Ashleigh and Ed Hensley swept the three-year-old pacing filly Gold Series divisions at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday (Aug. 22) as Jody got her first win at the Ontario Sires Stakes program’s top level and Scarlett Hanover earned her third.
First onto the Rideau Carleton oval for Team Hensley was Jody, who scored from post 1 in the opening $99,000 Gold division. Leaving well, driver Ed Hensley opted to yield the early lead to Dabarndawgswatchin, who led the field of five to a :26.2 quarter. Hensley soon had Jody on the move however, and the Betterthancheddar daughter was comfortably in command at the :55 half. Jody continued to set the pace through the 1:23 three-quarters and then dug in down the stretch to keep a head in front of Voelz Delight at the 1:52 finish. Favourite Western Wish rounded out the top three.
“It was nice because she was up near the front tonight. The last few starts she’s been back quite a ways, so she had to make up a lot of ground,” said trainer Ashleigh Hensley. “Tonight she was good, and it just worked out.”
The win was the filly’s fourth of the season and her first in Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) action. In the first three Gold Series Legs, Jody logged a pair of seconds and one fifth, and she currently boasts a point total of 105 and sole ownership of third spot in the division standings.
“She’s a really nice looking filly, she’s a nice size, she’s just a little bit temperamental,” said the trainer. “We’ve only had her for just over a month, so we kind of had to learn her quirks and stuff, because she is kind of a funny mare. We finally got a win with her so that was good.”
The Dundas, Ont. residents were back in the winner’s circle six races later with Scarlett Hanover. Starting from post 5 in the second $99,800 Gold division, Ed Hensley employed a near identical strategy with the fan favourite, sitting third as Best Keepsake rolled out to a :26.4 opening quarter and then taking command. Scarlett Hanover paced by the half in :54.4 and the three-quarters in 1:23.1 before cruising home a 1-1/4-length winner in 1:51.4. Pocket-sitting Game Of Shadows finished second and Best Head West closed well for third.
“Tonight it seemed like she was feeling back to herself, the way she was last year,” said Ashleigh Hensley. “She had been racing good so far all season, but she wasn’t real sharp and tonight she seemed like she was back to herself, so that was good.
“She’s just so professional, everything about her,” the trainer added. “Can’t say too much bad about her, she just makes us look good.”
The win was Scarlett Hanover’s third in Gold Series action this season. The Bettors Delight daughter is the reigning division champion, winning one Gold Leg and the Super Final at two, and currently sits atop the standings with 175 points. She will have one more opportunity to pad her lead when the fillies wrap up their regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 24.
Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, Pa., Frank Baldachino of Harvey Cedars, N.J., J & T Silva - Purnel & Libby of Delray Beach, Fla. and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, Pa. own both Jody and Scarlett Hanover.
Twin B Sunkissed posted the quickest win of the five $21,450 Grassroots divisions, touring the Rideau Carleton oval in 1:52.3. Starting from post 6, driver Sylvain Filion settled Twin B Sunkissed in fourth as fan favourite Sweet Pink reeled off fractions of :26.4, 55.4 and 1:24.4. Heading for the three-quarter marker, Filion tipped Twin B Sunkissed out behind Docs Delight and was soon accelerating past the leaders and on to a three length win. Pocket-sitter Andra Day was second and Sweet Pink finished third.
“She raced pretty good last week, but tonight she was even better,” said Milton, ON resident Filion, who guided the Sunshine Beach daughter to a 1:51.3 victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 12. “I think she’s coming back to herself. She just had a slow start to the year.”
Trainer Francis Dumouchel of Embro, Ont., Ecurie CSL of Sorel-Tracy and 9174 7998 Quebec Inc. of St-Janvier-Mirabel, Que. share ownership of Twin B Sunkissed, who was a Gold Series winner at two and started her sophomore campaign at that level.
Shes Got It All scored her second Grassroots win of the campaign with a 1:53.1 personal best in the second division, reeling in pacesetter Amini in the stretch. Shes A Sassy Beach rounded out the top three and favourite Ourlittlemiracle finished fourth.
“She’s a nice, big, strong filly. She’s great gaited and has nice gate speed,” said driver Doug McNair of Guelph, Ont., who crafted the win for trainer Rick Zeron of Oakville, Ont. and owner Hutt Racing Stable of Malvern, Pa. “Things worked out for her and she got the job done.”
Last year’s Grassroots champion Cyclone Sister got back into the OSS winner’s circle on Sunday with a 1:53 effort in the third $21,450 division. The Shadow Play daughter and driver Marc St. Louis Jr. controlled the tempo from start to finish, sailing under the wire three and three-quarter lengths ahead of Village Jade. Shiatzu Seelster completed the top three.
“She had a rough start to her year. She was having muscle soreness issues, so we haven’t been able to get as many starts in her as we had planned, but she really turned a corner in her last start,” said trainer Nick Gallucci of Stouffville, Ont., referring to the filly’s 1:52.2 victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 13. “Tonight she looked comfortable and was very well-rated by Marc (St. Louis).”
Millar Farms of Stouffville, Ont. bred and owns Cyclone Sister, who won two Grassroots Legs and the Final last season, but prior to Sunday’s win she had failed to hit the top three in two Grassroots and one Gold Series outing this year.
Got Sexy Scars won the last Grassroots division with a 1:53.2 personal best off a front-end effort crafted by Sylvain Filion. Favourite Alumni Seelster was one and one-quarter lengths back in second and Beach Moment was two more back in third.
“That was my first time sitting behind her,” said Filion. “She was a little aggressive, but held on. That was a tough, gutsy effort.”
Richard Moreau trains the Sportswriter daughter for owner-breeder Bruno Lepage of Beauharnois, Que. Sunday’s outing was the filly’s first in OSS action and her first win of the 2021 campaign.
Moreau and Filion also teamed up to win the sole $7,100 Ontario Racing Prospect Series division with favourite Windsun Gaga. The Hes Watching filly romped to a 14 length win over Shes A Beaut Clark and Jenna Watch. Tess Waxman of Ridgeville, Christine Marion of Cambridge and Jordan Miller of Brampton, Ont. share ownership of Windsun Gaga.
Eclat De Rire took the $9,200 Preferred Pace in 1:53.4. The four-year-old Leader Bayama gelding raced parked through the mile as Dylans Bank grabbed the lead past a :26.4 quarter and led through a clip of :55 and 1:23.4. Vegas Rocks pulled first over past the half, supplying cover to Eclat De Rire until driver Louis-Philippe Roy rolled the Maxime Velaye trainee off the helmet into the final turn. He soared off a helmet into the stretch to down pocket-rocket Shadow Margeaux by a length with Sports Jacket rallying for third.
A homebred for Guy Corbeil, Eclat De Rire won his 11th race from 24 starts, earning $112,024. He paid $4.10 to win.
Velaye and Roy returned in the nightcap to score victory in the $9,200 Preferred Handicap Trot with Capteur De Reve in 1:55.1. The seven-year-old Muscle Mass gelding rode the pocket to tempo-setter Magic Night, who carved fractions of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:25.4. Once coming to the open stretch, Capteur De Reve hit another gear and edged to a nose decision over first-over Ripped And Ready while Magic Night faded to third.
Competing for owner-breeder Ecuire Provoquante, Capteur De Reve won his third race from seven starts this season and his 28th from 83 overall, earning $296,467. He paid $4.10 to win.