Momentarily solidified her spot atop the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots standings for three-year-old pacing fillies heading into the Semi-Finals with a victory in the fifth and final preliminary leg on Friday night (Sept. 9) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
With a 1:52.1 winning effort in the first $22,600 division of the night, Momentarily earned her third Grassroots trophy and emerged from a tie atop the divisional standings with the most points in the series.
Driven by Louis-Phillippe Roy, Momentarily followed in sixth-place and tracked cover second-over while 8-5 favourite Fade Out and Doug McNair swept three-wide on the final turn to target the pacesetting Delight Bayama (:26.3, :56.2 and 1:25), who was swarmed down the stretch. But Momentarily out-sprinted them all, rallying by with a :26.2 final frame. Fade Out settled for second, finishing 1-1/2 lengths behind the winner, while Delight Bayama held on for third in a show photo for Sylvain Filion.
Momentarily paid $8.40 to in as the 3-1 third choice.
Trainer Dan Lagace shares ownership of the Control The Moment-Sun N Moon filly, who took her lifetime mark of 1:50.3 in the July 12 leg at Mohawk, with Ben Mudry of Toronto, Ont., Edwin Buhler of Wantagh, New York and Robert Van Ostrand of Lakeworth, Florida. Momentarily has earned four wins from a dozen starts this year while banking $52,044 in purses. Lifetime, she has won a third of her 21 starts and nearly $85,000.
Warrawee Xpat, who entered the final leg tied for fourth in the divisional point standings, picked up her second Grassroots victory with a 1:52.1 matching mile.
Doug McNair used front-end tactics in the $22,200 second split, guiding the Sportswriter-Greenwich Girl filly through fractions of :27, :56.3 and 1:24.3 en route to the 3-1/2-length victory. Creme Delight and Filion followed in the pocket for second while top-ranked Grassroots filly Dewitt For Josie, driven by Jody Jamieson, toughed out an overland route and nosed out Girl Scout Cookie and James MacDonald in a show photo.
Warrawee Xpat was also a winner in the Grassroots leg on July 12. She is trained by Gabriella Sasso and owned by Jeffrey Courchesne of Cambridge, Ont., and Martwest Racing Stable of Mississauga, Ont.
The popular choice at odds of 4-5 while dropping out of the Gold Series, Warrawee Xpat paid $3.80 to win.
The victory was her sixth from 17 starts lifetime and pushed her earnings over the $100,000 mark. She's earned three of those wins and $56,820 this season from 10 sophomore starts.
The Grassroots Semi-Finals for three-year-old pacing fillies are scheduled for Sept. 23 at Mohawk followed by the Championships on Oct. 1.
Friday's card also included another round of the Pop-Up Series with four $15,000 divisions for pacers. The series is for non-winners of $30,000 ($35,000 for fillies & mares) in 2022 or not averaging $1,500 per start in 2022 (minimum 12 starts) as of Aug. 30.
Going Fast and Trevor Henry defeated the favoured first round winner Tru Blue Hypnotic, taking the first division for male pacers in 1:50.1 by less than a length for trainer Alan Fair. Pipewrench Charlie bested Grand Poobah and the popular opening leg winner Forefather by a neck in 1:50.4 for Travis and Jodie Cullen. Both pacers established new lifetime marks while pulling off 19-1 upsets.
Trained by Shawn Steacy and driven by Jody Jamieson, favourite Nightlife Seelster doubled up in the mares set with a 2-1/2-length victory in 1:52.1 over My Baby Girl. The Louis Gregg-trained Carsons Gouda collared the Steacy-trained Mary Kat at the wire in a 1:52 career-best performance for a 12-1 upset to give Jamieson a sweep of the distaff divisions.
To view Friday's harness racing results, click the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.