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Byron Stars In Sudbury Grassroots

Published: August 6, 2011 11:32 pm ET

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Stephen Byron made a profitable trip to Sudbury Downs on Saturday night, steering the winners of two sophomore pacing filly Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions, including one who matched the track record, and finishing second and third with his other two mounts.

Byron’s most popular result among Sudbury Downs fans was his third-place finish with local filly Carly Hollywood in the last $24,000 Grassroots division. The pair sprinted from seventh at the three-quarter marker to claim third-place honours behind upset winner Lucky Real One and fan favourite Dapple Apple.

Azilda, Ont. resident Jim Belanger owns and trains Carly Hollywood, who now has one third and one fifth-place finish in her two Grassroots appearances.

Paul MacLean piloted Lucky Real One to the 1:57.2 victory for trainer Gregg McNair and owner-breeder Frank Dettore Horse Racin of North Ridgeville, Ohio. The win was the Camluck filly’s first in provincial action and her fifth of the season.

Byron scored both of his victories with Eric Adams trainees, guiding Three Charms to a 1:56 romp in the first division and Epoxy Queen to a 1:56.2 score one race later.

Three Charms controlled the tempo of the race from start to finish, easily shaking off a pair of challengers to sail home a two length victor. Cameron Lucky grabbed second-place honours behind the fan favourite, while Ugly Betty was eight lengths back in third. The 1:56 winning time matched the track record for three-year-old pacing fillies, originally set by Slaley on August 30, 2008.

Millar Farms of Newmarket, Ont. bred and owns Three Charms, who is now riding a three-race win streak. The Camluck filly posted her first lifetime victory in a non-winners of one race event at Mohawk Racetrack on July 14, and followed that up with a Grassroots victory at Georgian Downs on July 30. Combined with her runner-up finish at Grand River Raceway on June 15, Three Charms boasts a Grassroots point tally of 125, good enough for top spot in the division standings with just two events remaining in the regular season.

In the second division on Saturday, Epoxy Queen and Byron took control of the race heading for the three-quarters and fought off Carsons Maverick to secure a three-quarter length victory. Lyons Susan was right behind the leaders in third.

The win was Epoxy Queen’s second straight in Grassroots action and boosts her up the point standings into a tie for third. Also bred and owned by Millar Farms, the Camluck miss was a successful player on the Grassroots circuit at two, collecting two trophies and finishing third in the season finale.

Byron came within a nose of making it a hat trick, but had to settle for a runner-up finish when Shipps Xanadu held off his hard charging mount, Cheryls Surprise, by a nose. Lyons Puddin Pie was also part of the thrilling finish, hitting the wire just one-quarter length back.

Robert Shepherd piloted Shipps Xanadu to the 1:56.4 win for trainer Roger Kopas and owner Harold G. Shipp Stable of Mississauga, Ont. A former Gold Series competitor, Shipps Xanadu dropped down to the Grassroots level in time for the July 30 event at Georgian Downs, where she was a 1:53.3 winner. Saturday’s triumph puts the Mach Three filly in a tie for third with Epoxy Queen, Just Artful and Angel On The Wing.

The three-year-old pacing fillies make their fifth Grassroots start at Clinton Raceway on September 4, while Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Sudbury Downs on Saturday, August 20 when the northern oval rolls out the red carpet for the three-year-old trotting colts.

In other action, sophomore pacing colt Schooner and driver David Dowling won the lone $7,500 Juggernaut Series third leg division in a career-best 1:56 romp. Electric and second leg winner Rockadile Man finished over five lengths behind in second and third. Favourite Only In America, previously undefeated in the series, finished fourth.

Yvon Lamoureaux trains the son of American Ideal, who won his opening leg division and finished third in round two, for Marc Belisle of Val Caron, Ont.

The top point earners in the series, which is for non-winners of two races or $20,000 (fillies and mares $27,500) lifetime as of July 9, 2011, will return next Saturday for the $20,000 (added) final.

For results from Saturday's harness racing card, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Sudbury Downs.

(With files from OSS)


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