steve Byron at the controls. The other OSS rookies attempting to capture the event named for one of the greatest Ontario-sired trotting mares of all time, $3.2 million winner Peaceful Way, include Daneille Hall (post two, Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (post four, Roger Mayotte), Amoureuse Hanover (post eight, Doug McNair) and Lady Caterina (post 10, Phil Hudon). The dam of Elegant Serenity, Elegantimage, is the namesake for the seventh race on the program. A star of the OSS in the late 1990s, Elegantimage earned just shy of a million dollars during her impressive racing career. A quartet of three-year-old Ontario-sired fillies will attempt to capture the $409,000 event including Bax’s Riveting Rose (post three, Paul MacDonell), Tosca (post two, Per Henriksen), Sweetie Hearts (post eight, Randy Waples) and Muscle Babe (post 10, James MacDonald). The other major trotting stake on the program is named for one of Canada’s most respected horsemen of all time, the late William Wellwood, a member of Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame and a successful participant in the OSS since its inception 40 years ago. The only Ontario-sired rookie colt in contention for this event is a son of Infinitif, Dont Rush who has drawn post four with Chris Christoforou in the bike. The colt captured a division of the first Gold event for this group in early July which surprised his trainer/owner and breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario. “If you had told me in October he was going to win a Gold the first week of July I don’t think I would have believed you,” laughed Jones. “He’s exceeded my expectations since I brought him in the barn.” The OSS graduates competing in the two Milton eliminations are Monkey On My Wheel, a Breeders Crown winner at three and 10-2-6 in 24 starts this year for owner/breeder Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ontario. The winner of $1.5 million to date in her career has post seven in the sixth race which also features the Camluck mare Camille ($1.1 million to date) in post four. Voelz Hanover ($1.5 million lifetime) is the lone Ontario-sired distaffer in the second Milton elim, race 10. In addition to all of the on-track action, Mohawk is also celebrating their fans with Fan Appreciation Night Saturday featuring a first bet on the house, giveaways after each race and a $5 food voucher to the first 1,000 fans. To view the full card please click Mohawk Entries - September 13.
The regular harness racing season for the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series concluded on Friday (September 12) night at Mohawk Racetrack with five $18,000 divisions, and Moonwards Hanover and Thinkofagameplan both kept their Grassroots win streaks intact. Competing in the opening event, Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who came into this race off Grassroots successes on August 24 at Georgian Downs and August 31 at Clinton Raceway, circled from third to first before the :56.3 half. He would go on to post three-quarters in 1:26.1 and then kicked home in :28.4 to win by half a length over a closing Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair). There was a dead-heat for third between Big Moment (Randy Waples) and Ballybunion (James MacDonald). Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now three-for-six in the win column with a bankroll of $36,000, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples), the points leader in this group, was behind the gate in the second Grassroots split, and he would pull out of the pocket to take command after the 27 second opening quarter. Thinkofagameplan, who was second in a division of the Grand Circuit Champlain Stakes at Mohawk in his last try, would then click off the half in 57 seconds and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 en route to a 1:54.3 score. He defeated runner-up Mybestolxfriendray (Phil Hudon) by a length and three-quarters with Ace Of Clubs (Doug McNair) back in third. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his fourth win (all in Grassroots competition) from eight attempts and pushed his earnings to $76.440, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. While those familiar faces were victorious, the other three Grassroots flights were all won by horses who hadn’t yet tasted a win in the provincial program this season. Mr Carrotts (Phil Hudon) was the first to break through as he won the third section in 1:54.2. He was first at the :27.2 opening quarter and the :56.4 half, but first-over challenger Star Cover (Jody Jamieson) put a head in front at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Mr Carrotts would battle back on the inside in the lane, and he would go on to beat Star Cover by a length at the finish line with Windsong Lord (Chris Christoforou) in third. Murray Brethour trains Mr Carrotts, a colt by Mach Three, for owner-breeder Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Ontario. Mr Carrotts broke his maiden in his fifth trip behind the gate, and he has now put away $10,000. He’s the fourth foal out of the Run The Table mare Cueless ($466,638), who was a three-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Robert Hill (James MacDonald) had been picking up minor shares against Gold Series competition, but a drop to the Grassroots