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Hanover Raceway kicks off Grassroots season Saturday
May 26, 2009
By Sandra Snyder

HANOVER, ON — Hanover Raceway plays host to the 2009 Grassroots season opener this Saturday evening, welcoming 63 talented pacing fillies to the sophomore ranks.

With Grassroots purses guaranteed at $24,000 per division this season, a total of $192,000 is on the line at Hanover on Saturday, and Larry Hall is hoping to keep a piece of it circulating in the local area.

“I hope we get around, I hope we get a bit of it,” says the Tara resident of his three-year-old pacing filly Sauble Adelle, who will start from Post 5 in the third division.

Sauble Adelle heads into Saturday’s test off a third-place finish in a May 19 overnight event at Georgian Downs, but Hall has been somewhat disappointed with the homebred filly’s efforts since her return to racing this spring. When the daughter of D M Dilinger and Slam Shot wrapped up her freshman campaign with a strong third-place effort in a leg of the Autumn Series at Woodbine Racetrack in December, Hall opted to give her a rest in hopes that she would mature and emerge stronger for the sophomore campaign. However, after three starts the longtime horseman is second-guessing that decision.

“I thought she was better than she is last year. I should never have quit with her this winter,” reflects the trainer, who shares ownership on Sauble Adelle with Perry Siegrist Trucking of Allenford. “She didn’t come back like I thought she would.”

Saturday’s test will determine Hall’s future plans for the filly, a half-sister to $127,782 winner Sauble Justy, who was a Grassroots winner at two and three. If she can earn a share of the $24,000 up for grabs in the fourth race, she will earn another shot at the Grassroots level. If Sauble Adelle cannot hold her own against the top three-year-old fillies in the province, harness fans in the Tara area will likely catch her in an overnight event from Woodbine Racetrack televised at the Sulky Sam’s teletheatre operated by Hall’s wife Marilyn.

“She’s just a home-grown horse with four legs and a tail, and not much between the ears,” says Hall wryly. “I don’t think she’s a world beater.”

Among the fillies Sauble Adelle will be looking to best on Saturday are Champale Blue Chip, who heads into her first Ontario Sires Start on a three-race win streak and will start from Post 3, and Zegerid Lady, who was a 1:53.4 winner at Mohawk Racetrack on May 21 and will start from Post 6.

Saturday’s skirmish is the first of six Grassroots events in the regular season, followed by a pair of $30,000 Grassroots Semifinals and a $100,000 Grassroots Final on Nov. 1 at Rideau Carleton Raceway. The fillies battle for points through the regular season events, with the top 16 point earners advancing to the Semifinal round.

Hanover Raceway kicks off the sophomore pacing filly battle at 7:15 pm on Saturday, spotlighting the talented youngsters in Races 1, 2 and 4 through 9.

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