Just Asign To Me wrapped up a perfect Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots regular season with a spectacular stakes, track and Canadian record performance at Windsor Raceway on Wednesday evening
Starting from Post 1 in the second $24,000 Grassroots division, Just Asign To Me was on fire from the moment the starting gate swung away from the field, opening up a two length gap on his peers before he ever reached the first turn. Through fractions of :26.3, :54.3 and 1:23, Just Asign To Me and driver Trevor Henry were flying solo on the front end.
Sweeping around the final turn with four lengths on the field, the Geartogear son maintained his momentum through the finish line to hit the wire in a stunning 1:52.1, setting a new Ontario Sires Stakes, track and Canadian record for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings.
Lucky Encounter (Randy Waples), owned by trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ont., Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ont. and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio, paced into second spot, just ahead of Officernagentleman (Scott Zeron) and Distant Cam (Jason Brewer), who is owned by Larry Pollard of Harrow, Ont. Rez Rockstar (Doug McNair) rounded out the top five.
Wednesday’s win capped a superlative Grassroots regular season for Bruce Gilkinson’s online purchase. Appearing in all six regular season events, Just Asign To Me delivered six victories, reaching the finish line an average of four and one-third lengths ahead of his peers.
Just Asign To Me’s 1:52.1 record-setting mile lowered the former Ontario Sires Stakes record, set by Isle Of Patmos at Rideau Carleton Raceway in 2004 and matched by Alastor Hanover at Windsor in 2005, by two-fifths of a second. The gelding joined his father Geartogear in the both the provincial and Windsor Raceway record books. Geartogear set the three-year-old pacing colt record of 1:50.1 winning a Gold Final by five lengths on Nov. 6, 2004.
Listowel, Ont. resident Gilkinson trains Just Asign To Me for his Cat Sass Stable, and will now be focusing all his energies on having the youngster ready for the Oct. 15 Grassroots Semifinals at Western Fair Raceway in London. The top four finishers from each $30,000 Semifinal will return to Western Fair on Oct. 23 for a shot at the division title and a share of the $100,000 Grassroots Championship purse.
In the first Grassroots division, Ultimate Luck scored his second provincial victory with an off the pace effort that saw him sprint by pacesetter Facebook (Doug McNair) in the stretch. The Camluck son hit the wire one length ahead of Facebook in 1:53.3, leaving third-place finisher Picasso A F (Simon Allard) four lengths to the rear. Wit And Wisdom (Randy Waples), owned by trainer Bob McIntosh, Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. and Dwight Stacey of Mitchell, Ont., hung on to his top 16 standing with a fourth-place effort and Tornado Touchdown (Chris Johnston) rounded out the point earners in fifth.
Scott Zeron engineered Ultimate Luck’s fifth lifetime victory for trainer Sifroi Melanson and owner Ultimate Stable of Greater Lakeburn, N.B. The colt wrapped up the regular season with 137 points earned through two wins, one second and one third, good enough for fifth spot in the two-year-old pacing colt division standings.
Dreamfair Kovu made the biggest leap up the point standings with his 1:53.1 victory in the last Grassroots split. Piloted by Randy Waples, the P Forty Seven son took control of the race before the halfway marker and sailed home one length ahead of Mach Wheel (Joe Hudon Jr.) and Atlantic Ball (Scott Zeron). Camaes Fellow (Trevor Henry) and Stolen Car (Doug McNair) finished fourth and fifth.
Patrick Fletcher trains Dreamfair Kovu for owner-breeder John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ont., and has sent the chestnut colt behind the gate six times this season for a record of three wins and one third. Making just two appearances in the Grassroots program, Dreamfair Kovu also carries a perfect record into the Semifinal round.
With the Grassroots regular season winding down, Windsor Raceway fans have to wait until Oct. 27 for their next dose of Ontario Sires Stakes excitement. The southern Ontario oval will host the last Gold Series event for the gifted three-year-old trotting fillies, with eliminations on Oct. 27 and the $130,000 Gold Final going postward on Nov. 3.
To view Wednesday's results, click here.
(With files from OSS)