News ArchivesArchives for October '05
Kentucky Rebel impressive in Semifinal victory
INNISFIL, ON — Pacing colt Kentucky Rebel came up with an impressive effort on Friday evening at Georgian Downs to claim his $30,000 Grassroots Semifinal and advance to next weekend’s $100,000 Championship.
In rein to Thornton resident Stephen Byron, Kentucky Rebel accelerated off the starting gate to a :28 opening quarter. Byron then allowed Cruisin To Fame to move into the lead heading for the halfway marker and the division leader took the field through the :57 half and 1:26.3 three-quarters.
As the colts turned for home Byron and Kentucky Rebel were looking for racing room from third and when Cruisin To Fame started to fade they found it, pacing down the stretch to a half length victory over Love Me Naut and Master Chef in 1:56.1. Fourth-place finisher Winfall Nasty also advanced to the Oct. 15 Grassroots Championship.
Dan Hall and Leah Findlay of Newmarket share ownership on Kentucky Rebel, who has captured four wins, three thirds and three seconds in 20 starts this season for earnings of $54,403. David Byron of Thornton trains the Armbro Operative gelding, who qualified for the Grassroots post season as a two-year-old but was scratched due to sickness.
In the other sophomore pacing colt Semifinal, Daniel Clements and Gothic Crusader cruised under the wire two and a half lengths on top in 1:55.2. Caviarandsoftmusic and Twilight Baron rounded out the top three, while Most Happy One and Rigio Hanover finished in a dead heat for fourth.
Stephen Charlton trains Gothic Crusader for Larocque Racing Stable Inc., of Toronto. Through 18 starts this season the gelding posted an impressive 10 wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $86,333.
The sophomore trotting colts opened the evening’s festivities and division leader Industrial Strenth was an effortless winner in 1:59.2. The Angus Hall gelding and Jim McClure sat third through the first half of the mile, took command heading to the three-quarters and cruised home to the one and a quarter length lead over A Hay Luva Paige and Pleasure Valley.
St Lads Speedy overcame Post 7 to finish fourth and secure a berth in the Final.
Trained by Benoit Baillargeon, Industrial Strenth was also a 10 time winner this season for Joanne Nestved of Dover, DE.
Berning Image finished three points behind Industrial Strenth in the regular season, but the Berndt Hanover son was not out done on Friday, scoring his own Semifinal victory in a personal best 1:58.4. With Dan Clements in the race bike, Berning Image sat on the outside for most of the mile before pulling away in the stretch to the one and a half length victory over Runway and Viva Paco. Brawn Seelster completed the list of qualifiers for the Final with his fourth-place effort.
Breeder Costas Demetrious of Campbellville and Aubrey Friedman of Burlington share ownership on Berning Image, who amassed a record of four wins, two second and three thirds in 17 starts this season, banking $56,040 in the process. Todd Gray trains the talented young trotter.
Driver Randy Fritz captured the first of two Grassroots Semifinals with a 1:57.3 triumph aboard Armbro Cachet in the first pacing filly event. The Camluck daughter cruised around the five-eighths oval on the front end, reaching the finish one length ahead of Witness To Fame and division leader Youthful Seelster. E Business rounded out the top four.
Undefeated in a pair of Grassroots starts this season, Armbro Cachet also dabbled in the upper levels of the Ontario Sires Stakes program with creditable results. Gregg McNair trains the talented filly for Michael Taura of Newfane, NY, James Martin and William Switala of Clarence Center, NY and Joseph Critelli of Lockport, NY.
The other pacing filly split went to Larry Fitzsimmons trainee Stonebridge Celest, who took advantage of a pocket trip behind local hope Lasensa to score a nose win in 1:56.4. Pauline Seelster survived a tough trip up the outside to claim the runner-up spot, while Lasensa, owned by Allan and John Lockie of Zephyr, was three-quarters of a length back in third. Skyler Seelster beat out last year’s Grassroots Champion Borderlinegorgious for the last spot in next week’s $100,000 Final.
Allan Cullen drove Stonebridge Celest to her seventh win of the season for Clarence Beitz of Mildmay.
Randy Fritz completed his driving double with trotting filly Cheque Lavec in Race 4, steering the filly to a neck decision over fan favourite and point leader K T Cha Cha in 2:02. Tyrone Megabucks and Paco Dream also advanced to the second round with their third and fourth-place efforts.
Trainer Michael Keeling of Cambridge and Ronald Keeling of Owen Sound share ownership on the Mr Lavec daughter, who was making her second appearance of the season in the winner’s circle.
Pretty In Plaid made her third visit to the winner’s enclosure with a 2:02.2 score in the second trotting filly Semifinal. The Angus Hall daughter and Michael Sumner sprinted home to wrestle the quarter length victory away from Hologram Hanover, leaving Busta Balls and Lookit to settle for third and fourth.
Frederick Hertrich of Seaford, DE owns Pretty In Plaid and entrusts her care to trainer Scott McEneny.
Georgian Downs hosts the second half of the Grassroots Semifinal show on Saturday evening at 7:35 pm when the top two-year-olds in the province battle for a spot in next weekend’s Grassroots Championships.
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