McClure triumphs in Grassroots and Dream Of Glory
Kicking off the entertainment on Dream Of Glory Night at Hanover Raceway Saturday, three-year-old pacing filly Shewearsthepants cruised to both her sixth straight victory and the top of the division standings.
Starting from Post 4 driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON sent Shewearsthepants straight to the front and the heavy favourites never faced a challenge, cruising through fractions of :27.4, :58 and 1:26.3 on their way to a 1:56.2 victory. Stellenbosch finished three and one-quarter lengths back in second, with Fading Shadow on her heels in third.
“She ended up winning easy,” said trainer Gregg McNair. “She raced good. She’s really, I hope she stays the same, she’s right on her game right now.”
McNair, a Walkerton native who currently resides in rural Guelph, ON, trains Shewearsthepants for Anatolia Farm LLC of New Holland, PA, who also bred the daughter of Big Jim and Simply Liz. Through 12 starts this season the filly has tallied seven wins, one second and one third for earnings of $70,220.
With three wins and one second in four Grassroots starts Shewearsthepants now has a total of 175 points and sole ownership of top spot in the division standings, 17 points ahead of Manhattan Play.
Bid Writer earned her first win of the season in the second $18,450 Grassroots division, going gate-to-wire from Post 1 for driver Bob McClure of Elora, ON. The Sportswriter daughter hit the finish three and one-quarter lengths ahead of Kloof Street and Style Snapshot in 1:57.2.
Jeff Gillis of Everett, ON conditions Bid Writer for Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. The filly, a winner of $159,128 at two, started her Ontario Sires Stakes season at the Gold Series level and was making just her second appearance in the Grassroots. She was the runner-up in her division in the July 21 event at Mohawk Racetrack.
The final Grassroots contest, worth $18,800, went to Treasures Pearl, who powered up the outer lane to a one-half length victory in 1:57.4. C Mary, who served as a wind break for Treasures Pearl, and Diamondtoothgertie, who did all the work on the front end, settled for second and third.
“The trip worked out absolutely perfect,” said driver Nick Steward, who piloted the filly from the trailing Post 8. “When Bruce (Richardson) landed in front of me I knew his horse (C Mary) was one of the better horses in the race and a good one to follow. I didn’t have to move until the head of the stretch and, the trip was just too good, she did the rest of the work.”
London resident Steward crafted the win for trainer Ron Adams of LaSalle and owner-breeder Donald Leschied of South Woodslee, ON. The win was the Sportswriter daughter’s second straight and her first in Grassroots action this season. She was a three-time Grassroots winner as a two-year-old.
In the $71,400 Dream Of Glory Trot local favourite Mister Muscle stormed out of the pocket to a nose victory over pacesetter Magic Night and Scene A Magician in 1:58.3. Trainer Mark Etsell, a former Walkerton resident who now calls Rockwood home, Robert Newton of Walkerton and Chuan Tan of Cambridge, ON bred and share ownership of the Muscle Mass gelding, who picked up just his second win of the season with the effort.
Driver Bob McClure, who started his career at Hanover Raceway and still counts the half-mile among his favourite places to drive, said the win had added meaning for both him and Etsell.
“I was talking to Mark on the way here and he’s had to scratch two favourites out of the final,” McClure explained. “And everybody wants to win the big ones, the Little Brown Jug, the Gold Cup and Saucer, but this was on my bucket list.”
Hanover Raceway’s next big night of racing, the Balanced Image Trot Final on Saturday, Aug. 26, will also feature Ontario Sires Stakes action as the three-year-old trotting colts compete in their fifth Grassroots event.