Got Power, a half-sister to top three-year-old pacing filly Powerful Chris, collected her second victory while also pacing the fastest of five $23,500 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions for two-year-old pacing fillies on Tuesday, July 9 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Starting from post 9, driver Chris Christoforou eased the filly from the gate and settled in seventh as Even Louder led the field to a :27.4 opening quarter. Christoforou joined the parade in the outer lane heading for the :57.4 half and advanced to sixth when Even Louder reached the 1:25.3 three-quarters. But once she hit high gear in the stretch, Got Power sailed by her peers to 1:54.4 victory. Satdnite Jukebox finished two-and-one-quarter lengths back in second, just ahead of Mittaroniandcheese.
“She raced very well her first start on the front to win and followed up with an impressive off the pace win tonight,” said Christoforou, who also drove the filly to her first win on July 2. “She’s done everything I’ve asked of her and hopefully continues to improve with each race.”
Christoforou drives Got Power for trainer Tony O’Sullivan and his partners Gary Volpe and William Hill. The daughter of Royal Mattjesty and Cell Power caught O’Sullivan’s eye on a visit to Winbak Farm last fall and he placed the winning bid of $15,000 at the London Selected Yearling Sale.
“She’s very smart, pretty easy gaited and just nothing seems to faze her very much,” said O’Sullivan of the youngster. “She’ll look around at things to be inquisitive, but she’s never really trained badly and every time I’ve asked her to do something she’s done it, so she’s pretty nice right now.”
After her June 21 qualifier and her win last Tuesday, O’Sullivan considered starting Got Power in the Gold Series, but for now he feels the filly is best suited to the Grassroots program.
“I do believe that Got Power is a really nice filly, but I just think she’s not quite ready yet,” said O’Sullivan.
“Next year she’s going to develop into a real nice sized filly. She wouldn’t be as big as Powerful Chris was last year, but the thing I like about Got Power is she’s got a real good shoulder and bum. And honestly her conformation is fantastic, she looks like a colt. She’s just got a presence about her; you can see it on the track, right. She’s just a good looking filly, so I think if I look after her she’ll develop along pretty good.”
Father and son Gregg and Doug McNair teamed up to win two of the divisions, starting the evening off in the winner’s circle with Beach Sports and making a second trip after Race 7 with Landry Seelster.
Fan-favourite Beach Sports was a 1:55.4 winner from post 10 in her division, reaching the wire one-and-three-quarter lengths ahead of Preeminence and Highland Salsa. A $9,000 purchase from the London Selected Yearling Sale, the Sportswriter half-sister to top sophomore-pacing colt Century Farroh is owned by Ross Family Farms Ltd.
Doug McNair and Landry Seelster squeezed through traffic late to secure the half-length victory in the fourth $23,500 division. The Mach Three daughter bested Chasethecloudsaway and Isla Seelster with her 1:55 effort. Trainer Gregg McNair shares ownership of the filly, a $45,000 purchase from the London Selected Yearling Sale, with Ilderton Boys Stable and Dany Fontaine.
Favourite So Delightful captured the third division with a come-from-behind effort to roll home a one-and-one-quarter length winner in 1:54.2. Fiorella and Bettorbeasecret also closed well for second and third. Trevor Henry drove So Delightful to the win for trainer Bob McIntosh and his fellow owner-breeders C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc.
“She’s a very nice filly,” said Henry, who also drove the Bettors Delight daughter in her June 21 and 27 qualifiers. “She will eventually make a Gold filly I think. She’s got all the tools.”
The last division saw Capistrano match So Delightful’s clocking, as driver Phil Hudon sent the Warrawee Needy filly straight to the front from post 9 and never had cause to look over his shoulder. Capistrano cruised home a three-and-three-quarter length winner in 1:54.2, besting Kat and Zephyr Seelster.
“It was nice to pick up a lovely drive like that,” said Hudon, who was making his first appearance in the filly’s race bike. “She did everything well in hand. She’s a nice filly and everything worked out great.”
Hudon engineered the win for trainer Harry Poulton and fractional ownership group TheStable Capistrano Group.
The two-year-old pacing fillies will be back at Woodbine Mohawk Park for their second Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots start on July 18.
The two-year-old trotting fillies make their Gold Series debut at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, July 11, competing in three divisions. The first race gets under way at 7:10 pm and the fillies will show off their skills in Races 2, 3 and 6.
Alongside the Grassroots, Dancer Hall delivered a career-best performance to get up and win Tuesday’s $34,000 Preferred Trot.
The five-year-old Rod Boyd trainee was making his second start after a four-and-a-half-month layoff and muscled by favourite Musical Rhythm in deep stretch to win in 1:51.1.
Driven by James MacDonald, Dancer Hall left from the outermost post in a field of seven and got away fourth. Hemi Seelster stormed to the lead and posted fractions of :27 and :56.
Dancer Hall angled out just after the half and moved up on the outside before Musical Rhythm moved out of the pocket just before three-quarters. Hemi Seelster hit a wall just after reaching the third marker in 1:23.4.
In the stretch Musical Rhythm had a pair of lengths on Dancer Hall with an eighth of a mile remaining. Dancer Hall took aim at his target and tracked down Musical Rhythm late to win by half a length. P L Jill finished third while Free Willy Hanover was fourth.
Owned by 1187422 Ontario Inc, Dancer Hall was winless in five starts prior to Tuesday’s outing. The Boyd trainee had a tremendous season in 2018, winning 10 of 23 starts and earning $293,272.
Tuesday’s Preferred score increases Dancer Hall’s career numbers to 19 wins and $426,582. The clocking of 1:51.1 knocked over a second off his previous career-best.
Dancer Hall paid $18.70 to win.
(with files from the Ontario Sires Stakes and Woodbine Mohawk Park)