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Grassroots Continue At Mohawk

Published: August 25, 2020 11:42 pm ET

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Freshmen trotting colts had the spotlight at Woodbine Mohawk Park in three divisions of Ontario Sires Stakes on Tuesday (Aug. 25), competing for a total of $70,150 in the fourth Grassroots leg.

Driver Mike Saftic and Lifelong Wish kicked things off in the first $23,500 Grassroots split. Starting from post 2, Lifelong Wish got a pocket trip behind favourite Defcon Seelster before stepping out in the stretch and powering home to a two-length victory in a personal best 1:58.2. Stoked Blue Chip finished second and Defcon Seelster was third.

“We’re pretty happy with him tonight,” said trainer Pam Forgie of Goderich, who shares ownership of the gelding with Donald Sholdice of Brussels, ON. “He’s showed a lot of potential right from, actually we liked the other one we had better than this one, but he just has been so consistent all the way along and showed up right from the beginning.”

Tuesday was Lifelong Wish’s first appearance in the Grassroots program. The Royalty For Life son started his Ontario Sires Stakes campaign at the Gold Series level, where he made a break and finished ninth in the July 9 leg and was bumped up to sixth from seventh in the July 30 event, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

“He’s a nice colt, but he keeps having bad luck. We’ve had a couple broken equipment’s, and that just spins him off. That’s what happened to us in the Balanced Image, his check come off before the start,” said Forgie of the gelding’s seventh-place result in the Aug. 22 Balanced Image Final at Hanover Raceway. “But he put it together tonight, so that’s nice.”

Forgie said Lifelong Wish will remain at the Grassroots level for the fifth leg, Sept. 14 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, hoping to add to the 50 points he earned with Tuesday’s win.

Moscow Moon took the second division with a speed effort from post 6. The Wheeling N Dealin son and driver James MacDonald clocked fractions of :28.3, :59.3 and 1:29.4 on their way to a two and one-half length victory in 1:58.4. Greg finished second and Crazy Goodbye closed well for third.

“I thought he’d be good tonight because he put in a real good effort his last start (Aug. 18),” said trainer Shawn Steacy of Brantford, ON. “He has had some poor luck up until now, but has always tried hard and has a great attitude.”

Steacy conditions Moscow Moon for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. The win was the first in five starts for the colt and boosted his Grassroots point tally to 78, putting him among the top 10 heading into the last regular season event.

The top 20 point earners will advance from the regular season to the Oct. 1 Semi-Final, with the top five from each Semi-Final earning a berth in the $75,000 Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 10.

The final division saw Four Wheelin and driver Louis-Philippe Roy get away third from post 4 and watch Insanity lead the field through fractions of :27.3, :59.1 and 1:29.2. In the stretch Roy tipped the colt around favourite Highland Mowgli and the pacesetter, and Four Wheelin drew away to a two-and-one-quarter length win in a personal best 1:58. Highland Mowgli was second and Insanity stayed game for third.

“He was really good tonight,” said Guelph resident Roy. “Last week (Aug. 20) against the Gold division he was tired down the lane. Today I was really happy with him. He was trotting strong under the wire, without asking him.”

Roy crafted the win for trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge, ON and his co-owner Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueil, QC. The win was the Wheeling N Dealin colt’s second in Grassroots action. He was also a winner in the July 11 season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park before taking two runs at the Gold Series colts, finishing fourth on both occasions. His 100 Grassroots points put Four Wheelin in a two-way tie for third in the division standings.

(Ontario Sires Stakes)

To view Tuesday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Tuesday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

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