DUNDAS, ON — Sylvain Filion has a slight edge over rival Trevor Henry in the Ontario Sires Stakes driver’s standings and the Milton resident added two more Grassroots wins to his point tally on Friday evening at Flamboro Downs.
Taking his place in the race bike behind fan favourite Sprite Flight in the sixth race, Filion guided the two-year-old trotting colt to a three length victory in 2:00.2, the fastest mile of the seven Grassroots divisions. Pacesetter Oaklea Vulcan settled for second and Green Strike earned the third-place finisher’s share of the $24,000 purse.
Filion engineered Sprite Flight’s second lifetime victory for trainer Brad Maxwell and owner-breeders Lynda and Robert Stewart of Lexington, KY. Through four starts the Angus Hall son now has two wins and one second for earnings of $25,600.
Friday’s start was Sprite Flight’s first in the Grassroots program, leaving him ineligible for the post season, unlike Filion’s second mount, Gotta Secret, who is flawless through three Grassroots starts.
Starting from Post 2 Filion sent Gotta Secret after the lead early and the Muscle Mass colt led the field soon after the :29.1 opening quarter. Through the :59.4 half and 1:30.3 three-quarters, Gotta Secret maintained a steady one and one-half length margin on the field, which he extended to five and one-quarters in the stretch. Talking Story finished second in the 2:01.1 mile, with Kostas De Vie six more lengths to the rear in third.
Richard Moreau conditions Gotta Secret for Gestion Jean Yves Blais of Montreal, QC. In addition to his flawless three-for-three record in Grassroots action Gotta Secret also posted four third-place results in four Gold Series outings. The Muscle Mass son leads the freshman trotting colt division into the Sept. 21 Semifinals at Grand River Raceway.
Driver Stephen Byron also made two appearances in the Flamboro Downs winner’s circle on Friday. The Thornton resident posted his first win in the fifth race with Dewer Kash, who went gate-to-wire in 2:03.3. Thankyoukessel, owned by Carolyn Williston of Moffat, finished second and Scottish Blue completed the triactor.
The win was the first in 10 starts for Dewer Kash, who competes under the tutelage of Joseph Parkinson for his Brilo Farms of Sharon and Thomas Saunders of Newmarket. The Muscle Mass gelding just missed the top 16, finishing eight points short in a tie for seventeenth.
Byron’s second victory came aboard John Bax trainee Summerbest in the seventh race. The longest shot on the board, Summerbest got a neck in front of George S P to secure the victory, stopping the clock at 2:05.2. Krim Boughalem was promoted to third when Magic Hat failed to continuously lose ground while on a break.
Peterborough resident Bax trains Summerbest for his partners Don Allensen of Wyoming, John Hayes of Sharon and Lewis Palmer of Oshawa. In his five previous starts the Angus Hall son’s best result was a fourth in the July 19 Grassroots event at Hiawatha Horse Park.
Home Brew made a leap into the top 16 with a convincing 10 and three-quarter length victory in the last Grassroots division. With Campbellville resident Mike Saftic in the race bike the Angus Hall gelding hit the wire in a personal best 2:01, besting Enough About You and Magic Cheque.
Frank O’Reilly of Eden Mills trains Home Brew for his partners John and Jim Fielding of Toronto. Through three Grassroots starts Home Brew has posted two wins and one third.
Time Passes D also made an impressive leap up the leader board with a 2:01.2 victory in the first division. The Angus Hall son battled Euro Man for the last quarter of the mile, but kept a stubborn head in front to earn Grassroots trophy and a post season berth. Euro Man settled for a hard fought second and Ale Ale Jandro rounded out the top three.
Luc Ouellette piloted Time Passes D to the win for trainer Maria Flink and owner Jean Pierre Dubois of Grand Valley.
The other Grassroots trophy went home with P C Dream Ticket, who was piloted to 2:02.1 win by Ross Battin. Twin B Cruiser and Baskin Dream earned the second and third-place finisher’s shares. Peter Clements of Dobbinton bred, owns and trains P C Dream Ticket.
The top 16 point earners will now turn their focus to the Sept. 21 Grassroots Semifinals at Grand River Raceway. The top four finishers from each Semifinal will earn the right to compete in the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championships.
Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Flamboro Downs on Saturday, Sept. 15 with a $130,000 Gold Final for the two-year-old pacing colts. Post time for Saturday’s program is 6 pm and the colts compete in the second race.
For complete results please go to Flamboro Downs Results — September 14, 2012