In rein to Roger Mayotte, the two-year-old trotting colt delivered an impressive come-from-behind performance over a Sarnia oval rated three seconds slower than normal. The pair started from the outside Post 8, sat on the outside for the bulk of the mile, and then circled out three-wide going by the three-quarters.
With a head in front at the top of the stretch, Gotta Secret stayed game to the wire, scoring a three-quarter length win over Kennel Buddy in 2:04.2. Mr Vs Victory rounded out the top three, five and one-half lengths behind the leaders.
In spite of the off track the mile was a new personal best for Gotta Secret, bettering the 2:05.3 clocking he recorded in a June 28 qualifier at Rideau Carleton Raceway. Richard Moreau conditions the Muscle Mass son for Gestion Jean Yves Blais of Montreal, QC, who offered up $12,000 for the colt at last fall’s Canadian Yearling Sale.
Driver Scott Coulter made two appearances in the Hiawatha winner’s circle with Grassroots mounts on Thursday, guiding Euro Man to a win in the fifth race and Mactan K to victory in the tenth.
Saddled with their second straight outside post, Coulter and Euro Man sat at the back of the pack as the lead changed hands three times and then circled out three-wide at the three-quarters to get within sighting distance of the leaders. Turning for home two lengths behind Charlie Muscle, Euro Man laid down a strong finishing kick to earn the one and three-quarter length victory in 2:04.1.
Talking Story closed well to be second, while Charlie Muscle settled for third.
Coulter drives Euro Man for trainer Gerald Sloan and owner-breeder Joanne Sloan of Harley. The son of Cornaro Dasolo and Shesintuff finished seventh in his Grassroots debut after being hampered by Post 7 at Clinton Raceway in the July 8 season opener.
Coulter’s second winning tour of the Hiawatha oval was also a come-from-behind effort which saw Mactan K roll up the outside to a 2:06.4 victory over Muscle On Broadway and Renewal Notice. Paul Reid conditions Mactan K and Robert Key of Leechburg, PA bred and owns the son of Macs Crown K.
The fastest mile of the evening was clocked in the final Grassroots division when Sam Hayes romped around the five-eighths oval to a 12 length 2:02.4 triumph. The Angus Hall son and driver Dave Boughton controlled the pace from start to finish, besting Oaklea Viper and Parkhill Jugernaut.
Trainer Donald Lindsey of Fergus shares ownership of Sam Hayes with Paul Kleinpaste of Orangeville and Paul Lindsey of Fergus. The partners acquired the gelding at the Canadian Yearling Sale for $13,000.
The other Grassroots trophies went home with Treasury, who overcame an early break to score a 2:04.2 win;Gibson Seelster, who kept a neck in front of fan favourite Octane Seelster, owned by Steve Gibbs of Alvinston, to record the 2:05.4 win; and Ale Ale Jandro, who was a front-end winner in 2:04.3.
The two-year-old trotting colts make their third Grassroots appearance at Woodstock Raceway on August 3, while Ontario Sires Stakes excitement races back to Hiawatha Horse Park on Thursday, Aug. 23 with Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies.