The curtain closed on the 2021 season at Grand River Raceway with an 11-race program on Wednesday night (Sept. 29). And veteran trotter Wild And Crazy Guy ($7.80) proved that, despite being 10 years old, he still has what it takes to compete at a high level, winning the closing night feature in dominant fashion.
The son of Crazed made every yard a winning one in the $10,000 Preferred 3 Trot, cutting the first corner to secure the lead and rating a :59.3 first lap before steadily edging away from his eight rivals. After accelerating to three-quarters in 1:27.4, Wild And Crazy Guy and trainer-driver Martin Lachance drew off to defeat pocket rival Conquest As (J.R. Plante) by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:56.2. Charmbo Prince (Mike Saftic) rallied off cover to finish third, another 3-1/2 lengths behind.
Jean Brunet and Ted Gewertz share ownership of Wild And Crazy Guy, a 47-time winner with over $650,000 in career earnings.
The co-featured $8,500 Preferred 3 Pace saw Easton Beach ($47.30) and trainer-driver George Ketros spring a 22-1 upset, parrying a sustained challenge from Good And Sweet through splits of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:25.4 before evading a four-wide challenge off the home turn from Brodys Scrapper to win by 1-1/2 lengths in a seasonal best 1:55.1. Mary Ketros owns the 13-time winner, a five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding.
In the other co-featured event, the $8,500 Preferred 3 for distaff pacers, I Wish You Well ($11.00) bided her time off the front flight before catapulting to the front at the midway stage and evading Casimir Swamp Girl — who was assigned the outside post 8 — by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:54.4. Alfie Carroll drove the seven-year-old Well Said mare, a 22-time winner in her career, for trainer Anita Ouellette and Luc Ouellette Incorporated.
Colin Kelly won the leading driver title, winning 65 races in 287 starts. Kelly, who also was the leading driver at the Elora, Ont., oval in 2018, has over 1,250 career wins and in excess of $7 million in purse earnings. The Nova Scotia native, who relocated to Ontario in 2016, won races for many trainers during the meet, but his main client was Kyle Bossence, who captured the leading trainer title.
Bossence recorded 27 wins in 91 starts to take top training honours at Grand River, his first such title. Among the top performers from his stable were pacers Casimir Swamp Girl and Partyintheshadows, along with trotter Willyorwonthe.
Kyle Bossence (red jacket) and Colin Kelly (black and orange jacket) accept their trophies for winning the 2021 training and driving titles, respectively, at Grand River Raceway.
All-source wagering on Grand River Raceway's 2021 meeting was $10,169,000, for a daily average of $216,360.
"With the COVID-19 lockdowns still in place, we were late starting the season, but it was nice to begin welcoming customers back to the site in late July," said Jamie Martin, Grand River's director of operations. "This was the first season without the impact of construction activities since 2018, so we were pleased to showcase our new building and other improvements, albeit limited due to pandemic restrictions. The grooms, trainers, drivers and Grand River Raceway staff were once again excellent at maintaining pandemic protocols throughout the meet."
Dates for Grand River Raceway's 2022 season will be released in the new year.
To view Wednesday's complete results, click the following link: Wednesday Results – Grand River Raceway.
(with files from Grand River Raceway)