The regular season came to a close on Thursday night (Sept. 16) for the two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots competitors and a trio of top ranked youngsters padded their point totals and polished their skills heading into the post season.
In spite of lining up at Post 10 on the Woodbine Mohawk Park starting gate, Dynomites Peak maintained his unbeaten Grassroots record in the first $22,850 division, landing mid-pack and then closing hard to get a neck in front of Kaporal at the 1:53.2 finish. Century Invictus was one and three-quarter lengths back in third. Bob McClure drove the fan favourite to the win for trainer Robbie Robinson and owners Jacqueline Dinelle and Paul Smyth of Metcalfe and Earl Casselman of Winchester, ON.
“The partners, everybody is retired, my wife is retired, the other owner, Earl Casselman, is retired, and the other guy he’s kind of semi-retired, Paul Smyth, so they’re all happy with him,” said Robinson. “He’s got a good kick coming home. Tonight he had to leave a little bit with him so he didn’t kick home maybe quite as good. If we can get through the next two starts, that would be a bonus.”
Dynomites Peak was also victorious in the July 9 and Aug. 16 Grassroots events at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Through eight starts the Artspeak gelding, who was a $7,000 purchase at the 2020 Ontario Select Yearling Sale, has recorded three wins and banked $40,653. He heads into the Sept. 30 Grassroots Semi-Final ranked second with a perfect 150 points.
Sports Fan boosted his point tally to 115 with a 1:53.1 personal best in the second division. The fan favourite and driver James MacDonald got away third from Post 6 and stayed tucked on the rail until the stretch, when they slid across to an open lane and powered by the leaders to a one and one-half victory over Y S Mathis Bro and Icey Shadow.
“You can do whatever you want with him. James kept him in tonight and got lucky and got out, but you can do whatever you want with him, he’s going to give you a fight right to the end,” said trainer Blake MacIntosh. “He’s a nice little horse.”
MacIntosh’s wife Leanne Murphy bred the son of Sportswriter and My Ideal and shares ownership of the gelding with Stuart McIntosh of Essex, ON. MacIntosh trained My Ideal for the bulk of her career and when her racing career came to an end the St. George, ON resident purchased the mare as a surprise gift for Murphy.
“My wife loved that mare, My Ideal, when she worked for me, she always wanted her, so as soon as the mare didn’t finish a race I called the guy and bought her, so now we’re in the broodmare business,” said MacIntosh. “She’s had good luck. All three foals have made it to the races, so we can’t complain.”
The win was Sports Fan’s second in Grassroots action and his third straight. The gelding heads into the post season in fourth spot in the standings.
The final $22,850 division went to Macho Phil, who also employed a late sprint to score his second Grassroots victory. In rein to James MacDonald, the fan favourite hit the wire in 1:52.4, three-quarters of a length in front of Cold Creek Queso. Chikaboom was three more lengths back in third.
“He’s a pretty nice horse this guy, he’s got a big brush and if you use it at the right time, and you don’t over use, it he can carry his speed too, so he’s a pretty nice horse,” said trainer Shawn Steacy of Brantford, ON. “I am really happy with where he’s at, he’s pretty fresh.”
Steacy trains Macho Phil for his mother, Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, ON, and breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. The son of Shanghai Phil was also a Grassroots winner at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 16, giving him a total of 100 points and ownership of sixth spot in the standings.
The top 20 point earners will square off in a pair of Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, Sept. 30 and the top five finishers from each Semi-Final will return to the Campbellville oval for the Grassroots Championships on Oct. 9.
The three-year-old pacing fillies will wrap up their Grassroots regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday, Sept. 17, competing in Races 1, 4, 8 and 10. Fans can download a program and watch the live stream on the track’s website or register to attend in person at https://woodbine.com/mohawk/guest-registration/.
Feature Image: Dynomites Peak and Bob McClure stretched their perfect record in Grassroots action to three wins in the first of three $22,850 two-year-old pacing colt divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, Sept. 16. Rockwood resident McClure engineered the win for trainer Robbie Robinson and owners Jacqueline Dinelle and Paul Smyth of Metcalfe and Earl Casselman of Winchester, ON. (New Image Media photo)