Pilgrims Joy trotted to his second straight Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots victory in the sixth and final $18,000 division for two-year-old trotting colts on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack.
The Pilgrims Taj colt was sent off as the favourite in his event, which saw Muscles All Over set the tempo of :29.2, 1:01.1 and 1:31.2. James MacDonald had Pilgrims Joy first up and advancing past the half, and once field came out of the final turn, he took over to win in 2:00.3. Stormont Wizard closed well on the far outside to take second while Secret Muscle was third. Johnathan McKinnon trains the winner for owner/breeder Len Kordy of Kingston, Ont. Pilgrims Joy is the final foal from the Incredible Abe mare Joys Incredible.
Freddie also earned his second straight win in the Grassroots program as the favourite for trainer Corey Johnson and Ontario owners Debbie Element of Waterdown and Fred Brayford of Alliston. Driven by Randy Waples in the opening division, the Majestic Son colt worked his way to the lead through the first three-eighths of the mile and trotted home for the 2:01 triumph over Irish Scotch and South Star.
The quickest of the half dozen Grassroots events belonged to Mandeville, who hauled down pacesetter El Diablo Hall to win in 1:58.2 for driver Steve Condren. El Diablo Hall stayed for second while Angels Kid took third. Wayne Langille of Harley, Ont. trains the winner, a son of Majestic Son he co-owns with Brett Burleigh of Paris, Ont. The victory was his second in four Grassroots starts.
Two other colts were just a tick off that time, winning in 1:58.3 in their first lifetime victories. Party On The River hit that time for Doug McNair in his division, defeating Parkhill Lancelot and Top Dollar. The win was the first in three starts for the Kadabra colt trained by Gregg McNair for Harmon Racing Stable of New Jersey.
The other colt to score in 1:58.3 was Snapshot Springs, who was a whisker better than Kadabrasnewrecruit in the close finish. Trevor Henry was at the controls behind the Striking Sahbra gelding owned and bred by Regina and Richard Beinhauer of Pennsylvania. Richard handles the training of Snapshot Springs, who visited the winner’s circle for the first time in four tries.
Making just his second start, Kadabra son Caulfield also earned his first career win in 2:01.1 for driver Chis Christoforou, trainer Chris Beaver and owner Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto.
The next Grassroots event for this group is scheduled for August 16 at Georgian Downs.