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Pair of Henry fillies capture Grassroots at Woodstock
July 3, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

WOODSTOCK, ON — Ross Henry trainees captured two of three freshman trotting filly Grassroots divisions at Woodstock Raceway on Saturday afternoon, and also posted two runner-up finishes, sending the Arthur resident home with more than half of the $91,407 purse money.

Odee Weepray kicked off Henry’s successful afternoon with a 2:08.2 triumph over her stablemate Sadies Strength in Race 3. The Royal Ballad daughter stalked Sadies Strength through fractions of :31.4, 1:04.1 and 1:36.4 before attaining the lead in the stretch and pulling away to the one length victory.

Wayne Henry drove Odee Weepray to the victory for owner-breeder Ray Odorico of Limehouse. The filly is the fourth foal of former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Odee Gal, who earned $136,996 in her career.

Local filly I’m Eager, owned by Lorena Chapple of Harley, was just nosed out of the runner-up spot by Sadies Strength.

Wayne Henry was also in the race bike behind the stable’s second winner, Praha, who battled to a 2:08.1 win over Chiquita Mia in Race 9. The San Pellegrino daughter is owned by breeder NGA Powerline of Brantford and, like Odee Weepray, is the fourth foal of a former OSS regular, Venetian Crystal.

Spring Emmy, owned and bred by Wesley Heckford of Tillsonburg led through the early stages of the race, but had to settle for third-place in the $30,189 contest.

The fastest mile of the three Grassroots divisions was recorded by Taylorlane Bliss, who stopped the teletimer at 2:05 in the eighth race. Veteran reinsman Ross Battin employed classic come-from-behind tactics and the Royal Ballad filly toughed it out on the outside around the final turn before sweeping down the stretch to the one-length victory over pacesetters Trevor Henry and Ungava. Victorian Teddie was five more lengths back in third.

Trained by Frank O’Reilly for owner and breeder Edwin Taylor of Grand Valley, Taylorlane Bliss is a half-sister to $153,838 winner Northern Kiss and $108,636 winner Northern Beau.

The two-year-old trotting fillies make their second Grassroots start on Aug. 2 at Quinte Exhibition Raceway in Belleville. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Woodstock Raceway for the final time this season on Saturday, July 24 with Grassroots action for the two-year-old pacing fillies.