Sportswriters Sweep Grassroots

Published: July 8, 2016 10:52 pm EDT

Two-year-old pacing fillies sparred in a four-pack of $18,000 OSS Grassroots divisions Friday evening at Mohawk Racetrack, and if you didn’t have a Sportswriter filly you were chasing one.

Treasures Pearl, a Sportswriter miss out of the mare St Lads Treasure, took the opening split in 1:55.1 for driver Sylvain Filion. The Ron Adams pupil got away fifth and watched Lady Oxford and Mystical Moon take turns on the lead through panels of :28.1, :57 and 1:26.1. Filion was on the move going to the half with Treasures Pearl, who was three-wide and driving at the three-quarter pole. She used a :27.3 closing quarter to win by 1-1/2 lengths over Mystical Moon in 1:55.1. Southern Heart was third.

Sent off as the even-money favourite, Treasures Pearl bounced back from a disappointing ninth-place finish in last week’s pari-mutuel debut for owner/breeder Donald Leschied of South Woodslee, Ont.

“Last time she raced she turned up sick, that’s why the line doesn’t show that good, but the week before she was pretty good, she was timed in 1:56 and a piece,” noted Filion. “Ronnie told me that she turned up sick after her last effort and that he treated her all week and that she should be better, and he was right, she went a very good trip, because I was kind of far off and she covered a lot of ground turning for home.”

Bid Writer, a daughter of Sportswriter-Bust Out The Bid, was a front-stepping winner in 1:55.3 in the second division for driver James MacDonald. He rolled his charge to the lead and they led the field through sensible splits of :29, :59.1 and 1:28 before rocketing home in :27.3 to win by a pair of lengths over Stellenbosch. Lotus Seelster finished third.

“She’s a real pro, she felt like an aged horse just rolling along the whole way, and when I called on her at the top of the stretch she was all business,” said driver James MacDonald. “She was very well within herself.”

Trainer Jeff Gillis co-owns the $52,000 Lexington Select Yearling Sale purchase with Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ont. and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. The filly is a half-sister to Janns Bid (1:52.1 - $245,429) and a three-quarter sister to Spirit To Share (1:50.1 - $228.565).

Yaris Bayama was next in line to do her daddy proud. The Sportswriter-Lucky Josie lass powered to the lead from Post 7 and cruised through fractions of :28.1, :56.4 and 1:25.4 before winning in under wraps fashion by 1-3/4 lengths over Royal Point in 1:53.3. Race favourite P L Karis was third.

“We schooled her and she did everything right, she did everything we asked her, but we never really got the feeling that she was that good, you know,” said Filion. “Tonight she really showed me that she might be something special. And the way she did it, you know, it was like a walk in the park for her, so that was really impressive.

“I don’t easily get impressed, but she did impress me tonight,” added the reinsman.

Stephane Larocque trains the homebred for Bayama Farms Inc of Saint-Andre-D’Argenteuil, QC. She’s a half-sister to V I P Bayama (1:51.4 - $172,355).

Sports Beauty, a homebred daughter of Sportswriter-Shellys Delight, turned a second-over trip into a 1:56 triumph in the final division. She got away fifth for driver James MacDonald while Mach On and Loves Angel took turns on the lead through panels of :29, :58.1 and 1:27.1. MacDonald worked out cover in the backstretch for his charge, and when he flipped off cover in the lane Sports Beauty fired home in :28.2 to win by 1-1/4 lengths over P L Kahluaa. Casimir Q T took home the show dough.

“She was on the bit behind the gate so I just let her float out a little bit and I got a spot,” said MacDonald. “Around the last turn I moved her and I caught some cover, and down the lane when I took her off cover she gave me a good kick.”

Bred and owned by Frank Gentile of Beaconsfield, QC, the freshman made her pari-mutuel debut a winning one for trainer Mark Steacy. Sports Beauty is the full-sister to the stakes-winning Sports Bettor (1:53 - $198,107).

To view results for Friday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Friday Results – Mohawk Racetrack.

(with quotes from OSS)

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