Stormy skies greeted the two-year-old trotting fillies as they gathered at Flamboro Downs for their last regular season Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots contest on Tuesday (Sept. 21), but the weather did not put a damper on their performances.
Clockwork Orange delivered the sharpest effort in the last $21,450 division, over a track that had been downgraded from "fast" to "good" and rated one second slower than normal.
Starting from post 2, driver Paul Mackenzie put the favourite on the front and Clockwork Orange reeled off fractions of :29.1, :59 and 1:29.4 on her way to a 1:58.3 victory. Muscle Up The Gold crossed the wire eight lengths behind the winner and Her Grace K was two more lengths back in third.
“After she won the division of the Pure Ivory (July 22) she sort of got off her game a bit and we couldn’t figure out what it was. Finally we pulled a T4 (thyroid test) on her and her T4 was on the ground, so we started treating her with thyroid powder and it looks like it’s probably bounced her back to where she was,” said trainer Blake MacIntosh of St. George, Ont., who co-owns the filly with 30 Plus Stable of Trenton, Ont. “She just had no energy and that explains why, because she had a low thyroid. So we’re hoping that this keeps her going and she can go in the right direction and get back to where she was at the beginning of the season.”
Tuesday’s win was Clockwork Orange’s first since July 22. After a second in the July 13 Grassroots season opener and her win in the Pure Ivory Series, MacIntosh tried the Resolve daughter in the Gold Series for two legs, where she finished second and fifth, before dropping her back down to the Grassroots for the September 13 event, where she finished third. One win, one second and one third in Grassroots action put Clockwork Orange in fifth spot in the two-year-old trotting filly standings with 87 points and will see her advance to the September 30 Semi-Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Portofino opened the Grassroots regular season finale with a front-stepping victory from post 5 that saw her trot under the wire in 1:59.4, four and three-quarter lengths ahead of Complete Life. Trade Secret was two more lengths back in third.
Paul MacDonell piloted the favourite to her first win for trainer Ken Sucee and owner 2790884 Ontario Inc. of Oshawa, Ont. Tuesday’s win was the Wheeling N Dealin daughter’s first in three starts and boosted her Grassroots record to one win and one second for a total of 75 points and a share of seventh spot in the division point standings.
Moneyworth took over top spot in the standings with her second-straight Grassroots win in the second division. After easing away from post 4, driver Scott Young sent the public’s second choice up the outer lane and she reeled in pacesetter Global News and drew away in the stretch to a 4-1/2-length victory in 1:59.3. Global News stayed game for second, holding off Angelonia. Favourite Lovin Julie made an early break and finished fifth.
“She’s kind of coming into her own right now, perfect timing with the Semi’s coming up,” said Paul Reid, who trains the filly for Brian Kleinberg of Madison, New Jersey. “First up from the half on and still trotted a good mile and Scotty said she was in hand, so that was nice to hear.”
With two wins, one fourth and one seventh, Moneyworth finishes the season with 110 points. The Encore Encore daughter will be joined in the Semi-Finals by stablemate Her Grace K, whose third-place result behind Clockwork Orange bumped her into the top 20.
The top 20 point earners will compete in Semi-Final action on September 30, with the top-five finishers from each Semi-Final advancing to the October 9 Grassroots Championships at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Dundas on Sunday, Oct. 3 when Flamboro Downs hosts the last Gold Series Legs for the two-year-old pacing colts and two-year-old trotting colts.
To view Tuesday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Tuesday Results - Flamboro Downs.
(Ontario Sires Stakes)