Favoured Fillies Deliver In Grassroots Finale

Its My Choice
Published: September 9, 2023 05:09 pm EDT

In the fifth and final Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots leg of the year for three-year-old trotting fillies, favourites delivered on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Hanover Raceway and stamped themselves as contenders for the year-end championship coming up later this month.

Its Your Choice (pictured above) clicked as the 6-5 choice in the $21,800 first Grassroots division. Leaving with driver James MacDonald from the rail, Its Your Choice trotted confidently through fractions of :29.1, 1:00 and 1:29.3 before holding off a trio of challengers in a 1:59.3 performance. Hot Flash Kimmy (Bob McClure was just shy of a length back in second with Lastkickathecan (Tyler Borth) third after a placing of Lucy Who (Bert Renaud) to fourth after she finished third while offstride but failed to to lose ground through that break.

Matt Bax trains Its Your Choice (Muscle Mass - Choice Hall) for owners Al Libfeld of Pickering and Marvin And Lynn Katz of Toronto, Ont. The filly picked up her second win in 12 outings this season, and now sports a 2-5-6 summary from 20 career appearances with $153,782 in earnings. 

Its Your Choice paid $4.60 to win.

Smashin Racquets and Bob McClure followed that formula in the $21,400 second Grassroots division, on top all the way for the 2:00.3 victory.

McClure pointed the filly to the front from post four, clearing over Shiny New Penny (MacDonald) to place the two 8-5 favourites in first and second through the :30.1 first quarter and 1:02 half.  

MacDonald pulled the pocket with Shiny New Penny down the backside to test the tempo-setter through a 1:32.1 third station. Smashin Racquets showed some resolve and repelled that rival, pulling away through a :28.2 final quarter to win by some two lengths over Shiny New Penny. Sweet Detrmination (Jonathan Drury) rounded out the triactor.

A homebred of Awesome Acres Standardbreds of Rockwood, Ont.  Smashin Racquets (Resolve - Princess Serena) also competed in her 20th race on Saturday, but her summary is now 4-0-1 with earnings in excess of $71,000. She returned $5.10 on a $2 win wager.

With the preliminaries now complete, fillies will head to the Grassroots Semi-Finals on Friday, Sept. 22 at Woodbine Mohawk Park in hopes of making the final on Sept. 30.

To view the results from the Saturday card of harness racing at Hanover, click the following link: Saturday Results - Hanover Raceway.

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