Current NewsCurrent News for June '19
Filly goes from red dirt to pay dirt in 10 days
So Much More has not quite settled into her new digs at the Beatson farm in Granton, but the three-year-old pacing filly made herself right at home at The Raceway at Western Fair District on Friday night, scoring an impressive victory in her $22,450 Grassroots division.
“She raced great, she raced awesome,” said Ken Beatson, who shares ownership of the recently acquired So Much More with his father, trainer Don Beatson of Granton, and nephew Cole England of Exeter. “We’ve got a farm at our place out in Granton, and we’ve got lots of paddock area with lots of grass, but she hasn’t really even settled down enough that we feel comfortable turning her out on her own yet.”
In the fourth race of the London oval’s action-packed Camluck Classic program So Much More and driver Tyler Borth fired out to the lead from Post 2 and never looked back, controlling the tempo through fractions of :28, :58.2 and 1:26.2 before sailing home to a three length victory in 1:54.4. Cinderella Delight finished second and New Writer was third.
“If she was good enough to make it to the front we were hoping that she could cut it,” said Beatson, adding that the first turn was a bit of a worry. “Having raced here all our lives, we know that the first time here a lot of horses, especially ones that are a little bit heavy or hot or hyper, which she seems to be, can break in the first turn if you roll into it too fast. So we were just wanting to roll into that first turn and steady her around it. Survive the first turn and then go from there.”
The win was So Much More’s fourth straight this season, but her first for the Beatson family, who purchased the filly from Prince Edward Island resident Doug MacPhee on May 21. Her first three wins came at the Charlottetown Driving Park in PEI and Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, NB.
“That’s kind of been our model for the last 15 years or so; to find a nice horse out East that is racing well, has proven themselves, but hasn’t necessarily made a whole lot of money, because the purses are smaller out there,” Palgrave resident Beatson explained. “So then we bring them over here and they fit the non-winners classes. We were hoping that this one would be good enough to maybe make a stake filly as well, and it looks like she is.”
Big Jim daughter So Much More will now have a few weeks to settle into her new home before the next Grassroots event, which does not go postward until June 20.
A three-time Grassroots winner at two, Freya Seelster kicked off her sophomore campaign with another victory, going gate-to-wire from Post 4 in the first division. The Sunshine Beach daughter reeled off sharp fractions of :27, :56 and 1:24.2 and battled through the wire to best Manhattan Night and Full Moon Fix in 1:55.
“I was expecting that style of race,” said trainer Shawn Steacy. “I was hoping the fractions wouldn’t be as hot as what they were, :27 flat is a big quarter here for sure. That was a big mile and there were some other really nice fillies in there that almost got to her, but not today.”
Guelph resident Steacy shares ownership of Freya Seelster with his mother Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Guy Haskell of Guelph, ON and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, AB. Louis-Philippe Roy was in the race bike for Friday’s victory, the filly’s first in three tries this season.
Driver Trevor Henry scored two Grassroots wins, guiding Pazza Hanover to a 1:58 win for trainer Murray Brethour of Sunderland and his partners Noblock Racing Stable and Wayne Carleton of Collingwood, ON and Crisp Mane to a 1:56.4 victory for trainer Gerald Lilley and owners Bill Manes of Rockwood and William Cripps of Acton, ON.
The other divisions went to Charmbo Brie, driven to a 1:57.3 score by Mike Saftic for owner-trainer John Rier of Kitchener, Royalty Again, who was driven to a narrow 1:54.4 victory by Jody Jamieson for trainer Stephanie Jamieson and owner Lasvegas Stables Inc. of Toronto, ON, and Behavenmyself. Robert Shepherd drove Behavenmyself to the 1:56.3 win for trainer Gerard Demers and owners Les Ecuries GLD Inc. of St-Andre-Avelin and Jean Roch Marois of St-Joachim-de-Shefford, QC.
After seven thrilling Grassroots races and four City of London finals, fans welcomed the Camluck Classic entrants to the racetrack in Race 12 and watched as The Wall delivered a thrilling upset, reeling in pacesetter and heavy favourite Done Well in the stretch to score a 1:52 victory. Rockin Speed and defending champ Rockin Ron also closed hard to finish second and third in the $157,000 contest, leaving Done Well to settle for fourth.
Joe Bongiorno piloted Somebeachsomewhere son The Wall to the half-length victory for trainer Nicholas Surick and owner J L Benson Stables Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, FL. The win was the five-year-old gelding’s fourth of the season and bumped his 2019 earnings to $216,720.
Friday’s program wrapped up The Raceway at Western Fair Raceway’s spring meet. Racing will resume on October 4, when the London oval will welcome the top two-year-old pacing colts in Ontario for the last Gold Series Leg of their season.
Complete results from Friday’s Camluck Classic program are available at The Raceway at Western Fair District Results — May 31, 2019.