SARNIA, ON — Pembrook Street expanded his lead atop the two-year-old trotting colt division standings with a gate to wire victory at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday night.
Starting from Post 5 in the first $20,000 Grassroots division, regular reinsman Dale Fritz fired Pembrook Street straight to the front. The Duke Of York son rolled through a :29.1 opening quarter, a 1:00.4 half and a 1:31.2 three-quarters before facing a challenge, and when Dashing Earl looked the pacesetter in the eye around the last turn, Fritz simply shifted him into the next gear.
Sprinting down the stretch, Pembrook Street hit the wire three lengths ahead of Dashing Earl in a personal best 2:01.1. V Star rounded out the triactor, four and three-quarter lengths back in third.
Arthur resident George Henry trains Pembrook Street for Michael Wassilyn of Toronto. Through six starts the talented young trotter has posted three Grassroots wins, two Grassroots seconds and a second in the Sept. 20 Balanced Image Stake at Hanover Raceway, for earnings of $49,850. With 200 points, Pembrook Street sits 42 points ahead of the second ranked colt in the division standings.
The Fritz family enjoyed a successful evening at Hiawatha on Saturday. After Dale kicked off the Grassroots program with Pembrook Street, brother Randy made a pair of appearances in the winner’s circle.
Climbing aboard Striker Ray for the first time, Randy Fritz borrowed a page from his brother’s playbook and took the gelding straight to the front from Post 4 in the eighth race. The Striking Sahbra son logged fractions of :29.2, 1:01.2 and 1:32.1 on the way to a 2:03.4 victory, and maintained a steady two length margin on the rest of the field.
Pocket sitter Senor Roberto held off C J Smoke to earn the runner-up’s share of the $20,000 Grassroots purse, with Savthelstdancforme over nine lengths to the rear in fourth.
S S G Stables of North Boston, NY owns Striker Ray, and Rockwood resident Rob Fellows handles conditioning duties on the winner of $16,800. Saturday’s outing was the gelding’s first victory, and his first start in the Grassroots program. Starting his career at the Gold Series level, Striker Ray struggled with breaks and was unable to crack the top three.
Randy Fritz was back in front of the grandstand following the last race, piloting Lukas Rossi to an impressive seven length victory in 2:00. Make A Promise closed well to be second, while Strike A Light rounded out the top three.
Lukas Rossi made his debut in the Grassroots program on Sept. 6 at Hanover Raceway and scored a 10 length victory. In an overnight event at Flamboro Downs on Sept. 22, the Roadshow Hall son overcame a break and a four-wide tour around the last turn to record his second victory in 2:03.4. Saturday’s victory boosted the Ron O’Neill trainee’s bank roll to $23,300 in three starts and boosted him into a tie for fourth in the Grassroots division standings.
The Cambridge resident shares ownership on Lukas Rossi with P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc. of Cambridge and breeder Nancy Stephens of Woodstock.
The other Grassroots divisions went to Tymal Icon in 2:01.3; Agusto in 2:00.4; and Oaklea Rush in 2:01.1.
The two-year-old trotting colts make their last Grassroots start at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Oct. 9 before the top 16 point earners head to Flamboro Downs for Semifinal action on Oct. 17.
Hiawatha Horse Park wraps up its 2008 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Thursday, Oct. 9 with Grassroots action for the lightning fast three-year-old pacing colts.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rsarfsa.html.