Fifty-five sophomore pacing colts and geldings trekked to Mohawk Racetrack for Thursday’s OSS Grassroots event, and there was no shortage of speed on display in the six divisions.
Spirit Shadow produced a career-best clocking of 1:51.4 in the opening division, and he lit up the toteboard in the process. Sylvain Filion rushed to the lead from Post 8 with the Jacques Dupont pupil, who was parked past the quarter in :27 before clearing to the top. Vegas Dream came right back around that one to reclaim the lead, and he proceeded to knife out splits of :56 and 1:25 before being hauled down in the lane by Spirit Shadow. Vegas Dream was next best, with the show dough earned by Chalk Player.
Sent off at odds of 14-1, the son of Shadow Play-Caviart Cheyenne improved this year’s record to 4-0-2 from eight starts for owner Denis Goyette of Laval, QC. Unraced as a rookie, Spirit Shadow lifted his lifetime earnings to $20,730 with the win.
Continual Hanover, who was making his first start of the season, came through for an army of backers in the second division. Sent off as the 1-5 favourite, Jody Jamieson had the Jack Darling trainee parked and pressing for the lead at the quarter pole in :26.3, and he was still parked at the mid-way point in :55.3. He eventually cleared, but promptly came under attack from Azul Pool. They raced as a team to the three-quarter pole in 1:24 before Azul Pool grabbed a short lead. Continual Hanover battled back and used :28.1 kicker to win by two lengths over Tango Star in 1:52.2. Azul Pool settled for third prize.
Jack Darling Stables Ltd of Cambridge, Ont. owns the son of Bettors Delight-Current Hanover, who was making his 2016 debut after putting together a 5-for-12 rookie record. The $9,000 payday bumped his overall cash stash to $117,400.
Xpert Bayama went the trip of his life in the third division for the tandem of driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Stephane Larocque. Let go at odds of 6-1, Xpert Bayama got away second before brushing to the front in the backstretch. He led through middle fractions of :55.4 and 1:23.3 before hustling home in :27.3 to win by a half-length margin over St Lads Moonwalk in 1:51.1. Solo Story rounded out the Triactor ticket.
The homebred son of Up The Credit-Lost Art races for Bayama Farms Inc of Saint-Andre-D’Argenteuil, QC. Unraced as a freshman, Xpert Bayama improved this year’s record to 3-1-0 from six trips to the track. His bankroll swelled to $30,110 with the win.
Paul MacDonell used the same tactical approach to win the fourth division with New Standard in 1:51.2. After getting away fourth, the gelding blasted to the top in the backstretch and rolled the field through middle fractions of :54.3 and 1:23.2. A final frame in :28 was more than enough to defeat Derecho and Bad Gamer.
Trainer Bob McIntosh’s Robert McIntosh Stable Inc shares ownership on the homebred son of Mach Three-You See L A with C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. It was the first win of the year for the two-time winner who lifted his lifetime earnings to $94,866 with the victory.
Imsporty notched his first win of the season for Team Jamieson thanks to a 1:53.1 triumph in the fifth division. The son of Sportswriter-Mach You And Me sat third through the first half before blasting to the lead as the field moved into the final turn. He lit up the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3 and then used a :28.3 closing panel to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Speedling. Daylight Rush, who supplied first half panels of :27.1 and :57, was third.
Hall of Fame trainer Carl Jamieson co-owns the gelding with Thomas Kyron of Toronto, Ont. Sent off at odds of 7-1, Imsporty improved this year’s record to 1-1-1 from six starts while his lifetime total climbed to 2-3-2 from 12 tries. He’s banked just shy of $48,000 to date.
Piranha rallied from out of the clouds to take home top honours in the final Grassroots tilt on the card. The son of Badlands Hanover-Emileah T was no closer than sixth through the first three-quarters of the contest, but a :26.3 kicker propelled him to the half-length score over longshot Red Dog Saloon in 1:52. B Fast Eddie came on to finish third.
Trevor Henry mapped out the winning trip for the Raymond Farmer pupil. Bred and owned by John Turigliatto of Temperance, MI, Piranha owns a flashy 4-1-0 record from just five tries this season. The six-time winner has racked up close to $37,000 in purse earnings to date.