A pair of $19,150 Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies served as an appetizer for the third leg of the World Driving Championship at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening.
The Ontario Sired fillies opened the program and it was immediately apparent that the track was fast and the racing would be fierce as C Mary downed heavy favourite Shewearsthepants, bringing the division point leader’s win streak to a halt at six races.
Starting from Post 8, driver Mike Saftic hustled Shewearsthepants away from the gate, reaching the quarter in :27. As Shewearsthepants led the field of nine to the :56 half, Bruce Richardson tipped C Mary off the rail from fourth and the fans’ second choice had taken command before the 1:25 three-quarters. A :28.4 final quarter saw C Mary pull away to a four length victory in 1:53.4. Shewearsthepants settled for second, with Thorne Seelster rounding out the top three.
The win was the fourth of the season and the second in Grassroots action for C Mary, who was also a winner in the season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on May 29. Tim Myers of Leamington, ON conditions the daughter of Mach Three and Sister Karen for owner-breeder J R Stables LLC of Clinton Township, MI.
The second division saw driver Nick Steward put Treasures Pearl on the front from Post 5 and sail through fractions of :28, :57.4 and 1:25.2 on the way to a one-half length victory in a personal best 1:53.2. Pocket-sitter Stellenbosch was second and Maching Me Zilly was three lengths back in third.
“The trainer (Ron Adams) said she is really good on the front as long as she gets decent fractions, and it worked out exactly that way,” said Steward, who makes his home in London, ON. “When she got to the half in :57.4 I thought she was going to be pretty tough to beat and she did the rest.”
LaSalle, ON resident Ron Adams trains Treasures Pearl for owner-breeder Donald Leschied of South Woodslee, ON. The win was the third straight for the daughter of Sportswriter and St Lads Treasure and her second in four Grassroots starts.
With their wins C Mary and Treasures Pearl both moved up one spot in the three-year-old pacing filly Grassroots standings. C Mary now sits third with 141 points, while Treasures Pearl is fourth with 133. Shewearsthepants continues to hold a commanding lead, with 200 points through five events. The fillies will wrap up their regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 7 and the top 10 point earners will compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 30.
Canada’s World Driving Championship representative James MacDonald of Guelph, ON finished fifth in the second Grassroots division with Bid Writer and captured the first and third of five World Driving Championship races with Ontario Sired pacer Shemars Lulu and trotter Walk The Plank.
Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs on Sunday, August 20 as part of the Honourable Earl Rowe Trot program. Sunday’s first race goes behind the starting gate at 6 pm.