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Grassroots trotting fillies will celebrate in Belleville
BELLEVILLE, ON — Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Quinte Raceway on Monday, May 20 with five divisions of three-year-old trotting fillies ready to light up the Victoria Day crowd.
Canada’s Trainer of the Year John Bax will send two young trotters to Belleville from his Peterborough farm and is hoping that both fillies benefit from the experience.
Brylin Starlet will make her Ontario Sires Stakes debut from Post 8 in the third race on Monday afternoon and Bax is hoping the royally bred lass will take another step along the learning curve which started just one month ago.
“She’s only had two races lifetime so she’s very green, but you’ve got to start somewhere,” says Bax of the Balanced Image daughter. “She’s very green, but she really wants to do it so I’m hoping we can pick up a little experience and a little money.”
The full sister to $2 million winner Glorys Comet was a $220,000 yearling purchase for owners Armstrong Bros. of Inglewood so her connections are also hoping a successful outing on Monday would move her closer to a berth in the Gold Series.
“She still has some filling out and growing up to do so we’re hoping someday she’ll be able to compete in the Golds, but that remains to be seen,” says Bax. “There are three in the barn that can beat her right now, so we’re going to the Grassroots.”
In addition to the trailer heading to Bellevillle with Brylin Starlet and Parkhill Yuriskit, who will start from Post 5 in the ninth race, Bax will send out another horse box from his farm on Monday heading for Mohawk Racetrack with three Gold Series competitors.
While Bax is hopeful Brylin Starlet may move on to join her Gold Series stablemates, he expects Parkhill Yuriskit to remain in the Grassroots this season. The Seasoned Pleasure daughter raced in the Grassroots last season, winning one event, but she suffered an injury which shortened her season and seems to have affected her confidence on the racetrack.
“I was trying to qualify her this spring at Kawartha but she made a break three times in a row so I finally had to take her to Mohawk to qualify her. It seemed like she had a mental block and couldn’t get around the first turn at Kawartha,” says the trainer, who shares ownership on the filly with Lewis Palmer of Oshawa and John Houston of Cobourg. “She’s shown some ability, but she is lacking in confidence so I don’t expect her to contend for the Gold, but I think she’ll make a nice Grassroots horse.”
Parkhill Yuriskit heads into Monday’s event off a May 10 qualifier at Mohawk, where she crossed the finish line third in a time of 2:04 on a day when the track was rated two seconds slower than normal.
The action gets under way at Quinte Raceway at 1:30 pm this Monday where the top five fillies in Races 2, 3, 6, 8, and 9 will share the $92,830 total purse and begin to accumulate points toward a berth in the Oct. 27 Grassroots Semifinal.