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Plante, Mackenzie Double In Grassroots

Published: July 28, 2012 12:46 am ET

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Fans at Grand River Raceway on Friday evening were treated to seven impressive performances by Ontario’s talented three-year-old pacing fillies.

Driver J.R. Plante led off the evening with two straight appearances in the Grand River winner’s circle, guiding Aubsession to a win in the first $24,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots division and Twin B Elite to victory in the second.

Starting from Post 1, Plante and Aubsession charged off the gate to a :27.4 opening quarter and refused to relinquish the lead through a :56.4 half and 1:26.1 three-quarters. Fan favourite Taras Jet, owned by John Fewster and Chris Matthews of Guelph and Desmond Scott of Orangeville, did her best to reel in the pacesetter through the stretch, but Aubsession held on for a half length victory in 1:56.1. Thats Mara rounded out the top three.

Plante engineered the front end victory for trainer Bill Budd and owners Jocelyne Gagnon of Hamilton and Gloria Aubertin of Dunnville. Friday’s victory was the Lis Mara daughter’s first in Ontario Sires Stakes action and her third lifetime, boosting her earnings to $21,745.

The reinsman opted for the same formula in the second division, sending Twin B Elite to the front from Post 5 and rolling through fractions of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:24.4 en route to an impressive four length victory in 1:55.1. Hiddenbrooke and Grins Little Flirt finished second and third in the mile, which was the quickest of the seven Grassroots divisions.

Ben Wallace trains Twin B Elite for Bradley Grant of Milton and opted to start the filly’s sophomore season at the Gold Series level, where the Jeremes Jet daughter finished third in her June 30 Gold elimination at Georgian Downs and ninth in the July 7 Gold Final.

Driver Paul Mackenzie also picked up a pair of wins on the Grassroots program Friday. In the sixth race the Puslinch resident teamed up with Daniel Martin trainee Ys Gold Star and earned the filly her first win of the season. The fan favourites allowed Canbec Jewell Sun to set the early pace, but stepped out at the halfway marker and cruised home to a two length victory in 1:55.3. Canbec Jewell Sun settled for second, while Jet Speed was well back in third.

Martin trains Ys Gold Star for Yves Sarrazin of La Presentation, Que. Through her first eight starts this season the Armbro Deuce daughter, a two-time Gold elimination winner as a two-year-old, had been unable to find the winner’s circle. In three Grassroots starts the filly now boasts a record of one win, one second and one fourth for a total of 83 points.

Mackenzie’s second victory came in the eighth race off a front end performance by Mach A Wish. After leading throughout the race the Mach Three daughter made a brief bobble in the stretch, but was able to recover her footing quickly and hold on for a head victory in 1:56.1. Sauble Claire came close, but had to settle for second. Concert Over completed the triactor.

Tony O’Sullivan trains Mach A Wish for his partner and fellow Cambridge resident David Goodrow. The filly was a four-time winner earlier in the year, but Friday’s appearance was her first in the Ontario Sires Stakes program.

Arthur resident Trevor Henry picked up a catch-drive aboard Pending Approval on Friday and piloted the filly to her second straight Grassroots victory. The pair led through all stations and held on for a half-length victory over Mcbunny and Windsong Isabel in 1:57.2.

Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Paul Ysebaert of Mooretown and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio bred and own Pending Approval, who now boasts a record of two wins, one second and one third through nine starts. Friday’s win boosted the Camluck filly into a three-way tie for top spot in the division standings.

The other Grassroots trophies went home with Jeremes Sweetheart in 1:56 and Machet Rocket in 1:55.4.

The three-year-old pacing fillies make their fourth Grassroots start on August 16 at Kawartha Downs, while the exciting line up of Ontario Sires Stakes events continues at Grand River Raceway on Monday, July 30 with three Gold eliminations for the two-year-old trotting colts. Post time for Monday’s event is 7:05 p.m.

To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Grand River Raceway.


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