Battle of the Belles champion Free Show returned to Grand River Raceway on Monday evening and the two-year-old pacing filly earned an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series trophy with her third winning effort over the Elora oval.
After leaving smartly from post two in the first $105,000 Gold division, Free Show and driver Jody Jamieson tucked into the pocket behind fan favourite Good Will Hanover, who reached the opening quarter in :26.4. Jamieson and Free Show continued to watch from the pocket as Good Will Hanover took the field to a :55.3 half and a 1:25.3 three-quarters, then the pair fired to the outside coming off the final turn and powered home to a one-length victory in a personal-best 1:55. Good Will Hanover settled for second and Free Show’s stablemate, Heavenly Hill, was third.
“This filly simply loves Grand River Raceway. The trip was perfect and she responded,” said Jamieson of Moffat, Ont. “She is very handy; she’s a nice filly.”
Jamieson engineered the win for trainer Dave Menary of Cambridge, Ont. and owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. In her first three Gold Series starts, the daughter of Badlands Hanover and Free Admission had posted two seconds and one third. Monday’s win boosts her point total to 112 and moves her into second-place in the division standings.
In addition to sweeping her Battle of the Belles elimination and the final, and capturing Monday’s Gold leg at Grand River, Free Show also posted a win at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 8 in a two-year-old filly contest. Through eight lifetime starts, the filly — a $14,000 purchase from last fall’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale — has earned $179,523.
In the second division, driver Chris Christoforou of Campbellville, Ont. maneuvered Twin B Thong up the inside to grab a quarter-length victory, the filly’s third in four Gold Series starts.
Starting from post six, Twin B Thong was sitting last when Heavenly Bet reached the :26.4 opening quarter. Christoforou had moved the filly up the inside into sixth by the :56.2 half and the fan favourites were sixth on the outside when Big White Pearl took command heading by the 1:25.4 three-quarters. Fourth turning for home, Christoforou opted for the passing lane, where Twin B Thong was able to reel in the leaders and post the 1:57.1 victory. Dave Menary trainee Maniana finished second and Big White Pearl was third.
“At the half, I was just hoping for a cheque, it wasn’t looking so good,” said trainer Casie Coleman of Twin B Thong’s tour of the Elora oval. “Then ‘The Greek] [Christoforou] did some slick steering in and out of traffic and got it done for us.”
The Cambridge resident shares ownership of Twin B Thong with her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ont., and Steve Calhoun of Chatham, Ont. In seven lifetime starts, Twin B Thong — a daughter of Coleman’s former star Sportswriter and Beach Bound — has posted three wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $168,844. She leads the two-year-old pacing filly Gold Series standings with 175 points.
“She’s raced well pretty much every time she’s gone to the gate,” noted Coleman, who offered up $65,000 for the youngster at the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. “We’ve been real happy all season, so far, with her.”
Twin B Thong, Free Show and their two-year-old pacing filly peers will make their last regular season Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, Sept. 28. The top 10 point-earners from the five regular season events will then square off in the $250,000 Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 10.
Mondays contest completed Grand River Raceway’s 2015 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, which saw the Elora oval host five Grassroots and five Gold Series events.
In between the Monday night stakes action, trainer Jonah Moase scored a natural hat-trick with Lost In Panslation, Mach It Big and Camcun posting victories in their respective assignments.