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Pacing colts impressive at Woodstock in spite of rain
September 13, 2008
By Sandra Snyder

WOODSTOCK, ON — Rain soaked the Woodstock Raceway oval on Saturday afternoon, but the talented two-year-old pacing colts still delivered lightning fast performances in seven $20,000 Grassroots divisions.

Thunderfist delivered the flashiest effort of the seven, rocketing around a track rated two seconds slower than normal to a 1:58.3 triumph. Starting from Post 2, driver Jason Brewer settled Thunderfist in behind fan favourite Fast Pay as that colt cruised to a :28.2 opening quarter and a :57.4 half. Heading by the 1:27.3 three-quarters Brewer sent Thunderfist up the outside to the lead and the son of Astreos accelerated away from his peers to the four length victory.

Seymour Dinomyte and Medoland Glenno rounded out the top three.

Charlottetown, PEI resident Dr. Ian Moore trains Thunderfist for his partners R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, NB, Serge Savard of Saint-Bruno, QC, and Roger Burns of North Rustico, PEI. Through 10 starts the colts now boasts a record of two wins and two seconds for earnings of $19,503. Saturday’s win boosted him from nineteenth in the Grassroots point standings into a tie for sixth with two regular season events remaining.

Sons of Astreos dominated Saturday’s Grassroots program, capturing five of the seven divisions. Jason Brewer piloted a second son of the top ranked Ontario sire to victory in the fourth race, employing similar tactics to land Shortstacked his second straight Grassroots trophy.

From Post 6, Brewer floated Shortstacked down into the flow and was sitting third on the outside when The Boss reached the quarter pole in :29.3. Before the :59.1 half Brewer had found the colt a spot next to the rail, but the pair enjoyed just a brief stay before tipping back out heading by the 1:29.1 three-quarters.

Sitting third at the top of the stretch, Shortstacked kicked into high gear and sprinted down the lane to a two and three-quarter length victory in 1:59.2. Pacesetter The Boss had to settle for second, while challenger Contemporary Art picked up the third-place share.

Shortstacked has captured eight of nine starts since making his debut in Carlinville, IL on July 14. Trainer Ervin Miller of Springfield, IL shares ownership on the talented youngster with Omer Miller of Humboldt, IL and Nelson Herschberger of Tuscola, IL.

Brad Forward also teamed a pair of Astreos sons to victory at Woodstock on Saturday. The current leader in the Ontario Sires Stakes driver’s standings, Forward engineered a quarter length win for Sterling Chris in the first division, reeling in pacesetter and fan favourite Riopelle and Daylon Ace.

The 2:03 victory was the second in six starts for Sterling Chris, who is trained by James ‘Friday’ Dean for breeder John Fielding of Toronto.

Forward completed the driving double in the seventh race, eking out a head win for Lyons Sign in 2:01.4. Bill Robinson trains the first time Grassroots winner for Joseph Lyons Mound of Flint Shire, England.

Fan favourite Medoland Machoman duelled his way to second, while Mr Coolie was just over a length back in third.

Astreos son In A Craze jumped out to a commanding lead in the division point race with his third Grassroots victory, halting the Woodstock teletimer at 2:00 in the fifth race. In rein to Robert Shepherd, In A Craze led the field from start to finish, reaching the wire three-quarters of a length up on Western Heart and four and half lengths ahead of second choice Rustlers Ambition.

Hall of Fame horseman Keith Waples trains the winner of $32,575 for his partners in the Shady Hill Racing Stable of Guelph and Charles Muylaert of Nobleton.

The other Grassroots divisions went to Modern Art son The Ladies Man in 2:00.4 and Peruvian Hanover colt Pictonian Pride in 2:00.2.

The two-year-old pacing colt’s impressive efforts completed the 2008 Ontario Sires Stakes engagements at Woodstock Raceway. The colts make their second last Grassroots start at Dresden Raceway on Sept. 28 before heading to Flamboro Downs on Oct. 8 for the last regular season event.

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