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Fillies tackle Grassroots at Clinton Thursday
June 28, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

CLINTON, ON — After a five week hiatus, the three-year-old trotting fillies resume their Grassroots rivalry at Clinton Raceway on Thursday evening.

Joining the fillies who kicked off the 2004 season at Hiawatha Horse Park on May 27 are several newcomers to the Grassroots scene, including a pair from the Scott Barr barn. Tenacious Dream made her first start under Barr’s tutelage on June 19, scoring a 2:00.4 victory at Hiawatha, and makes her Grassroots debut from Post 1 in the ninth race on Thursday.

“We bought her in London at the June Mixed Sale (June 13) and she raced really good at Sarnia. It was more or less an educational trip — put some equipment on and hope it is the right stuff,” says Barr. “I just love her attitude. She’s all trot, just puts her head down and goes, and I’ve never had one that can trot the turns as straight as she does.”

Tenacious Dream caught Barr’s attention when she finished a closing third to his other sophomore trotting filly, Stacelita, in an overnight event at Grand River Raceway on June 11. After watching the replay and consulting driver Ray McLean, Jr., Barr and owner Tony Aarts agreed that the Fill V daughter would make a solid addition to their Ontario Sires Stakes string. And after Aarts purchased the filly for $26,000 McLean put his money where his mouth was and acquired a quarter share.

McLean piloted the filly to her June 19 victory at Hiawatha and will be back in the race bike at Clinton on Thursday. The Port Elgin resident will also steer Tenacious Dream’s stablemate Stacelita from Post 2 in the second race. Stacelita heads into her 2004 Grassroots debut off the June 11 victory at Grand River, having been scratched out of a June 19 overnight due to a minor bout with a virus.

“She had a little bit of a bug and we knew Clinton was coming up so we didn’t want to take a chance and scorch her,” says Barr. “She trained good today and she acts fine so we’re expecting good things.”

Aarts owns the Angus Hall daughter, who boasts a record of three wins and two seconds in seven starts this season, including a victory in a leg of the Celias Counsel Series at Mohawk Racetrack in April. Like Tenacious Dream, Stacelita started her provincial stakes season with a fifth-place finish in a Gold Elimination at Mohawk.

“She’s just a step below the Golds. About 1:56 is all she wants right now and they want 1:54 and change,” says the Thamesford resident. “But with the way she can trot the turns we hope to try the Gold again at Flamboro (Aug. 6).”

Stacelita faces a tough test in her Grassroots debut with May 27 Grassroots winners Dutchess Of Kent (Post 1), Hetties Charm (Post 3) and P C Dreams (Post 4) lining up beside her in Race 2.

Clinton Raceway sends the first three-year-old trotting filly Grassroots division to the post at 5 pm on Thursday, with the other eight divisions featured in Races 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.