DUNDAS, ON — There were few surprises in the last three-year-old trotting filly Grassroots event of the year at Flamboro Downs on Monday evening.
The favourites performed as expected and none of the fillies hovering near the cut off line were able to make the leap into the top 16 and secure a berth in the Grassroots post season.
Dornello set the tone for the evening with a gate to wire victory in the first $20,000 division. The Angus Hall miss and driver Trevor Ritchie led the field through fractions of :27.3, :59 and 1:29.4 on their way to the 1:59.3 victory.
Frenchfrysnvinegar finished one and three-quarter lengths to the rear in second and Miracle Jan, owned by PBR Systems Group of Freelton, reached the finish six lengths behind the leader in third.
The victory gives Dornello an unblemished record of four wins in four Grassroots starts this season. Mark Steacy trains the filly, who also tried her hand at the Gold Series this summer, finishing second in a Sept. 17 Gold Elimination at Flamboro. Through 13 sophomore starts Dornello has posted a record of five wins, one second and $60,000 in earnings for owners Joseph Myers of Holland, PA and Linda Worrell of Warminster, PA.
Dornello’s victory boosted her point tally to 200 points, giving her temporary custody of top spot in the division standings, but Valley Courtney was quick to reclaim her status as division point leader with a commanding six and one-half length victory in the last Grassroots division.
With regular reinsman Stephen Byron in the race bike, Valley Courtney coasted away from Post 2 into third and watched as Burnt With Finesse and Tymal Mystique wrestled for early control. Tymal Mystique won the opening round, reaching the quarter in :28.1, but had dropped into second behind Burnt With Finesse before the :58.3 half.
Once the early skirmish was settled, Byron sent Valley Courtney to the front and the Striking Sahbra daughter had established a one length lead before the 1:28.4 three-quarters. Three lengths on top when she turned for home the filly simply pulled away from the field in the stretch to score her fourth Grassroots victory in 2:00.
Fan favourite Majestic Style survived a tough trip up the outside to finish second, while Tymal Mystique held on for third, 14 lengths to the rear.
Trainer John Bax of Peterborough shares ownership on Valley Courtney with Harry Locke of Oshawa. In 14 starts this season the filly has accumulated five wins, one second and one third for earnings of $66,170.
Stormont Reception and Jonathan Drury scored the only real upset of the evening, sliding out of the pocket in the stretch to reel in pacesetter Most Fabulous and claim a half length victory in 2:01.4. York Street, owned by Ben MacDonald and Robert MacDonald of Paris and Gary Silliphant of Simcoe also ran down the pacesetter to earn the second-place share of the $20,000 purse, leaving Most Fabulous, owned by Meadowbranch Stables Inc. of Lynden, to settle for third. Fan favourite Allmar Surprise made a break at the half and finished seventh.
Campbellville resident Norm Jones trains Stormont Reception for owner and breeder Stormont Meadows of Long Sault. Through 14 starts this season the Dr Ronerail miss has recorded two wins, one second and two thirds for earnings of $23,200. Monday’s victory pushed the filly to within a breath of the top 16. With a total of 82 points through six Grassroots starts, Stormont Reception wraps up the regular season five points out of sixteenth.
The other Grassroots divisions went to Shopaholic in 1:59.1; Sophisticat in 1:59.2; and Torch in 2:00.
The top 16 point earners will return to Flamboro Downs for a pair of Grassroots Semifinals on Oct. 16. The top four finishers from each Semifinal will then battle for the Grassroots Championship at the Dundas oval on Oct. 24.
The two-year-old pacing colts will also wrap up their regular season at Flamboro Downs this week, competing in five Grassroots divisions on Wednesday’s 6 pm program.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rflmdmo.html.