HANOVER, ON — A total of $120,000 is on the line at Hanover Raceway on Saturday night as the three-year-old trotting fillies prepare to battle in their fourth Grassroots event.
Owen Sound native Larry Walker will harness two fillies in Saturday’s contest, and the veteran trainer is hoping his consistent duo can earn a share of the Grassroots purse money. Good Common Cents will start from Post 5 in the eighth race and Pretty Paco gets Post 6 in Race 7.
“She seems to get a cheque every where she goes,” says Walker of Good Common Cents. “Sometimes she doesn’t try as hard as she should; she saves herself for later.”
The Kadabra daughter heads into Saturday’s skirmish off a very impressive effort in the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (SBOA) Stake Final at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 22, where she sprinted down the stretch to a fourth-place finish in 1:56.1. Good Common Cents earned her berth in the SBOA Final with a 1:58 victory in the elimination round on Aug. 15.
“She raced good,” notes Walker. “She’s had good posts at Mohawk. She hasn’t had good posts at the small tracks.”
In her seven starts away from Mohawk, Good Common Cents has started from the outer half of the starting gate six times, the most recent coming in the Aug. 7 Grassroots event at Hiawatha Horse Park, where she was saddled with Post 8. In spite of her shortage of luck in the post position draws the filly has scored one win, one second and one fourth in Grassroots action for a total of 83 points and sole ownership of sixth spot in the division standings.
If Good Common Cents can pad her point total with a strong finish at Hanover on Saturday, Walker may give her a shot at the Gold Series fillies later in the season.
“If she can get enough points to make the Grassroots Semifinal, I might try the Gold at Flamboro,” explains the Morriston resident, who trains Good Common Cents for breeder Charles Armstrong of Brampton.
“If we could just get rid of some of those better ones,” he adds wryly. “And some of them might not go to the half-mile.”
While Good Common Cents has already demonstrated that she belongs among Ontario’s best, Walker says Pretty Paco still has to prove she has what it takes to compete on the Grassroots circuit. Through her first three provincial outings the Yankee Paco lass has one fourth and one fifth to her credit for a total of 13 points, well short of the cut off for the Grassroots post season.
“I don’t know whether she’s good enough,” says Walker. “But she’s honest and she usually gets a cheque.”
Tom Rupert of Simcoe bred Pretty Paco and shares ownership of the filly with Oaklea Farm Inc. of Waterford. The filly heads into Saturday’s contest off an Aug. 20 win at the Hanover oval that saw her carve out most of the fractions and hang on for a neck victory in 2:04.2. Unfortunately, Pretty Paco faces Dream Of Glory champion Random Solution in the ninth race and Walker figures that filly will be tough to beat.
“That race is probably already taken care of. We’re probably just racing for a cheque,” admits the horseman. “We’ll follow along and try and get some.”
Random Solution will be looking for her third straight victory over the Hanover oval from Post 5 in Saturday’s ninth race. The Angus Hall daughter, trained by former Walkerton resident Randy Fritz, swept through the Dream Of Glory Stake with a five length victory in her elimination and a 1:59.3 score in the $100,000 final.
The other four Grassroots divisions will go postward as Races 2, 3, 5, and 6 on Hanover Raceway’s Saturday evening program, which gets under way at 7:25 pm.
For complete entries please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/entries/data/ehnvrsa.html.