Driver Alfie Carroll and trainer Bob McIntosh captured two of four Grassroots divisions for the freshman pacing colts at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening.
Starting from Post 5 in the first $18,000 Grassroots division, Carroll fired Mc Mach off the gate and the heavy favourites were two lengths in front of the field at the :27.3 opening quarter. Mc Mach maintained control through the :58 half and 1:26 three-quarters and then sailed down the stretch to a one and one-half length victory in 1:55. Heza Big Dealer and Thrownoutofbetter finished second and third.
“He showed being on front in Toronto (July 7 at Mohawk Racetrack) and so I figured he’d probably end up cutting the race out, because he was favourite and showed being good on front. So it was kind of easy,” said Carroll with a chuckle. “He does it all on his own, I didn’t have to urge him at all really.”
Carroll engineered the win for Windsor resident McIntosh and his partners Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and Randy Liepa of Livonia, MI. The homebred son of Mach Three-Northern Empress now has two Grassroots wins to his credit and currently sits third in the division standings with 100 points.
Carroll also employed a front end strategy with Test Ride in the second division. From Post 1 the favourites controlled the tempo through fractions of :27.1, :57.2 and 1:25.3 before accelerating away from the field to a four and three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:55.2. Kentucky Nick finished second and Brave World was four more lengths back in third.
“They said he had lots of talent, he just hadn’t been giving 100 per cent, but he raced real good tonight,” noted the Iona Station, ON resident. “He had some pressure, a horse first up pressured him, but he fought him off good.
“I was pretty confident, he’s just a little bit on the lazy side, but he felt good,” added Carroll. “I was happy with both of them.”
Tuesday’s win was also Test Ride’s second in Grassroots action, and the son of Mach Three-L A Confidential sits just ahead of his stablemate in the standings with 103 points. Bob and Al McIntosh bred and share ownership of the gelding with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH.
Down On My Luck claimed the third Grassroots trophy, powering out of the pocket to a neck victory in 1:55. Fan favourite Tigers Way settled for second and pacesetter One Source was third.
London resident Nick Steward piloted Down On My Luck to his first lifetime victory for trainer Ron Adams of LaSalle and owners 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor and David Kryway of Amherstburg, ON. The son of Camluck-False Alert was a modest $10,000 purchase from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale and has banked $13,500 in his first four starts.
The final Grassroots division went to Silverinyourpocket and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON, who motored up the outer lane to a three-quarter length decision in 1:55. Tremendous Play settled for second after serving as a wind break for Silverinyourpocket and pocket-sitter Master The View finished third.
“This colt has got talent. We don’t pretend he’s a Gold, but for sure a decent Grassrooter,” said trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON. “We’re looking forward to his next race.”
Moreau conditions the son of Badlands Hanover-Fillys Victory for David and Marguerite Ratchford of North Sydney, NS. The colt was a $19,000 acquisition from the Forest City Yearling Sale and boasts a record of two wins and two thirds in five starts. A pair of wins and one third in Grassroots action has Silverinyourpocket atop the division standings with 112 points.
The two-year-old pacing colts will make their fourth Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway on August 17.
Next up on Georgian Downs’ Ontario Sires Stakes schedule is the fifth Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing colts on Tuesday, August 23.
Tuesday evening also featured the $11,000 Preferred 2 Trot, and when the dust settled it was Doubledown Gass completing a front-end mission for trainer/driver Reg Gassien.
The gelding was marched to the lead from Post 7, and after successfully chopping out fractions of :27.2, :57.3 and 1:26.1 he tacked on a :29.2 kicker to win by three-quarters of a length over Landonfitz. Third prize was earned by Delcrest Massy.
Sent off at odds of 10-1, the six-year-old son of Majestic Son-Videilia Gass is now a two-time winner this year and a 14-time winner to date. The $5,500 payday lifted his lifetime earnings to $194,975.