Day At The Track

Filion pads his lead atop driver’s standings

06:27 PM 15 Aug 2015 NZST
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Sylvain Filion
Sylvain Filion
Photo courtesy of WEG/Michael Burns Photography
Southwind Geisha

AUGUST 14, 2015 - Heading into Friday night's three-year-old pacing filly Grassroots event at Mohawk Racetrack harness racing driver Sylvain Filion had a 22 point lead on Trevor Henry in the Ontario Sires Stakes driver standings.

Early in the evening Henry looked to have gained ground with a pair of wins in Gold Series action at Grand River Raceway, but Filion scored a driving double of his own, capturing the first two Grassroots divisions at Mohawk.

Starting from Post 6 in the first $18,000 division, Filion fired Ainsleynoelle to the front and the filly rolled through fractions of :27.3, :57.3 and 1:26 without facing a challenge. All alone turning for home, Ainsleynoelle and Filion paced under the wire four and one-quarter lengths ahead of Mystery Writer and favourite OK Heavenly, stopping the clock at 1:53.3.

Milton, ON resident Filion engineered the win for trainer Colin Johnson and owners Debbie Element of Rockwood, ON, David Heffering of Port Perry, ON and Ecurie JGV Enrg of Laval, QC. It was the second Grassroots win of the season for Jeremes Jet daughter Ainsleynoelle, who now boasts a point total of 104.

Ainsleynoelle

Filion was right back in the winner's circle after the next race, guiding fan favourite Southwind Geisha to a 1:51.4 result that saw her control the pace over a rain-soaked track rated one second slower than normal. Machmeter finished three and one-half lengths back second and Pinot Grigio was well back third.

Victor Puddy of Mountain, ON trains Southwind Geisha for his partners Limco Inc. of Chateauguay, QC and Otnevram Inc. of Saint-Leonard, QC. In her first three Grassroots starts the Sportswriter daughter posted a pair of seconds and one third, giving her a point total of 112 and ownership of second spot in the division standings.

Southwind Geisha

Filion looked poised for a third Grassroots victory with Northern Starlet in Race 6 when lightly rated Jody Jamieson and OK Hallelujah roared up the inside and stole a one and one-quarter length win. Favourites Filion and Northern Starlet settled for second, with Pinky Tuscadero third in the 1:53.4 mile.

Moffat, ON resident Jamieson piloted Sportswriter daughter OK Hallelujah to her first Grassroots win for trainer Mark Steacy and owners Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, ON, Oak Knoll Stables of Campbellcroft, ON, Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC and Wheelhouse Racing Stable of Mississauga, ON.

Driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON also used the inside lane to land Evas Girl in the winner's circle following the fourth division. The Rambaran filly bested Warrawee Qually and favourite Lovely Erin by three and three-quarter lengths, stopping the teletimer at 1:53.4.

Isaac Waxman trains Evas Girl for Aaron Waxman of Hamilton, Alan Alber of Thornhill, ON and Crawford Partners LLC of Syracuse, NY. The win gives Evas Girl a record of one win and one third in two Grassroots starts for a total of 62 points.

The last Grassroots trophy of the evening went home with Glamour Seelster's connections, who cheered their filly to a two and one-quarter length victory over favourite Dublin Rose and OK Heartbeat. The Jeremes Jet daughter, in rein to Guelph, ON resident Doug McNair, paced under the wire in 1:53.3 to record her fifth lifetime win and first in Ontario Sires Stakes action.

Gregg McNair of Guelph conditions Glamour Seelster for Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, MI.

The three-year-old pacing fillies now head to Georgian Downs for their fifth Grassroots start on August 29.

Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, August 17 with three $70,000 Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts. The colts will be featured in races 1, 2, and 9, with the first race getting under way at 7:25 pm.

Ontario Horse Racing

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