WOODSTOCK, ON — Dave Wall put his Ontario Sires Stakes expertise to work at Woodstock Raceway on Saturday afternoon, guiding a pair of two-year-old trotting fillies to their first Grassroots victories.
The Komoka resident, dubbed “Mr OSS” for his longtime success in the provincial program, started the afternoon off with a gate-to-wire triumph aboard fan favourite Too Grand. Leading by as much as nine lengths through the mile, the Oaklea Julian miss hit the wire one and one quarter lengths ahead of Hettieslittlelily in 2:06.4. Sadie Eden was two and half lengths further back in third.
William Keeping trains Too Grand for Michael Frank Horwood of Tecumseh, who offered up a modest $2,000 for the filly at last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale. In just two starts the young trotter has already banked $10,300.
Wall wrapped up the Grassroots program with his second win of the day, engineering a text book pocket trip for Northern Flirt. Settled in behind fan favourite Berndts Lucky Girl, Wall and Northern Flirt watched the pacesetters roll through fractions of :31.1, 1:04.4 and 1:37.2, then stepped out in the final quarter and pulled away to a one and one-quarter length victory in 2:08.2.
Maisie survived a trip around the outside of the Woodstock oval to claim the runner-up’s share of the $20,000 Grassroots purse, leaving Berndts Lucky Girl to settle for third.
Trainer John Bax of Peterborough shares ownership on Northern Flirt with Bob Anderson of St. Thomas and Venture K Stable of Lindsay. The partners acquired the Amigo Hall daughter at the Forest City Sale for $35,000, and Bax prepped the youngster for Saturday’s Grassroots outing with a 2:05.1 qualifying win at Kawartha Downs on July 7.
I Got Lucky scored the fastest win of the five Grassroots divisions, stopping the Woodstock teletimer at 2:05.1. Jason Gilchrist piloted the Mr Lavec lass to the front end victory for his father, trainer Louis Gilchrist, and owner A K Malik Stable of Ottawa. A $20,000 purchase from the Forest City sale, I Got Lucky is the second foal of $150,389 winner Range Speed Today.
Girlsruleboyslose was three-quarters of a length back in second and Paidmedorayme, owned by Fred Petersen of Springfield and Martin Hossack of Thamesford, finished third.
Mind Over Money recorded both the largest winning margin of the day, as well as the fastest last quarter off all the young trotters, laying down a :29.4 final fraction to win by 13 and three-quarter lengths. Stuart Sowerby crafted the impressive mile for trainer James Dennie and owner Rob Dennie of Walkerton.
The daughter of In Conchnito and her connections also won the prize for the best return on investment. The Dennie’s acquired Mind Over Money for just $1,800 at the Canadian Open Yearling Sale.
Starbux Eden and Paradox Contessa rounded out the top three in the third race.
The other Grassroots division went to Ziggy Jiggy and trainer-driver Kelly Sheppard in 2:05.4, who hit the wire three lengths up on Home Star Royal and Wine Queen. Sheppard shares ownership on the Southwind Lustre miss with his father Clifford Sheppard of Dundas.
The freshman trotting fillies make their second Grassroots start at Sudbury Downs on Aug. 3, while Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Woodstock Raceway on Saturday, Aug. 2 with the third Grassroots event for the lightning fast three-year-old pacing fillies.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rwodsksa.html.