Mark Steacy trainees captured the first two $18,000 Grassroots divisions at Georgian Downs on Tuesday, Aug. 27. Sophomore trotting filly Juliet kicked off the evening's festivities with a gate-to-wire score in 1:56.3. The Majestic Son daughter hit the wire one-half length ahead of Moms Apple Pie and fan favourite Legzy to record her first Ontario Sires Stakes victory.
Mike Saftic crafted the win for Juliet's owners Landmark V Racing Stable, David Reid of Glenburnie, A K Malik Stable of Ottawa and Salt Hill Farm Ltd. of Pine Bush, NY. The win gave the filly a sophomore record of two wins, two seconds and one third in 10 starts for earnings of $25,701.
One race later, Steacy trainee Swishnflick and driver Chris Christoforou also opted for front-end tactics, battling to a 1:56.4 one-half length victory over division point leader Muscle Magic and fan favourite I Like My Kaddy.
Steacy conditions Swishnflick for Landmark V Racing Stable, Diane Bertrand of Edmonton, AB, Richard Karper of Saint-Laurent, QC and Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC. The win was Swishnflick's second in two Grassroots starts and bumped the Kadabra daughter into eighth spot in the race for one of 10 berths in the season ending Grassroots Championship.
Christoforou picked up a second Grassroots victory in the fourth division, piloting Fathers Amiga to a three and one-half length upset over Ms Warkentin and Atalanta. The 1:57.2 score was the Amigo Hall daughter's first. Edward Peconi Jr. trains the filly for Patricia Wall of Omemee and James Patrick Wall of Youngs Point.
Grassroots favourites did not fare well at Georgian Downs on Tuesday, as all five went down in defeat over a sloppy oval rated one second slower than normal. The other upset winners were Wind Stroll in 1:58 and Eloise Eden in 1:56.3. The three-year-old trotting fillies make their sixth and final regular season Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway on Sept. 6.Tuesday's contest completed Georgian Downs' 2013 Ontario Sires Stakes season, which saw all eight provincial divisions compete over the Innisfil oval. (Ontario Sires Stakes)