ELORA, August 15 – Returning to the site of one of her rare defeats, Adare Castle was the class of the lone $156,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division for sophomore trotting fillies tonight at Grand River Raceway.

The bettors sent the daughter of Muscle Mass off as the 1-2 favourite, making that 14 times in 15 career starts she has been the top choice. Leaving from post five James MacDonald piloted her into third through a 27.3 opening panel.

“When you’re a heavy favourite going for a lot of money you just want to keep them out of trouble,” said MacDonald. “I had to make a tough move up the backstretch with her, but she has so much class and confidence that when she came and went to the lead she was lights out after that.”

She trotted home in a final time of 1:55.4, and MacDonald has now been in the race bike for ten of her twelve career wins.

“She’s just a champion. She never gives you a bad race, and always gives you everything she’s got,” said MacDonald. “She always brings her A-game and never disappoints. You’re going to get a good effort from her every time she goes behind the gate.”

The Mark Etsell trained filly moved over $800,000 in career earnings with the win for Etsell’s co- owners Robert Newton (Walkerton, Ont.), Graham Hopkins (Chesley, Ont.), and Peter Porter (Port Dover, Ont.).

She now has five wins in her three-year-old campaign, and still has yet to finish worse than second in any of her 15 career starts.

“She’s just such a professional filly and a pleasure to be around, and a part of,” said Estsell.

Adare Castle will now shift her focus from provincial dominance to open stakes glory over the month of September at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

“We’re really excited to see how she does, and a little bit nervous of course,” said Etsell. “She did well as a two-year-old, but it’s a new crop this year. What we do know is she’ll go out and give her best effort whatever the result is.”

Saundra, who handed Adare Castle her lone defeat of 2022, was second with Sylvain Filion driving.

The Resolve filly now has a three-year-old record of 1-4-0 from nine starts for trainer Benoit Baillargeon, and moves over the $230,000 mark for owners Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin (St. Catharines).

Luc Blais trainee Mischevious Rose rounded out a trifecta that paid $18.30. This is the sixth time in eight starts this year that the Muscle Mass filly has finished on the board for owner Determination (Montreal, Que.).

With just one leg left in this division, the picture for the Gold Super Final is taking shape. The last chance for the sophomore female trotters to earn their spot is on October 6 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

OSS Gold action returns to Grand River on Wednesday, August 17 with two divisions for freshman pacing fillies.

Current OSS Standings

Full results from August 15, 2022 at Grand River Raceway