Trevor Henry, consistently one of the leading drivers in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, captured three of the four $18,000 Grassroots events for two-year-old trotting fillies on the opening night of Flamboro Downs' fall meet this evening. All of the fields were reduced by at least one filly with a few having to be scratched due to an accident on the 407 highway which prevented them from making it to the track on time.
Just before the first division got underway the field was reduced to seven with the late scratch of Unrelenting and was reduced again when Wicked Speed made a break at the start over the track rated "good" due to earlier rains.
Bella Santanna and Tyler Moore grabbed control early and hit the opening quarter in :29. She was challenged throughout the next quarter by Lady Jen and that pair hit the half in :57.3. Bella Santanna put that challenger away and was at the three-quarters in 1:27.4. OK Heartbeat gave chase down the stretch but Bella Santanna held on to win in 2:00.1. OK Heartbeat was second with P L Impressive third.
Sent off at 50-1 odds, Bella Santanna paid more than $114 for a two dollar win ticket. She was recording her second lifetime win for owner Brydown Farms Inc., of Clinton, Ontario and trainer Heather Toll. A daughter of Santanna Blue Chip, Bella Santanna was making her first OSS appearance of the year.
The second division was also reduced by one with the scratch of Marachere. It was Ms Mac N Cheese grabbing the lead early and never relinquishing it in that division, craving out fractions of :29, :59.4 and 1:29.3 and rolling to a nine length win in 1:59.1. OK Heavenly was second followed by Missy Ann.
It was the fourth win in six career starts for Ms Mac N Cheese, a daughter of Badlands Hanover owned by David Ratchford of Nova Scotia who developed her and got her started at Northside Downs in the Maritimes before shipping her to Ontario. It was also her second straight Grassroots victory.
The third division was minus two starters with the scratches of Sassafras Girl and Katie Snoops. Machin Marley and Fiftyshadesofbay reached the :28 opening quarter together with the latter filly taking over for Trevor Henry and hitting the half in :58.1. OK Hallelujah came up quickly to challenge but Fiftyshadesofbay rallied back and hit the third panel in 1:27.3 and was a three length winner in 1:58.1 over OK Hallelujah and Little Miss Artist.
It was the first lifetime victory for Fiftyshadesofbay who had two seconds and three thirds from five starts coming into tonight's contest. Rick Zeron of Oakville, Ontario trains and co-owns the daughter of Armbro Deuce with breeder Linda Condon of New Jersey.
Out from the fourth and final split was Stonebridge Quest. Hello Marylin had the early lead but was passed by Maralika at the :27.3 opening quarter. Twin B Honour paced past the leader at the :57 half and was at the three-quarters in 1:27.2. Down the stretch she had company in the form of Shes A Pansation and that pair drew away from the field with Twin B Honour hitting the wire first in 1:58.1. Blissfulla Cin was third. However, it was deemed that Shes A Pansation caused interference which moved her to third and Blissfulla Cin to second.
Trevor Henry was at the lines behind Twin B Honour to give him a driving triple in tonight's OSS events. Vic Puddy trains the winner, a daughter of Sportswriter, for owner Percy Elkins of Campbellville, Ontario. She is the second foal from a half-sister to $1.4 million winner Our Lucky Killean.
The final Grassroots event for this division will take place on September 11 at Mohawk followed by the Semi-Finals on September 19 at the Campbellville oval. Flamboro's next OSS event will be contested on September 11 when the three-year-old trotting fillies come to town for Grassroots action. (Ontario Sires Stakes)