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Fourth Sires Stakes Win For Royale Elite

Published: September 12, 2018 10:27 pm ET

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The Hudson Standardbred Stable's Royale Elite ($5.80) parlayed a pocket trip into a fourth Ontario Sires Stakes win this season, as he captured his $18,450 Grassroots event for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Wednesday night (Sept. 12) at Grand River Raceway.

James MacDonald encouraged Royale Elite to leave strongly from post 5 in the second of three Grassroots events (race five), but the pair was rebuffed by Archway (Louis-Philippe Roy) midway around the first turn and retreated to the pocket. After tracking soft early splits of :29.4 and 1:02.1, Royale Elite found himself boxed through much of the second circuit by 30-1 outsider Zorgwijk Tim (Lyle MacArthur), who offered first-over pressure to three-quarters in 1:33.2 before levelling off.

At the top of the stretch, Royale Elite found room to wedge out of the pocket, and he accelerated once free to beat Archway by two lengths. Even-money favourite Judge Ken (Trevor Henry) recovered from an early break in stride to save third down the grandstand side.

Mark Steacy trains Royale Elite, a son of Royalty For Life and Day Dream who previously won Grassroots events at Georgian, Hiawatha, and Woodbine Mohawk Park.

In the $18,450 first split (race two), Cousin Peter ($4.70) used similar tactics, drafting from the pocket before Louis-Philippe Roy hooked him three-wide at head-stretch to nail Magical Journey (Paul MacDonell) by a neck in 1:59.2 for his first career win. Richard Moreau trains the son of Johnny William and Coram Deo for Sergis Racing Stable LLC and Saverino Spagnolo.

LA Magic ($8.20) wired his five rivals in the $18,100 third division (race eight), turning aside pressure from A Royal Line (Henry) and holding off a three-wide charge from Fitzgibbons (Mario Baillargeon) by 1-1/2 lengths to win in 2:01.2. Jody Jamieson drove the Kadabra-Celebrity Sweedie gelding for owner Gary Morritt and trainer Duane Marfisi.

Adore Him ($2.70) captured the sub-featured $8,500 Preferred 3 Pace, keeping Amazing Perch a head at bay to win in 1:53.4. Trevor Henry drove the six-year-old Shadow Play gelding for trainer Curt Blake.

To view Wednesday's harness racing results, click the following link: Wednesday Results – Grand River Raceway.

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