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Pair of Grassroots wins part of half-dozen for Holliday
Driver Ryan Holliday captured a pair of Grassroots victories at Hanover Raceway on Saturday, capping off a spectacular night that saw the Mount Forest resident win a total of six races.
After rain delayed the start of the program by 20 minutes, Holliday kicked things off with a win in the first race with two-year-old pacing gelding Lil Beau Duke and was back in the winner’s circle following Race 3 with two-year-old pacing filly Mae Belle Duke, both for trainer Andrew McCabe and owner Glenview Livestock Ltd.
In the fourth race, the second of four two-year-old trotting filly Grassroots divisions, Holliday was aboard Angel Status from Post 4 and guided the fan favourite to an effortless four and three-quarter length score in 2:04.2. Kashe finished second and Nifty Trick completed the top three.
“She raced good. She’s nice and handy and I own her, that’s the best part,” said Holliday with a chuckle. “Actually all the fillies I drove raced good, but she’s nice and handy and has got a bit of gate speed.”
Angel Status is trained by the driver’s father David Holliday and owned by his wife Caroline Holliday, both of Mount Forest, in partnership with Dennis Hannath of Harriston. The win was the Archangel daughter’s second in Grassroots action and her third of the season. In addition to her Grassroots victories, she captured her Balanced Image elimination at Hanover Raceway on August 18. With one regular season event remaining Angel Status sits second in the division standings with 105 points and has assured herself of a berth in the Sept. 20 Grassroots Semi-Finals.
Holliday added to his win tally in Race 8 with aged trotting mare Flexie for owner-trainer Melville Giles and then picked up his second Grassroots win in the last division with Snooker. The pair went straight to the front from Post 3 and fended off a challenge from favourite Warrawee Ultra to secure the 2:04.2 victory. Warrawee Ultra settled for second, three and one-half lengths behind the winner, and Knickers was another length back in third.
“She was good, she got control of the race and win pretty handily,” said Holliday of the Gregg McNair trainee. “When you can control the race, and you know they’re legit horses, and you’re driving for good trainers, it makes the game a lot easier.”
Guelph resident McNair shares ownership of Snooker with Bloomingwood Farms Ltd. of Harriston and Brian Zong of Downsview, Ontario. The win was the E L Titan daughter’s first, but with one second and one fifth in her other two Grassroots outings, Snooker currently sits fourth in the standings with 80 points and will be among the 20 fillies that advance to the Semi-Final.
Holliday made it an even half-dozen with a win in the tenth race with aged pacing gelding Mid Town Mickey for Arthur residents Kevin and Patricia Lynn Bodz.
The productive night extended Holliday’s lead atop the Hanover Raceway driver standings and gave him three big nights on the season over the half-mile oval.
“I hit seven here once earlier this year, I think I win five one other night, but this would be the first six,” said the reinsman. “It was a good night. It’s a lot easier when they go ahead.”
The other two Grassroots divisions went to Lady Gabbie and Order Mattie. Lady Gabbie scored her first-ever victory with a 2:05.1 effort in the first $18,100 division. The Archangel daughter started from Post 1 and led from start to finish, reaching the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Madam Shazam and Pyrrha. Cambridge resident Dagfin Henriksen drives and trains Lady Gabbie for his partners Gary Volpe and Steve Murphy of St. Thomas, Ontario.
Order Mattie moved to the top of the division standings with her first lifetime victory, touring the Hanover half-mile in 2:06.4 for trainer-driver Doug Brown. The Angus Hall miss bested Stonebridge Swift and Msblackdiamondduke by two and three-quarter lengths to add a win to a trio of second-place results in Grassroots action. Brown trains the filly for Todd Coleman of Paris, Ontario and Jackson Wittup of Calgary, Alberta.
The two-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 11. The top 20 fillies following the fifth event will advance to the Sept. 20 Semi-Final, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final moving on to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
For complete entries please visit Hanover Raceway Results — Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018>