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Holmes Not Surprised By Filly's Success


Published: October 1, 2009 10:25 am ET

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With 100 points through three Grassroots starts, Quiteasassybanana has emerged as solid player on the three-year-old pacing filly scene, enjoying success that has not come as a total surprise to owner and breeder Ross Holmes.

"When she was two, we liked her, so it wasn’t a monster surprise that she’s come along," said the resident of Ilderton, Ont., as Quiteasassybanana prepares for Monday’s Ontario Sires stakes Grassroots event at Western Fair Raceway. "She’s having a really good year. We’re quite satisfied with her."

Through 14 starts, the daughter of Grinfromeartoear--Nadine Seelster has accumulated seven wins and one second for earnings of $112,967. In three Grassroots appearances, the filly has a pair of victories, and she currently sits tied for eighth in the divisional standings heading into the last regular season event.

Bruce Richardson will steer Quiteasassybanana from the outside Post 7 in Monday’s second race, a position on the racetrack the filly has grown used to in recent weeks. She landed the outside Post 8 for a Grassroots start at Rideau Carleton Raceway on August 8 and the outside Post 9 for the September 10 Grassroots skirmish at Hiawatha Horse Park.

"I was kind of hoping we’d catch somewhere in the middle of the track," admitted Holmes. "We’ll just keep our fingers crossed, hope for some racing luck and see what happens from there."

After he saw the post position draw, Holmes spent some time trying to evaluate the filly’s chances of securing a berth in the Grassroots Semifinal at Rideau Carleton Raceway on October 25. The top 16 point earners advance to the post season, with the top four finishers from each Semifinal earning a berth in the $100,000 Grassroots Championship on November 1.

"I had intentions of trying to figure out if we need any more points to get in, but there are so many combinations, if somebody wins or comes second, you’ve just got to go out and do your best and go from there," said the longtime owner.

While he was disappointed in the outside post, Holmes is confident in Quiteasassybanana’s ability to navigate the turns on Western Fair’s half-mile oval. Five of the filly’s seven victories have come over half-mile racetracks.

"She’s actually a lot better on a half," noted Holmes. "She leans into those corners and doesn’t miss a beat."

Aggressive on the racetrack, Holmes says Quiteasassybanana is a pussy cat around the barn, quite different from the temperament that prompted her name when she was a weanling.

"My grandson kind of named her 'Banana' out in the barn, in the run-in shed," Holmes recalled. "Then just when we were getting ready to wean her she developed a little bit of an attitude, so we added quite a sassy, to his banana."

Sarnia resident Jim Ainsworth trains the filly, and prepped her for Monday’s contest with an overnight event at Mohawk Racetrack on September 24, where she finished a locked-in seventh in a 1:53.4 mile.

The second race is the first of six $24,000 Grassroots divisions on Western Fair Raceway’s Monday afternoon program, which gets under way at 3:35 p.m. The three-year-old pacing fillies wrap up their Grassroots regular season in Races 2, 4, 5, 6, 11 and 12.

To view Western Fair Raceway's harness racing entries for Monday, click here.


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