REXDALE, ON — After struggling through her last three starts, two-year-old pacing filly Secret Grin finally found her way back to the winner’s circle on Friday evening with a 1:54.3 upset in Trillium Series action at Woodbine Racetrack.
Secret Grin, who led the Grassroots point standings with four wins in five regular season starts, cruised to a two length triumph over the heavily favoured Appleoosa Hanover and the fast closing Iwishihadbaytsim.
The talented youngster and driver Phil Hudon started from Post 4 and dropped in along the rail in third as Bet Your Booty hustled away from Post 7 to a :27.1 opening quarter. While Bet Your Booty rang up a :56.2 half, Appleoosa Hanover made her move up the outside and had gained control of the race by the 1:25 three-quarters.
However, Secret Grin and Phil Hudon were not about to hand the race to the American-sired favourite, and when they challenged on the outside Appleoosa Hanover gave up the goodies. On top by one-quarter length at the head of the lane, Secret Grin pulled away to a two length triumph in a personal best 1:54.3.
The end of season victory provided a small consolation to Secret Grin’s connections for the break she made in the Grassroots Semifinal, which cost her a top four finish and a berth in the Oct. 7 Championship. Prior to the miscue in the Semifinal the Grinfromeartoear daughter had only been bested in one Grassroots event, also due to a break in stride, and was among the favourites to challenge for the division crown.
Once they got over the disappointment of missing the Grassroots Championship, trainer Bruce MacDonald and owners Mardon Stables of Loretto sent Secret Grin out in an overnight event at Woodbine on Oct. 17 and the filly finished second. Nine days later, Secret Grin logged a third-place finish in Trillium Series action at Rideau Carleton Raceway, improving on the fourth she delivered in the first Trillium contest of the season, Sept. 2 at Flamboro Downs.
Friday’s victory in the $83,655 Trillium battle boosted Secret Grin’s freshman record to six wins, one second and one third in 11 starts and almost doubled her earnings to $89,466.
While Friday’s event completes the 2006 Ontario Sires Stakes season for the two-year-old pacing fillies, Woodbine Racetrack will play host to the three-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday, Nov. 18 in the very last event of the provincial stakes season.
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