Thisgirlisonfire lived up to her name as she captured the fastest of six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions for 3-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday night at Grand River Raceway.
Mario Baillargeon was content to sit the garden spot in second with Thisgirlisonfire and they had a perfect view of Wings Of Ballykeel who cut the mile for Trevor Henry. The fractions were :28.4, :58.4 and 1:28.3 and down the stretch the leader tired allowing Thisgirlisonfire to hit the wire first in 1:58.4. Wings Of Ballykeel had to settle for the bridesmaid's role this night while Viva Bayama was third.
It was the first win of the season for the daughter of Angus Hall owned by one of the leading drivers in the sport, Jeff Gregory, of New Jersey along with William Richardson of New York. Trained in the US by Linda Toscano, Ron Parsons handles Thisgirlisonfire's conditioning during her stay in Ontario.
The next fastest winner among the Grassroots girls was Aphrodity who pulled Rick Zeron to a 1:59.1 victory in front of Northern Secret and Stormont Kate. Zeron trains and co-owns the daughter of Striking Sahbra with The Camel Club Stable.
Zeron was also victorious in the final division as he sent Love Detective right to the top and never relinquished that position through splits of :30.1, 1:01 and 1:31.2. Please Okay gave chase down the lane but was a whisker shy at the wire reached in 2:01.2. Jimmy Takter trains the winner, a daughter of Ken Warkentin, for his wife Christina Takter of New Jersey and breeder Jan Hoibye of Norway. It was the first win in seven tries this year for Love Detective.
Also winning their divisions were Nickange Two (The Pres) in 2:01.2 for Mike Saftic and trainer Brian Hodgson, Lenny Mac (Kadabra) in 1:59.3 for Steve Condren and trainer Bob McIntosh and Wawona (Kadabra) in 2:01.1 for Sylvain Filion and Rene Dion. (Ontario Sires Stakes)