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Brainy trotting filly has found her niche in the Grassroots
September 25, 2008
By Sandra Snyder

DUNDAS, ON — Flamboro Downs fans will have an opportunity to see the talented two-year-old trotting fillies in Grassroots action on Monday, Sept. 29, less than three weeks before the top point earners return to the Dundas oval for post season competition.

With two Grassroots trophies already ensconced in her owners’ display cases, Mapley is expected to be among the fillies making a return trip to Flamboro Downs, but trainer Chris Beaver says the trotter will have her hands full with a tough field in the second $20,000 skirmish on Monday.

“There’s some decent horses down inside of her. That might be trouble on a half-mile track, but she should still be part of the race anyway,” says the Rockwood resident, who trains Mapley for John Ryan Melsheimer of Hopewell, OH, and Tim Gentry and Scott Winegardner of Newark, OH. “She’s super handy. It seems like he can race her any way he wants.”

Regular reinsman Dave Boughton will steer Mapley from Post 5 in the third race on Monday. The fillies Beaver is concerned about include the division point leader Town Hall Babe at Post 3, and Sept. 12 Grassroots winner Larissa from Post 4. All three fillies started out their provincial campaigns in the Gold Series, but Beaver says Mapley has truly found her calling in the Grassroots program.

“She’s a really nice honest filly, good gaited, smart, but she doesn’t seem to me to have tremendous speed,” explains the horseman. “I think this is definitely her niche. She gets around the small tracks really well and she’s smart; she’ll let him put her in a hole, and she has a little burst of speed she can use at the end. The Grassroots really seem to work for her right now.”

Mapley has won both of her Grassroots starts and finished out of the money in her Gold Series debut and an Aug. 30 overnight at Georgian Downs. The Malabar Maple daughter is out of Striking Sahbra mare Immortal Sahbra, and Beaver says she bears a greater resemblance to the Striking Sahbra side of her pedigree than the Malabar Maple.

“That’s what she reminds me of, a Striking Sahbra,” acknowledges Beaver. “She’s very symmetrical, good gaited and clean going. She looks mature in her body, but she’s not heavy.”

Melsheimer and Gentry bred Mapley, and Melsheimer taught the filly her early lessons and sent her out in the July 28 Gold Elimination at Mohawk Racetrack before leaving her with Beaver. The Ohio native says that the filly has a been an easy going addition to his barn, and will only train lightly in preparation for her third Grassroots appearance.

The two-year-old trotting fillies have commandeered Races 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10 at Flamboro Downs on Monday for their second last Grassroots start. They make their final regular season start at Windsor Raceway before the top point earners return to Flamboro for a pair of Semifinals on Oct. 17.

Post time for this Monday’s exciting program is 6 pm.

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