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Mohawk To Host OSS Friday

Published: June 25, 2020 1:44 pm ET

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Ontario harness racing fans and participants will be celebrating on Friday evening, as the Ontario Sires Stakes program will make its 2020 debut at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Delayed by five weeks due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the OSS program will kick off with four $23,000 Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Last season’s leading OSS trainer, Gregg McNair, will look to pick up where he left off, as he is set to send out early favourite Landry Seelster in the second split.

The daughter of Mach Three is set to start from Post 2. She is heading into the Grassroots season opener off of a sharp runner-up finish in a June 19 test at Woodbine Mohawk Park. She had previously paced to a fourth-place finish in her June 9 sophomore debut.

“She raced [well] both starts, really. She seems to be getting a little stronger,” said McNair, a resident of Guelph that shares ownership of the filly with Ilderton Boys Stable of London and Dany Fontaine of Ormston, QC. “She still has a bit of a mind of her own on the track and stuff -- she’s a little hyper -- but she’s got a good gait to her and everything. We hope that she’s all right; she drew [well].”

McNair’s son Doug, currently the leading driver at the Campbellville oval, will steer Landry Seelster in what will be the third start of her sophomore campaign. As a two-year-old, the filly captured the Grassroots season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park and went on to qualify for the season-ending Grassroots Championship, where she finished seventh.

Trainer Rob Fellows started two fillies in the Grassroots Championship last fall, and both Mach My Kiss and Coqui Coqui will look to launch another successful provincial campaign on Friday. Mach My Kiss is the early favourite from Post 6 in the first division and Coqui Coqui gets Post 2 in the final split.

“The two of them train bridles apart every time they train together,” said Fellows. The trainer went on to say that the two fillies “act like they have the same amount of ability, but a lot of time when they start racing they separate real quick; because we try to train and keep them together just for attitude as much as anything... but once you start racing of course no one’s waiting on you, you’ve got to be able to keep up and go.

“Obviously we’re hoping for good things for both of them. Both of them, actually, are owned by the breeders,” the Rockwood resident added. “My wife, Yolanda, and I own part of Mach My Kiss, with Blair and Erna Corbeil who bred her, and of course Jack Turigliatto, he bred Coqui Coqui. They believe in us to keep their horse and you hope you can do them proud.”

Doug McNair will steer Mach Three filly Mach My Kiss for the Fellows and Corbeil families, while Bob McClure has received the call to steer Coqui Coqui, who is a daughter of Sportswriter.

With fans not permitted at the racetrack, the owner-breeders will be cheering on their Grassroots hopefuls from afar Friday, but Fellows hopes to see them trackside before the season comes to an end.

“Hopefully it will be behind us partway through this season and we’ll get people out,” said the trainer. “The racetracks will do all they can do to bring it back as quickly and safely as they can, because we don’t want to be doing something that’s not 100 per cent safe for the people. We want to do whatever is right.”

Post time for Friday’s card at Woodbine Mohawk Park is at 7 p.m. and the Grassroots divisions will be featured in Races 2, 4, 7 and 9. Downloadable programs and a live stream of all the races are available on the Woodbine Mohawk Park website.

Both McNair and Fellows will be back at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday when the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings kick off their Grassroots season. McNair is scheduled start Mack from Post 3 in the third division and Doubleagentman from Post 7 in the fifth, while Fellows is set to send out Lous Delight from Post 2 in the second split.

Saturday’s Grassroots action will head postward for Race 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, and 10 (the colts will kick things off at 7 p.m.). Downloadable programs and a live stream for Saturday night’s races are also available on the Woodbine Park website.

To view the harness racing entries for Friday at Mohawk, click the following link: Friday Entries - Woodbine Mohawk Park.


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