LONDON, ON — Veteran reinsman Stephen Byron piloted Pretty Thing to the fastest win of six $24,000 Grassroots divisions at Western Fair Raceway on Monday afternoon, sprinting home three lengths ahead of their three-year-old pacing filly peers in 1:56.

Starting from Post 2 in the second race, Byron fired Pretty Thing off the gate to a :28 opening quarter. Local filly Quiteasassybanana pressed the pace to the :57.3 half, but was unable to wrest control of the lead away from Pretty Thing, who sailed on to a 1:26.4 three-quarters. Well in hand as she turned for home, Pretty Thing sailed down the stretch to a three length victory over fan favourite Chief Karen and Noshameinmygame.

Byron engineered the victory for trainer Mark Steacy and owner-breeder Peter Heffering of Port Perry. The win was the Astreos daughter’s sixth of the season and her second in Grassroots action. Through four Grassroots starts the filly has tallied two wins and two seconds for a total of 150 points, securing a berth in the season ending Semifinal at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Oct. 25.

Byron also made an appearance in the Western Fair winner’s circle following the second division. Starting from Post 4 with lightly rated Lil Miss Nyalation, Byron settled the filly into fourth on the rail as fan favourite Power Outage rolled out to a :29 opening quarter. As the field swept by the :59.4 half, Lil Miss Nyalation had been shuffled back to seventh, and heading by the 1:29.2 three-quarters Byron was forced to tip the filly three-wide around stalled cover.

Fourth at the top of the stretch, the filly sprinted home to nab a three-quarter length victory over Stonebridge Breeze and Keepers Destiny, halting the teletimer at 1:59.

Allan Heyman trains Lil Miss Nyalation for Lil Dude Ranch of Surrey, BC. Through 15 starts the Apaches Fame daughter has posted three wins, two seconds and five thirds for earnings of $61,660. Monday’s victory rocketed the filly up the division standings and into possession of an invitation for the Grassroots Semifinal.

Trainer Mark Steacy also picked up a Grassroots double at Western Fair on Monday when Star Of Show delivered a gritty effort to land a 1:56.2 victory in the sixth race.

With Paul Mackenzie in the race bike, Star Of Show landed fourth on the rail as Zegerid Lady took the field to a snappy :27.2 opening quarter. Heading for the :57.2 half Mackenzie sent the filly up the outside, but Zegerid Lady refused to relinquish her hold on the lead, so Star Of Show was forced to sit on her flank through the 1:25.2 three-quarters and around the final turn.

In spite of the tough trip Star Of Show sprinted home to a two length score in 1:56.2. Zegerid Lady settled for second, with Joint Effort rounding out the top three.

Steacy trains Star Of Show for Peter and David Heffering of Port Perry, who also bred the daughter of Astreos and Star Siren. Through 16 starts the young pacer has accumulated five wins, one second and five thirds for earnings of $83,947. Star Of Show leads the parade of sophomore pacing fillies to Rideau Carleton Raceway for the Grassroots Semifinal sporting 199 points from six outings.

The other division winners were Bunny In the Bank in 1:57.2; Nana Nana Boo Boo in 1:56.4; and Outofthefryingpan in 1:56.3. Both Bunny In The Bank and Outofthefryingpan earned a berth in the post season thanks to Monday’s victory and will be headed to Rideau Carleton Raceway for Semifinal action on Oct. 25. The top four finishers from each Semifinal return to the Ottawa oval for the $100,000 Grassroots Championship on Nov. 1.

Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Western Fair Raceway this week, as fans prepare for the return of the three-year-old trotting colts on Friday evening. The colts will compete for $130,000 in the last Gold Final of their career. The Gold Final is slated as Race 9 on the 7:05 pm program.

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