A winner by a neck in last week’s Ontario Sires Stakes Gold elimination, Legzy’s margin of victory shrank further on Thursday night at Kawartha Downs, but the tough minded freshman trotting filly still got the job done.
Starting from post two in the $130,000 Gold Final, driver Sylvain Filion floated Legzy off the starting gate into third, sitting behind early combatants Tymal Tessa and Her Name Is Lola. Through the :28.3 opening quarter and :58.3 half clocked by Her Name Is Lola, Filion and Legzy continued to sit third, waiting until the pacesetter was approaching the 1:29 three-quarters to make their move up the outside.
Easily wresting the lead away from Her Name Is Lola, Legzy turned for home just over one length ahead of her peers. When Moms Apple Pie stepped out to challenge in the stretch, Legzy dug in and fought her way to a nose victory in 1:59, four-fifths of a second faster than she posted in last week’s elimination round.
Moms Apple Pie, who tailed Legzy throughout the race, had to settle for second, with Muscle Mass closing smartly to be third. Elimination winners Tymal Tessa and Her Name Is Lola completed the top five. Fan favourite Bee A Magician, the horse driver Rick Zeron selected over Legzy, made an early error and was never a factor in the race.
Joining Legzy in the winner’s circle were owner-breeders Ted Wilson of Seagrave and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY and trainer Rob Fellows of Rockwood. The daughter of Amigo Hall and Sahalee has banked $85,000 in her first two career starts, following in the footsteps of her $496,049 winning half-sister Wilsonator who was also a Gold Final winner at two.
Legzy will have her first opportunity to defend her Gold Final title when the two-year-old trotting fillies make their second Gold Series appearance July 15 at Flamboro Downs.
Filion also scored a Grassroots victory with a two-year-old trotting filly on Thursday. The Milton resident piloted Miss Directed to a 2:01.3 win in the last $24,000 Grassroots division, stepping out from the pocket to grab a half-length victory over fan favourite Ocean Mist Beauty and pacesetter Juliet.
Corey Johnson trains Miss Directed for Gilles Caouette of Garson, Ontario and Claude Baril, Antonio Tascillo and Michel Baril of Mascouche, QC. The partners offered up $13,000 for the daughter of Kadabra and $100,798 winner Clasicaly Designed at last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale.
Although John Bax trainee Her Name Is Lola did not capture the Gold Final title, the Peterborough resident did not go home empty handed. His Grassroots starter Random Majority delivered a gate-to-wire victory in the fourth division, posting a two and three-quarter length margin over Pointe De Vue and Orderingin. The Duke Of York daughter halted the teletimer at 2:00.2.
Bax and his son Matthew purchased Random Majority from the Forest City Yearling Sale last fall, offering up $11,000 for the three-quarter sister to $710,353 winner Caesar. In 2000, Bax conditioned the filly’s three-quarter sister Chelemark Gizmo to a pair of two-year-old Grassroots victories.
Motown Muscle captured the first Grassroots division by an impressive nine and one-quarter length margin, stopping the clock at 2:00.4. The Muscle Mass daughter bested Tymal Viva and Tracy Drummond.
Mario Baillargeon piloted Motown Muscle to the victory for his brother, trainer Benoit Baillargeon and owner-breeders Bet Max Stables Inc. of Casco, MI and Benenati Inc. of Clinton Township, MI. The filly is a half-sister to former Ontario Sires Stakes stalwart Porsche Hall, who banked $642,396 in her career.
Trainer-driver Jason Gilchrist piloted Ballade to a smart looking 2:00.1 victory in the second division, sailing home four lengths ahead of Uliane Bayama and Lady Genevieve. Gilchrist conditions the Ken Warkentin daughter for Dr. Frederick Albert of Prescott, who wrote a relatively modest $6,000 cheque for the filly at last fall’s Canadian Yearling Sale.
Like Gold Final winner Legzy, Cardio Pump had to fight all the way to the wire to secure her 2:00.4 victory in the third Grassroots split. The Angus Hall miss kept a neck in front of Oaklea Veronica and Hunter Valley to earn the win for trainer-driver Mark Steacy and owner Winbak Farm of Chesapeake City, MD.
Angies Lucky Star and driver Trevor Henry matched the 2:00.1 clocking recorded by Ballade to claim the fifth Grassroots trophy. The pair cruised to a two and one-half length victory over favourite Beckys Photo and Shes Got Rules.
Arthur resident Henry shares ownership on the second foal from $183,810 winner Angie Blue Chip with Daniel McCann of Parkhill and his wife Shannon Henry trains the filly. The Angus Hall miss was a $15,000 acquisition from the 2011 Canadian Yearling Sale.