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OSS Fillies Break Hanover Record

Published: June 10, 2012 2:06 am ET

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Arthur resident Trevor Henry piloted not one, but two sophomore pacing fillies to track record performances in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots season opener at Hanover Raceway on Saturday evening.

Aboard fan favourite Machleen in the second Grassroots division, Henry fired the filly straight to the front from Post 1 and sailed around the Hanover half-mile to a one and three-quarter length victory in a track record 1:54.4, lowering Illusionist's mark by three-fifths of a second. Driving Miss Deo and She Machs Delight rounded out the top three finishers in the $24,000 contest.

The win was the first this season for Machleen, a Mach Three daughter bred and owned by trainer Mark Austin of Fergus and Leo Thibodeau of Windsor, Ont. Saturday’s appearance was also Machleen’s first in the Grassroots program and her first on a half-mile oval.

One race later Henry was back on the racetrack with local favourite Sauble Claire, owned and bred by Sauble Hill Farms of Tara, Ont. The pair left smartly from Post 3 and controlled the pace through fractions of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:26.1. Through the stretch Your Beautiful did her best to reel in the pacesetter, but Sauble Claire battled to a nose victory in a record-equalling 1:54.4. Your Beautiful had to settle for second, with Memumsnotnice wrapping up the third-place share.

Saturday’s win was Sauble Claire’s first of the season, through just two starts, and the second of her Ontario Sires Stakes career. The daughter of L H Stryker was also a Grassroots winner at Clinton Raceway last summer. Ayr resident Otis Hall conditions Sauble Claire.

Drivers Robert Shepherd and Paul Mackenzie also scored a pair of Grassroots victories on Hanover’s Saturday evening program.

Mackenzie struck pay dirt early, steering favourite Lyons Luck to a 1:56.1 score in the first division. The Camluck daughter was an effortless three and one-half length winner over Breezin On Bye and Eyemajet. The outing was the first this season for Lyons Luck, who is trained by James Ciaran Morrison for Joseph Lyons Mound of Burford, Ont.

Puslinch, Ont. resident Mackenzie returned to the winner’s circle following the 10th race, engineering a one length, 1:57 victory for Fine Art Mindale. Mackenzie piloted the Modern Art daughter to her third win of the season for trainer Jason Libby and owners Tina Seekman of Centreville, Michigan and Hal Hewitt of Versailles, Kentucky. Be Cruizin Home and favourite Apach Of Luck completed the triactor in the 10th race.

Like Henry, Shepherd’s victories were back-to-back affairs, coming in the seventh and eighth races. The Cambridge, Ont. resident teamed up with Dave Menary trainee Phoenix Seelster for a 1:56.2 score in the seventh, besting local filly Frown Upside Down, who is co-owned by William Brown of Hanover and trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, Ont., and Sunflower. Larry Menary of Cheltenham, Ont. and Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Ont. share ownership of Camluck daughter Phoenix Seelster, who is now three-for-nine in 2012.

Shepherd piloted his own filly Village Bound to a 1:56.4 victory in the eighth race for partner Joseph Travis of Chenango Bridge, New York. Bruisers Sister and Windsong Ivory finished two lengths back in second and third. Jeremes Jet daughter Village Bound now boasts a record of two wins, two seconds and two thirds through 10 starts this season.

The other Grassroots trophies went home with Insincerity, who halted the teletimer at 1:55; Grins Little Flirt, who was a 1:57.1 winner; Hiddenbrooke, who paced home in 1:56; and Pending Approval, who wrapped things up with a 1:57.2 mile.

There were also some special guests on hand to take in the first Ontario Sires Stakes night in Hanover this summer. Bruce-Grey Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker took time to convey his support for the horse racing industry, urging those in attendance to get the attention of the Liberal and NDP members of government, by writing them emails or letters of support for harness racing. He noted that the industry isn’t being treated fairly by the government and his words were answered with cheers from the large crowd on hand.

Hanover Mayor Kathi Maskell, and ORC chair Rod Seiling were also on hand to help with the trophy presentations.

The three-year-old pacing fillies will make their second Grassroots start of the season at Rideau Carleton Raceway on June 17, while Hanover Raceway hosts its next Grassroots event on July 21, welcoming the two-year-old trotting fillies for the second event of their Ontario Sires Stakes season.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Hanover Raceway.

(With files from OSS & Hanover Raceway)

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