Doug McNair won half of the eight Championships, including three with his father's trainees.
"He's had a great year," said Doug McNair of his father's 2012 season. "I think he's going to take the OSS title. He had nice horses here today and some good post positions and that makes a huge difference on a half-mile track."
Trot Insider has provided recaps of all eight $100,000 finals below.
Two-Year-Old Filly Pace
Cams Macharena and driver Doug McNair kicked off the Grassroots Championships with a 1:57.1 triumph over the sloppy track rated two seconds slow for her proud connections.
McNair pulled the 2-5 favourite from the pocket early and took over command at the opening quarter. They were challenged by Twilight Seelster (Mike Horner) until drawing off around the final turn to win by two and three-quarter lengths. Twilight Seelster settled for second while early leader Miss Coco Luck (James MacDonald) came in third.
The homebred daughter of Mach Three and Cams Valentine was greeted by a crowd of her cheering connections in the winner's circle, including trainer Tony O'Sullivan and Ohio owners Chris Arold, Kenneth Kohut, and Michael Drury.
"We owned her dam Cams Valentine and bred her a few times and had some luck," said Arold in the trackside tent following the victory, adding that his trip to Canada has been awesome. "I couldn't be happier!"
"I've been in [harness racing] for 12 years and the highs and the lows will kill you, but this is a high," added Kohut. "We love Canada!"
"We're partying tonight at The Ranch!" shouted an excited Drury.
Cams Macharena has won half of her eight career starts, including two Grassroots divisions on Aug. 15 at Flamboro Downs and Sept. 9 at Rideau Carleton Raceway. The lion's share of the Championship purse pushed her bankroll to $87,580.
Cams Macharena's connections are pointing her towards the Jugette next year.
Three-Year-Old Filly Trot
Dancehall Mistress stayed flat to capture the second Grassroots Championship in 1:58.2 with Trevor Henry in the sulky.
With the inside post advantage, 8-5 favourite Can I Say (Garrett Whelan) won an early three-horse tussle for the lead while the challenging Amber Kadabra (Sylvain Filion) made a break along with Majic Trend (Stephen Byron) and Fiorentina (Scott Coulter) from outer posts. Meanwhile, 2-1 second choice Dancehall Mistress left from between the outside breakers and settled into fourth until the half-way point where she was sent first over to wear down the leader. She did just that and drew off to a three and a half length victory down the stretch. Cool Creek Breeze (Mario Baillargeon) finished second and Can I Say wound up third.
The Angus Hall-Benns Riverdance filly is trained by Brad Maxwell and owned by the David Goodrow Stable of Cambridge, Ont., Douglas Millard of Woodstock, Ont., the P G Van Camp Stables of Port Perry, Ont. and Glenn Tarver of Scarborough, Ont.
"It's the first Grassroots Championship that we've had. It's wonderful," said co-owner Paul Van Camp, who went on to credit the filly's trotting hopples for keeping her steady amidst the breakers. "We tried her in the Golds and she couldn't quite compete with Miss Paris and likes of them and she was three-for-three in the Grassroots and a close second in the [Semifinal] so we won kind of for fun tonight."
Dancehall Mistress has now won four of her 12 starts this year to earn over $100,000 in purses. Her Grassroots wins including divisions on June 23 at Flamboro, Aug. 10 at Mohawk Racetrack, and Sept. 8 at Hanover Raceway.
Two-Year-Old Colt Pace
Driven by Randy Waples, Panpero Firpo followed his David Menary stablemate Panongahela (Robert Shepherd) three-wide down the backstretch and then rallied off his cover in the stretch to prevail by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:56. The pacesetting Duc Dorleans (Stephane Brosseau) finished second over Panongahela.