SARNIA, ON — Three-year-old trotting filly Pleasure Girls reeled off an outstanding effort over the Hiawatha Horse Park oval on Thursday night to claim her $20,000 Grassroots division in a sparkling 1:57.1.
Overlooked by Sarnia fans in the wagering, Pleasure Girls and driver Brad Forward coasted away from the starting gate and were 10 lengths behind pacesetter Allmar Surprise when she reached the :29 opening quarter. Still fifth at the :58.3 halfway marker, Pleasure Girls had crept to within five and a half lengths of the leader, and Forward was looking for an outside lane.
Following fan favourite Only Lonely up the outside, Forward circled Pleasure Girls out three-wide at the 1:28.2 three-quarters, and the filly sailed around the final turn to the lead. A smart finishing kick saw Pleasure Girls leave the field in her wake down the stretch, reaching the wire five and one-quarter lengths ahead of pacesetter Allmar Surprise and 10 up on pocket sitter Lady Merlot.
The mile shaved three full seconds off the filly’s former personal best and boosted her sophomore record to three wins and two seconds in 10 starts. Lachenaie, QC resident Richard Moreau trains Pleasure Girls for his partners, numbered company 2095589 Ontario Inc. of Toronto and Jean Dessureault of Candiac, QC. Through two Grassroots starts the filly boasts a flawless record and a total of 100 points, good for a share of third spot in the division standings.
While Pleasure Girls wrapped up the evening with the fastest mile of the seven Grassroots divisions, Dornello kicked things off in the first $20,000 skirmish with an impressive 1:57.3 victory.
Dogging the heels of her former Gold Series rival Beyond Limits, Dornello and driver Dave Wall sat tucked in second through fractions of :28, :57.3 and 1:27.1, then kicked into gear in the stretch to claim a one and a half length victory. Beyond Limits settled for second, while division point leader Valley Courtney rounded out the top three.
Mark Steacy trains Dornello, a winner of $185,981 at two, for Joseph Myers of Jamesville, VA and Linda Worrell of Warminster, PA. Through six sophomore starts the Angus Hall lass has accumulated two Grassroots trophies and a win in the Canadian Breeders Championship Consolation, for earnings of $30,000.
Sophisticat also maintained her perfect Grassroots record with a front end victory in the fourth Grassroots division. Starting from Post 7, the filly led the field through fractions of :29.4, 1:02.2 and 1:31.2 before sailing home a two length winner in 2:00.
Guelph resident Anthony MacDonald owns and drives Sophisticat, while his younger brother James MacDonald handles training duties on the Earl daughter. In 13 starts this season Sophisticat has recorded four wins and four thirds for earnings of $38,193.
The other Grassroots divisions went to Tuscan Sky in 1:59.3; Random Solution in 1:58.3; Majestic Style in 1:58.4; and Tymal Mystique in 1:59.2.
The three-year-old trotting fillies will meet for their fourth Grassroots event on Aug. 30 at Hanover Raceway. Hiawatha Horse Park fans will have to wait until Saturday, Sept. 27 for their next dose of Ontario Sires Stakes excitement — Grassroots thrills from the two-year-old trotting colts.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rsarfth.html.