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Champion Fillies Back In Spotlight

Published: June 14, 2015 12:28 am ET

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Last season’s Grassroots champion Stonebridge Quest took a direct route back to the Ontario Sires Stakes winner’s circle in the three-year-old pacing filly season opener at Georgian Downs on Saturday evening.

Starting from Post 1 in the second $18,000 Grassroots division, Stonebridge Quest and driver Nick Steward took immediate command and reached the first quarter in :26.4. From there the Camluck daughter rolled to a :57 half and a 1:25 three-quarters before cruising home to a two and three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:53. Windsun Chanel and fan favourite Cottonwood Creek rounded out the top three.

“She started off the season relatively slow, but she seems to have resumed her form,” said trainer Andrew McCabe after the race. “It maybe just took a few starts to get her condition back.”

McCabe conditions Stonebridge Quest for Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa, Ont. and breeder Angie Stiller of Arva, Ont. Out of Stiller’s prolific mare Glacier Express, Stonebridge Quest is a full-sister to $801,785 winner Stonebridge Tonic, $530,665 winner Stonebridge On Ice, and $122,923 winner Stonebridge Breeze.

“She’s following in the footsteps of a great family,” noted McCabe. “If she can be half as successful as they were/are, we’ll be ecstatic.”

The Rockwood, Ont. resident added that Stonebridge Quest’s victory is a team effort that includes Glenview Livestock manager Shaun McDonald and the filly’s caretaker Lacey Lamoureux. Through four starts this season Stonebridge Quest has now tallied one win, one second and one third for earnings of $16,650.

Last year’s Super Final winner also made her sophomore Ontario Sires Stakes debut at Georgian Downs on Saturday. Code One Hanover and driver Mike Saftic led from start to finish in the third division, holding off Warrawee Qually in the stretch to secure the 1:52.3 victory. Machmeter finished third.

Cambridge, Ont. resident Jack Darling owns and trains Code One Hanover, who had also failed to find the winner’s circle in her first four starts this season. The Sportswriter daughter captured one Gold leg and the Super Final at two, banking $182,325. Saturday’s Grassroots victory bumped Code One Hanover’s lifetime earnings to $199,975.

Promesse Duharas wove through traffic in the stretch to grab the evening’s first Grassroots trophy for driver/trainer Stuart Sowerby of Guelph, Ont. The Art Colony daughter reeled in Black Queen and Wicked Speed to claim the one length victory in a personal best 1:55.1.

Saturday’s appearance was Promesse Duharas’ first in Ontario Sires Stakes action and her eighth lifetime start. Since her March debut the filly boasts a record of four wins and two seconds, banking $21,175 for owner-breeder Haras De L’Estrie Inc. of Dunham, Que.

Twin B Honour captured the fourth division, holding off Amazing Control and OK Heavenly for a neck victory in 1:53.3. Alfie Carroll guided the Sportswriter daughter to her first sophomore victory for trainer Victor Puddy and owner Percy Elkins of Milton, Ont. Elkins now has three Grassroots trophies on his mantel courtesy of Twin B Honour, who was a two-time winner last season.

OK Heartbeat got a neck in front of pacesetter Southwind Luna to earn her first lifetime victory in the fifth Grassroots division. Clarke Steacy drove the Mach Three daughter to the 1:54 victory for his father, trainer Mark Steacy, and owners Oak Knoll Stables of Campbellcroft, Ont., Higgs Boys Stable of Gananoque, Ont, Conrad Leber of Montreal, Que. and Wheelhouse Racing Stable of Mississauga, Ont. Southwind Geisha rounded out the top three.

The final Grassroots trophy went home with Southwind Mischief, who stalked pacesetter Franney Love Dat for much of the mile, pulling away in the stretch to a three-length victory in 1:54.2. Sassafras Girl closed well to be third.

A Gold leg winner at two, Southwind Mischief was piloted to her first win of 2015 by Robert Shepherd. The Sportswriter daughter is trained by Casie Coleman for her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Ont., breeder Southwind Farms LLC of Pennington, New Jersey and Adriano Sorella of Milton, Ont.

The three-year-old pacing fillies make their second Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 24. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Georgian Downs on Saturday, July 4 with the third Grassroots event of the season for the three-year-old pacing colts.

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

(OSS)


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