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Trotting fillies impress their connections in Gold debuts
Two-year-old trotting fillies were the stars of the show at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening, making their Ontario Sires Stakes debuts in a trio of $70,000 Gold Series divisions.
Winter Sweet Frost kicked things off in the first race with an effortless front-end tour of the Innisfil oval, clocking fractions of :30.2, :59.3 and 1:29.4 on her way to a 1:59.3 victory. Lady Justice closed to within one-half length of the pacesetter to secure second-place honours and Gravitator was a length back in third.
“She raced good tonight,” said driver Doug McNair. “The track hasn’t been that fast up there, so to go a mile in 1:59.3, I think that’s a pretty good mile for a two-year-old trotting filly’s first lifetime start.”
The Guelph, ON resident piloted Winter Sweet Frost to victory for trainer Paul Reid of De Leon Springs, FL and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The Kadabra daughter was sent off as the fan favourite after winning a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack on June 10 and 24, and McNair said he was impressed with the filly long before she made her public debut.
“The main thing about her is she’s nice gaited and she’s smart,” said McNair, who first sat behind Winter Sweet Frost in a spring training mile. “You can make a lot of money with one’s like that, rather than a high speed one that’s half crazy.”
After finishing third with Gravitator, driver Sylvian Filion found the winner’s circle in the second Gold division, piloting On A Sunny Day to a come-from-behind victory in 1:59. The duo reeled in pacesetter Sweet Of My Heart and pocket sitter Im Peekers, reaching the wire one-half length the best.
“She really impressed me,” said Filion, who crafted the victory for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and Determination of Montreal, QC. “That was the first time I sat behind her, but Luc always told me he really, really liked her and you know what, he was right. She was real impressive tonight.”
Blais also bred the daughter of Muscle Mass, who prepped for her Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) debut with qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack on June 16 and 24, finishing fourth and second, respectively.
“Her last baby race she came a last quarter in :27.1,” noted Milton, ON resident Filion. “She’s a handy filly, she’s pretty easy to drive, she’s pretty mature for her age, and she’s got wicked speed, so it’s a good combination.”
Filion, who was the leading reinsman in the OSS in 2015, was also impressed with Gravitator’s third-place result.
“I really liked the way she raced tonight, we got interfered with, were gapped, and she was still only beat a length and a half or something like that,” said the reinsman. “She came a very good last half.”
Blais trains the Kadabra daughter, a full-sister to former OSS star and $870,153 winner Prestidigitator, for Determination. She was an $80,000 acquisition from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale.
The final Gold division was captured by Janderson and driver Paul MacDonell, who swept by duelling leaders Mass Psychology and Majestic Kat in the stretch and pulled away to a three length victory in 1:59.3.
“The race set up kind of nice for her, she got away third in a nice spot there, and then the first and second horses went at it kind of hard down the backstretch, which kind of made the race for her,” said MacDonell.
“In her only qualifier she did have a lot of trot on the end of her mile, so I was a little bit confident,” added the reinsman, who tipped the filly out three-wide around the final turn to take clear aim on the finish line.
MacDonell pilots the Muscle Mass filly for trainer Mike Keeling of Cambridge and owners Dr. Roly Armitage of Dunrobin and James Armitage of Carp, ON. A $14,000 purchase from the Canadian Open Yearling Sale, Janderson learned her early lessons from the Armitage’s before making the move to Keeling’s barn.
“They trained her down in the Ottawa area and then they sent her to Mike just recently,” noted MacDonell. “They did a good job with her, a very nice job.
“They were pretty pumped, it was a big win for them,” the Guelph, ON resident added.
The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Gold Series start on July 19 at Mohawk Racetrack.
This Saturday, July 9, Georgian Down will welcome the two-year old trotting colts to Innisfil for their Gold Series debuts. The evening’s first race gets under way at 7:15 pm.
For complete results please visit Georgian Downs Results — Tuesday, July 5, 2016