CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — A competitive field of three-year-old pacing fillies kicked off the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots season at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening, and Moffat, ON resident Jody Jamieson helped two youngsters earn their first provincial victory.
Jamieson, who will represent Canada at the 2011 World Driving Championship in the USA this summer, teamed up with lightly rated Athenas Legacy in the fourth race and crafted an ideal trip for the filly’s Grassroots debut. Starting from Post 1, Jamieson was able to secure the pocket behind early leader Montenegro, who led the field of seven through fractions of :13.1 and :28.1 before handing the lead over to Gwinning Gwen heading for the :56.4 half.
After sending Athenas Legacy into the outer flow heading for the 1:24.1 three-quarters, Jamieson opted to circle around a faltering Worth Remembering and had the filly positioned for a clear run to the wire as they turned for home. Athenas Legacy accelerated smartly through the stretch and pulled away to a four and one-half length victory in 1:53.2, which was the quickest mile of the six $24,000 Grassroots divisions. Montenegro paced into second, while Gwinning Gwen was four more lengths back in third.
The win was the Million Dollar Cam daughter’s first. The George McClure trainee made just three starts as a two-year-old, and had one prep race under her belt before Monday’s Grassroots outing. Carman Hastie of Elmwood, Catherine and Dustin McClure of Clinton and Stephen Brownell of Holland Centre, ON share ownership on the talented young pacer.
Jamieson made his second visit to the Grassroots winner’s circle one race later, guiding fan favourite Cheryls Surprise to a 1:54 score in Race 5. Once again starting from Post 1, Jamieson and Cheryls Surprise were able to draft along on the outside in the wake of Twin B Special, waiting until the stretch to roll out and pull away to a one and one-quarter length victory.
Twin B Special turned her first over trip into a runner-up cheque, while Debis Sign had to circle out three-wide to claim third.
The win was the second straight for Cheryls Surprise, who captured a leg of the City of London Pacing Series at Western Fair Raceway on May 17. Scott McNiven conditions the Mach Three daughter for breeder Donald Douglas of Ingersoll and his partner John Kwiatkoski of London, ON.
Jamieson also scored a victory in the third race — with preferred trotter Frenchfrysnvinegar — giving the reinsman a natural hat trick for the evening.
Ugly Betty picked up her second straight victory with a 1:54.1 effort in the first Grassroots division. Trainer-driver Joe Hudon engineered the one and one-quarter length triumph for her owners, Karen Hudon of Acton, ON and Margaret Payne of St. Augustine, FL. The Camluck lass bested Lexi N Tookie and Almost Lucky.
In the second division, Angel On The Wing and driver Nicholas Steward overcame Post 9 to snatch a head victory away from Chappies Girl and Back Yard Baby. Steward piloted the Bo Knows Jate daughter to her sixth win of the season for trainer Larry Fitzsimmons of London and his partners William Coward of Turkey Point and Richard Dalby of Tillsonburg, ON. Angel On The Wing stopped the clock in a personal best 1:54.3.
Like Angel On The Wing, Tilly Seelster captured the fifth division by a narrow margin. The Camluck lass and driver Mark MacDonald led through much of the mile, but had to dig deep to hold off a charging Blue Monster at the wire. Tilly Seelster prevailed by a nose, stopping the clock at 1:55. Imagine Semalu was just three-quarters of a length behind the leaders in third.
Cambridge, ON resident Casie Coleman trains Tilly Seelster for D2D Racing Stable of Mississauga, ON, and Monday’s triumph was the filly’s first in six lifetime starts, four as a two-year-old and two this season.
The final division was captured Kissngrin and Phil Hudon, who used a late burst of speed to claim the one and one-half length victory over Modern Cinderella and fan favourite Lady Jill. The Grinfromeartoear daughter halted the Mohawk teletimer at 1:54.1 to claim her first win of the season for trainer Chad Milner and owner-breeders Dianne and Tom Milner of London, ON and Fox Hollow Farm of Shavertown, PA.
The sophomore pacing fillies will make their second Grassroots appearance at Grand River Raceway on June 15, while Mohawk Racetrack welcomes back the three-year-old trotting colts for their $130,000 Gold Final on Monday, May 30 at 7:10 pm.
For complete results please go to: Mohawk Racetrack Results — Monday, May 23, 2011