News ArchivesArchives for August '06
Matty Mcgee earns second straight Grassroots trophy
SARNIA, ON — Matty Mcgee stepped off the fastest of nine Grassroots divisions at Hiawatha Horse Park on Thursday evening, stopping the clock in a smart 1:52.2.
Anthony MacDonald piloted the Astreos son to the win, sending him straight to the front from Post 5 and cruising through fractions of :26.2, :55.3 and 1:23.3 on the way to the two and three-quarter length triumph.
Sudburysatrdaynite delivered an impressive effort up the outside to earn the runner-up’s share of the $15,000 purse, while third-place finisher Mr Woodwell trailed in 16 lengths behind the leader.
The win marked Matty Mcgee’s second straight trip to the Grassroots winner’s circle and boosted his point tally to 108, putting him solidly in the running for one of 16 berths in the lucrative post season. Stanley Atkinson trains the winner of $54,160 for Val Spar Stables of West Hill and Kenneth Raspin of Goderich.
MacDonald scored the driving double on Thursday, engineering a front end victory for Wingandaprayer in the first Grassroots division.
Leaving from Post 3 MacDonald and Wingandaprayer assumed quick command of the race and laid down fractions of :26.3, :55.4 and 1:24.4 on their way to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:54.2. Streak Of Luck nosed out fan favourite Nates Got A Grin for the runner-up spot.
Trained by Robert Atkin for Millar Farms of Newmarket, Wingandaprayer has a record of three wins, one second and one third through eight starts this season. Thursday’s win was his first in Grassroots competition and gives him a total of 62 points, putting him in a tie for the sixteenth spot in the division standings.
Drivers Jason Brewer and Trevor Henry also made two appearances in the Grassroots winner’s circle on Thursday.
Fan favourites Brewer and Object Of Art sailed to a seven length victory in the second division, hitting wire in 1:55.3, while longshot Fully Exotic nudged Actor into third-place.
Doug McIntosh of Wheatley trains Object Of Art and shares ownership on the Camluck son with Michael Dockendorf of Chicago, IL. Thursday’s start was the colt’s first outing since he was involved in a frightening accident at Mohawk Racetrack on July 30 that left drivers Randy Waples and Keith Oliver with serious injuries. None of the horses involved in the accident were injured and all three recovered to post top five finishes on Thursday — Object Of Art was a winner, Sudburysatrdaynite finished second and Don’t Make Waves was fourth in his Grassroots division.
Brewer’s second victory came one race later when he piloted Handsome Hussy to a 1:55 Grassroots win. Leading from gate to wire, the pair bested fan favourite Native Hero and Sarnia resident Jim Ainsworth’s Snap Out Of It.
Trainer Christopher Ryder of Allentown, NJ shares ownership on Handsome Hussy with Mark Gurry of Richmond, AUL, and the partners have watched the Island Fantasy gelding score five wins and one second through 10 starts this season, but have very little luck in the Grassroots program. Thursday’s win added to a fourth-place finish at Windsor Raceway on May 31 gives Handsome Hussy 58 points and leaves him needing another big effort in one of the two remaining regular season events to secure a berth in the season finale.
Trevor Henry picked up where Brewer left off, steering Bend It to his third straight Grassroots victory in Race 9. The pair travelled up the outside of the Hiawatha oval after starting from Post 5 and took command of the race heading by the three-quarter pole, then dug in down the stretch to fend off a hard closing Chevron Hanover. Acceptable Risk rounded out the top three.
With a total of 175 points, Bend It currently sits atop the division standings. Edward Hayter trains the hard working Camluck colt for Victory Hayter of Stratford.
Henry completed his driving double in Race 12 with another come from behind effort aboard Albert In The City. The pair hit the wire in 1:53.3, seven lengths ahead of Notre Pa and Astro, to maintain a flawless record in Grassroots action and a remarkable 12 race win streak.
Paul Taylor trains the gifted Albert Albert gelding for Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein.
The other Grassroots divisions went to Rustling Matt in 1:55.1, Armbro Domi in 1:52.4 and Stonebridge Ideal in 1:53.
The three-year-old pacing colts make their second last Grassroots stop at Grand River Raceway on Sept. 4, while Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Hiawatha Horse Park next Thursday, Aug. 17 with Grassroots action for the talented two-year-old pacing fillies.
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