Henry & Filion Battle For Grassroots Lead

Published: August 19, 2012 08:54 pm EDT

As the three-year-old trotting colts near the end of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots season, competition for the remaining points is growing fierce and Clinton Raceway fans were treated to eight exciting battles on Sunday afternoon.

Northern Escort and Sylvain Filion set the tone for the afternoon with a track record effort in the first $24,000 Grassroots contest. Starting from Post 5 the duo tucked into the pocket behind Ill Be There and watched that colt roll through fractions of :29.1, :58.4 and 1:29.4 before stepping out in the stretch and sailing home to a one and one-quarter length win in 1:59.3, a new speed tab for sophomore trotting colts. Ill Be There settled for second and division point leader Our Mojo finished eight lengths back in third.

Filion engineered the win for trainer Justin Filion and owners Les Ecuries JYJ Inc. of St-Andre-D’Argenteuil, Que. Through 14 starts the son of Kadabra has tallied five wins, two seconds and earnings of $92,160. Sunday’s triumph was the colt’s first in Grassroots action and bumped him into contention for a berth in the Sept. 19 Semifinals.

Filion, who is in the hunt for top spot in the Ontario Sires Stakes driver's standings, made a second trip to the Clinton Raceway winner’s circle with Tymal Oh So Nice in the 10th race, clocking another 1:59.3 mile. The pair took command heading by the three-quarter marker and fired through the final quarter to a nine length triumph over Coronations K and Canadian Wildcat.

Corey Johnson conditions Tymal Oh So Nice for Debbie Element of Laval, Que. and Michael Sergi of Canton, New York. The win was the Striking Sahbra gelding’s first in nine sophomore starts.

Driver Trevor Henry is also in the race for the Lampman Cup driving title and finished an outstanding week of Ontario Sires Stakes racing with two more victories at Clinton on Sunday. Since Tuesday, Aug. 14 the Arthur, Ont. resident has notched 10 wins in provincial stakes action.

In the seventh race Henry teamed up with Hero Of My Dreams to record a gate-to-wire victory in 2:01.2. The fan favourites bested Cut Him Loose and Rogan Seelster by three-quarters of a length.

Henry piloted Hero Of My Dreams to his second Grassroots victory for trainer Rob Fellows of Rockwood, Ont. and his partner Willard Sabrosky of Madison Heights, Michigan. The win propelled the Angus Hall son into third spot in the division point race with one regular season event remaining.

Two races later Henry once again employed front end tactics to land Magical Victory in the winner’s circle for trainer Noreen Paulin of Millgrove and her partner Jean Picard of Orford, Que. The Kadabra gelding hit the wire four lengths ahead of Spray and Elviswallace in 2:00.3.

Unraced at two, Magical Victory has recorded two wins, one second and two thirds in nine starts this season for earnings of $34,360.

Dream Of Glory champion Summer Indian scored his second straight Grassroots victory in the eighth race for trainer John Bax of Peterborough, Ont. and his partners John Hayes of Sharon, Ont., John Houston of Cobourg, Ont., and Goin To The Show Stable of Peterborough, Ont. The Majestic Son gelding and driver Stephen Byron hit the wire in 2:00.2, one quarter length ahead of P C Firecracker. Windsong Ingenius was four and three-quarter lengths to the rear in third.

The win was Summer Indian’s fourth straight and boosted his Grassroots point tally to 100 and his sophomore record to six wins and one third in 14 starts for earnings of $99,600.

Mutinyonthebounty matched Northern Escort’s 1:59.3 three-year-old trotting colt track record in the 11th race, controlling the pace from start to finish to record a quarter length victory over fan favourite Northern Victory. Osprey Vision finished well behind the dueling leaders in third.

Regular reinsman Mark Pezzarello guided the Mutineer son to his first sophomore victory for trainer Doug McIntosh, who bred and owns the colt in partnership with Randy Liepa of Livonia, Michigan.

The other Grassroots trophies were captured by Somebody As in 1:59.4 and Touchdown Toss in 2:00.

The three-year-old trotting colts make their last regular season Grassroots start on Sept. 4 at Georgian Downs. The top 16 point earners following the last event will advance to the Sept. 19 Semifinals at Grand River Raceway.

Sunday’s sophomore trotting colt battles wrapped up Clinton Raceway’s 2012 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, which saw track records set by every division that visited the popular half-mile oval.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click ont the following link: Sunday Results - Clinton Raceway.

(OSS)

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