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Menary Sweeps Grand River Battles

Published: August 6, 2012 4:47 pm ET

Last Comment: August 6, 2012 7:24 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Trainer David Menary swept Grand River Raceway's signature Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles stakes with a pair of record-setting Ontario sired two-year-old pacers during the Elora, Ont. half-mile track's annual Industry Day on Monday afternoon.

Menary trainee Tarpon Hanover captured the 15th edition of the $300,000 Battle Of Waterloo for two-year-old colts in a dazzling 1:53 stakes, track and Canadian record performance.

Elimination winner and another Menary trainee Windsong Jack and Rick Zeron cleared to command around the first turn and posted a :27-second opening quarter in the feature event before 6-5 favourite Tarpon Hanover and driver Scott Zeron swept up to take over during the second panel and hit the half-mile mark in :55.3.

From there, Santanna One and Jody Jamieson advanced first up with elim winner Mach Pride and Anthony MacDonald second over and angling three-wide near the 1:24.3 third quarter station. However, Tarpon Hanover began to open up on top and was untouchable as he kicked home for the seven length victory. Mach Pride came on for second and Bad Boy Hill, driven by Randy Waples, rallied from third over to finish third.

The time of the mile shaved two-fifths of a second off the track record, set by Menary trainee Prodigal Seelster in the 2010 Battle Of Waterloo and matched last week by Mach Pride in his elimination.

Tarpon Hanover paid $4.50 to win.

"I didn't really have a game plan. We had the six-hole and I thought it was a tough spot for us," said Zeron following the victory. "I was really focused on Anthony's horse. I thought that he was the horse to beat in there. I just wanted to situate myself nicely in the race so I could either have a power-move opportunity or a second over trip. But the way it worked out in the first turn Anthony was pinned down there on the inside and it couldn't have gone any better for us.

"[Tarpon Hanover] has great ability to relax in the race and start up and stop and start back up so I wasn't worried in that sense, but he raced huge. I only cleared by the half and then I slowed him down and when I saw Anthony's horse go three-wide I put the hammer down and blew all the way to the wire."

The victory was Zeron's second in a row in the Battle Of Waterloo. He upset last year's edition with Machapelo and also won the inaugural Battle Of The Belles in 2009 with FBS Terror.

"Last year I was 99-1 and nobody thought I would beat Warrawee Needy and this year I was the 1-9 shot and I shouldn't have got beat," he said of his repeat win. "I'm very happy. Dave told me in March that this horse was going to win the Battle. I know it sounds crazy, but he called it."

The Badlands Hanover-Tarport Herald colt, an $82,000 Harrisburg Sale yearling purchase, previously swept an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold elimination and final at Mohawk Racetrack before finishing second in his Battle elimination. His third win in four starts boosted his bankroll to $242,250 for Ontario owners Menary, Brad Gray of Dundas, Bruce Norris of Caledon East, and Denis Breton of Welland.

"I'm lucky. We're really luck to have good horses, good owners, and good help," said the Cheltenham, Ont. conditioner after the victory. "Everybody has been doing an unbelievable job and have been working so hard. But really the horses make us look good. I have a great group of horses.

"Today was really special," he added. "It doesn't really matter how fast you go, I'm just really happy to be here holding the trophy."

Tarpon Hanover is expected to race next in the Nassagaweya Stakes.

In the $30,000 consolation earlier on the card, Waples, the winningest Battle Of Waterloo reinsman, rolled the grey gelding Windsong Joker ($6.60) to the top and held off One Bad Night to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:56. The son of Jeremes Jet and Access Hollywood is now three-for-five in his young career for trainer Barry Treen and owner Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, Ont.

Menary also won the fourth edition of the $150,000 Battle of the Belles for two-year-old fillies when Macharoundtheclock surged three-wide down the backstretch en route to a 1:55.1 stakes record equalling performance.

When the wings of the gate folded, the two elimination winners set out to control the race. Raise Your Glass and Scott Zeron established the early lead from post two before the parked out Its No Secret and MacDonald cleared to command after the :27.3 opening quarter.

As the new leader took the field to the :56.4 half, Trevor Henry sent Burlesque first up from fourth with Jan It Jackson and J.R. Plante following their cover. However, Jamieson launched Macharoundtheclock three-wide from the backfield down the backstretch and the Mach Three-Summers Soul miss grabbed the lead at the 1:26.1 third quarter station.

Macharoundtheclock then opened up two lengths on her foes and cruised down the stretch to score her first career win. Raise Your Glass and favourite Its No Secret finished second and third, respectively.

Macharoundtheclock, an elimination runner-up, paid $6.80 to win as the 2-1 third choice.

"I really thought if I could get her towed into the race a bit that she would be good enough to go with these fillies," said Jamieson, a first-time Belles winner and three-time Battle Of Waterloo champion. "That's the traditional Mach Three killer, power move that these horses can make. She was ready to rock today.

