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Trotting fillies take centre stage at Georgian Downs
Thirty-nine of Ontario’s talented three-year-old trotting fillies took a star turn at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening, highlighting a card that was dedicated to fillies and mares.
In the first $23,500 Grassroots division fans sent Halo Its Me off as their top choice and the Archangel daughter did not disappoint. In rein to Robert Shepherd the filly got away fifth from Post 2, watching as Blue Magic and Checkmate Titan battled through the :27.4 quarter and :56.4 half. Heading for the 1:25.4 three-quarters Shepherd sent Halo Its Me after embattled pacesetter Blue Magic and the favourite cruised down the stretch to a two length victory in 1:56.3. Blue Magic stayed game for second and Petro Hall was third.
It was the third win of the season, and the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, for Halo Its Me, who is trained by Connie Chisholm. Brighton residents Connie and David Chisholm also bred and own the filly, who lowered her personal best by three seconds and boosted her lifetime earnings to $28,045 with the win.
The second split saw Splurge On Me capture her sixth straight win with a front-end effort for local reinsman Stephen Byron of Thornton. The fan favourites took command just after the :27.4 quarter and cruised through fractions of :58.1 and 1:27.2 on their way to the 1:56.3 victory. Champagne Jane trotted into second and P L Molly rounded out the top three.
Splurge On Me has not been defeated since a third-place result in the June 4 Grassroots season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Kadabra daughter won her second Grassroots start at Dresden Raceway on July 1 and has captured four overnight events at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the last five weeks.
Hall of Fame horseman Bob McIntosh trains the winner of $90,612 and the Windsor, ON resident also bred and owns the filly in partnership with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH.
Scott Young drove both Blue Magic and Champagne Jane to their runner-up results in the first two divisions, but the reinsman found the winner’s circle in the third. Starting from Post 1 with Absynthe Hanover, Young settled the fan favourite in third early as Magically Hip rang up fractions of :28 and :57.3 then went after the pacesetter heading for the 1:26.3 three-quarters. Absynthe Hanover easily gained control and sailed down the stretch to a three length victory in 1:56.4. Mattys Smilin finished second and Byron and Royal Rhythm closed well to claim third.
“She raced great. She’s been very good to me, winning the City of London and now a Grassroots,” said Young of Absynthe Hanover. “I was very happy with her tonight.”
Young steers the Kadabra daughter for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville, ON and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. In addition to the May 31 City of London Final at The Raceway at Western Fair District and Tuesday’s Grassroots division, the pair also has a trio of overnight wins to their credit.
Young doubled his on-the-board finishes in Ontario Sires Stakes action with Tuesday’s results and was grateful to trainers Blais, Susanne Kerwood and Shane Weber for the opportunity to add to his provincial point tally.
“It was an excellent night for sure,” said the reinsman. “Very thankful for the opportunity from the trainers to be able to drive some nice fillies.”
The last Grassroots division saw Order Mattie go gate-to-wire from Post 6, holding off a hard-closing Madam Shazam for a one-half length victory in 1:59.1. Victoriahasasecret completed the top three.
Bowmanville resident Doug Brown drives and trains Order Mattie for Todd Coleman of Paris, ON and Jackson Wittup of Calgary, AB. Tuesday’s win was the Angus Hall daughter’s third of the season and her first of the sophomore Grassroots campaign.
The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Grassroots start at Clinton Raceway on August 11.
Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs next Tuesday, July 23 with the second Gold event for the two-year-old trotting colts.
Complete results for Tuesday’s program are available at Georgian Downs Results — Tuesday, July 16, 2019.