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Stakes Score For The Dark Shadow

Published: July 13, 2017 11:49 pm ET

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Heading into Thursday’s three-year-old pacing colt Grassroots event at Mohawk Racetrack The Dark Shadow had delivered nine top five finishes in Ontario Sires Stakes action without ever visiting the winner’s circle.

That dubious streak came to an end in the third $18,800 Grassroots division Thursday as The Dark Shadow paced out of the fog in front of the pack and sailed home to a 1:53.1 victory. Tremendous Play finished four lengths back in second and Lyons William was another one and one-half lengths back in third.

“He’s been getting the worst trips and had the worst luck of any horse I’ve driven this year,” said Moffat, ON resident Jody Jamieson, who has driven The Dark Shadow in the bulk of his 16 lifetime starts. “He finally got the trip to score easily.”

Starting from Post 5, Jamieson moved The Dark Shadow sharply away from the starting gate and landed in second behind Tremendous Play, who led the field through fractions of :26.3, :56.3 and 1:24.3. The colts disappeared into the thickening fog as they paced around the final turn, but it was The Dark Shadow who emerged with the lead in the stretch and sprinted home to the convincing victory.

Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON owns and trains the son of Shadow Play and Bestofbothworlds, who boosted his career earnings to $78,997 with the win, his second lifetime.

“He’s got to be the best colt in the division, but he’s had no chance to show that form until tonight,” added Jamieson. “That should spring his confidence and start him winning regularly in the Grassroots.”

Jamieson piloted another Darling trainee, Southwind General to a third-place result in the first Grassroots division, finishing four lengths behind their co-favourites London Seelster and Louis-Philippe Roy. Thrownoutofbetter and driver Phil Hudon were second.

Starting from Post 7, Roy hustled London Seelster away from the starting gate and reached the quarter pole on top in :27.2. London Seelster controlled the pace to the :57.4 half and then yielded to Oak Island, sitting behind that colt through the 1:26 three-quarters. In the stretch Roy asked London Seelster for another gear and the Camluck son delivered, sprinting off to a four length victory in a personal best 1:54.2.

Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON conditions London Seelster for Gaston Bibeau and numbered company 9099 3833 Quebec Inc. of Sorel-Tracy, QC and Eric Bibeau of Ste-Victoire-de-Sorel, QC and the trainer said the partners were delighted with the victory.

“They are the best owners; this was their first Grassroots win. I’m happy for us, and I love Louis-Philippe like he is my own son,” quipped Moreau, adding that he was not 100 per cent confident London Seelster would emerge victorious from his first Grassroots start of the season.

Through four sophomore outings the gelding now boasts a record of three wins and earnings of $16,800.

The other trophy also went home with a first-time Grassroots winner. Dream Of Luck and driver Doug McNair took control of the second division before the halfway marker and proceeded to lead the field to the wire, posting a three-quarter length victory over Kazimoto and Mach Deja Vu in 1:53.4.

“He raced good tonight,” said McNair. “He has a lot of speed, but you have to make him do it. I think he would finish better off a helmet.”

It was the third win of the season, and the first Grassroots victory, for Dream Of Luck, who is owned by trainer Jeff Gillis of Everett, ON, Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. The win boosted the Camluck son’s lifetime earnings to $46,709.

The three-year-old pacing colts will make their fourth Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway on Monday, Aug. 7, part of the Elora oval’s signature Industry Day event.

Ontario Sires Stakes action is back at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday, July 18 when the two-year-old trotting colts will go postward at 7:30 p.m. in their second Grassroots test.


To view results for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Mohawk Racetrack.

For the official judges' report from Thursday's card, click the following link: Judges' Report - Mohawk - July 13.

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