Ontario’s two-year-old trotting colts and geldings made their Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series debut in front of the friendly crowds at Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
Oaklea Vulcan impressed the fans in the first $24,000 split with a come-from-behind effort that saw him travel up the outside to score a two and one-quarter length victory over Ark Went In. Charlie Muscle, owned by Daniel McCann of Parkhill, Shelley Henry of Arthur and Murray Brethour of Sunderland, Ontario, led for much of the mile, but made a late break that saw him settle for third.
Ronald Henderson engineered the 2:07.2 mile for trainer Daniel Dupuis of Windsor and his partner Herbert Swinhoe of Windsor, Ontario. The pair invested just $600 in the Pegasus Spur son at the Fall Extravaganza Mixed Sale last October, meaning Oaklea Vulcan repaid his purchase price and training bills in full with just one start.
Muscle Mass son Gotta Secret delivered an impressive performance in the second Grassroots division, leading the field from start to finish to claim a six and three-quarter length victory in 2:07.1. Muscle On Broadway and Ballykeel Pegasus rounded out the top three.
Claude Cadieux trains and drives the promising young trotter for Gestion Jean Yves Blais of Montreal. The colt was a $12,000 yearling purchase at the Canadian Yearling Sale last fall.
Jason Brewer piloted Bambino Babe to a 2:05.3 victory in the third Grassroots split, sprinting home to a one and one-quarter length victory over Eat Pray Trot and Muscles Master. Trainer Norm Dunstan of Caledon Village, Ontario, purchased Bambino Babe, another son of Muscle Mass, at last fall’s Forest City Yearling sale for $22,000.
Magic Hat delivered a gate-to-wire effort in the fourth division, digging in at the wire to hold off Risky Business. Beyond Sanity trotted into third spot in the 2:08.2 mile.
Scott Zeron piloted the Kadabra son to the win for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman and owners Herb Liverman of Miami Beach and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, Florida.
The ninth race culminated in a rare dead heat for the win but Northern Pirate made a break in the stretch that caused him to be placed back to second, giving North York sole ownership of the Grassroots trophy and the 2:06.1 clocking. Random Destiny, owned by Daniel McCann of Parkhill, Henry Stable of Arthur and Jeffrey Thomson of Chesley, Ontario, finished five and one-quarter lengths back in third.
A $7,000 purchase out of the Forest City Yearling sale, North York is by Duke Of York out of $347,292 winner Wescott. The colt is trained by Rene Laarman for Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein, Ontario, and Seth Rosenfeld of Los Angeles, and Doug McNair crafted the trotter’s first lifetime victory.
Remsheg Ricky delivered a game performance in the last Grassroots split to capture the 2:07 win. After leading for much of the mile the Red Flamethrower son faced a serious threat from Don Wan Veeba in the final quarter, but turned away the challenger and powered down the stretch to record the one and one-half length win. Power Move trailed the leader into second and Don Wan Veeba had to settle for third.
Bruce Richardson piloted the chestnut colt to the win for trainer Michael Robblee of Woodstock and Brandy Jamieson of Milton, Ontario. Robblee also bred Remsheg Ricky, a daughter of former Gold elimination winner Corporate Girl.
The two-year-old trotting colts and geldings make their second Grassroots start at Hiawatha Horse Park on July 19, while Ontario sires Stakes excitement returns to Clinton Raceway on Sunday, August 19 with Grassroots action for the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings.