A five-pack of eliminations - a pair for the Battle Of Waterloo and a trio of tilts for the Battle Of The Belles - was contested Monday evening at Grand River Raceway, and as a result the stage is now set for those Industry Day finals.
Aint Three OK captured her $10,000 elimination of the Battle Of The Belles, and she did so in come-from-behind fashion for driver Trevor Henry and trainer Mike Weller.
Henry got away fifth with the daughter of Mach Three-Aint Given Up before asking her to move to the outside flow and catch some cover. Stonebridge Sundae supplied the field with fractions of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:24.4 before being overtaken in the lane. Aint Three OK summoned up a :30-second closing quarter for Henry and that was good enough to win by 1-1/4 lengths over the pocket-sitting Shanghai Sugar in 1:55.1. Stonebridge Sundae was third.
Sent off as the 7-5 favourite, Aint Three OK improved her rookie record to 1-1-0 from three tries for lessee Chuck Grubbs of Louisville, KY. The lion’s share of the loot lifted her lifetime earnings to $31,250.
Bid Writer put the pedal to the metal in the second elimination, and that approach earned her a gate-to-wire triumph in 1:56.3 for the tandem of driver James MacDonald and trainer Jeff Gillis.
The daughter of Sportswriter-Bust Out The Bid took full advantage of the pole position by firing through fractions of :28, :57.4 and 1:26.3. A :30-second kicker is all that was needed to win by 3-1/2 lengths over Village Jamie. The Joy Luck Club rallied from last to finish third in the seven-filly affair.
Gillis co-owns the lightly-raced lass, who was sent off as the 2-5 favourite, with partners Mach Nichol of Burlington, Ont. and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. The victory improved her record to 2-0-1 from three starts while pushing her cash stash to $22,400.
Loves Angel went to the front for Team McNair and didn’t look back en route to a 1:58.1 tally in the final elimination of the Battle Of The Belles.
Doug McNair rolled the daughter of Big Jim-Moss Blue Chip to the lead from Post 2 and she threw down fractions of :29.2, :59.1 and 1:28.2 before using a :29.4 closing quarter to seal the deal. Race favourite Warrawee Speedy sat a pocket-trip throughout and had to settle for the runner-up award, while Miss Mittzie Bee took home the show dough in the $10,000 affair.
Trainer Gregg McNair co-owns the maiden-breaking youngster with Jim Newton of Thornhill, Ont. and Kenneth Newton of Biggar, SK. From four starts, the filly has posted a 1-1-0 record while stashing away earnings of $6,900.
Calvin K captured the first $15,000 Battle Of Waterloo elimination for a driver with a trio of Battle Of Waterloo titles under his belt, Jody Jamieson.
The son of Classic Card Shark-Road To Pandalay got away fifth from Post 8 while race favourite Silverinyourpocket roared to the front and carved out demanding fractions of :26.3, :55.2 and 1:25.1. Jamieson had his charge on the move from first-over as the field neared the mid-way point, and after grinding away in the backstretch the Tony O’Sullivan trainee dug in and used a :30.2 closing panel to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Aston Hill Dave. Silverinyourpocket faded to finish third.
Winbak Farm of Chesapeake City, MD bred and owns the colt, who improved his freshman record to 3-0-0 from just four trips postward. The $7,500 payday bumped his bankroll to $75,400.
Sports Column won with the greatest of ease in his Battle Of Waterloo elimination, and in doing so has clearly stamped himself as the one to beat in next Monday's rich final.
Chris Christoforou hustled the son of Sportswriter-Lady Leslie to the lead from Post 2 and after slicing out splits of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:26.1 the Blake MacIntosh pupil kicked home in :28 to win easily over Happy Trio and Classic Pro.
MacIntosh shares ownership on the talented youngster with Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA and Ecuries Daniel Plouffe of Bromont, QC. The victory give the freshman a 2-2-0 record from just four trips to the track. His earnings are just shy of $90,000.
The post position draws were completed following the eliminations, and here's how the younsters will line up behind the starting gate in their respective finals:
$139,500 Battle Of Waterloo Final
1. Sports Column
2. Calvin K
3. Happy Trio
5. Mc Mach
6. Classic Pro
7. Bet On Brett
8. Dreamfair B J
9. Aston Hill Dave
$92,800 Battle Of The Belles Final
1. Stonebridge Sundae
2. Bid Writer
3. Village Jamie
4. Aint Three OK
5. The Joy Luck Club
6. Loves Angel
7. Miss Mittzie Bee
8. Warrawee Speedy
To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Grand River Raceway.