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OSS Grassroots Finals Complete

Published: September 30, 2018 12:16 am ET

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The Dr. Ian Moore-trained Mach Three colt Century Farroh, sent the 2-1 favourite, reigned supreme on Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Grassroots Finals night at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, Sept. 29 when downing the two-year-old colt pacing division by seven-and-a-quarter lengths in 1:53.

Century Farroh took the top in progress to a :28.2 opening quarter. The First Step, positioned fourth, moved first over heading to the half and applied minor pressure through a :57.1 midpoint.

Around the final turn, Century Farroh slowly expanded his lead. He was two-lengths in front of The First Step holding second by three-quarters in 1:24.4 and then five-and-a-quarter lengths ahead into the stretch. Wager On Me, from third over, kicked off cover and took second from The First Step holding third.

Owned by Ratchford Stable NS, Century Farroh won his fourth race from 10 starts, collecting $66,733 in earnings. Trevor Henry sat behind the $6.10 winner.

At Will ground her way to the lead first over and advanced to a two-and-three-quarter length victory in the OSS Two-Year-Old Filly Trot.

Positioned fifth at the quarter, At Will sat off a :28.1 opening quarter set by Splurge On Me. Driver Sylvain Filion tipped the Julie Walker-trained filly by Kadabra first over and narrowed in on the leader past a :59 half and through a 1:28.3 third-quarter. At Will overtook Splurge On Me into the stretch and kicked clear as Nifty Trick, from fourth over, rushed home to take second while outkicking third-over Eramosa Magic, who finished third.

Winning her third race from eight starts, At Will, owned by Layhoon Chan Brunner, Julie Walker and Ronald Piers, has earned $56,170. She paid $5.60 to win. At Will was one of three OSS final winners for Filion.

Trainer Robert Young and driver Scott Young pulled a 13-1 upset when Lariat Seelster nailed pocket-popper Judge Ken by a head in the OSS Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot, timed in 1:58.1.

The gelding by Kadabra sat seventh and 12-lengths off of tempo-setter Judge Ken, who trotted to the first quarter in :28. Royale Elite moved first over heading to the half, supplying cover to Lariat Seelster, while Cousin Peter, sitting the pocket, edged off the cones and circled to the lead past the :58.2 halftime.

Royale Elite trotted to within two lengths of the top heading around the final turn while dragging Lariat Seelster into fourth only three lengths away. Cousin Peter trotted past three-quarters in 1:28.1 and was quickly confronted by Judge Ken pulling from the pocket into the stretch. Judge Ken took a narrow lead in the stretch as 2-1 favourite A Royal Line, also off a rail trip, closed and Lariat Seelster, from off cover, lunged fastest of all to get up for the win. A Royal Line finished third with Cousin Peter settling for fourth.

“First time ever in the Finals, so to get a win on one that’s awesome,” said Scott Young, who also piloted Rebellious Lady to a fifth-place result in the two-year-old trotting filly final. “I said at the beginning of the night if I could get money with both I’d be happy, so a win sure is nice.”

Owned by Robert Young, Robert Deveau, Frank Chiaravalloti and Jaftica Stable, Lariat Seelster, winning his third race from seven starts, has earned $48,068. He paid $28.10 to win.

Filion, the reigning Lampman Cup champion as the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, was back in the winner’s circle after the fourth $50,000 Grassroots Final. The reinsman piloted two-year-old pacing filly point leader Sports Flix to a 1:54 victory, two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Shadow Sparks and Freya Seelster.

“I drove her last week for Gregg McNair for the first time. I ended up first-over, but she really impressed me the way she did it and I knew if I could get her in a position to win, she had a good shot,” said Filion. “When I saw the nine-hole I said, oh my god, that will be tough, but she left the gate good, we got a two-hole trip and she just win easy.

“It is always nice to win for Gregg McNair, we go way back, it’s a good feeling,” the reinsman added.

Guelph-resident McNair conditions Sports Flix for James Fraleigh of Dresden, who purchased the daughter of Sportswriter and former Gold Series competitor Moving Pictures at last fall’s London Selected Yearling Sale for $13,000.

Filion completed the Grassroots Championship hat trick in the second to last final, steering three-year-old trotting filly Stormont Charlotte to an on-the-front victory in 1:56.2. Magics Lucky Charm finished one and three-quarter lengths behind the favourite and Zorgwijk Sophia was five more lengths back in third.

“She raced awesome last week, sat in the two-hole and she just moved by them when I got clearance. So tonight with the six-hole I thought if I could ease her off the gate and try to get to the front and control the pace I had a really good shot, and that’s exactly what happened,” said Filion, who drove the Justice Hall filly for trainer John Gouveia and owner Alan Fair of Ancaster, Ontario. “It doesn’t happen often that it goes the way you think it’s going to go, but that’s exactly how I wanted it to go.”

Driver Jonathan Drury scored two victories on the championship card with the most meaningful coming in the three-year-old pacing colt and gelding final with Pretty Handsome.

The pair was awarded the Grassroots title last season when one of their competitors committed interference and was placed from first to ninth, but on Saturday they commanded the race from the start to the 1:50.3 finish. Casimir Richie P was three and one-half lengths back in second, and Luka Shenko was five lengths behind in third.

Andrew McCabe trains the Mach Three gelding for Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein, Ontario and says the pacer will make a few more sophomore starts before beginning preparations for his four-year-old campaign.

“JD [Drury] seems to think he can maybe race against some of these aged horses here with the miles he’s been putting up,” said McCabe. “One race that would maybe be in his backyard would be the Confederation Cup I think. He’s got gate speed and he gets around a half really well.”

Drury’s second victory came with three-year-old pacing filly Machnhope, who bested Azure Seelster and I Shadow U in 1:53.1. The Guelph resident crafted the win for trainer Bill Robinson, owner-breeder CMR Farms of Hagersville, and co-owners David Serwatuk of Hamilton and BC Reichheld Stables of Caledonia, Ontario.

Trainer Mark Steacy finished first and second in the three-year-old trotting colt and gelding final with Jammin Jack and Majestic Fire, who were separated by a head at the 1:55.4 finish. TBarrr rounded out the top three.

“At the start of the year I wouldn’t have gave a whole lot for either one of them horses. They were a lot of work. They didn’t show a whole lot, they didn’t even show a lot of speed early on, especially Jammin Jack,” said Steacy, who trains Angus Hall son Jammin Jack for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. “But as the year progressed he just got more confidence and he showed speed and he’s got a good kick coming for home. James [MacDonald] got to know him really good, that really helped too.”

Trainer Jeff Gillis swept the top two spots in the $34,000 Preferred Pace as Nocturnal Blue Chip capitalized off a pocket trip to win in 1:50.3 ahead of stable-mate Continual Hanover, also off a rail trip.

Sylvain Filion placed the five-year-old gelded son of Bettors Delight in second behind Nirvana Seelster as he paced unchallenged through a :26.3 opening quarter and a :55.2 half. Pressured around the final turn by Easy Lover Hanover blitzing first over, Nirvana Seelster faded in the stretch while Nocturnal Blue Chip powered to the lead. Continual Hanover chased and stuck a head in front of Easy Lover Hanover to take second.

Competing for the NLG Racing Stable, Nocturnal Blue Chip paid $11.20 to win.

(With files from the Ontario Sires Stakes)

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

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