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Mach My Kiss repeats in Ont. Grassroots

July 15, 2020

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Mach My Kiss was the only 3-year-old pacing filly able to replicate her opening round performance as the sophomore lasses returned to Woodbine Mohawk Park for their second Grassroots Leg on Tuesday, July 14.

Starting from Post 2, driver Doug McNair settled Mach My Kiss briefly in third before moving the filly to the lead just past the :27 quarter. Mach My Kiss led the field through a :56 half and a 1:24.3 three-quarters and then fought off fan favorite Kat in the stretch for a head victory in 1:53.1. La Belle Rebella rounded out the top three.

“She’s been good all year. She was running out again tonight, but at least she’s going forward,” said McNair, who drives the Mach Three filly for trainer Robert Fellows.

Yolanda Fellows of Rockwood and Erna Corbeil of Beaumont, AB share ownership of Mach My Kiss, who cruised to a two length victory in the June 26 Grassroots season opener. Mach My Kiss was a three-time winner at the Grassroots level as a two-year-old, with one of those wins coming in her Grassroots Semi-final.

McNair also posted a win with Landry Seelster in the fourth division. After leaving smartly from Post 5, McNair tucked the Mach Three daughter in behind pacesetter Big Myrtle, then manoeuvered her out in the stretch and let her sprint home to the 1:53.2 victory. Kit and Big Myrtle battled into second and third, one and one-quarter lengths behind the favourite.

“She raced good tonight. She has a lot of speed, but she’s tough on herself some nights,” said McNair. “The trip worked out great tonight.”

Guelph resident Gregg McNair trains Landry Seelster for his co-owners Ilderton Boys Stable of London, ON and Dany Fontaine of Ormston, QC. The win gives Landry Seelster a total of 62 points in the race for a post season berth; she finished third in the Grassroots season opener.

May Kay, who dead-heated for second in the June 26 opening leg, went gate-to-wire from Post 1 in the first division on Tuesday, stopping the teletimer in a personal best 1:52.2. Fan favourite Saulsbrook Raven finished one-half length back in second, with High Roller Duke hot on her heels in third.

“Kay has been a pleasant surprise for us. I can’t remember a horse that we have had that has transitioned so positively from two to three. Everything about her just matured and got stronger,” said trainer Shawn Steacy. “I thought she raced super tonight, going a big mile on the front. Even though she can leave so well and get spotted, she prefers to follow, that’s why I thought she was great.”

Steacy conditions Mary Kat for David McDonald of Cornwall, A K Malik Stable of Ottawa, ON, and Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy of Edmonton, AB. James MacDonald drives the Bettors Delight daughter, who qualified in late December of her two-year-old season and made her racing debut in January.

In the second division Hit By A Bus tracked fan favourite Smiling Dialing through fractions of :27, :56.2 and 1:24.4 before sneaking up the inside in the stretch to grab a neck victory in a personal best 1:53.1. Smiling Dialing settled for second and Whiskey To Wine finished third.

“I just got her a few starts ago. She’s a nice size and well-mannered, and she got the trip behind the favourite,” said trainer Richard Moreau. “Sylvain, from my understanding, when she first came he wasn’t sure she was going to do, but she’s fine, no problem.”

Sylvain Filion engineered the Bettors Delight daughter’s first win of 2020 on behalf of owners Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON, Brian Paquet of Quebec, QC and his father Yves Filion’s Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D’Argenteuil, QC. Yves Filion started the filly, giving her two outings at Rideau Carleton Raceway in June, before sending her to Moreau for the Ontario Sires Stakes season. Tuesday was her sophomore debut in the provincial program.

Free Flyin Ticket made the move from the Gold to the Grassroots for Tuesday’s start and got just what trainer Tony Beaton hoped for — a confidence building victory.

“We weren’t 100 per cent sure what happened the last start (June 29), she got a great trip in the Gold and she just didn’t fire like she normally does,” said Beaton. “Maybe it was just a little too quick for her, but we did get some much needed confidence back in her tonight.”

Starting from Post 4, driver Paul MacDonell eased Free Flyin Ticket into seventh as Greystone Natali O and Odds On Vero Beach battled to a :26.3 quarter. MacDonell sent Free Flyin Ticket up the outside behind Mouth Watering heading for the :56 half and the pair were just two lengths behind the leaders at the 1:26 three-quarters. A :26.4 last quarter propelled Free Flyin Ticket home to the 1:52 victory. Favourite Greystone Natali O was three-quarters of a length back in second and pacesetter Bettorthanbobbi was third.

“Last year she was very high strung and this year, we made a couple of little tiny equipment changes, but she’s so much more manageable. Last year she was hard to get taken off the gate and she’d just take the race out of herself being so worked up, where this year we’ve been taking her off the gate — MacDonell says she’s just been a sweetheart to take off the gate — and then when you ask her to go she gives it her all,” said Waterdown resident Beaton, who shares ownership of the Betterthancheddar filly with Gary Volpe of St. Thomas, George Quartarone of Claremont, ON and David Mercer of Sydney, NS. “She’s so much more manageable, which is going to make her a much better racehorse.”

Beaton will wait to decide whether the filly will remain in the Grassroots or return to the Gold for her next start, with both events taking place at Grand River Raceway on Monday, Aug. 3.

Complete results from Tuesday’s program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results.

On Thursday, July 16 the three-year-old trotting colts will compete over the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval in their second Grassroots Leg. The colts will be featured on TSN Sports’ Racing Night Live in Races 1 and 3, and will also compete in Races 4, 9, and 10. The first division goes postward at 7 pm. (Ontario Sires Stakes)

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