Two-year-old trotting colts were the headliners at Georgian Downs on Saturday evening, with 57 colts battling in seven Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions.
French Bastille captured the first Grassroots trophy of the freshman trotting colt campaign, hitting the wire in 2:01.1 for trainer/driver Mark Steacy. French Bastille reeled in pacesetter and fan favourite Clone The Tone through the stretch, reaching the wire one-quarter length on top. Stormont Viceroy finished two more lengths back in third.
Lansdowne, Ont. resident Steacy conditions French Bastille for Landmark 8 Racing Stable of Kingston, Ont., Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Que. and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, New York. The partners acquired the son of Kadabra and $639,981 winner Brigham Dream for $55,000 at last fall’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.
In the second $18,000 division, Mass Balance got a pocket trip behind pacesetter Wildwild Men before rolling out in the stretch and accelerating away to a three and one-quarter length victory in 1:59.3. Wildwild Men trotted into second, with Terrain Seelster earning the third spot when Holiday Party made a late break and was placed from third back to fourth.
Bob McClure piloted the Muscle Mass son to the win for trainer Chris Beaver of Delaware, Ohio and owner Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, Ont., and Georgian Downs’ leading reinsman was impressed with the trotter.
“He’s a very nice young trotter with the attitude of a four-year-old,” said McClure, who resides in Orangeville, Ont. “He has a bright future.”
The third division was the first of two captured by driver Travis Henry of Brantford, Ont. and trainer Shannon Henry of Arthur, Ont. Starting from post eight, Travis Henry sent Zagster straight to the front and the pair never looked back, sailing home one and one-quarter length winners in 2:02.1. Money Mission and Muscle Time rounded out the top three.
Muscle Mass gelding Zagster is owned by Trevor Henry Stables Inc. of Arthur, Ont. and John MacLeod of Kincardine, Ont., and was a bargain $3,000 purchase at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale last fall. Through two qualifiers and one Grassroots appearance, the colt is undefeated.
Im A Mate scored the quickest mile of the seven divisions, trotting under the wire in 1:59.1 for driver Don Dupont and trainer Marie Dupont of Loxahatchee, Florida. The fan favourite bested pacesetter Rose Run Rudi by three and one-quarter lengths with Romeo another length back in third.
Roy Dobbins of Bryant, Alabama bred and owns Im A Mate, a son of Muscle Mass and Im A Checkmate. Among the colt’s half-siblings is $799,117 winner Prayer I Am.
Travis and Shannon Henry returned to the winner’s circle following the fifth division when United BI caught pacesetter Chestnut Schofield at the wire. Just one-quarter of a length separated the colts at the 2:00.1 finish, with Eyeseenow seven lengths to the rear in third.
Nick Petrusich of Hamilton, Ont. and Trevor Henry Stables Inc. share ownership of United BI, who was a $35,000 acquisition at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.
Georgies Pockets went gate-to-wire in the sixth division, stopping the Georgian Downs teletimer at 1:59.4. Asterix and Dynamic Edge were four and one-quarter lengths back in second and third.
Milton, Ont. resident Steve Condren crafted the victory for trainer Melvin Turcotte of Coconut Creek, Florida and owner/breeder M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, Florida. The colt is the son of Muscle Mass and former OSS competitor Striking Pockets.
The final Grassroots trophy of the evening was captured by Cool Creek Victory, who toured the Georgian Downs oval in 2:02.1, besting Dial K and Some Peach. Eddie Green of Ohsweken, Ont. owns, trains and drives the son of Windsong Espoir, who was a $30,000 purchase from the Canadian Yearling Sale.
The two-year-old trotting colts will make their second Grassroots start at Clinton Raceway on Sunday, July 19.
Georgian Downs fans will be treated to the Gold Series debut of the two-year-old trotting fillies on Sunday evening. The freshman fillies are featured in races two, four, six, and eight on the July 12 program, which gets under way at 6 p.m.