Casimir Richie P, the only one of the seven who started in the Battle of Waterloo final, made the quickest trip to the winner’s circle, as he captured the last $19,150 Grassroots division in an impressive 1:54.4. After having started from Post 1, fan favourites Casimir Richie P and driver Tyler Moore laid down fractions of :27, :55 and 1:25.1 on their way to a four-length score over Pokerface Bluechip. On The Take was three more lengths back in third.
“He’s been a nice colt all along, we only paid $6,000 for him, and he’s been a dandy,” said trainer Dr. Ian Moore. “It’s too bad that Murray McConnell wasn’t alive to see him, because he bred the colt and he liked the colt. He was the nicest Astronomical colt — as you know I had Astronomical, he won a lot of Golds in his day — and he was the nicest Astronomical colt that I’d seen from Murray, so I had to have him, and he’s been one of our top colts all along.”
Wednesday’s win was Casimir Richie P’s first and will likely see him return to the Gold Series, where he started the season. Puslinch resident Dr. Moore shares ownership of the colt with his son, driver Tyler Moore of Campbellville, and Michael Goldberg of Toronto, Ont.
The Moore Stable also picked up a Grassroots trophy in the second division, as favourite Atomic Seelster led the field of eight through fractions of :28.4, :59.1 and 1:29 on his way to a 1:57.3 victory over Sports Nation and Sports Band. Tyler Moore crafted the win for Shadow One Stable of Puslinch, Ont., Shawn Murphy of Charlottetown, PEI and Darcy Murphy of Rothesay, NB.
“He’s a very nice colt. He had a really nice race his first race in the Gold at Mohawk (July 7), looked like everything was going to be good, and then, I don’t know, he’s been growing a lot lately, like getting real tall and big, and maybe that was part of it, but he just kind of had a what I call a two-year-old recession,” noted Dr. Moore. “He raced well in the consolation here, he got run into in the head of the stretch and still finished third, so we were very pleased with that, and he went a nice race tonight for sure.”
Dr. Moore and his partners purchased Atomic Seelster at last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale, as they offered up $100,000 for the son of Shadow Play and Angelina Seelster.
The other entry from the Moore Stable, Lucky Michael, finished fourth in his Grassroots division, seven lengths behind winner Family Sports.
“I enjoy Grand River and the Grassroots are good for one that’s struggled a little bit in the Gold, it tends to give them a little confidence,” said Dr. Moore. “We’re very pleased.”
Like Dr. Moore, trainer Dave Menary is hoping Wednesday’s win puts Family Sports on track for further success in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. The Sportswriter son and driver Travis Cullen made a bold three-wide move at the three-quarters and powered home to a 1:56.3 victory, the gelding’s second in Grassroots action. Letjimmytakeover and Ferrarifever were over five lengths back in second and third.
“I was just hoping to get him back on the right track; I’ve done a lot of fiddling with equipment. I was really happy the first start I raced him (July 20), thought things were heading in the right direction, and then he got torched really bad in his Battle of Waterloo elimination,” explained Menary. “I was hoping to race him from right off the pace last week (in the consolation) and he was just too hot after leaving with him two weeks in a row, so I did a little bit more fiddling tonight and that’s the kind of trip I wanted to see him get, and he responded the way I wanted to see him.”
Cambridge, Ont. resident Menary trains Family Sports for Brad Gray of Dundas and Denise Guerriero of Toronto, Ont. Wednesday’s victory moved the gelding into a tie for top spot in the two-year-old pacing colt division.
Sprocket finished behind Atomic Seelster and Family Sports in the Battle of Waterloo consolation on August 7, but the Sportswriter son was a one-length winner in the first Grassroots division on Wednesday. In rein to trainer Wayne Henry Sprocket hit the wire in 1:58, besting favourite JM Jack Of Hearts and Pinstripe Pride.
Bred and owner by Fred Brayford of Alliston, Ont., Sprocket now has a win and a second to his credit in two Grassroots starts.
The only one of Wednesday’s Grassroots winners that did not compete in the Battle of Waterloo was Jonathan Quick, who got a head in front of Mission Three and favourite Howmac Dancer in the third division. Jonathan Drury piloted the Mach Three colt to the 1:58.1 victory for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ont. and owners Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC and Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC.
“He’s a very green colt that qualified well, but got a touch sick shortly after,” noted Steacy. “He’s healthy now and starting to be more competitive. JD (Drury) gave him a great drive tonight.”
The two-year-old pacing colts and geldings will try and pad their point totals in the fourth Grassroots event at Clinton Raceway on August 27.
The Ontario Sires Stakes program returns to Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, September 13 with the last regular season Grassroots event for the two-year-old trotting colts.