The Ontario Sires Stakes rolled into Mohawk Racetrack Monday evening, with six Grassroots divisions on tap for two-year-old pacing fillies.
OK Heavenly rallied from just off the pace to take home top honours in her $18,000 division in 1:55 for driver Doug McNair and trainer Mark Steacy. The daughter of Sportswriter-Double Crème used a :28.3 closing quarter to win by 2-1/4 lengths over race favourite Chase The Shadows, with Maralika taking home the show dough in the opening division.
Oak Knoll Stables, the breeder of the filly, shares ownership on the youngster with Conrad Leber, Rick Karper and Wheelhouse Racing Stable. It was a maiden-breaking score for the freshman, who was making the fourth start of her career. She’s banked $12,600 to date.
Lady Jen, who went through the auction ring for $8,000 at last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale, notched her second straight victory thanks to a 1:55.4 score in the second division. Sylvain Filion rallied the Scott McEneny trainee to the win over longshot, Machin Marley. Twin B Honour, who laid down fractions of :27.3, :58 and 1:27.3 faded to finish third.
The daughter of Royal Mattjesty-Ladyjack now boasts a 2-1-0 record from five trips to the track for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. The lion’s share of the loot lifted her cash stash to $20,500.
Ride Away Shark earned a new lifetime mark of 1:53 thanks to her flashy victory in the third OSS Grassroots division. Jody Jamieson got away fifth with the Scott McNiven trainee, who rushed to the front in the backstretch en route to successfully slicing out middle splits of :57 and 1:25.3. She used a :27.2 closing quarter to win by three lengths over Solar Sister. Taking home the show dough was Ms Mac N Cheese.
Sent off as the 3-2 favourite, the daughter of Classic Card Shark-Freedom Away won for the second time in five tries for owners Kim McNiven of Putnam and Tom Brodhurst of London, Ontario. The $7,000 purchase from last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale has banked $18,280 to date.
Southwind Luna powered to the lead in the backstretch in her OSS Grassroots division, and once she cleared it was game over for the others. Billy Davis, Jr. hustled the daughter of Sportswriter-Lil Presto to the top at the half before drawing away to win by 5-1/2 lengths over Shes Dignified in 1:55.3. Talula Seelster rallied from far back to finish third.
Otis Hall trains the $20,000 purchase from last year’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale for Nasussito Racing Inc of Ayr, Ontario. The victory was the first in four tries for the career winner of $14,540.
Wicked Speed entered her Grassroots assignment a perfect 2-for-2, and she overcame a first-over trip to improve to 3-for-3 for Team Young. Scott Young attacked with the daughter of Mach Three-Pannie Oakley who eventually wore down the pacesetting Marachere to win in 1:57.4. Fiftyshadesofbay took home third prize in the $18,000 affair.
Purchased for $10,000 from last year’s Lexington Select Yearling Sale, Wicked Speed has stashed away $20,000 to date for trainer Bob Young. He co-owns the undefeated youngster with Status Stables Inc of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Sassafras Girl wired up the foes she faced in the final OSS Grassroots division for the tandem of driver Phil Hudon and trainer Murray Brethour. Starting from Post 9, Hudon fired his filly to the lead and she successfully sliced out splits of :28.1, :58.4 and 1:28 before splashing home in a :29-second clip over the sloppy surface. She halted the teletimer in 1:57, defeating Little Miss Artist and OK Hallelujah in the process.
It was the third win in six attempts for the daughter of Badlands Hanover-Tug River Della, who is owned by Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. The sister to Rub N Tug (1:50.3 – $433,999) upped her earnings to $21,380 with the win.