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Pat Me Up leads pacing fillies into post season
October 19, 2002
By Sandra Snyder

FRASERVILLE, ON — Pat Me Up scored the fastest win of five Grassroots divisions over a sloppy track at Kawartha Downs on Friday evening and also rewarded her backers with the largest win pay out.

The two-year-old pacing filly crossed the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Special Beauty and pacesetter Missys Fame, stopping the clock at 1:57.3 on a track rated one second slower than normal. Kawartha fans had sent Pat Me Up off as their fifth choice and the Camluck daughter returned $14.50 to win, $3.60 to place and $2.50 to show for the effort.

Trainer-driver Greg Drew of Merlin bred and owns the gifted filly who finished the Grassroots regular season atop the division standings with four wins and one second in five starts, for 225 points. In her only starts outside the Grassroots she logged a third-place finish in a Gold Elimination at Flamboro Downs on Aug. 2 and then suffered interference in the Aug. 9 Gold Final to record her only off the board result in eight starts this season.

Wendys Rocket moved into second spot in the division rankings with a 1:58.1 victory in Race 3, her third in four Grassroots starts this season. The Pacific Rocket daughter sat second throughout the mile behind Linguinincamsauce and then sprinted home to score the one and one quarter length win.

Linguinincamsauce crossed the wire second, but was placed back to fourth for interfering with the trailing horses going to the half, so Going Coastal and Burning Point were each bumped up one position to second and third.

William “Bud” Fritz trains and drives Wendys Rocket for owner-breeders Bloomingwood Farms of Harriston and the pair have had an impressive season to date. In 12 starts they have logged four wins, five seconds and one third-place finish, including top five finishes in the Harvest Stakes on Sept. 13 at Mohawk Racetrack, the Gold Elimination and Final at Windsor Raceway on Sept. 22 and 29 and the Trillium Series at Flamboro Downs on Oct. 5.

Up Front American padded her Grassroots point tally with a commanding seven and one-quarter length victory over Elegant Table in the fifth race. The Rustler Hanover daughter and driver Randy Fritz skipped to the front from Post 7 to take control of the race just past the quarter pole and simply pulled away from the field through the final quarter to score the 1:58.2 victory. Streetwise Hanover, owned by Paul Lindsey of Fergus, Lorne Brethour of Sunderland and Barry McClennan of Cavan, rounded out the top three.

The win was Up Front American’s second straight and her second in three Grassroots starts, giving her a total of 125 points and sixth spot in the division standings. Mark Ford trains the talented filly for Ed Mullinax of Amherst, OH.

Marlee Seelster followed Up Front American up the standings with her 1:59 victory in the first Grassroots division. Another daughter of Rustler Hanover, Marlee Seelster and driver John Holmes jumped out down the stretch to snatch the victory away from pacesetter Lucky Irma and inflate their point tally to 120. Dilemma finished well behind the leaders in third. It was the second win of the season for Marlee Seelster, who is trained by Frank O’Reilly for John Fielding of Toronto.

The winner of the final Grassroots division also made a leap up the point standings and now hovers just below the cut off for the Nov. 2 Grassroots Semifinal at Georgian Downs. Cam Nice Girl endured a trip up the outside and a three-wide move at the three-quarter pole to score the quarter length victory over pacesetter and fan favourite Apaches Angel. Callaway Kwik doubled the excitement level of the finish, sprinting from sixth at the top of the stretch into third, just one half length behind the winner.

Last season’s Lampman Cup winner as the top driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes, Don McElroy, drove Cam Nice Girl to her third victory of the season, and her first in Grassroots action, for trainer Robert McIntosh of Windsor, Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington and Dwight Stacey of Mitchell.

The two-year-old pacing fillies not only wrapped up their regular season, but also lowered the curtain on Kawartha Downs’ 2002 Ontario Sires Stakes season. The Fraserville oval hosted seven provincial events, including a Gold Series for the two-year-old trotting colts that saw local favourite Meadowview Sunny lower the track record to 1:58.1. The OSS program looks forward to another successful season at Kawartha Downs in 2003 when a fresh crop of the province’s best two and three-year-old Standardbreds will take their run at the history books.