level made him a 1:54.1 winner on this night. He left from post eight in the fourth Grassroots test, and he was up to grab the front after the :27.4 opening quarter. Robert Hill would go on to put the :56.3 half and the 1:25.3 three-quarters on the board before a :28.3 final kicker sealed his two and a quarter length triumph. Halton Hurricane (Rick Zeron) was second and Pace Seelster (Jody Jamieson) nabbed third. Tony Alagna trains the winner, a Jeremes Jet colt, for owner Thomas Hill of England. Robert Hill, who was bred by Perretti Farms and sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale, picked up his first win from six attempts, and he has now pocketed $19,220. He’s the seventh foal out of the Caprock mare Smooth Latin N ($217,884), which makes him a half-brother to two six-figure earners in McApulco ($365,942) and Mcaracas ($170,579) and to three-year-old Shadios, who has won twice in Grassroots competition this year for the Alagna/Hill combination. In the nightcap it was Supersonic Jet (Trevor Henry) who chopped out the :26.4 first quarter, but he would be overtaken by both Pier Ho Temptation (Chris Christoforou) and Shippen Out (Doug McNair) prior to the :56.2 half. Shippen Out then got to three-quarters first in 1:25, fighting off a first-over test by Jeb (Phil Hudon) in the process. Shippen Out put away Jeb for good early in the stretch drive and then held his pursuers at bay late in the mile to win by a length and a quarter in 1:54. Mystical Jet (Jody Jamieson) came in second and Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon) took third. Blair Burgess trains the victorious Badlands Hanover colt for owner Karin Olsson-Burgess of Milton, Ontario. Shippen Out won for the first time in eight starts, and he has now earned $16,150. Winbak Farm bred Shippen Out, who fetched $9,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. He’s the first foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Shipps Bikini ($410,500), who won a Grassroots division herself as a two-year-old. The two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will return to Mohawk next Friday (September 19) to compete in their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of this Friday’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0912mohsn.dat.
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 12 - A two-year-old filly trotting a mile in 1:53 would ordinarily grab headlines. Unfortunately for freshman trotter Stubborn Belle, her 1:53 mile was only good enough for second, 3 Â¾ lengths behind Mission Brief's 1:52.1 World Record clocking, in last week's Peaceful Way Stakes elimination. "I was thrilled with the way she raced," said trainer John Bax. "It's no shame to finish second to that filly." Over the last few weeks, Stubborn Belle has shown speed that would normally have her at the top of the two-year-old trotting filly ranks. She won the Champlain Stakes on August 28 in a stakes record time of 1:54.2 and last week, her mile of 1:53 would've broken the previous track record by three fifths of a second. Her 1:53 mile was also more than two seconds faster than the other elimination, won by Jolene Jolene in 1:55.1. While Mission Brief's speed show overshadowed a great mile by Stubborn Belle, the daughter of Taurus Dream - Musetta Hanover will get another crack at the World Champion in Saturday's $385,000 Peaceful Way final at Mohawk Racetrack. The elimination victory allowed Mission Brief's connections to select post five for her on Saturday evening, while Stubborn Belle went into the open draw and was assigned the rail. "We'll find out what the rail does, it's better than the ten-hole," said Bax. Stubborn Belle has won three of her last five starts, but the smooth-speedy filly that has been showing up in recent weeks is also the filly that made breaks in her first two starts. "She's a lot like her name," said Bax. "She was touching a little bit and kind of wanted to do everything her own way." Bax said his filly 'just had to grow up a litte bit' and noted the faster the race goes, the easier she is to handle. Once Stubborn Belle started to put it all together, Bax said she started to reach the potential he saw when training her down. "I'm not going to say (she showed) :53 speed, but she was always big, strong and looked like a colt." Stubborn Belle sold for $85,000 as a yearling and has already earned more than $116,000 for owners Al Libfeld and Parkhill Stud Farm. On Saturday, Stubborn Belle, who will be driven by regular pilot Paul Macdonell, has a big opportunity to increase that bankroll and give her trainer his second consecutive Peaceful Way Stakes victory. Stubborn Belle is not Bax's only shot at a repeat, he will also send out Southwind Champane. A daughter of Muscle Hill - Caerphilly, Southwind Champane finished fourth in her elimination with driver Steve Byron. The duo will leave from post six in the final. Although Southwind Champane hasn't shown the extreme speed to compete with her stablemate, Bax is still thrilled by what she has shown on the track. "I'm tickled with her, trot a mile in :54 and your not good enough. Where she started out the year I had to back up with her a bit, she had a chip taken out, so I'm real happy with her." While Stubborn Belle and Southwind Champane will look to give their trainer the repeat in the