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Sophomores Battle In Semi-Finals

Published: September 20, 2014 11:37 pm ET

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Three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits set the fields for their $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series Finals with eight $20,000 Semifinals on Saturday (September 20) at Mohawk Racetrack.

The top five horses in each Semifinal move on to next week’s Finals.

Pacing Males

High Flier (J Harris) left out fast from his post nine starting spot in the first Semifinal and he had the lead at the :26.1 opening quarter. Shadow Place (Trevor Henry) was in second at that point, but he moved to the outside and took control before the :55.1 half. Regal Son (Randy Waples) then rolled the dice first-over out of fourth and he would match strides with Shadow Place at the 1:23.2 three-quarters.

Regal Son forged his way around Shadow Place in the lane, but High Flier got a lane up the inside and he took advantage, getting up to win by a head in 1:52.1. Shadowbriand (Mike Saftic) turned a second-over trip into the runner-up spot and Regal Son finished third. Some Major Beach (Doug McNair) came in fourth, followed by V I P Bayama (Sylvain Filion).

Trainer David Taff of Waterdown, Ont. shares ownership of High Flier, a Shadow Play colt, with Christopher Nicol of West Yorkshire, England. High Flier, who won at the Grassroots level on June 13 at Mohawk, has won five times from 11 attempts in 2014 and he has six career tallies. He has earned $43,436 this year and $47,386 in his life.

Atomic Million AM (Rick Zeron) shot through from the pole position to take the field of 10 to the :27.1 first quarter in the second Semifinal, but favoured Titus Seelster (Sylvain Filion) vacated the pocket past that marker and he became the new front-stepper before the :56.3 half. Titus Seelster still had command at the 1:24.4 three-quarters while he felt some first-over pressure from Regal Babe (Doug McNair).

Titus Seelster continued to hold Regal Babe off as they raced through the lane, but a number of horses began to close in on the leaders inside the final sixteenth and it would be 50-1 shot Nirvana Seelster (Phil Hudon) charging up on the far outside to win the race in 1:53.4. Atomic Million AM, who lacked room for much of the stretch drive, was the runner-up and Regal Babe checked in third. Titus Seelster faded to fourth and Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) rallied to get fifth.

Nirvana Seelster is a Camluck gelding trained by Bill Budd for owner Bruce Davy of Brockville, Ont. Nirvana Seelster, who was unraced at two, now has a trio of wins from 19 efforts and has put away $52,296. He was bred by Seelster Farms.

Trotting Males

Warrawee Promesse (Wayne Henry), who was starting from post 10 and gunning for his eighth consecutive victory, took the lead away from 80-1 shot Hetties Commander (Paul MacKenzie) just after the :27.4 first quarter in the Semifinal opener for this bunch. Warrawee Promesse would go on to reach the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:27, never facing a serious challenge along the way.

At the top of the lane, Henry asked Warrawee Promesse to kick away, but inside the final sixteenth he was overhauled by several challengers, including Kremlin (Sylvain Filion), who rallied from next-to-last at three-quarters to the win by a quarter of a length in 1:57.1. Hetties Commander shook loose from the pocket and wound up second with Tyrone Haji (Randy Waples) nabbed third. Warrawee Promesse had to settle for fourth and Massive Pockets (Jody Jamieson) survived a tough outside journey to finish fifth.

Richard Moreau trains Kremlin, a Kadabra gelding, for owner Mike Wassilyn of Rockwood, Ont. Kremlin, a winner in Grassroots competition on June 9 at Mohawk, scored his fifth triumph from 15 efforts this season and his seventh career victory. Bred by Overseas Farms Ltd., Kremlin has put away $45,472 on the campaign and $55,352 lifetime.

It looked like Totally Ripped (Steve Byron) was going to the lead in the other Semifinal, but then he went off-stride, leaving Jack Litten (Doug McNair) in first at the :27.3 opening quarter. Justcallmeronald (Jody Jamieson) then popped out of the pocket and he would take the lead before the 58 second half-mile marker.

Justcallmeronald would go on to click off three-quarters in 1:27.4, but McNair angled Jack Litten back out of the two-hole in the lane and he would out-trot Justcallmeronald late in the mile to prevail by just over a length in 1:57.4. Justcallmeronald, Ramas Last Son (Steve Condren), Crowningcrest (James MacDonald) and Taurus Seelster (Randy Waples) rounded out the top five finishers.

Jack Litten is a Muscle Mass gelding trained by Gregg McNair for owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, Michigan. Jack Litten, who did not compete as a two-year-old, has three wins from 12 starts in 2014 and he has put away $48,962. Jack Litten, who was bred by Tony Holmes and Walter Zent, also won in Grassroots competition on June 26 and September 2 at Mohawk.

