Mohawk Racetrack fans had their pencils sharpened to a fine point on Thursday evening, correctly predicting the winners of all three Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old trotting fillies.
In spite of her outside Post 10, fans were partial to P L Layla in the first $19,500 division and the daughter of Glidemaster did not disappoint, rolling out three-wide at the three-quarter pole and reeling in the leaders for a one length victory in 1:59.2. Stand For Justice and Gradabra finished second and third.
It was the second Grassroots win for P L Layla and driver Randy Waples of Milton, ON, who were also victorious in the July 6 season opener at Mohawk. The pair moved up to the Gold Series for their second start, but were saddled with another Post 10 and finished seventh. With two victories P L Layla, who is trained by Matthew Dupuis for owner-breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON, currently sits atop the two-year-old trotting filly Grassroots standings with 100 points.
The second division saw Allerage Stargazer sent off as the fans’ top choice, and the filly powered away from Post 4 and sailed around the Mohawk oval to a one and three-quarter length win in 1:59.1. Ladys Intuition and Bonnie Breeze rounded out the top three.
“She raced good,” said driver Doug McNair. “She was a little bit aggressive on
the gate, but was nice in the race. She’s learning.”
Guelph, ON resident McNair piloted the daughter of Angus Hall and Starry Eyed to the victory for trainer Paul Reid and numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. A $35,000 purchase at last fall’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale, the full-sister to $420,090 winner Allerage Star started her season at the Gold Series level, finishing fourth and sixth in the July 6 and 25 events at Mohawk.
The final division saw trainer Tom Riley and his wife, owner Amanda Riley, earn just their second Ontario Sires Stakes trophy courtesy of fan favourite Ms Miller. Starting from Post 9 driver Louis-Philippe Roy left the gate with confidence and sat in the outer lane before reaching the front just past the halfway marker.
Precieuse CC mounted a challenge in the stretch, but Ms Miller trotted home to a three-quarter length victory in 1:58.2. Precieuse CC settled for second and Kant Afford It was third.
“We actually just our had our first one (OSS win) two weeks ago at Grand River with our three-year-old trotting filly. We call them the Miller sisters, because we have Millers Song, which is our three-year-old, and then we have Ms Miller,” said Tom Riley. “All winter I was telling my wife I thought that they had some talent, and so far they both actually have done us well.”
Like Allerage Stargazer, Ms Miller started her season at the Gold Series level, finishing fifth and eighth in the first two events before Riley decided a change of scenery was in order for the daughter of Southwind Lustre and Zorgwijk Diamond.
“She showed promise right from the get go. She’s had the attitude of wanting to do it,” said Riley, noting that an absence of racing luck was the filly’s biggest problem through her first five starts. “I know she’s a decent filly, it’s just she hasn’t had the opportunity to kind of flaunt herself yet. Tonight she did, being parked to the half and hanging on and still winning in 1:58.2, for a two-year-old that’s pretty impressive.”
The Roseneath, ON residents purchased Ms Miller out of last fall’s Canadian Yearling Sale for $5,000 and the filly boosted her lifetime earnings to $16,905 with Thursday’s victory. She will have an opportunity to add to both her earnings and her Grassroots point total in the fifth two-year-old trotting filly event on September 4 at Mohawk. The top 10 point earners from the six regular season events will compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at the Campbellville oval on September 30.
Next up on Mohawk Racetrack’s Ontario Sires Stakes calendar are the three-year-old trotting fillies, competing as part of the undercard on Monday’s World Driving Championship program. The Grassroots fillies will battle in Races 1, 4, 8, and 9, while 11 of the top drivers from across the globe, including Canadian representative and Ontario Sires Stakes regular James MacDonald of Guelph, go head-to-head in Races 2, 3, 5 and 6. First race post time is 7:30 pm.
To view results for Tuesday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Mohawk Racetrack.