There wasn’t a favourite to be found in Tuesday’s O.S.S. Grassroots divisions for three-year-old filly trotters at Mohawk Racetrack.
Literally got the ‘upset party’ started thanks to her come-from-behind tally in the opening division. The Justice Hall-Color Me Pretty homebred got away eighth for trainer/driver Dustin Jones, who still found himself seventh at the mid-way point and three-quarter calls of the $19,500 event. A :28.3 kick in the closing quarter, however, propelled her to the front and she drew clear to win by 2-1/4 lengths over the odds-on favourite, Expose Yourself, in 1:57.2. Hudsons Ya Ya was third.
Dustin Jones Stables Inc of Waterdown, Ont. owns the career winner of $55,380. It was a successful 2017 debut for the trotting lass who returned $26.30 to win.
“Wayne Henry’s filly (Expose Yourself) qualified pretty good, I didn’t know whether I would be able to beat her or not, but I thought just following along she’d be as good as they were, as good as the rest,” said Jones, who bred, owns, trains and drives Literally.
Tuesday’s outing was the filly’s first of the season and marked her second lifetime trip to the Grassroots winner’s circle; she was also victorious in the Grassroots season opener as a two-year-old. Following that victory Jones moved Literally up to the Gold Series level for the remainder of the season, but he does not expect her to follow the same path this year.
“She has a conformation issue that probably stops her from being like her brother [Dont Rush],” Jones explains. “She’s got the heart that she wants to overcome it, but when they have interfering issues it’s hard to. She won’t probably be able to be competitive in the Gold because of that.”
Two races later it was Gisele Treelane posting a 9-2 upset for driver Jack Moiseyev. He got away sixth with the Murray Brethour trainee, who got into the flow and tracked third-over cover in the back-half of the contest. Still sitting fifth at the three-quarter pole, Gisele Treelane used a :27.3 final quarter to win by a length over heavily-favoured You Cant Afford Me in 1:55.3. Taking home the show dough was Hilarious Honey.
Patricia Whittaker Trust of Aspers, PA bred and owns the daughter of Daylon Magician-Golden Lake. It was her second victory of the season, and the lion’s share of the $19,500 purse bumped her bankroll to $16,750.
Bustingattheseams was treated to a ground-saving trip in her $19,500 division by driver Randy Waples, and the daughter of Kadabra-Tight Pants got up just in time to post a 1:56.3 victory at odds of 5-1. A :28.2 final quarter propelled her to the win over Ticket To Seattle and race favourite Anikadabra.
Bob McIntosh trains the homebred for his Robert McIntosh Stables Inc and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Ont. It was the third consecutive tally for the career winner of $31,520.
Delcrest Magicstar took home bragging rights in the final division after rallying to a 1:56.1 triumph for co-owner/driver James MacDonald. Starting from Post 10, MacDonald slid into a six-hole with the daughter of Majestic Son-Stars Balance, who then latched onto a second-over tow in the middle stages of the $19,500 affair. She sprinted home in :27.3, and that was good enough to earn her the win by 1-1/2 lengths over Crystal Gumdrop. Race favourite Millers Song laid down fractions of :28.1, :58.1 and 1:28 before fading to finish third.
“She got away in a good spot and the trip worked out great, you know it usually doesn’t, but today it did and luckily she was good and we capitalised on it,” said driver James MacDonald. “She was stepping down the lane. Last year she was green, she’d kind of blow by and pull up a little bit when she’d clear, and tonight she didn’t, she felt like a real horse, she blew by and kept trotting ahead.”
Mark Steacy trains the youngster for MacDonald and partners Peter Porter and Johnny McKinnon. It was the first win of the season for the three-time winner. The lion’s share of the purse lifted her lifetime earnings to $47,730. Sent off at odds of 7-1, she paid $17.80 to win.
(Standardbred Canada with quotes from OSS)