Pacing Fillies

70-1 shot Stellllllla (Jody Jamieson) held the lead at the :27.2 first quarter in the Semifinal opener, but Murrayfield (Sylvain Filion) would take over the front prior to the :56.1 half. Murrayfield then came under siege from first-over challenger Regally Ready (Doug McNair), and Murrayfield and Regally Ready were head-and-head at the 1:25.2 three-quarters.

In the stretch, Regally Ready put away Murrayfield, but then Bet Ya (Paul MacDonell) came from off cover to duel with the new leader. Meanwhile, 3-5 favourite Dana Dearest (Chris Christoforou), who had been fourth-over at three-quarters, began to close in as well. Regally Ready managed to fight off Bet Ya, but Dana Dearest was unrelenting with her brush and she got up to win by about a neck in 1:53.3. Regally Ready came in second and Bet Ya was third. Mea Lilley Mark (Mike Saftic) checked in fourth and Double Joy (Mario Baillargeon) finished fifth.

Dana Dearest, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner/breeder Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville, Ont. Dana Dearest was winless in four starts last year, but she’s turned it around in her sophomore campaign, going eight-for-15. She has season’s earnings of $77,820 and a career bankroll of $82,048. Dana Dearest has only been defeated once in five Grassroots starts in 2014.

Her Own Land (James MacDonald), the public’s 4-5 choice, led through fractions of :26.4, :56.1, and 1:24 on her way to a 1:54 decision in the second Semifinal. She beat runner-up Shadows Wonder (Chris Christoforou) by about two lengths with Artful Impulse (Randy Waples) back in third. Fourth went to Born To Dream and Royal Mama (Steve Condren) collected fifth.

Dave Menary trains Her Own Land, a filly by Blissfull Hall, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Her Own Land now has five wins in Grassroots company and six wins from 14 starts overall this year. Now a seven-time winner in her career, Her Own Land has earned $77,490 in 2014 and $87,050 lifetime.

Trotting Fillies

In the first Semifinal for this group it was Serendipitious (Chris Christoforou) who took the field of 10 through fractions of :27.4, :58.3, and 1:28. Flexible Woman (Steve Byron) attacked the pacesetter from first-over on the final bend and that gave a second-over tow to public choice Mystical Wishes (Doug McNair).

Serendiptious put away Flexible Woman turning for home, but Mystical Wishes was sent into three-wide territory for McNair and she would trot past the pacesetter on her way to a 1:56.4 victory. Serendiptious held second, beaten a length by the winner, and Diamonds For Life (Sylvain Filion) took third. Also securing positions in next week’s final were fourth-place finisher Missys Ga Ga (John Campbell) and fifth-place filly Chelseas Chance (Randy Waples).

Tony Alagna trains the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, for co-owner/breeder Mystical Marker Farms LLC. of Dyer, Indiana and co-owner Peggy Hood of Valparaiso, Indiana. Mystical Wishes is eight-for-13 in the win column this year after going winless in four tries as a rookie. Mystical Wishes has earned $63,990 in 2014 and $67,740 lifetime. This was Mystical Wishes’s fourth OSS win of the year, joining her successes on August 12 at Mohawk, September 2 at Mohawk, and September 11 at Flamboro Downs.

Quadrophenia (James MacDonald) blasted out from post 10 to take the second Semifinal field to the opening quarter in :28 seconds, but 3-5 favourite and point standings leader Torches Star (Steve Condren) trotted her way to the top before the :57.1 half.

Torches Star was still the boss at the 1:27.2 three-quarters, but she didn’t have her best game on this night, and she was overtaken by first-over challenger Doweypuffandhow (Steve Byron) with an eighth of a mile to go. A host of closers were coming after the new leader, though, and trotting fastest of all was Lenny Mac (Randy Waples), who surged from third-over at the top of the lane to win in 1:57.3. Wonderland Snow (Trevor Henry) split horses to get second and Quadrophenia was third. Nickange Two (Mike Saftic) got fourth at 60-1 and Northern Secret (Mario Baillargeon) nailed down the last spot in the final.

Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ont. also co-owns Lenny Mac, a filly by Kadabra, with partner Earl Hill Jr. of Ohsweken, Ont. McIntosh also bred Lenny Mac with C S X Stables and Michael Kohler. Lenny Mac has four triumphs from 14 trips behind the gate this year and this was her seventh career trip to the winner’s circle. She has banked $57,759 this season and $97,099 in her life. This was Lenny Mac’s third Grassroots win of the season, matching her total from her freshman campaign.

Mohawk Racetrack will roll out the red carpet again next Saturday night with eight $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Finals for two and three-year-olds.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.

(OSS)


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