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'Diva' Notches Fifth Grassroots Win

Published: October 17, 2009 1:00 am ET

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Grassroots division leader Stonebridge Diva fought her way to a flawless record in regular season action with a narrow victory at Georgian Downs on Friday evening.

The three-year-old trotting filly and driver Kevin Wallis charged off the Georgian Downs starting gate from Post 8 and reached the opening quarter in :28.3. The pair proceeded to ring up fractions of :59.4 and 1:30.1 before digging hard in the stretch to earn a quarter length victory over Skyla (Jacques Hebert) in 1:59.3. Kor Mel Lil Lady (Bill O'Donnell) rounded out the top three in the second $24,000 Grassroots division.

The victory gave Stonebridge Diva a flawless record of five wins in five regular season Grassroots starts for a total of 250 points. Gro Formia trains the talented daughter of Angus Hall and Velvia for breeder Angie Stiller of Arva and Robert Kauffman of New Albany, Ohio.

Baskin Wonder stepped off the sharpest mile of the five Grassroots divisions with a 1:57.2 score in the sixth race. Starting from Post 1, Gary Wallace landed the filly in third on the rail and followed early pacesetter Starbux Eden (Trevor Henry) through fractions of :28.4 and :59.2 before taking command of the race heading for the 1:28.1 three-quarters. Sprinting home, the Fourth And One filly reached the wire seven and three-quarter lengths ahead of Serenas Genie (John Kovacs) and Trinity Elaine (Jacques Hebert) in 1:57.2.

Troy resident Alan Wallace owns and trains Baskin Wonder, who moved into fifth spot in the final point standings with the win. Through 15 starts the filly has accumulated three wins, six seconds and one third this season for earnings of $66,665.

Daylon Mystique delivered an impressive effort up the outside from Post 7 to earn her fourth Grassroots victory of the season in the first division. In rein to trainer Wayne Henry, the Amigo Hall daughter travelled up the outside for the last half of the mile and stepped out in the stretch to claim a three length victory over Striking Fashion (Dan Clements) and Maplewood (Bill O'Donnell) in 1:58.2.

Henry trains Daylon Mystique for his partners in the Henry Stable and Daniel McCann of Parkhill. The filly has four win and two thirds to her credit through 12 sophomore starts, adding $62,320 to the $186,633 she earned as a freshman.

Easter Bonnet moved from eighteenth into a four-way tie for eighth in the standings with a 1:58.1 victory in the last division. The Berndt Hanover daughter and driver Simon Allard finished four lengths ahead of Brie Seelster (Mike Langdon), with Girlsruleboyslose (Trevor Henry) five more lengths back in third.

Trained by Richard Moreau for Ecuries Guy Gagnon Inc. of Gatineau, and Ecurie Richard Moreau Inc. of Terrebonne, Que., Easter Bonnet has two wins, three seconds and one third to her credit through 12 starts.

Another Vixen posted a 1:57.4 victory in the other division, but will have to cross her fingers that one of the top 16 fillies fails to enter for the Grassroots Semifinal at Rideau Carleton Raceway on October 25. The Kadabra lass sits in seventeenth spot in the standings with 100 points earned through two Grassroots victories in two starts.

With only six sophomore starts, Another Vixen has tallied two wins, two seconds, one third and earnings of $26,435 for trainer Shane Weber and owners Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines.

The top 16 point earners will begin preparations for the Grassroots Semifinal round in Ottawa on October 25. The top four finishers from each Semifinal will return to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Nov. 1 to battle in the $100,000 Grassroots Championship.

Friday’s sophomore trotting filly contest wrapped up Georgian Downs’ 2009 Ontario Sires Stakes season, which was highlighted by the second annual Gold Rush in July. The Innisfil oval played host to five different provincial divisions at both the Grassroots and Gold Series levels.

To view Friday's harness racing results, click here.

(With files from OSS)

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