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Local Win For Magical Debut In Grassroots

Published: August 9, 2009 12:23 am ET

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Magical Debut revived her floundering sophomore career on Saturday afternoon with a 2:03.2 Grassroots victory over a soggy Woodstock Raceway oval rated one second slower than normal.

Driver Paul Mackenzie eased the sophomore trotting filly away from the starting gate into fourth spot on the rail, but was soon taking aim on early pacesetter Girlsruleboyslose (Trevor Henry). By the time the field reached the three-quarter marker, Magical Debut had made her way to the front, and she carried on down the stretch to a two and one-quarter length victory over Pajama Land (Jeff O'Brien) and Maplewood (Bill O'Donnell).

Dorchester resident Jason Libby trains Magical Debut for owners Anne and Bertha Postmus of Ingersoll, who were delighted to see the Striking Sahbra daughter make her first appearance of the year in the winner’s circle. Through six starts Magical Debut now has one win and one second for earnings of $18,520.

The quickest mile of the nine Grassroots divisions was recorded by Daylon Mystique in the fourth race, before the track was downgraded from ‘fast’ to ‘good’. With trainer Wayne Henry in the race bike the former Gold Series competitor stalked Saskia Lavictoire (Stephen Byron) through fractions of :28.3, :57.4 and 1:29.1 before charging around the final turn and rocketing down the stretch to a six length triumph in 2:00.4.

Saskia Lavictoire settled for second, while Good Poker Face (Larry Walker) closed well to earn the third-place share of the $24,000 Grassroots purse.

Henry trains Daylon Mystique for his partners in the Henry Stable of Arthur and Dan McCann of Parkhill. After starting her sophomore campaign at the Gold Series level, Daylon Mystique dropped down to the Grassroots for the July 2 event at Hiawatha Horse Park where she finished fourth from the outside Post 8. Through eight starts the Amigo Hall daughter now has one win and three thirds to her credit for $26,320 in earnings.

Driver Stephen Byron scored a Grassroots double at Woodstock on Saturday afternoon, capturing the last two divisions with Easter Bonnet and Lunar Stream.

Starting from Post 4 with Easter Bonnet in Race 8, Byron opted for a come-from behind strategy, making steady gains on pacesetter Larissa (George Zirnis) throughout the mile before taking control in the stretch and sprinting away to a four and one-quarter length victory in 2:04.3. Larissa stayed game for second, holding off Lucerne De Vie (Tom Strauss).

Terrebonne, Que. resident Richard Moreau trains Easter Bonnet for his partner Ecuries Guy Gagnon Inc. of Gatineau. Que. Through five starts the Berndt Hanover daughter has recorded one win and two seconds for earnings of $20,625. In her first Grassroots start Byron piloted the young trotter to a second-place finish, giving her a total of 75 points toward a berth in the Grassroots post season.

One race later, Byron opted for a front end strategy, firing Lunar Stream out of Post 1 and then cruising home a one and three-quarter length winner in 2:02.2. Brie Seelster (Dave Boughton) and fan favourite Trinity Elaine (Bill O'Donnell rounded out the top three.

Trotting specialist John Bax trains Lunar Stream for owner and breeders Al Libfeld of Pickering and Marvin Katz of Toronto. Saturday’s win was the first in 12 starts for the Kadabra daughter, who had two seconds and two thirds on her resume heading into the Woodstock event.

The other Grassroots divisions were captured by Stonebridge Diva in 2:01.3; Senorita Conchnita in 2:03.2; B Cor Tanya in 2:03; Maple Point in 2:03.3; and Baskin Wonder in 2:03.3.

The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Grassroots start at Flamboro Downs on September 2.

Woodstock Raceway wraps up its 2009 Ontario Sires Stakes season with Grassroots action for the two-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday, August 22

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click here.


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