Counter Pointe established herself as the three-year-old trotting filly division heavyweight with a second straight Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series win on Friday evening at Rideau Carleton Raceway.
With trainer Wayne Henry also driving, Counter Pointe accelerated away from post four to a :28.1 opening quarter and never looked back, sailing home a six length winner in a personal best 1:57.3. Destinys Magic and Kylie Hall trotted into second and third.
Arthur resident Henry shares ownership of the Striking Sahbra daughter with Daniel McCann of Parkhill and Jeffrey Thomson of Chesley, Ontario. Through eight sophomore starts Counter Pointe has only two wins, both in Grassroots action. A Gold final winner at two, Counter Pointe has added $29,650 to the $203,760 she earned last season.
Henry’s brother Trevor also made an appearance in the Rideau Carleton winner’s circle, guiding Cynthia Loo to a 1:59.2 score in the third $24,000 division. The Majestic Son daughter reeled in pace-setter and fan favourite Tyranny Seelster in the stretch to record the one and three-quarter length victory. Springtimeinalaska, owned and trained by Kevin Davidson of Carp, Ontario, was a solid third.
Henry crafted Cynthia Loo’s first Grassroots victory for trainer Dan Creighton and owner Dale Hunter of London, Ontario.
Third in the Grassroots season opener at Flamboro Downs, Dee Dee Pucker made a leap up the standings with a hard-fought 1:59.4 victory in the fourth division. The Amigo Hall daughter and trainer-driver Patrick Shepherd took command of the race at the three-quarter pole and hung tough in the stretch to earn the half-length win over Sturdy As A Hall and Chandelle.
Shepherd conditions Dee Dee Pucker for owner Terry Hunter of Cambridge, Ontario.
The fifth Grassroots trophy awarded on the evening went home with Noble Peace Prize, who delivered a gate-to-wire performance in 1:57.3. Denis St Pierre guided the filly to the three-quarter length victory over Tymal Breezee and Giant Clash.
The win was the first lifetime for Noble Peace Prize, a Kadabra daughter owned by Dr. Michael Wilson of Rockwood, Ontario, and trained by Corey Johnson.
Trainer-driver Per Henriksen urged Girl Drama to a three-quarter length victory in the evening’s 11th race, reeling in Northern Senorita and fan favourite Movement in the stretch.
Henriksen’s ASA Farm in Norwood, Ontario, and Thomas Nurmi of Washington, DC share ownership of Girl Drama, a daughter of Majestic Son and SJs Sentiment.
Bruce Richardson sat in the pocket behind pace-setter Majic Trend until the top of the stretch and then pointed Racing Dreams at the wire. The filly responded with a sharp finishing kick that propelled her to a three and one-half length victory in 1:59.3. Bridge On The Kwai edged out Majic Trend for second.
It was the first win this season for Racing Dreams, who is owned by Brittany Farms of Versailles, Kentucky, and trained by Blair Burgess. The Kadabra filly was also a third-place finisher at Flamboro on June 23.
The other Grassroots division was captured by Golden Lake, who swept around the Rideau Carleton oval to a 1:57.3 clocking, finishing one length ahead of Phoenix Goal and Out Of The Hat.
Mario Baillargeon crafted the Majestic Son daughter’s first win for his brother, trainer Benoit Baillargeon, and owner Patricia Whittaker Trus of Aspers, Pennsylvania.
The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 10. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns with a vengeance to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, July 15 with Gold elimination action for both the two-year-old pacing fillies and colts.