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McNair Hits Grassroots Double

Published: May 31, 2009 12:19 am ET

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Walkerton native Gregg McNair and his son Doug teamed up for a pair of Grassroots victories at Hanover Raceway on Saturday evening.

Doug McNair piloted a starter in all eight Grassroots divisions, but he did not find his way to the winner’s circle until the sixth race when he put Stonebridge Breeze on the front end and cruised home a three and one half length winner in 2:01.

Starting from Post 4, Stonebridge Breeze had established a healthy two length margin by the time she reached the :29.1 opening quarter. White Ice (Brad Forward) tried to reel in the pacesetter through the 1:00.3 half and 1:31.1 three-quarters, but as the three-year-old pacing fillies straightened out for the stretch drive McNair shifted Stonebridge Breeze into high gear and simply pulled away from the field.

White Ice stayed game for second, with fan favourite Ashtreos (Scott Zeron) settling for third off a tough three-wide trip over a rain soaked oval rated three seconds slower than normal.

Gregg McNair, who now makes his home in Guelph, trains Stonebridge Breeze for breeder Angie Stiller of Arva and Artana Stables of St. Thomas. Saturday’s outing was the Camluck daughter’s first sophomore start and boosted her lifetime bank balance to $74,110.

The McNair Stable made its second appearance in front of the Hanover Raceway photographer one race later when Icey Breeze delivered a game effort to pick up her first victory of the sophomore campaign.

Getting away fourth from the advantageous Post 1, McNair and Icey Breeze watched Grin A Peg (Anthony MacDonald) and Cartlyn Creek (Scott Zeron) battle to a :28.2 opening quarter. As Grin A Peg marched on to a 1:00 half, McNair sent Icey Breeze up the outside and the Western Terror daughter had taken a commanding lead well before the 1:29.4 three-quarters.

Turning for home Icey Breeze was four lengths in front of her closest rival, and although Kiss The Glass (Anthony Haughan) was able to narrow the margin to half a length, fan favourite Icey Breeze held on for the 2:00 victory. Ardor Locke (Brad Watt) rounded out the top three in the sixth $24,000 division.

Mary Clark of Inglewood and Raymond Kwok of North York share ownership on Icey Breeze, who battled at the Gold Series level as a two-year-old, earning $109,749 from one win and five seconds in 16 starts.

Quiteasassybanana kicked off the Grassroots excitement with an impressive 1:59.2 score that would not be bettered through the remainder of the evening. Starting from Post 1, Arthur resident Bruce Richardson sent Quiteasassybanana to the front and the pair carved out fractions of :28, :59.2 and 1:30 on their way to a four length victory.

Jim Ainsworth trains Quiteasassybanana for breeder Ross Holmes of Ilderton, and has sent the filly behind the gate five times since her April 17 debut in qualifying action at Mohawk Racetrack. The Grinfromeartoear daughter has recorded two wins and one second for earnings of $25,250.

Chief Karen (Simon Allard) and Full Circle Tamara (Anthony Haughan) completed the triactor in the first Grassroots division.

The other Grassroots victors were Mach Me Not in 2:00.1; Champale Blue Chip in 2:00.1; Kesons Avaia in 2:01.2; Precious Art in 2:03; and Farmers Tuition in 2:01.

The three-year-old pacing fillies will now begin preparations for their second Grassroots match-up on June 19 at Flamboro Downs.

Hanover Raceway hosts its second Grassroots event on Saturday, Aug. 8, rolling out the red carpet for the always exciting two-year-old pacing fillies.

In other Hanover action, the five-year-old Mr Lavec trotter, On Demand, extended his win streak to seven on Saturday for Terry Oenema, who trains for Rachel Oenema of Burgessville, Ont. Under the guidance of Doug McNair, On Demand overcame the outside Post 8 in sloppy conditions and survived a first-over journey to win in 2:04 by a length and a half in the third race.

The bay gelding now has seven wins in nine starts this year with over $30,000 earned. The eight-time winner has earned $35,186 in her career.

To view Saturday’s results, click here.

(With files from OSS)

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