On Wednesday evening 3-year-old pacer Mach It So rocketed around Grand River Raceway in a track record clocking, the fourth record-setting mile by an Ontario Sires Stakes competitor at the track this month.
Starting from post 2 Mach It So and driver Scott Zeron got away second, getting a bird's eye view of the :26.2 opening quarter clocked by Duc Dorleans. Zeron moved Mach It So to the lead heading for the :55.1 half and the gelding had things comfortably in hand by the 1:23.2 three-quarters.
Cruising down the stretch, Mach It So hit the wire one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Duc Dorleans and Tarpon Hanover, halting the Grand River teletimer at 1:51.4. The record-setting mile stripped two-fifths of a second off the 1:52.1 effort recorded by Grassroots division leader Champagne Phil on Aug. 16.
Mach It So now boasts a flawless record of four wins in four Gold Series starts. In 11 sophomore starts the Mach Three son has tallied eight wins, one second and earnings of $337,837 for trainer Richard "Nifty” Norman and owner Bamond Racing LLC of Brick, NJ.
Zeron had the hottest set of hands at Grand River on Wednesday, guiding Validus Deo to a neck victory in the other $105,000 Gold Series division. Getting away fifth from Post 1, the pair clawed their way up the outside to grab the victory over Up Up And Out and pacesetter OK Fantastic. Fan favourite Windsong Jack ran out of gas after providing a wind break to Validus Deo and finished at the back of the eight-horse field.
The 1:53.4 victory was the first in Gold Series action for Validus Deo, who is trained by Tony Alagna for owners Alan Alber of Thornhill and Cheap Speed Stable of Steger, IL. The Lis Mara son was a two-time Grassroots winner last season.
Wednesday's event completed the Gold Series regular season for the three-year-old pacing colts. The top 10 point earners will now begin preparations for the Sept. 28 Super Final at Mohawk Racetrack.
Ontario Sires Stakes fans will be back at Grand River Raceway on Friday, Sept. 6 to catch the final Grassroots event of the regular season for the 3-year-old trotting fillies. (Ontario Sires Stakes)