Peaceful Way, the filly that put Bax in the winner's circle last year will also be in action on Saturday night. Almost a year to the date, Bax will once again send out Riveting Rosie in a big money event. The daughter of Muscle Mass - Rose De Vie Stena will start from post position three in Saturday's $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes. Last season, Riveting Rosie dominated as a two-year-old, but this year she has not been able to find the same success at the age of three. "It's been a tough year with her," said Bax. "Every time you think you've got everything straightened out something else happens to her." Riveting Rosie, who will also be driven by MacDonell, isn't being given much of a chance with morning line odds of 15-1, but Bax isn't ruling her out to be a factor. "If she is on her game she is competitive." Post time for Saturday night's card, which will be highlighted by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic, is 7:25 p.m. Saturday is also 'Fan Appreciation Night'. The first 1,000 fans on-track will receive a free $5 food voucher and prizes will be given away after every race. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
Mohawk Racetrack had four $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series contests for rookie pacing fillies on their Thursday (September 11) harness racing program, and Sassafras Girl took the fastest time as she won the third flight in 1:53.3. With Phil Hudon handling the driving chores, Sassafras Girl shot to the lead from her post three starting position, and she would click off fractions of :27, :56, and 1:25. The fillies sprinted for home off that 59 second middle half, and Sassafras Girl kicked out a :28.3 final panel to seal the win by two and a quarter lengths over Twin B Honour (Trevor Henry). Little Miss Artist (Doug McNair) was third. Murray Brethour trains Sassafras Girl, a Badlands Hanover filly, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sassafras Girl, who is now four-for-eight overall and has banked $31,280, was bred by Winbak Farm. She’s out of the Die Laughing mare Tug River Della ($219,395) and a half-sister to the likes of Rub N Tug ($433,999). This was Sassafras Girl’s third Grassroots success of the season, joining her wins on July 10 and August 11 at Mohawk. Back in the Grassroots opener public choice Southwind Luna (Billy Davis Jr.) carved out fractions of :27.2, :56.4, and 1:26.2, and at the eighth pole she was clear by over three lengths. However, she began to falter inside the final sixteenth, and pocket-sitter Marachere (Jonathan Drury) took advantage, getting up in the shadow of the wire to prevail by half a length in 1:54.4. Southwind Luna had to settle for second and OK Hallelujah (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Marachere, a filly by Lis Mara, broke her maiden in her third try and pushed her earnings to $15,660. Trainer Carmen Auciello of Stouffville, Ontario, also co-owns Marachere with partners Robert Watson of London, Armando Cappuccitti of Maple and Mike Bartram of Ingersoll, Ontario. Marachere, who was bred by Ervin Miller Stable Inc., is the second foal out of the Cole Muffler mare Cherry Tree Coco, a full sister to Home Bed Advantage ($574,535). Race favourite Ride Away Shark (Jody Jamieson) had her backers smiling after a 1:54.4 triumph in the second Grassroots flight. She was in the lead at the 27 second opening quarter, the :55.3 half, and the 1:24.4 three-quarters on her way to a three-quarter length decision over Dublin Rose (Paul MacDonell). Amazing Control (Mike Saftic) checked in third. Ride Away Shark, another Winbak Farm-bred filly, has a trio of victories from eight attempts and has put away $28,480 for trainer Scott McNiven and owners Kim McNiven of Putnam and Thomas Brodhurst of London, Ontario. Those connections took Ride Away Shark, a daughter of Classic Card Shark, out of last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale for $7,000. She’s the first foal out of the Dream Away mare Freedom Away. This was Ride Away Shark’s second Grassroots win of the year as she was also victorious on August 11 at Mohawk. The Grassroots nightcap was brought to you by the number three as Ms Mac N Cheese (Sylvain Filion) posted her third consecutive Grassroots win and breeder Winbak Farm won for the third time. Ms Mac N Cheese worked her way around Machin Marley (Billy Davis Jr.) for the lead at the :27.1 opening quarter, and she would go on to post a :56.2 half and a 1:25.4 three-quarters. Ms Mac N Cheese padded her advantage through the stretch and then coasted home late to win by two and a half lengths in 1:54 flat. She was followed across the finish line by Evas Girl (Peter Core) and OK Heavenly (Doug McNair). Richard Moreau trains the victorious Badlands Hanover filly for owner L. David Ratchford of North Sydney, Nova Scotia. She has five wins from seven attempts this season, and she has earned $33,467. The second foal out of the Artiscape mare Mr Delis Filly, Ms Mac N Cheese was sold for $10,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Tonight’s races concluded the Grassroots regular season for two-year-old pacing fillies. They will return to Mohawk on September 19 for their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of Thursday night’s events at Mohawk from the Ontario Sire Stakes