Mohawk Racetrack hosted the second Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing fillies on Friday night and there were four first-time visitors to the Ontario Sires Stakes winner’s circle.
Nationalize captured the first $18,000 Grassroots division, sprinting from the backfield in the last quarter to post a two and one-quarter length score in 1:52.3. Brown Binny and Lady Jen finished second and third.
Camluck daughter Nationalize is trained by Ron Adams of Lasalle, Ont. for David Kryway of Amherstburg, Ont., and Moffat, Ont. resident Jody Jamieson engineered the filly’s first Ontario Sires Stakes victory.
Milton, Ont. resident Randy Waples also used a come-from-behind strategy in the second $18,000 division, getting Ainsleynoelle into the outer flow at the halfway marker and then gearing her up in the final quarter. The Jeremes Jet daughter powered down the stretch to a one length score over Much Adoo and OK Heavenly, stopping the Mohawk teletimer at 1:53.2.
Colin Johnson of Repentigny, Que. conditions Ainsleynoelle for Debbie Element of Rockwood, Ont., David Heffering of Port Perry, Ont. and Ecurie JGV Enrg of Laval, Que. Friday’s win was also Ainsleynoelle’s first in the provincial stakes program.
Paul MacDonell chose a different route to the winner’s circle for Dublin Rose, putting the fan’s second choice on the front heading for the half and pulling away to a five and one-quarter length victory over Twin B Honour and Windsun Chanel. Guelph, Ont. resident MacDonell crafted the win for trainer, owner and breeder Allen Tomlinson of Mason, Michigan.
Tomlinson started Dublin Rose in the June 6 Gold Series season opener at Mohawk, where she finished third, then headed to Clinton Raceway for the Kin Pace where the Major In Art daughter won her June 28 division and finished third in the July 5 final. Through seven sophomore starts, first-time OSS winner Dublin Rose has never been worse than third, posting two wins, two seconds and three thirds for earnings of $42,484.
Stonebridge Quest earned the trophy in the fourth division, which was marred by an accident that sent driver Chris Christoforou of Campbellville, Ont. to hospital in an ambulance and driver James MacDonald of Guelph, Ont. to the emergency room for stitches. Both of their mounts, Twin B Sweetheart and Betty And The Jets, returned to the race paddock under their own steam.
On the front end from start to finish, Stonebridge Quest and driver Trevor Henry crossed the finish line three-quarters of a length in front of Northern Starlet in a personal-best 1:51.1. Southwind Mischief was eight lengths back in third.
Henry, of Arthur, Ont., piloted Stonebridge Quest to her second Grassroots win of the season for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, Ont. and owners Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa and Angie Stiller of Arva, Ont. The Camluck miss, who won the final of the Kin Pace, currently sits alone atop the three-year-old pacing filly standings with 100 points.
The final Grassroots trophy of the evening went home with Sportswriter daughter Maplelea, who made a powerful move to the front heading by the three-quarters and drew away to a four length victory in 1:52.2. The fan favourite bested Southwind Geisha and Black Widow Baby. Oakville, Ont. resident Rick Zeron drove the filly to her first Ontario Sires Stakes win for owner/trainer Andrew Moore of Russell, Ont.
Friday’s outing was Maplelea’s first since she tested the provincial waters at the Gold Series level on June 6, finishing fourth. The filly spent the early months of 2015 competing in the Miss Vera Bars, HPI, Blossom and Princess Series’ at Woodbine and Mohawk, winning both legs and the final of the HPI and taking at least one leg of the other three. Through 15 starts Maplelea boasts a record of nine wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $124,198.
The three-year-old pacing fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Hanover Raceway on Saturday, Aug. 1.
On Saturday, Mohawk Racetrack hosts a celebration of Ontario Sires Stakes racing that features two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts, the “Be A Winner” contest, an opportunity to meet OSS drivers, and great OSS giveaways. The pacing colts will be featured in races six and eight, with the first race going postward at 7:25 p.m.