News ArchivesArchives for October '07
Lady Mach in top shape heading into Hiawatha Grassroots
SARNIA, ON — She has only been in his barn for seven weeks, and she probably won’t make the post season, but heading into Thursday’s Grassroots finale at Hiawatha Horse Park, trainer Jim Ainsworth says Lady Mach is the best three-year-old pacing filly in his barn.
“She’s been a real pleasant surprise. She gives 100 per cent every start,” says the Sarnia resident, who will also harness Twin B Diva and Admired Beauty in Thursday’s skirmish. “When I bought her I had no idea she would be this good. I was just looking for a ‘B’ track horse.”
After Ainsworth, Martwest Racing Stable of Mississauga and William Boden of Vancouver, BC acquired Lady Mach she posted a 1:56.4 personal best at Hiawatha on Aug. 23, then logged two off the board finishes in overnight action at Mohawk Racetrack. Ainsworth decided to send her to Hanover Raceway, along with his other two fillies, to compete in the Sept. 15 Grassroots event, and Lady Mach delivered an impressive five length victory in 1:56.4.
The Hanover start was the Mach Three daughter’s first in the provincial program this season, so Ainsworth doubts she can earn enough points on Thursday to land a spot in the Oct. 18 Grassroots Semifinal at Kawartha Downs, but he is confident that she will give her best effort from Post 6 in the tenth race.
“We’re just going around the track on Thursday; she doesn’t have a hope at getting enough points,” notes the trainer. “If she just races good, I’ll be happy. I didn’t buy her for a Grassroots horse.”
Among the fillies Lady Mach will face on Thursday is former Gold Series regular Canadette, who puts her flawless Grassroots record on the line from Post 4.
While Lady Mach struggles to earn enough points to extend her Grassroots season, Ainsworth’s other two fillies have already got their spot in the top 16 sewn up. Twin B Diva sits atop the division standings with 187 points and Admired Beauty is 50 points behind her in sixth.
Twin B Diva starts from Post 7 in the second $21,816 Grassroots division, and Ainsworth is simply hoping that the Camluck daughter delivers the kind of effort that has seen her finish no worse than third in her first five provincial starts.
“She’s been a little flat her last couple starts,” reflects Ainsworth, who shares ownership on the winner of $127,660 with Martwest Racing Stable, Boden and breeders Twinbrook Limited of Embro. “With the outside draw I’m hoping he’ll be able to get to the front with her and get her confidence back.”
Ainsworth says the filly is showing some fatigue from her 21 start season, and that a tough trip in the July 28 Canadian Breeders Championship Final at Mohawk Racetrack caused her to revert back to some of the sulky behaviour she demonstrated as a two-year-old.
“Going into the Canadian Breeders I said, ‘If she gets beat up once or twice, we’ll be right back where we were when we started, where she didn’t want to beat anybody,’” he explains. “She can go fast, but she doesn’t give you 100 per cent every time.”
Twin B Diva also faces a former Gold Series regular in the seventh race, Quail Seelster starts from Post 2 in the field of eight. Last season’s Grassroots champion Magic Maverick will also start in Race 7, benefiting from the inside Post 1, while Grassroots stalwart Secret Grin gets Post 4.
The last member of Ainsworth’s pacing filly trio, Admired Beauty, will be handicapped by the outside Post 8 in the ninth race. Martwest Racing Stable, Boden and Larry Ainsworth of Petrolia share ownership on the homebred daughter of Apaches Fame, who has two wins, one second and one third to her credit through four Grassroots starts.
Like her stablemate, Ainsworth says Admired Beauty has been slightly off her peak form the last three starts, and he is hoping a return to the five-eighths oval and a bit of home field advantage will perk the pair up heading for the post season.
“I just want to get them back on their game. Winning would be a bonus,” he admits. “If they just race good I’ll be happy.”
Post time for Hiawatha Horse Park’s Thursday evening program is 7 pm, with the three-year-old pacing fillies wrapping up their Grassroots regular season in Races 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11.
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