Driver Jody Jamieson made the trip to Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening to drive a quartet of three-year-old pacing colts in their second last regular season Grassroots start and scored two wins, one second and one third.
Jamieson posted his first win with Piranha, guiding the Badlands Hanover son to a front-end victory in a sharp 1:50.4. The gelding hit the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Arsenic, who pursued the fan favourite from the pocket. Tango Star finished third in the $18,000 Grassroots division.
“That was the first time I’ve driven Piranha and he was ultra-impressive,” said Jamieson. “That was a huge mile at Georgian.”
Jamieson crafted the win for trainer Raymond Farmer of Erie, MI and owner John Turigliatto of Temperance, MI. It was Piranha’s second appearance in the Grassroots winner’s circle this season; the gelding was also victorious in the season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on June 16.
With 100 points earned through those two Grassroots victories, Piranha is assured of a berth in the Sept. 16 Semi-final at Mohawk Racetrack and Jamieson expects him to earn a shot at the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 24.
“He’ll be tough to beat come the Semi-finals and Final of this series,” said the Moffat, ON resident.
Jamieson’s second victory came with Continual Hanover in the last Grassroots division. After an early skirmish that took them by the quarter in :26.4, Jamieson settled Continual Hanover in behind fan favourite Blaise Mm Hanover and stalked the pace through a :55.3 half and 1:23.4 three-quarters. Turning for home Jamieson pointed Continual Hanover at the wire and the colt sprinted by the pacesetter to a three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:51.1.
“Continual was back to his harder-trying self,” noted Jamieson. “He’s been hit and miss this year, with a bit more miss than hit lately. Tonight he beat a well-meant favourite in Blaise MM Hanover, so I’m hoping he stays with this form until, at least, I’m driving a different horse, most likely his stablemate St Lads Moonwalk or maybe even Piranha.”
Jamieson pilots Continual Hanover for owner-trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON. The Bettors Delight colt was victorious in the Grassroots season opener and in the July 1 event at Mohawk, but finished third on July 30 at Hanover Raceway and fourth on Aug. 13 at Kawartha Downs. In spite of his mid-season misses, Continual Hanover sits second in the three-year-old pacing colt division with 170 points, five points behind stablemate St Lads Moonwalk.
Sent off the favourite in the first division on Tuesday, Jamieson and St Lads Moonwalk had to settle for the runner-up spot as Red Dog Saloon sprinted up from the backfield to grab a head victory in a personal best 1:51.4. Sports Authority finished three-quarters of a length back in third.
Erin, ON resident Steven Hudon owns, trains and drives Red Dog Saloon, who jumped into third spot in the division standings with his second Grassroots win of the season. The Mister Big gelding was also victorious in the July 1 event at Mohawk Racetrack.
The other Grassroots trophy went home with first-time Ontario Sires Stakes winner Big Place, who watched a speed duel between Wichita Lineman and Day Trade Hanover from the middle of the pack and then powered by the tiring leaders to a one-half length victory in a personal best 1:53. Bettor Memories also closed well to take the runner-up spot away from Jamieson and Wichita Lineman, who settled for third.
Alfie Carroll of Iona Station piloted Big Place to his first Grassroots win for trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON and owner Roderick Smith of Inverness, NS. In his first four provincial starts the Big Jim colt had posted one second, two fourths and one sixth, giving him a point tally of 94 and a shot at the Grassroots post season.
The three-year-old pacing colts will wrap up their regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 1, and then the top 20 point earners will begin preparations for the Sept. 16 Semi-finals. The top five finishers from each Semi-final will secure a berth in the Sept. 24 Grassroots Championship.
Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs this Saturday, Aug. 27 as the Innisfil oval celebrates Customer Appreciation Night with Gold Series action for the three-year-old trotting colts and the Honourable Earl Rowe Trot.
Saturday’s action-packed program gets under way at 7:15 p.m.