Round two of this year’s OSS Grassroots Semi-Finals went postward Friday evening at Mohawk Racetrack, with three-year-old pacers and trotters strutting their stuff in eight events worth $20,000 apiece.
Here’s a recap of what transpired in each of the categories:
Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters
Irish Scotch was on the receiving end of a slick steer from driver Chris Christoforou, and as a result the gelding produced a 1:55.4 triumph in his Semi-Final. The son of Muscle Mass-Insultingly left out from Post 7 and tucked into an early four-hole, and he remained there until just past the mid-way point of the mile. Christoforou marched his charge first-over and steadily advanced to be third at the three-quarter pole. Irish Scotch was then asked to duck to the inside in deep stretch, and that move proved to be the winning one as the trotter shot through to score by a length over Namesmuscle. Parkhill Lancelot, Buzz and A Little More Love also extended their respective OSS seasons by cracking the top five.
Shane Arsenault of Waterdown, ON owns and trains the five-time winner, who improved this year’s record to 4-0-3 from 17 starts with the win. The $10,000 payday boosted his earnings to $56,575.
Duh Bubbees survived a first-over journey en route to capturing his OSS Grassroots Semi-Final in 1:57.1 for the tandem of driver Trevor Henry and trainer/breeder Jamie Wilson. Henry got away third with the gelding before coming first-over on Its Huw You Know. That foe led through middle panels of :58.1 and 1:27.4, but he couldn’t fend off Duh Bubbees in deep stretch. Duh Bubbees kicked home in :29.2 to win by a length over Seeking Steven, with In Secret, Mandeville and Its Huw You Know grabbing the minor shares.
Chris Wilson of Huron Park, ON owns the gelded son of Up Front Ben-Nothing To Justify who earned his fourth win of the 2015 campaign. The seven-time winner boasts a cash stash of $67,709.
Three-Year-Old Filly Trotters
Meadow Seelster went to the front and didn’t look back en route to a very popular win in her $20,000 assignment. Sylvain Filion had her brushing to the lead at the quarter pole in a :28-second clip, and from there she successfully sliced out middle splits of :57.2 and 1:26.1 before using a :28.4 kicker to seal the deal. She won by 4-1/4 lengths over Renegade Magic. Oh My Magic, Desis Dream and Allies Gift also punched tickets to next week’s OSS Grassroots Final.
Bill Budd trains the daughter of Holiday Road-Must Sold Dream for owner Bill Dixon of Caledon, ON. She’ll take a 5-4-1 record from 15 seasonal starts into the $50,000 final. She’s banked in excess of $112,000 this season and more than $146,000 to date.
Judy The Beauty was a 10-1 upset winner thanks in large part to a patient steer by driver James MacDonald. The filly was locked up tight on the rail for most of the mile, but when room opened up late she fired home in :28.3 to eke out the half-length decision over race favourite World Class Izzy in 1:56.4. Giona, Hope Rises and Railee Priti took home the final cheques.
Keith Jones trains the daughter of Muscle Mass-Northern Beauty for Randy Zhok of Dover Centre, ON. The victory was her fourth of the season and the sixth of her career. The $10,000 payday boosted her bankroll to $91,220.
Three-Year-Old Filly Pacers
Dublin Rose turned a two-hole trip into a 1:53 score in her OSS Grassroots Semi-Final. Jody Jamieson plugged her into the pocket behind Twin B Honour, who whacked out fractions of :26.2, :55.4 and 1:24.2 before tiring. The rail opened up for Jamieson and Dublin Rose, and they shot through and used a :28.2 closing panel to win by a pair of lengths over Nationalize. Rounding out the top five in the $20,000 affair were Ainsleynoelle, Northern Starlet and OK Hallelujah.
Purchased privately last month by Jerry Clark of Finksburg, MD, the filly now hangs her harness bag in the barn of trainer Dave Menary. The daughter of Major In Art-Bronwen Seelster visited the winner’s circle for the fifth time this season and for the eighth time in her career. She stashed away over $76,000 this year and more than $114,000 to date.
Lovely Erin extended her winning streak to three-in-a-row thanks to her 1:53.2 blowout victory in her OSS Grassroots Semi-Final. Doug McNair came first-over with the Ron Adams pupil and simply drew away from the competition in a sharp clocking of 1:53.2. Aniston Seelster shook loose late to grab the runner-up award, with minor shares going to Machmeter, Stonebridge Quest and Brown Brinny.
Unraced as a rookie, the daughter of Sportswriter-Lovely Lady now boasts a 10-1-2 record from 17 trips to the track. She has racked up more than $100,000 in earnings for 362313 Ontario Ltd of Windsor, ON.
Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers
Make Some Luck went to the front and didn’t look back in his OSS Grassroots Semi-Final en route to a decisive tally for Team Jamieson. The gelding rushed to the front from Post 6 for driver Jody Jamieson, and together they threw down fractions of :26.3, :55.3 and 1:23.4 before roaring home in :27.3 to win by 3-1/2 lengths in a career-best clocking of 1:51.2. The favourite defeated fellow cheque getters His Boy Elroy, Mach Code, Artful Way and Western Bayama.
The son of Camluck-Mustang Kensley races for 1140545 Ontario Ltd of Moffat, ON. The victory improved the pacer’s 2015 record to 4-3-2 from 10 starts and it lifted his lifetime earnings to $118,420. A Sportswriter sister to Mustang Kensley named Sports Leader will sell as Hip 80 in Sunday’s Canadian Yearling Sale.
Mac Raider posted the biggest – and fastest – win of his career in the second OSS Grassroots Semi-Final. Sent off at odds of 20-1, the son of Mach Three-Kaylas Raider rallied from far back to win in 1:52.3 for driver Doug McNair. The gelding was nowhere to be found in the early stages of the mile, but a :28.2 closing quarter helped him win by a half-length margin over Thinkofagameplan. Rounding out the top five finishers were Southwind Indy, Win One Soon and The Fire Within.
Trainer Gregg McNair co-owns the gelding with Len Gamble, Don Mac Donald and David Kryway. The partners watched the pacer win for the fourth time this season while lifting his earnings to $54,630.