Current NewsCurrent News for June '17
Filly taking a different path to OSS success than her big brother
While three-year-old trotting filly Literally may not be poised to follow in the footsteps of her illustrious elder brother Dont Rush, the Dustin Jones trainee earned her second Ontario Sires Stakes trophy with a Grassroots win at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday evening.
A Justice Hall half-sister to two-time Ontario Sires Stakes division champion Dont Rush, who is closing in on $700,000 in career earnings, Literally sprinted from seventh to first through the final quarter of the first $19,500 Grassroots division on Tuesday. With Jones in the race bike the filly hit the wire in a personal best 1:57.2, two and one-quarter lengths ahead of pacesetter and favourite Expose Yourself. Hudsons Ya Ya also closed well to finish third.
“Wayne Henry’s filly (Expose Yourself) qualified pretty good, I didn’t know whether I would be able to beat her or not, but I thought just following along she’d be as good as they were, as good as the rest,” said Waterdown, ON resident Jones, who bred, owns, trains and drives Literally.
Tuesday’s outing was the filly’s first of the season and marked her second lifetime trip to the Grassroots winner’s circle; she was also victorious in the Grassroots season opener as a two-year-old. Following that victory Jones moved Literally up to the Gold Series level for the remainder of the season, but he does not expect her to follow the same path this year.
“She has a conformation issue that probably stops her from being like her brother,” Jones explains. “She’s got the heart that she wants to overcome it, but when they have interfering issues it’s hard to. She won’t probably be able to be competitive in the Gold because of that.”
Looking ahead to the second Grassroots event of the season, on July 1 at Dresden Raceway, Jones is hoping at least one of Tuesday’s division winners decides to make the move up to the Gold Series. Gisele Treelane and driver Jack Moiseyev of Moffat, ON laid down a :27.3 final quarter to take the second split for trainer Murray Brethour of Sunderland, ON and owner-breeder Patricia Whittaker Trust of Aspers, PA in a sharp 1:55.3.
“Lucky I wasn’t in with Murray Brethour’s filly, I might hardly get a cheque,” said Jones. “That’s like a Gold filly.”
Like Literally, Gisele Treelane reeled in the pacesetter and fan favourite through the final quarter, storming from fifth to first. The Daylon Magician daughter hit the wire one length ahead of You Cant Afford Me with Hilarious Honey eight lengths back in third. The win was Gisele Treelane’s second in four lifetime starts and her first in Ontario Sires Stakes action.
The third division saw Bustingattheseams and Randy Waples find a sliver of daylight in the stretch and sprint under the wire to a 1:56.3 victory, three-quarters of a length ahead of Ticket To Seattle and favourite and pacesetter Anikadabra. Milton resident Waples engineered the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partner Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. The win was the Kadabra daughter’s third straight and her first in provincial competition.
The final Grassroots battle saw another charge from the backfield as Delcrest Magicstar roared home to a 1:56.1 triumph over Crystal Gumdrop and Millers Song, who went off as the fan’s top choice and did all the work on the front end.
“She got away in a good spot and the trip worked out great, you know it usually doesn’t, but today it did and luckily she was good and we capitalised on it,” said driver James MacDonald, who landed the filly in sixth from Post 10 and was able to tuck in behind P C Pipe Dream for the journey up the outer lane.
“She was stepping down the lane,” MacDonald continued. “Last year she was green, she’d kind of blow by and pull up a little bit when she’d clear, and tonight she didn’t, she felt like a real horse, she blew by and kept trotting ahead.”
Guelph resident MacDonald shares ownership of Delcrest Magicstar with Peter Porter of Port Dover and Johnathan McKinnon of Guelph, ON. A winner of two Grassroots trophies last season, including one in the Semi-final, the daughter of Majestic Son and Stars Balance is trained by Lansdowne, ON resident Mark Steacy.
Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, June 22 with the second Grassroots event of the season for the three-year-old pacing colts.
For complete results please visit Mohawk Racetrack Results — Tuesday, June 13, 2017