Current NewsCurrent News for October '18
McIntosh advances four to Grassroots Championship
Woodbine Mohawk Park hosted the two-year-old Grassroots Semi-Finals on Thursday and the youngsters put on a tremendous show for fans, with five of the eight races decided by less than one length.
The two-year-old trotting colts set the tone in the first $20,000 contest as the division’s point leaders A Royal Line and Royale Elite battled tooth and nail down the stretch. A Royal Line had controlled the tempo for much of the race and Royale Elite appeared to have him beat at the top of the stretch, but A Royal Line fought back and put a head in front as the trotters reached the wire in 1:59. Favourite LA Magic was three lengths behind the leaders in third and Northern Tailwind and Fitzgibbons also advanced to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship.
“I thought A Royal Line fought hard, he was beat and he come back,” said trainer Bob McIntosh. “I was pretty proud of him.”
The Windsor resident bred and owns the son of Royalty For Life and Direct Dial with Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario and Paul MacDonell piloted the gelding to his fourth lifetime win.
McIntosh, who watched the Semi-Finals from his vehicle on the way home from the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio, had reason to celebrate again following the second trotting colt Semi-Final. With Phil Hudon filling in for the scheduled Bob McClure, Judge Ken got away sharply from Post 7 and rang up fractions of :27.1, :57.2 and 1:27.3 on the way to a 1:57.4 score. Priceless Ruler finished one-half length back in second and favourite Cousin Peter was hot on his heels in third. LMC Picasso and Lariat Seelster also advanced to next weekend’s final.
“Pretty proud of both colts, they were gritty, they were good,” said McIntosh, who bred and owns the son of Justice Hall and Barbie And Ken in partnership with Boyle and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio. “It’s been a good year. Hopefully we can finish it off with a bang.”
McIntosh’s trotting fillies Splurge On Me and Nifty Trick also advanced to the Championship. Splurge On Me made an early break leaving from Post 10, but recovered to finish fifth behind heavy favourite At Will, who stopped the teletimer at 1:58.1. Eramosa Magic was three and three-quarter lengths back in second, Galaxy Seelster was third and P L Molly fourth. Sylvain Filion piloted Kadabra daughter At Will to the win for trainer Julie Walker of Carlisle and her partners, breeder Layhoon Chan Brunner of Etobicoke and Ronald Piers of Georgetown, Ontario.
Nifty Trick finished second to Rebellious Lady, who sprinted down the stretch to a three and three-quarter length victory in 1:59.1. Royaltys Pearl was third and Pyrrha and Luckyjohanna completed the top five. Scott Young crafted the win for his father, trainer Bob Young, and owner Hugh Fitzpatrick of Guelph, Ontario.
“She’s always a complete pro,” said the driver, who was making his first-ever appearance in the post-season winner’s circle. “She always shows up and does her job. For a two-year-old Angus Hall filly, she’s a pleasure to drive.”
The pacing filly divisions went to Freya Seelster and Jessicas Legacy, who both started from Post 1 with James MacDonald in the race bike.
Freya Seelster took command before the :56.3 half and opened up a gap on the field heading by the 1:25.2 three-quarters that runner-up Free Exchange was unable to close. The fan favourite hit the wire three-quarters of a length the best in 1:53.1. Sports Flix was third, Whitehaven Beach fourth and Saulsbrook Jessie fifth.
Mark Steacy trains Sunshine Beach daughter Freya Seelster for Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Shawn Steacy and Guy Haskell of Guelph, Ontario and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. Of the six freshmen Steacy started in Thursday’s Semi-Finals, Freya Seelster was one of four that qualified for the Championships.
Jessicas Legacy enjoyed a pocket trip behind Lady Driver, stepping out in the stretch to claim the one and one-quarter length victory in 1:53.3. Favourite Shadow Sparks was second, Twin B Friendly third, Lady Driver settled for fourth and Buckingham was fifth. MacDonald crafted the win for trainer Anthony Beaton and owner-breeder Robert Hamather of Exeter, Ontario.
Chanting Hanover mounted a late charge to win the first $20,000 pacing colt and gelding Semi-Final, which saw less than two lengths separate the top six horses. The Sportswriter son and driver Louis Philippe Roy hit the wire in 1:54.1, one half length ahead of The First Step and B Stoney. Mo Bettor was third and Ahi and Sports Hero finished in a dead heat for fifth. Repentigny, Quebec resident Colin Johnson trains Chanting Hanover for Paul Johnson of Durham, England, and William Greenhorn and Andrew Dick of Stirling, Scotland.
The final honour of the evening went to fan favourites Century Farroh and driver Sylvain Filion, who powered to the front early and held on for a three-quarter length victory over Wager On Me. JMs Delight was third, Boys Turn fourth and Maintenance Man fifth. Dr. Ian Moore trains the pacing colt for Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, Nova Scotia and says the Ratchfords may not recognise the son of Mach Three when they arrive for next weekend’s Championship.
“He’s grown a lot. He (Dave Ratchford) won’t even know him when he sees him. He was just an average-sized colt when he came and now he’s a nice, good-sized muscular colt, really solid, so we like him pretty good,” said Moore of Century Farroh. “So hopefully he stays good for at least one more week.”
The top five finishers from each two-year-old Semi-Final will be back at Woodbine Mohawk Park next Saturday, Sept. 29 for the Grassroots Championships. They will be joined by the three-year-olds, who compete in their Semi-Finals at the Campbellville oval on Friday evening. The three-year-olds will battle in Races 2 through 7, 9 and 10 on the Friday evening program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm.
For complete results please visit Woodbine Mohawk Park Results — Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018