"She's really green though," added Jamieson. "She's only had three starts and she was actually trying to pull up down the stretch and figured the race was over, but she's going to learn to go. She's going to learn to go real fast."

The $50,000 Forest City Sale yearling purchase is owned by David and Larry Menary, Breton, and Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Ont.

With Macharoundtheclock having only made a few starts in her career thus far due to sickness, Menary is hoping she will continue to blossom with more racing experience.

"I'm glad to be standing here," said her trainer in the winner's circle. "I always believed in this filly, she was my best pacer all winter. But she got a virus and I never trained her for a month -- I was scared of cooking her. She was sick and I wanted to make sure she was 100 per cent healthy and I probably could have done half the time, but I was just trying to be careful and it worked out today. I hope it works out in October. This filly is still not ready to go. Jody said she was great, but she's about 150 pounds overweight and if I get a few more starts on her she's going to be a pretty serious filly."

Jamieson also won the $20,000 consolation with Mary Celeste ($6.50), who romped to a career-best 1:55.4 four length victory for 2011 Battle of the Belles winning owners Stephen and Marilyn Gillard of Tavistock, Ont. The homebred Your Nemesis-Lucky Call miss notched her second win in four starts.

In Ontario Sires Stakes action, Creampuff Macdaddy pulled off a sweep of the third Gold Series event of the season for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings with a front end victory in the $130,000 final.

Waples sent the elimination winner to command from post eight and reached the opening quarter in :29.4 before coming under attack by Sparky Gypsy and MacDonald. Sparky Gypsy, the more popular elim winner, advanced first up from fourth and moved out in front en route to the 1:00.3 half-mile marker, but Creampuff Macdaddy regained the lead around the turn and rebuffed that rival by the 1:30 third quarter station. Creampuff Macdaddy drew clear around the final turn and cruised to victory in 2:00.2. Third Pat and Edward Greeno finished second off a pocket trip while Gotta Secret, driven by Sylvain Filion, rallied off cover for third.

Creampuff Macdaddy paid $21.70 to win. Brad Maxwell trains and Douglas Millard of Woodstock, Ont. owns the Ken Warkentin-Celebrity Cream colt, a $22,000 Canadian Yearling Sale purchase. The victory was Creampuff Macdaddy's second in four outings and boosted his bankroll to $86,920.

Grand River's Industry Day card also featured multiple Invitational and Preferred events.

Jamieson sent Ben Wallace trainee Clic K ($4.80) first over to win the $18,000 Jim Lehman Memorial Invitational Pace in 1:52.3 by half a length over Machal Jackson and Daddy Mac. With the victory, the chestnut gelding surpassed the $200,000 earnings mark in his career. The four-year-old son of Shanghai Phil, who has won 11 of his 20 starts this year, was claimed for $62,500 in early April at Woodbine Racetrack by Bradley Grant of Milton, Ont. and Holland Racing Stable Inc. of Aurora, Ont.

With Plante in the sulky, six-year-old Kadabra gelding Smokin Dabra ($6.20) sat a two-hole trip behind eventual third place finisher Indiana Hall, a 2011 Industry Day winner, and slipped up the pylons down the stretch to win the $15,000 Invitational Trot in 1:56.4 for trainer Noreen Paulin and owner-breeder John Bosworth of Newmarket, Ont. Lakefield advanced first over to place.

Sand Gesture ($5.50), a five-year-old Dragon Again mare driven by Sylvain Filion and trained by Richard Moreau, went wire-to-wire to win the $15,000 Fillies & Mares Invitational Pace in 1:54.2 over Sweet Hedge and Misty Moonstone. She is owned by Sylvain Descheneaux and Gaston Bibeau of Sorel-Tracy, Que.

Button Up, the 2005 Battle Of Waterloo champion and former Industry Day winner, captured the $12,000 Preferred 3 Pace in a season's best 1:53.1 for driver Mark Horner and trainer Mike Horner. The nine-year-old son of Northern Luck grabbed the lead early, gave way to Rays San and then came back on down the stretch to score by a neck. He is owned by the Sure Gain Stable of St. Marys, Ont.

Long Ago ($4.50) held off the pocket-pulling Chewey to prevail in the $12,000 Preferred 3 Trot by a neck in 1:57.3 for driver Bruce Richardson, trainer John Holding and his partner Bryan Montgomery of Fergus, Ont.

Pocket-sitter Insane In Spain ($9.20) and Doug McNair edged out pacesetter Wild Dragon to win the $12,000 Preferred 3 Pace in 1:53.4 for trainer Gary Kingshott, who co-owns with Randall Bennett of Toronto. The victory was his third in a row at Grand River.

To view Monday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Monday Results - Grand River Raceway.

August 6, 2012 - 7:24 pmGreat day of racing and

Great day of racing and superbly organized, BUT, I didn't catch any interviews with Tim Hudak. Perhaps I tuned in too late but I haven't read any reports of his comments, yet, either. I know he promised to be at Industry Day but I guess maybe he actually went to Elmira like he said he was going to.

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