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OSS Trotting Fillies To Grand River

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Published: June 5, 2009 12:35 am ET

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Grand River Raceway opens its exciting 2009 Ontario Sires Stakes season on Monday, June 8 with six $24,000 Grassroots divisions for the province’s talented three-year-old trotting fillies.

Arthur resident Bruce Richardson will steer three fillies in their Grassroots season opener, two for trainer Susie Kerwood, and one that he owns and trains. First out of the gate is Hollycrest, who makes her Grassroots debut from Post 5 in the second division.

“I’ve only driven her once,” notes Richardson, who will pilot the filly for Kerwood and owner-breeders Langcrest Farm of Grand Valley. “She is an average size filly, very green.”

The Angus Hall daughter made just three starts as a two-year-old, and has three starts under her belt heading into Monday’s Grassroots contest, logging a pair of fourths. She will face off against four other locally owned fillies, including Girlsruleboyslose, a 2:01.4 winner at Grand River on May 18 and one of four Grassroots starters from the Arthur-based Henry Stable.

Richardson’s second outing will come aboard Hettieslittlelily, an In Conchnito daughter he owns in partnership with Gord Smellie and Arden Edmonson of Arthur. Last season Hettieslittlelily delivered one win and one second in six starts for earnings of $19,100, with the win coming in Grassroots action at Sudbury Downs in early August.

With a pair of lacklustre overnight starts under her belt this season, the filly will be looking to jump start her sophomore career from Post 5 in the sixth race.

“She was just consistent last year,” says Richardson. “I thought she’d come back real good, but she’s been a disappointment so far, to me and the owners.”

The reinsman will make his final bid for a Grassroots trophy with Dutchess Seelster, who was a two-time Grassroots winner last season and finished fourth in the Grassroots Championship under Richardson’s guidance.

Rockwood resident Kerwood trains Dutchess Seelster for her partners Garth Bechtel of Caledon and Glenn Bechtel of Kingston, and the conditioner has prepped the filly for Monday’s skirmish with a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack.

“This will be her first race of the year, I haven’t sat behind her yet,” notes Richardson, who will send the filly after Grassroots glory from Post 4. “She raced good last year.”

Coming off a solid 1:59.2 third-place finish in her June 1 qualifier, Dutchess Seelster will be among the favourites in the ninth race. The Duke Of York daughter faces off against a cast of Ontario Sires Stakes veterans, including Grassroots Champion Stonebridge Marita, who makes her second start of the season from Post 8.

The three-year-old pacing fillies will star in Races 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 10 on Grand River Raceway’s Monday evening program, which gets under way at 7 p.m.

To view Monday’s entries, click here.


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