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Freshman OSS season gets under way at Grand River Raceway
July 6, 2010
By Sandra Snyder

ELORA, ON — A pair of lightly regarded homebreds with half-mile track savvy were the first two-year-old Ontario Sires Stakes winners of the 2010 season on Monday night, competing in a pair of $40,000 Gold Eliminations at Grand River Raceway.

The two-year-old pacing fillies raised the curtain on the Elora oval’s Monday evening program, and Modern Connection got things off to an impressive start with a 1:56.4 victory from the outside Post 7.

With Guelph, ON native Doug McNair in the race bike, Modern Connection fired away from the starting gate and was sitting second when the field reached the :28.3 opening quarter. Through fractions of :56.2 and 1:26.4, McNair saved ground on the rail, popping out in the stretch to snatch a half-length victory away from fan favourite Lyons Puddin Pie. Shipps Xanadu rounded out the top three, with fourth-place finisher Brush With Royalty also advancing to next Monday’s $130,000 Gold Final.

Joe Seekman trains Modern Connection for Yousif S. Yousif of Chesterfield, MI and Ameer Najor of Detroit, MI. The trainer prepped the Modern Art daughter for her Ontario Sires Stakes debut in Illinois with a June 16 qualifier at Balmoral Park, which she won in 2:00.4, and a June 24 qualifier over Maywood Park’s half-mile oval, where a snappy :27.3 last quarter propelled her to a runner-up finish in 1:59.2.

Modern Connection is the second foal of $176,234 winner Cambest Connection, whose first offspring is the $122,947 winning Artsplace filly Artcam. She will make her bid for Ontario Sires Stakes Gold from Post 4 in next week’s final.

Like Modern Connection, Sauble Joyce prepped for Monday’s test with a start over a half-mile track, and that experience stood the Million Dollar Cam miss in good stead in the second elimination.

In rein to Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry, Sauble Joyce hustled away from Post 4 and dropped into second on the rail behind early pacesetter Montenegro. Through fractions of :28.3 and :58.3, Henry was content to sit behind the leader, but heading for the 1:27.3 three-quarters he sent Sauble Joyce after the lead. The filly took command easily and cruised home to a 1:56 score.

Fan favourite Lyons Carrie finished one and a half lengths behind in second, with Montenegro three more lengths back in third. In spite of making an early break and finishing 16 lengths behind the leader, fourth-place finisher Modern Wind also advanced to the Gold Final.

Tara, ON resident Larry Hall bred, owns and trains Sauble Joyce, a fourth generation product of his Sauble Hill Farms breeding operation. The young pacer qualified at Mohawk Racetrack on June 19, finishing second with a 2:01 effort, then made the short trip to Hanover Raceway for a June 26 overnight event. Competing against older fillies and mares, Sauble Joyce finished second by one-quarter length in 2:00.

Sauble Joyce is the second foal from Hall’s mare Sauble Gert, who earned $102,339 in her racing career, but was unable to reach the top of the podium during her Ontario Sires Stakes career. Sauble Joyce will make her bid for a Gold Final crown from Post 6 in the July 12 final.

The remainder of the $130,000 Gold Final field will line up behind Grand River Raceway’s starting gate as follows:

Post 1 Lyons Carrie

Post 2 Montenegro

Post 3 Brush With Royalty

Post 4 Modern Connection

Post 5 Shipps Xanadu

Post 6 Sauble Joyce

Post 7 Modern Wind

Post 8 Lyons Puddin Pie

For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0705grvrn.dat.