Lady Bubbles scored her third straight Grassroots win at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, August 24 to move into a tie atop the two-year-old pacing filly point standings.
A narrow winner in her first two Grassroots starts, Lady Bubbles sprinted down the Mohawk stretch to a one length victory in a personal best 1:55.2 on Thursday. With recently crowned World Driving Champion James MacDonald in the race bike, the fan favourite landed in seventh from Post 5 and made her way toward the front behind two other fillies in the outer lane. Swinging wide off the final turn Lady Bubbles found another gear and reeled in pacesetter Easy Three. Hammering Haley also closed hard to claim third-place honours.
“She’s a small filly with a big heart,” said trainer Mark Steacy of the daughter of Sportswriter and Matter Of Style. “She always seems to have a good kick coming home.”
Lansdowne, ON resident Steacy conditions Lady Bubbles for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. A half-sister to current Ontario Sires Stakes stallion and $636,022 winner Shanghai Phil, Lady Bubbles has tallied three wins, one second and one third for earnings of $49,110 through her first six starts. Her trio of Grassroots victories give her 150 points and a share of top spot in the division standings.
Color Envy earned her first lifetime win in the second $19,850 Grassroots division, storming up the inside in the stretch to get a neck in front of Pretissimo and Muskoka Moonlight, who had battled for control through the last half of the race.
MacDonald, who makes his home in Guelph, picked up his second Grassroots win of the evening, guiding Color Envy from Post 4 to the winner’s circle for trainer Scott McEneny and his wife Michelle McEneny of Waterdown, Teresa Davidson of Milton and John Fielding of Toronto, ON.
“Training down that filly actually was just as good, if not better than (two-time Gold winner) Big Thong, and then she got hurt in the paddock. She banged her leg and bruised a splint bone, so I kind of had to back off with her so, but she was always training down like a pretty nice filly,” said McEneny. “She’s great gaited, she’s a nice big, strong filly and I think she’s only going to get better.”
The daughter of Mach Three and Pink Is Perfect was a $30,000 purchase out of last fall’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and in four starts she has now tallied one win, one third and $12,562.
In the final division Shower Play earned her second Grassroots trophy and moved into a tie for top spot in the division standings with Lady Bubbles. In rein to Sylvain Filion the daughter of Shadow Play and Alice Emily also employed a come-from-behind strategy from Post 3. Seventh through the early going, Filion shifted the filly into the outer lane and then had to tip out three-wide before getting a clear look at the leaders. A :27.1 finishing kick propelled Shower Play past pocket-sitter Love Kills and pacesetter and fan favourite Neon Moon to a one and three-quarter length win in a personal best 1:53.2.
“I always said she might be a Gold filly someday, and she kind of confirmed to me tonight that she could probably be one,” said Filion, who has driven the filly in all but one of her starts. “She raced really good tonight. I was really pleased with her and hopefully she can still improve over that. “
Milton, ON resident Filion crafted the win for trainer Rene Dion and Susanne Kerwood of Rockwood, ON and their partner Martin Leveillee of St-Blaise-Sur-Richelieu, QC. The group offered up $15,000 for the filly at the 2016 Forest City Yearling Sale. In four starts, all in the Grassroots, she has two wins and two seconds for 150 points and earnings of $28,987.
The two-year-old pacing fillies will make their fifth Grassroots start at Mohawk on Friday, Sept. 1 before wrapping up their regular season at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sept. 10. The top 10 point earners from the regular season will return to Mohawk for the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 30.
Before the freshman pacing fillies make their return to Mohawk, the Campbellville oval will host the three-year-old pacing fillies in their fourth Gold Series test on Tuesday, August 29, with a first race post time of 7:30 p.m.