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Young Wins Thrice In Grassroots

Published: August 19, 2018 12:32 am ET

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Scott Young had the keys to the Kawartha Downs winner’s circle on Saturday, Aug. 18 as he steered a trio of three-year-old pacing fillies to Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Grassroots victories.

The reinsman kicked off his Grassroots hat trick in the first race with Machnhope. Starting from post five, Young eased Machnhope away from the starting gate and was sitting sixth when favourite Katniss S BG hit the quarter in :27.

As Katniss S BG continued through a :56 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters, Young and Machnhope were rolling up the outside behind Lifelong Dream and made the turn for home just one and one-half lengths behind the leader. A sharp late kick powered Machnhope down the stretch to a one-half length victory in 1:54.1. Lifelong Dream finished second and Katniss S BG settled for third.

“They just told me she likes to close up, so I was fortunate enough a bunch of them were leaving so I just landed away fifth and followed Scotty Coulter [on Lifelong Dream],” said Young. “Scotty took me right to the head of the lane with Dean Nixon’s filly, and when I came off Scotty’s back at the head of the lane she was full of pace and she kicked home good for me.”

Young piloted Machnhope to her second Grassroots win of the season for trainer Bill Robinson and owners CMR Farms of Hagersville, David Serwatuk of Hamilton and BC Reichheld Stables of Caledonia, Ontario. Through 12 sophomore starts the Mach Three daughter now boasts a record of three wins, one second and two thirds for earnings of $39,510.

Young teamed up with trainer Mark Steacy to take the next two $18,450 divisions with Hello Love and Lady Bubbles.

Starting from post four with public-choice Hello Love, the reinsman employed the same tactics that earned him the win in the first division. After sitting fifth through the opening quarter Young tipped Hello Love to the outside behind Mike Saftic and Sunday Afternoon, who reached the front before the three-quarters. With a clear path to the wire, Hello Love shifted into overdrive and sailed away from her peers to a five-and-one-quarter length victory in 1:52.2, just one-fifth of a second shy of the Kawartha Downs track record for three-year-old pacing fillies. Sunday Afternoon finished second and Shadow World was hot on her heels in third.

“Hello Love is a beautiful filly, a pleasure to drive, did everything I asked,” said Young. “The trip couldn’t have worked out any better with her either. I was following Mike [Saftic], and then Mike actually cleared the leader so I didn’t even have to worry about moving three-wide or anything. When I kicked the plugs turning for home, I’m sure if I was to chase her she could have went a lot more.”

The win was the second in Grassroots action and the fifth of the season for Hello Love, who also has one second and one third through 10 starts for earnings of $50,732. The Shadow Play daughter is owned by Landmark 10 Racing Stable of Kingston, Ontario, J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, New York, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta and Conrad Leber of Montreal, Quebec.

Young completed the hat trick in the third division with Lady Bubbles, who took command before the half and never looked back, pacing under the wire two lengths ahead of I Shadow U. Color Envy rounded out the top three.

“I was fortunate enough I won a Grassroots with her at Grand River last year as a two-year-old and that was the last time I drove Bubbles,” noted the Guelph, Ontario resident. “I left out tonight and landed third and they were starting to tap the brakes pretty good going into the first turn so I, you know being favourite on the board makes life a little easier, so when I did the quarter-pole move he was looking for me. I heard the half pop up in :57 and I said, she should be tough from here, and she was very, very strong as well.”

Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec bred and owns the daughter of Sportswriter, who now has three Grassroots wins and sole ownership of top spot in the division standings with one regular season event remaining. The only blemish on the filly’s Grassroots record came in the Aug. 6 event when she was unable to complete the race due to broken equipment.

In addition to his trio of Grassroots victories, Young also piloted five-year-old pacing gelding Big Sport to a win in the seventh race, giving him four wins on the night.

“I’ve had four before and I’ve had won five before, but [this is] the first hat trick in a Grassroots I’ve ever had,” said Young who had only won two Grassroots events this season prior to Saturday’s hat trick. “Mark Steacy has been very, very good to me and I appreciate all the work he gives me, and his owners. They’ve given me opportunity and I can’t thank them enough.”

The last Grassroots division went to favourite Azure Seelster, who went gate-to-wire in 1:53.1. Cardiff finished three-and-one-quarter lengths back in second and Catshark was two more lengths back in third. Guy Gagnon piloted the Shadow Play daughter to the win for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, 2745 5815 Quebec Inc. and Sylvain Descheneaux of Sorel-Tracy and Paul Andre Lehoux of Sainte-Marie, Quebec.

The three-year-old pacing fillies will make their fifth, and final, regular season start at Flamboro Downs on Sept. 4. The top 20 point earners will advance to two $20,000 Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 21 with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final moving on to the $50,000 Championship on Sept. 29.

(With files from the Ontario Sires Stakes)

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Kawartha Downs.

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