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OSS Grassroots for 3YOFT held at Dresden

July 01, 2019

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Dresden Raceway fans were treated to a beautiful afternoon of racing on Canada Day, highlighted by four divisions of 3-year-old trotting fillies battling for a total of $89,100 in Grassroots purse money.

Kicking off the event in the first Grassroots division was fan favorite Splurge On Me, who powered straight to the front from post 2 and never looked back. In rein to Trevor Henry, the filly rang up fractions of :30.4, 1:03.2 and 1:35.2 on her way to a three and three-quarter length victory in 2:03.2. Angel Status finished second, just ahead of Royaltys Pearl.

The win was Splurge On Me’s first of the season in Grassroots action, but it extended her win streak to four races. After a third-place result in the June 4 Grassroots season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park, trainer Bob McIntosh made an equipment change that returned the filly to the winning form she had demonstrated at two.

“I was disappointed with her at first, because she trained good all winter and spring,” explained McIntosh. “I’d been racing her in an open bridle, but I just said to her groom Gabby one day, let’s throw a big pair of cheek rolls on her, and that’s what just changed her around; was something so simple — so far, so good.”

McIntosh bred and owns Splurge On Me in partnership with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. A daughter of Kadabra and broodmare Urge To Splurge, Splurge On Me started her sophomore season competing against the province’s top fillies in the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association Stake, but McIntosh said the partners are content to keep her at the Grassroots level for the remainder of the summer.

“She’s not quite good enough (for the Gold Series), I don’t think. I’d rather be a big fish in a small pond,” said the Hall of Fame horseman. “She’s brave right now, and that’s good. I wouldn’t say it would never happen, but for right now I plan on keeping her on her schedule.”

Paul Walker won the second Grassroots division, using a front-end trip to guide Magically Hip to her first lifetime win in 2:01.3. Victoriahasasecret closed hard in the stretch, but finished a head back in second and Latte Datte was three lengths behind the leaders in third. Walker trains and drives Angus Hall filly Magically Hip for owner-breeders Oaklea Farm Inc. of Simcoe, ON.

In the third $22,450 Grassroots division trainer-driver Per Henriksen also sent Checkmate Titan to the front and although they faced a sustained mid-race challenge from Kashe, Checkmate Titan found an extra gear in the stretch and opened up a seven length margin on her rival, hitting the wire in 2:00.3. Kashe settled for second and Warrawee UItra completed the top three.

“Two minutes here at this track is pretty good,” noted Henriksen. “I changed equipment on her a little bit last time (June 21) because she had a tendency to get a little bit hot and she didn’t take to that so she made a break leaving, but today everything worked perfect, she won fairly handy.”

Henriksen trains the E L Titan daughter for Harbor Racing Stable LLC of Aurora and Asa Farm of Norwood, ON. Monday marked the filly’s debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes program and Henriksen expects her to continue to improve as she gains more racing experience.

“She’ll be okay as she goes on,” said the Norwood resident. “She’ll keep on racing in the Grassroots. I don’t think she’s Gold filly, not yet. She might never be, but she’ll be all right in the Grassroots, especially on the half-mile tracks because she can leave like a hobbled pacer.”

The last Grassroots division went to P L Molly who, in spite of spending the last quarter three-wide, reeled in pacesetter Giving It All and pocket-sitter Witches N Angels in the stretch. The Royalty For Life daughter and trainer-driver Matt Dupuis stopped the teletimer at 2:01.4, a head in front of Witches N Angels. Giving It All settled for third, two lengths behind the duelling leaders.

It was the first win of the season for P L Molly, who is owned by breeders Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON.

The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on July 16.

In addition to the Ontario Sires Stakes, Dresden Raceway also played host to two splits of the second leg of the Mark Austin Pacing Series. The first division saw Premier Rockstar and driver Ryan Holliday get a neck in front of fan favourite Toxic Hanover at the 1:58 finish. Racebytheseaside was seven lengths back in third. Bob Young trains Premier Rockstar for Premier And Associates FA of Howell, MI.

The second Mark Austin division saw Dali colt Nagle cruise to a seven length victory in 1:58.2 for trainer-driver Keith Jones. Township Willy finished second and Mach Art In Motion was third. Jones conditions Nagle for Jody Simmons of London, ON. (Ontario Sires Stakes)

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