Ionia ($29.00) posted a narrow upset in her co-featured $8,500 Preferred 3 Trot on Wednesday (Aug. 7) at Grand River Raceway, while Y A Muscle Mass ($4.80) and Twice An Angel ($7.20) proved victorious in their Preferred events as well. Jodie Cullen led all trainers with three wins on the 11-race card.
Ionia and driver J Harris made every call a winning one in their division of the trotting feature, carving out ambitious fractions of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:25.4 with Tax Savings (James MacDonald) perched handily in the pocket. Off the home turn, Tax Savings emerged to give chase, but Ionia stuck to her guns and prevailed by three-quarters of a length. Dottie (Travis Cullen) rallied strongly off second-over cover to take third.
Bill Shaw trains 23-time winner Ionia for Joseph Shaw and Jay Kressler.
In the second Preferred 3 Trot division, Y A Muscle Mass and Robert Shepherd used almost identical tactics to prevail, doing so in 1:56.4. The four-year-old Muscle Mass entire used a :27.3 quarter to clear Glider Man (Paul MacKenzie) before maintaining a strong tempo through splits of :56.4 and 1:25.4. Turning for home, Y A Muscle Mass parried a second push from Glider Man to prevail by three-quarters of a length. Ole Jack Magic (Cullen) recovered from an early break to maintain third position throughout.
Isabelle Darveau trains 12-time winner Y A Muscle Mass for Rosaire Renaud.
Distaff pacers contested a lone Preferred 3 split, and Twice An Angel enjoyed a pocket ride behind an extended duel before reaching up the open stretch for a narrow 1:56.4 tally.
Travis Cullen landed the six-year-old daughter of Dragon Again in the pocket behind pacesetting favourite Significance (Colin Kelly) through reasonable splits of :29, :58.2 and 1:27.3, and the pair drafted along as Significance faced sustained first-over pressure from Woodmere Wyldstyle (Tyler Borth) in the second circuit. Turning for home, Cullen pointed Twice An Angel to the inside path, and urged her to reach by a neck in the final yards. Woodmere Wyldstyle did overpower Significance narrowly for the runner-up spot.
Trainer Jodie Cullen co-owns 15-time winner Twice An Angel with Jerry Jagenaars. The featured win kicked off a natural hat trick for the Cullens, who also won with Gold Star Diablo ($5.40, 1:56) and Dreamfair Zenfire ($10.10, 1:55.3).
To view Wednesday’s harness racing results, click the following link: Wednesday Results – Grand River Raceway.