Stage Set For 'Battles' In Elora

Grand River Raceway is just one week away from hosting its biggest card of the year, but in order to have that ‘monster matinee’ an elimination round was needed to determine the finalists for the main events.

Three eliminations for the Battle Of The Belles and a set of eliminations for the Battle Of Waterloo highlighted Monday’s 11-race card, and the youngsters put on quite a show in those five contests.

Tempus Seelster kicked off the card with a front-stepping score in her $10,000 Battle Of The Belles elimination. Trainer/driver Travis Henry sent her to the front and chopped out fractions of :28, :56.2 and 1:26 before sealing the deal with a :30.1 closing panel. She stopped the clock in 1:56.1 while defeating Sports Expert and Heavenly Bet.

Benbar Stables, Glen Wark and Craig Wood share ownership on the daughter of Big Jim-The Patriot. In just three lifetime starts the youngster has racked up a 2-0-1 record while stashing away $16,160 in earnings. She was a $10,000 purchase from last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale.

In the second elimination Free Show was a gate-to-wire winner in 1:55.4 for driver Jody Jamieson. He put the daughter of Badlands Hanover-Free Admission on the lead from Post 5 and successfully led the group through intervals of :28, :57.4 and 1:27.3 before storming home in :28.1 to win in 1:55.4. Bold Amoretto was second best, with Betty Hill taking home the show dough.

Dave Menary trains the maiden-breaking winner for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. She’s banked $40,000 to date.

Mattjestic Tempo also used ‘catch me if you can’ tactics to capture the final Battle Of The Belles elimination. Doug McNair barked out the orders behind the Blake MacIntosh student who sliced out splits of :28.2, :56.4 and 1:26.2 before kicking home in a :29-second clip to win in 1:55.2. Golden Idol was the runner-up, while Im In Luv took home the show dough.

MacIntosh owns the daughter of Royal Mattjesty-Daylon Tempo with Stu McIntosh and Brett Authier. The partners have watched her assemble a 2-1-0 record in four starts. The career winner of $21,000 was a $9,000 purchase from last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale.

The first of two Battle Of Waterloo eliminations went to Semi Automatic in a dazzling clocking of 1:53.4. James MacDonald was parked and driving past the quarter-pole leader Senior K, who supplied the first panel in :26.4. Semi Automatic brushed by that foe and proceeded to throw down solid fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.4 before cruising home in a :30-second clip to defeat Imsporty and Carolina Hurricane. The clocking was a new track record for two-year-old pacing geldings, and it matched the Canadian record for two-year-old pacing geldings. He tied the record set by Nebupanezzar at Flamboro Downs in 2008.

Trainer Tony O’Sullivan co-owns the son of Badlands Hanover-Topgun Lady Let It Ride Stables Inc of Boca Raton, FL. The gelding now boasts a 1-1-1 record from three tries in addition to a cash stash of $37,600 thanks to his win in his $15,000 assignment.

Magnum J took the other elimination in 1:54.3 for Team McNair. The son of Big Jim-Jamirotoy and driver Doug McNair whacked out panels of :27.4, :58.2 and 1:27 before kicking home in :27.3 to seal the deal over Chalk Player and Stonebridge Beach.

Trainer Greg McNair co-owns the gelding with Tony Lawrence and William Brown of Hanover, ON. The partners, who shelled out $10,000 to purchase the youngster from last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale, watched him break his maiden in fine style while boosting his bankroll to $13,100.

Post positions for both ‘Battles’ were drawn once the eliminations were complete. Here are the results of those post draws:

$207,397 Battle Of Waterloo
1. Think On It
2. Stonebridge Beach
3. A Bettors Risk
4. Carolina Hurricane
5. Continual Hanover
6. Im Sporty
7. Magnum J
8. Chalk Player
9. Semi Automatic

$141,246 Battle Of The Belles
1. Golden Idol
2. Mattjestic Tempo
3. Im In Luv
4. Free Show
5. Betty Hill
6. Sports Expert
7. Heavenly Bet
8. Bold Amoretto
9. Tempus Seelster

To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Grand River Raceway.

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