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McNair Discusses Sires Stakes Fillies

Published: July 14, 2016 4:31 pm ET

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Two-year-old pacing fillies will take centre stage at Clinton Raceway this Sunday (July 17) as the Ontario Sires Stakes program will make the first of its three stops at the half-mile oval.

Trainer Gregg McNair will harness two fillies in the Grassroots contest, and Loves Angel has already tested her skills over the Clinton surface.

“I qualified them about a week earlier than we normally do, so I was kind of looking for a race for her,” McNair explained. “I knew she was going to race there, so I thought I’d just see how she got around the place.”

In spite of competing against a group of older fillies and mares, and starting from the outside Post 7, Loves Angel finished second in the June 26 test. The filly’s next start came in the July 8 Grassroots opener at Mohawk Racetrack where she led for most of the mile before fading to eighth in the stretch.

“She really didn’t race that good. We were kind of disappointed in her, but we’ve had some sickness going through our barn,” explained McNair, who added that the filly seems to have bounced back from her bout of sickness and should be back on form for Sunday’s test.

“She trained down [well], she’s a [well-bred] mare, too,” noted McNair, who purchased the half-sister to $292,179 Sir Lehigh Z Tam from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $20,000. “She’s on the small side, but [she’s] done everything pretty good all winter.”

The Guelph, Ont. resident shares ownership of Loves Angel with Jim Newton of Thornhill, Ont. and Kenneth Newton of Biggar, SK. McNair’s son, Doug, will steer the filly from Post 6 in the first $18,000 Grassroots division.

McNair’s second entry, Shewearsthepants, will start from Post 3 in the second division. A recent arrival in Ontario, the daughter of Big Jim was sent to McNair from Pennsylvania-based trainer Roly Mallar.

“I asked him how she’d be in Clinton, and he said he always trains over a half. He said it shouldn’t be a big problem with her,” said McNair, who will get his first good look at the filly’s ability on Sunday. “She’s flighty enough, she’ll likely be worked up fairly good there Sunday, so I hope she does all right. Time wise she looks like she’s got enough speed to maybe contend with them.”

Before shipping north, Shewearsthepants clocked a 1:55.1 mile in a July 8 two-year-old event at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Anatolia Farm LLC of New Holland, PA bred and owns Shewearsthepants, who is a half-sister to $136,164 winner Gymokee Jerry.

Fans can get involved in Sunday’s Ontario Sires Stakes action by entering the ‘Be A Winner’ contest. One finalist will be selected from each of the Be A Winner ballot boxes representing the horses in the contest race. Finalists receive an OSS t-shirt, ball hat, and lanyard badge along with a $15 win-place-show wager on their selected horse, and will gather trackside to cheer home their chosen filly. The finalist representing the winning filly will join her connections in the winner’s circle celebrations and receive a trophy, an OSS jacket and golf shirt, a commemorative photo and a $50 wagering voucher.

In addition to playing the ‘Be A Winner’ contest and watching the juvenile fillies battle in Grassroots action, fans can also enjoy the barbecue and bake sale that will be hosted by the Major Atom and Major Peewee Huron Perth Lakers. The Huron Perth Lakers Day at the Races also features a raffle and 50-50 draw.

The first race on Clinton Raceway’s action-packed Sunday afternoon program will head behind the starting gate at 1:30 p.m., and the two-year-old pacing fillies will star in Races 2, 6 and 9.


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