Rideau Carleton Raceway fans will be treated to a full slate of three-year-old trotting fillies this Sunday, July 26 as the Ottawa oval kicks off its 2020 Ontario Sires Stakes season.
The fillies will compete in three $71,000-plus Gold Series divisions, five $22,000-plus Grassroots divisions and a single $7,500 Prospect Series division. Top Gold Series filly Warrawee Vicky, who was developed at Rideau Carleton Raceway by Metcalfe, ON resident Robbie Robinson, makes her return to the Ottawa oval in the second Gold Series division.
“She seems to be coming into the race in good form. She qualified last week (July 17) just to tighten her up,” said Scott McEneny, who trains the Royalty For Life daughter for owner Brad Grant of Milton, ON. “It looks like a tough division, but she should be one of the tough ones. We’ll be hoping for a good trip.”
Warrawee Vicky and driver Doug McNair will line up at Post 2 in the $71,467 test, looking for their second Gold Series win of the season. They face a field of five, including GP Dreamin, who was also a winner in the July 2 Gold Series opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park and is undefeated in four starts this season.
Lansdowne native Shawn Steacy will start two fillies in Grassroots action, including division co-leader Moana, who gets Post 4 in the last $22,800 Grassroots split.
“I think Moana should be very good and competitive, especially with the four-hole there, the way she raced in Clinton,” said Steacy. “We had a little sickness go through the barn last week, but I think it’s basically all over. Moana had a little bit of a temperature coming out of the race last time, but she seems to be 100 per cent healthy now, so I think she should be good.”
Moana and driver James MacDonald scored a 1:59.2 victory from the outside Post 7 at Clinton Raceway on July 5. A three-time winner in the Grassroots program last season, the Muscle Mass daughter is owned by Landmark 12 Racing Stable of Lansdowne, 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC.
Stablemate Cute Accountant also gets Post 4 in the third $23,150 Grassroots division and Steacy is hoping the Archangel daughter can finally put together a successful start for owners Landmark 12 Racing Stable, 1187422 Ontario Inc. and Stephen Klunowski of North York, ON.
“She has just as much speed as Moana, and any normal horse in the Grassroots, but she just can’t keep herself together,” said the trainer. “She’s probably left more wins on the table this year than just about any other horse.”
MacDonald will also steer Cute Accountant, who made a break and finished fifth in the Grassroots season opener. Both fillies will arrive in the Ottawa area on Friday, shipping back to the Steacy’s Lansdowne farm, where they learned their early lessons.
“We trained them at the farm here, at the First Line farm, yesterday (Wednesday), trained them around 2:02, and we’re sending them back to our home farm tomorrow (Friday) where they’re just going to jog and rest before the race on Sunday,” said Steacy. “We have a full good facility there that we’re able to use where other people have to truck in the day before or day of, whatever they do, and ours will get home and relax a little bit.”
In addition to Sunday’s slate of Ontario Sires Stakes events, Rideau Carleton Raceway will also host Gold, Grassroots and Prospect Series divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts on Sunday, Aug. 16.
Featured Image: Doug McNair drove three-year-old trotting filly Warrawee Vicky to a 1:54.2 Gold Series win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 2, 2020. (New Image Media photo)