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Waples takes a pair in Grassroots action at Hiawatha
July 9, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

SARNIA, ON ó Hall Of Fame horseman Ron Waples scored a pair of catch driving wins in Grassroots action at Hiawatha Horse Park on Thursday evening.

The veteran trainer and driver piloted three-year-old trotting colts How Is That Fair and Leave It To Eager to impressive victories in the third and seventh of eight $15,000 Grassroots divisions.

Starting from Post 1, Waples eased How Is That Fair off the gate and sat comfortably in sixth through much of the mile. By the time the colts turned for home Waples had moved the colt up to fourth spot and was firing him up for the sprint to the wire. How Is That Fair responded with an impressive finishing kick that propelled him to the three-quarter length victory over Mr Avenger and Crescent Hall in 1:59.4.

A winner of $324,209 as a two-year-old, How Is That fair is owned by Warren Waxman of Dundas, Alan Alber of Thornhill and trainer Scott McEneny of Waterdown. Thursdayís outing was the Mr Lavec sonís first start of the season.

Waples used slightly different tactics to land Leave It To Eager in the winnerís circle after Race 9. The Guelph resident settled the Eager Seelster son right behind pacesetter T Js Incredible Lad and waited until the stretch before moving out of the pocket and trotting off to the 1:59.3 victory. T Js Incredible Lad had to settle for second, while Yankee Gentleman picked up the third-place finishers share.

The win was the first of the season for Leave It To Eager, owned by trainer John Dorion of Cambridge, Leonard Dorion of Midland and Santo Vena of Brampton.

Trace Of Class equalled Leave It To Eagerís clocking in Race 7, crossing the wire four lengths up on Venture Capital and Mathers Lavec in 1:59.3. Regular reinsman Tom Strauss engineered the win, the geldingís third, for owner and trainer George Johnson of Toronto.

Earl Of Openwood maintained his flawless Grassroots record with an impressive victory over Gold Series regular Armbro Believe in the fourth race. The Earl son and Dave Boughton powered to the front from Post 7 and simply cruised home to the two length victory in 2:00.4. My Last Buck rounded out the top three.

Frank Szasz trains Earl Of Openwood for Ena Szasz of Bolton. The win improved the coltís record to three wins and three thirds in six starts.

The other Grassroots divisions went to Best Image in 2:00.4, Odee Scoot in 2:00.2, Shipps Cruiser in 2:00 and Brethors Legacy in 2:00.2.

The three-year-old trotting colts renew their Grassroots rivalry on Aug. 7 at Hanover Raceway, while Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Hiawatha Horse Park on Thursday, Aug. 5 with Gold Series Eliminations for the impressive two-year-old pacing fillies.