Adare Castle Coasts In OSS; Filion Passes $130 Million

Published: July 1, 2022 12:35 am EDT

Mark Etsell's star trotting filly Adare Castle exacted vengeance from a runner-up finish in Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) competition earlier in the month to return to Gold glory with a win in her division's $156,300 OSS second-preliminary split on Thursday (June 30) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Driver James MacDonald, who piloted five winners on the 10-race card, wasted no time in landing Adare Castle on the point and cleared control after a :27.2 first quarter. From there, the race fell on Adare Castle's terms, and she received nothing but respect on the point to a :57.1 and to three-quarters in 1:26 before accelerating for home. She uncorked a :27.3 final quarter to stop the clock in 1:53.3, finishing a length better than Baby Longstocking in second with Mischevious Rose closing from last for third and Saundra, who trumped Adare Castle in round one, finishing fourth.

"She was terrific last time too... she just never raced a bad race," MacDonald said after the race. "She's always awesome, always full, always willing to do whatever you want. That's all you can ask for as a driver. Last [time] was maybe a reminder, be on your toes, be ready for anything and have her in the best position you can to win."

Adare Castle competes for owners Mark Etsell, Robert Newton, Graham Hopkins and Peter Porter. She won her third race from four starts this season and her 10th from 13 overall to push her account to $691,774. The fifth of MacDonald's winners on the night, she returned $2.80. 

MacDonald's big night started in the opener, where he sprung off a covered trip with Top Down ($10.60) to land a narrow victory before, two races later, closing again to pull a larger upset with Redwood Hanover ($22.40). He then won back-to-back races later in the card with Unevergonnagethis ($5.60) and Staythirsty De Vie ($19.50). 

In the lone OSS dash, another driver hit a milestone. Sylvain Filion, piloting Saundra to a fourth-place finish, passed $130 million in purse earnings after sitting about $4,000 shy prior to the race. Filion also looms nearer to another career landmark: 10,000 wins. Currently, Filion has won 9,671 races since beginning his career in 1987. In a single season, his best year came in 2006 when he won 530 races, but his best year in earnings was in 2012 when he banked $8.6 million in purses. 

To view Thursday's harness racing results, click the following link: Thursday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.