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Sophomore Semi-Finals In The Books

Published: October 16, 2008 9:00 pm ET

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The first round of OSS Grassroots semi-finals got underway earlier this evening at Flamboro Downs, as Canada's fastest half-miler rolled out the red carpet to a talented assortment of three-year-old performers.

The top four finishers from each of tonight's semi-final contests will advance to the $60,000 OSS Grassroots finals, which are scheduled for Friday, October 24.

We'll recap the semi-finals as they take place.

THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTERS

Dornello, who was 4-for-4 in the OSS Grassroots this season, took her semi-final assignment for the Pennsylvania partnership of Joe Myers and Linda Worrell. The Mark Steacy-trained daughter of Angus Hall, who was sent off as the 6-5 favourite, laid down panels of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:29.2 for driver Trevor Ritchie en route to the 1:59.3 victory.

Pleasure Girls overcame early interference to finish second. Third prize went to Greater Good and Stormont Reception finished fourth.

Dornello, who now boasts $260,981 in lifetime earnings, improved her 2008 record to 6-1-0 in 14 starts with the win.

Good Common Cents catapulted off cover and drew away to a 2:00.2 performance in her semi-final assignment for trainer Larry Walker and driver Keith Oliver. The homebred daughter of Kadabra, who went 1-for-6 in OSS Grassroots events this season, is owned by Charles Armstrong of Brampton, Ontario.

Fa Mulan, who was hammered down to be the 3-5 favourite, sat a pocket trip and finished second. Valley Courtney, who was the point leader in the division, finished third and Majestic Style rounded out the top four.

It was the third win of the season and the fifth lifetime score for Good Common Cents, who now boasts a bankroll in excess of $150,000.

THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT TROTTERS

Rapid Strategy used off-the-pace tactics to capture his assignment for the Baillargeons – trainer Ben and driver Mario. The gelded son of King Conch, who was sent off as the 1-9 favourite, froze the teletimer in 1:59 en route to defeating Dillavec, Abe Linkin and Lubbock.

It was the sixth win of the campaign and the seventh lifetime tally for Rapid Strategy, who is owned by Frank Cirillo of Mississauga, Ontario. The $15,000 payday lifted the trotter's career bankroll to $109,851.

Windsun Pride, who produced a 3-3-0 record in six OSS Grassroots assignment during the regular season, was just as productive in the post season. The son of Angus Hall rolled to an eye-catching victory in his semi-final tilt for Dave Wall – the man affectionately known as "Mr. OSS."

Wall rolled the Phil Coole trainee through panels of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:27.4 before cruising home in :30.1 en route to the eight length decision. P L Broadway Joe, Patriot Seelster and Kangamangus rounded out the top four.

Coole owns the productive gelding with the Stoney Island Stable of Kincardine and Dr. Pete Johnston of Peterborough, Ontario. It was the trotter's ninth win of the campaign, and the $15,000 boosted his overall purse haul to $97,750.

THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACERS

Slaley, who entered tonight's assignment fresh off her runner-up effort in last Saturday's $122,500 Courageous Lady Stakes at Northfield Park, went gate-to-wire for driver Brad Forward and trainer Bill Robinson in a time of 1:55.2.

Sent off as the 1-5 favourite, the daughter of Grinfromeartoear kicked out splits of :27, :56.1 and 1:25.1 before cruising home in :29.4 to defeat Random Dreamer, St Lads Seraph and Bunny Mach.

Gerrie Tucker and Ian Fromowitz share ownership on the filly, who finished the season as the top point-earner in the Grassroots standings. The victory was the ninth of the season in 14 tries for Slaley, who lifted her lifetime earnings to $120,437 with the win.

Shake That Junk found the finish line just in time in the second semi-final, winning by a nose in a time of 1:55.3 for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer James "Friday" Dean, who also share ownership on the daughter of Camluck.

Jamieson, who rolled his charge through fractions of :28.1, :56.3 and 1:25.2, used a :30.1 final frame to hold off runner-up Keystone Mystique by a nose. Third prize went to All Accounted For and Doinsomethingright rounded out the top four.

Sent off as the 1-5 choice in the eight-filly affair, Shake That Junk picked up her fifth win of the season and pushed her overall bankroll to $380,969 for the partnership of Jamieson (1140545 Ontario Ltd.), Dean, Dr. David Powell and the P And J Stable.

THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT PACERS

Keystone Debonair, who shared the top spot on the Grassroots leader board after racking up 187 points in six OSS efforts, survived a first-over trip to win his semi-final in a time of 1:55.4 for trainer John Kopas and driver Don McElroy.

The son of Grinfromeartoear, who races for partners Jack Kopas and George Hempt, who also bred the colt, delivered on his odds-on promise by defeating Best Night, Monster In Law and Grinning Breed.

After a 3-for-13 rookie season, Keystone Debonair has manufactured an impressive 8-6-5 record in 30 starts this year. He has stashes away just over $170,000 to date.

Giddy Up Lucky was parked every step of the mile and still managed to eke out a half-length score in his semi-final for the duo of trainer Jean Louis Arsenault and driver Paul MacKenzie. The son of Camluck halted the teletimer in 1:53.4.

Auctioneer, who parked the favourite through heated splits of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:24, was a game runner-up. Legal Litigator rallied to finish third and Castlecary Wildcat was fourth best.

David Shea of Campbellville, ON and Reg Petitpas of Shediac Bridge, NB share ownership on gelding, who went 3-for-3 in the Grassroots regular season. The pacer has put together a 7-3-4 record in 18 starts this season. His bankroll stands at $151,260.

Flamboro Downs will feature the OSS Grassroots semi-finals for the rookie pacers and trotters on Friday evening.

To view Thursday's results, click here.


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