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Ainsworth On Smashbox

Published: February 23, 2010 3:53 pm ET

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Smashbox, a four-year-old daughter of Mach Three, goes for the sweep of the Ontario Girls Pacing Series, Friday evening at Woodbine Racetrack.

Trained by Jim Ainsworth, driven by Rick Zeron, and owned by Larry Ainsworth, William Boden and Martwest Racing Stable, Smashbox has been a smash hit over the past two weeks, taking both legs of the Ontario Girls, each time as the mutuel favourite.

“To be honest, I’ve been waiting for her to do this,” said Jim Ainsworth. “She’s always had the talent, but now the maturity is starting to show.”

Two weeks ago, she notched a 2 ¼-length triumph in the curtain-opener of the Ontario Girls and then recorded her ninth career victory on February 19 in the second leg.

The bay mare paced home in :28.2, for a 1:54.3 victory on February 12, before stopping the teletimer in 1:53-flat on Saturday.

Leaving from post two in the single $20,000 division on February 19, Smashbox got away fourth in the field of 10 and watched as Cats Meow and Keepers Destiny swapped leads through an opening half of :55.2. Zeron brought Smashbox the outside in the third quarter and challenged Keepers Destiny at the third panel in 1:23.3.

At head stretch, Smashbox was still in hot pursuit of the leader. Digging down late, she finally wore down the pacesetter to win by 1 ½ lengths. Cats Meow took second, while Keepers Destiny was third.

Smashbox, who has nine wins, three seconds and two thirds from 16 career starts, paid $3.90 for the win.

“I wasn’t sure she was going to get there,” admitted Ainsworth. “At one point, I thought we’d be lucky to pick up a cheque. But she battled hard and got it done.

“I’m not being arrogant by saying this, but I really believe if she is on her game, she’s the one to beat,” continued Ainsworth. “She was sick at the end of December and we didn’t know what to expect in her first race back. But she raced super when she returned (a hard-closing fourth
on February 5, just two lengths back at the wire).”

Ainsworth has seen some telltale signs suggesting another return trip to the winner’s circle this Friday.

“You can tell when she’s ready to go,” said Ainsworth. “She’s pretty feisty. When she’s been bouncing around her stall, it’s a good sign. And today, that’s exactly what she was doing.”

As of press time, Friday's card of harness racing at Woodbine was not finalized.


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