ELORA, ON – SEPT. 9, 2019 – Driver Trevor Henry and trainer Bob McIntosh teamed up to win two of five Grassroots harness racing divisions aton Monday evening.
Henry and McIntosh captured the first $23,150 two-year-old pacing filly division with Miss L A, who powered up the outer lane to take on early leader Tuggingoncredit and then dug in down the stretch to hold off fan favourite Queso Relleno and Trizzle Trazzle. Miss L A won her Grassroots debut by half a length in 1:56.4.
"She's a great big filly. She's kind of like a six foot six kid in Grade 8, and I look for her to be much better next year, but she's improving every start, so who knows what might happen this fall," said McIntosh of the daughter of Bettors Delight and West Of L A. "She's a big filly – she's going to be over 16 hands – and kind of rangy. Once she gets muscle on that frame, then she's going to be serious. I hope so anyway."
"She definitely will be better next year, but if she can get some points in the next one (Grassroots), she will definitely be tough in the Semis," added Arthur, On resident Henry, who padded his lead in the Lampman Cup race for the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program with Monday's driving double.
McIntosh shares ownership of Miss L A with Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and Deo Volente Farms LLC and Cool Cat Racing Inc. of Flemington, NJ. The Hall of Fame horseman also bred Miss L A and her illustrious siblings; Somewhere in L A and L A Delight, who have both amassed $1.7 million in their racing careers, and current three-year-old Ontario Sires Stakes star Sunny Dee.
"She's different than the rest of her siblings," noted the Windsor, ON resident. "It's hard to think of what she's going to do, because she's got a big motor, I just think she'll be a better three-year-old."
After settling for second with So Delightful in the second division, won by Coco Beach De Vie and driver Jody Jamieson in 1:57, Henry and McIntosh were back in the winner's circle with Even Louder.
Starting from Post 1 Henry sent Even Louder straight to the front and controlled the tempo through fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:26 on their way to a 1:57 personal best. Fan favourite Ms Brampton Beast was one length back in second and Chasethecloudsaway rounded out the top three.
"The thing with that filly, she's maybe not the fastest filly in Canada, but she's the most honest filly. And Trevor gave her a hell of a drive, because he had them all kind of where he wanted them at the three-quarter pole. That was a great drive," said McIntosh, who bred and owns the daughter of Thinking Out Loud.
"When he hit the half in :56 I went 'Whoa', but he got the next quarter in 30 seconds and he had them all stacked up and where he wanted them," the trainer continued. "She's the most honest filly you'd ever draw a line over, she's really good that way and super gaited, good mannered, but great drive too."
Mach My Kiss and driver Doug McNair delivered the quickest mile of the five Grassroots divisions, tracking Mystic Shadow through fractions of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before zipping up the passing lane to a one-half length victory in 1:55. Mystic Shadow settled for second and Wiggle Delight was six lengths behind the leaders in third.
Monday's outing was Mach My Kiss's debut at the Grassroots level after three starts with the Gold Series fillies and trainer Robert Fellows is hoping the Mach Three daughter can deliver another strong effort in the last regular season Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 20 to finish among the top 20 point earners and advance to the post season.
"She did nothing wrong all the way down, trained good, and then I started her in the Gold and that teased me, because she finished third in the first one and I left her there for a couple," said Fellows. "Now I've got to hope I can get some points in the last two here, just to try and salvage her year. She's a nice little filly."
The Rockwood, ON resident trains Mach My Kiss for his wife Yolanda Fellows and Erna Corbeil of Beaumont, AB.
Jody Jamieson piloted Coco Beach De Vie to her 1:57 win in the second division for trainer Daryl Roberts and owners Walter and Ruth Ann Parkinson of Lucan and Rachel Roberts of Dorchester, ON. The win was the Sunshine Beach daughter's first and Jamieson said she is finally delivering on the promise she showed when he drove her in qualifying action in June.
"Daryl has been really patient with her," said Jamieson. "She was real quick in June and needed most of July to learn to handle the speed. Tonight she raced tough and rewarded Daryl for his patience."
The other Grassroots division went to Siochan, who captured her first lifetime victory with a 1:55.2 effort for driver Paul MacKenzie and owner-trainer Deb O'Brian Moran of Carlisle, ON. Lady Natasha finished one and three-quarter lengths back in second and Century Gianna was well back in third.
Grand River Raceway will wrap up its 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Monday, Sept. 23 with the fourth Gold Series event for the two-year-old trotting colts.
Complete results from Monday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0909grvrn.dat.
From the Ontario Sire Stakes