Ontario’s talented three-year-old pacing colts and geldings wrapped up their Grassroots regular season with some fierce battles on Wednesday evening at Grand River Raceway.
Deetzy set the tempo for the event in the first $18,000 division, sprinting from sixth to first in the stretch to post his second Grassroots win of the season. The Jeremes Jet son and driver James MacDonald reached the wire one-quarter length ahead of fan favourite Regal Sight and halted the Grand River Raceway teletimer at 1:55.3. Charlottes Colony was two lengths back in third.
“He raced awesome tonight, he has a really good move to him,” said Guelph, Ont. resident MacDonald. “He has had a lot of bad luck lately — he was caught in last week — but tonight everything went his way and he was flying when he shook loose.”
Ken Sucee of Bowmanville, Ont. trains Deetzy for owner/breeder Shelby Novick of Delray Beach, Florida. The gelding competed in all six regular season Grassroots events, recording two wins, one fourth, two fifths and one sixth-place result for a total of 120 points and heads into the post-season ranked sixth in the division standings. The top 20 point earners will compete in a pair of $20,000 Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 18, with the top five finishers from the Semi-finals returning to Mohawk on Sept. 26 for the $50,000 Grassroots Championship.
Southwind Indy wrapped up his regular season with a hard-fought victory in the second division that saw him jump to the top of the standings. The Sportswriter gelding and driver Steve Condren of Milton, Ont. led the tough second division field from start to finish, rolling through fractions of :27.2, :56.1 and 1:25 before digging in at the wire to hold off Make Some Luck and Artful Way and claim the 1:53.3 victory by a neck.
“He’s been really coming around and racing better and better with each start,” said trainer Casie Coleman. “He seems to like any size track and always digs hard to the wire.”
The Cambridge, Ont. resident conditions Southwind Indy for her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Calhoun of Chatham, Ont. and breeders Southwind Farms LLC of Pennington, New Jersey. In five Grassroots starts, Southwind Indy tallied three wins, one second and one third for a total of 187 points.
In addition to finishing hot on Southwind Indy’s heels in Wednesday’s test, Artful Way and Make Some Luck finished just eight and 13 points behind him in the division standings, and head into the post-season ranked third and fourth, respectively.
In the final division, Twin B Scandal eked out a half-length victory over pacesetter Sporting The Look and fan favourite Thinkofagameplan to extend his Grassroots season.
Starting from post four, trainer/driver Joe Hudon fired Twin B Scandal off the starting gate and led the field to a sharp :26.4 opening quarter before yielding control to Sporting The Look. With Thinkofagameplan looming on the outside, Sporting The Look rang up a :57.1 half and a 1:26.4 three-quarters while Hudon and Twin B Scandal watched from their comfortable seat in the pocket. Once the duelling leaders turned for home, Hudon sent Twin B Scandal into the passing lane and the Mach Three gelding roared up the inside to a one-half length victory in 1:55.2.
The win was Twin B Scandal’s first of the season in Grassroots action. In his four previous appearances, the gelding had tallied one second, one third, one fifth and one seventh-place result. Heading into Wednesday’s regular season finale, Twin B Scandal was sitting 28th, but the win boosted him up to 10th with a total of 94 points.
Acton, Ont. resident Hudon and R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, Ont. share ownership of Twin B Scandal, who was a two-time Grassroots winner at two and finished third in both his Semi-final and the Grassroots Championship last season.
Grassroots action continues at Grand River Raceway on Labour Day, Monday, Sept. 7, when the two-year-old pacing colts will wrap up their regular season.