Hiawatha Horse Park hosted four Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts on Saturday evening as part of their Ontario Sires Stakes Fan Celebration.
Lucky fans took home Ontario Sires Stakes t-shirts and ball caps, and division point leader Kadabrasnewrecruit took home his fourth Grassroots trophy with a commanding victory in the third $18,000 division.
Starting from post four, driver Steve Byron put the fan favourite on the front and the pair rolled through fractions of :27.3, :58 and 1:27 before accelerating away from the field to a six and three-quarter length victory in 1:56.4. Boondock and Raising Richard rounded out the top three.
Thornton, Ont. resident Byron piloted Kadabrasnewrecruit to his fourth Grassroots victory for owner/trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ont. With one regular season event remaining, the son of Kadabra and Keystone Alberta boasts a point tally of 212, 71 points more than the second-ranked colt. Saturday’s victory boosted the gelding’s sophomore record to four wins, three seconds and one third in 10 starts for earnings of $54,165.
Both Byron and McIntosh were also successful in another Grassroots division, McIntosh in the first and Byron in the second.
McIntosh trainee A Little More Love opened the Grassroots competition with a gate-to-wire score in 1:57.1. Alfie Carroll of Iona Station, Ont. was in the Kadabra colt’s race bike, asking him to dig in down the stretch as pocket-sitter Mandeville mounted a late charge. Fan favourite A Little More Love prevailed by one-half length, with Mandeville settling for second and Ja El Storm completing the triactor.
The win was the second in Grassroots action for A Little More Love, who competes for Hall of Famer McIntosh and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Ont. The number two ranked colt in the province last season, A Little More Love has struggled to regain his Gold Series form this year, posting just two wins and one second through eight starts for earnings of $26,565.
Byron’s other victory came with John Bax trainee Parkhill Lancelot in the second division. Starting from post five, Byron settled the Muscle Mass son in third as favourite El Diablo Hall rang up fractions of :27.3 and :58.3, and then tipped into the outer lane heading for the 1:27.3 three-quarters. Parkhill Lancelot grabbed control before the colts turned for home and hit the wire one length ahead of his peers in a personal best 1:57.3. Its Huw You Know finished second with Lets Be Honest well back in third.
The win was Parkhill Lancelot’s first in Grassroots action this season and boosted the gelding into sixth spot in the division standings with 108 points. In 10 starts this season, Parkhill Lancelot has two wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $33,540 for trainer Bax, of Campbellville, Ont., and his son Marshall Bax of Mississauga, Ont.
The final Grassroots honour was bestowed upon P L Intimidator, who trotted under the wire in 1:59 after favourites Delcrest Massy and Pilgrims Joy locked wheels in the stretch. P L Intimidator got a nose in front of Easton Road and A Rod Hall to secure his first lifetime victory.
Scott Coulter of Brantford, Ont. engineered the win for trainer Robert McMillan of Beaverton, Ont. and his partners, breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, Ont., Martin Garey of Ventura, California and Irene McMillan of Aurora, Ont. The win boosted the Kadabra son into fifth in the point standings with 113 and improved his lifetime record to one win, four seconds, two thirds and earnings of $27,225 in 14 starts.
The three-year-old trotting colts and geldings make their last regular season Grassroots start at Flamboro Downs on Sept. 3. The top 20 point earners through the regular season will compete in the Sept. 18 Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack and the top five finishers from each Semi-final will battle in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 26 at Mohawk.