The final race cart of the season happened yesterday along with some awards
Ryan Holiday is the top driver of the year.
Holiday also recieved the Dash Trophy and the Percentage Trophy for most victories in the year.
Top trainer of 2019 is Patrick Shepherd.
Horse of the Year went to " Good & Sweet "
The Claimer of the Year was " Fluentocity " & the Trotter of the Year was Callie Magoo..
Gagnon and Fontaine score pair of Grassroots wins in Hanover
Driver Guy Gagnon and trainer Dany Fontaine teamed up to win two divisions of the two-year-old trotting colt Grassroots season finale at Hanover Raceway on Saturday night.
Gagnon and Fontaine kicked off their successful outing in the second $22,450 division with Kenogami Coco. Starting from Post 3 Gagnon sent the Wheeling N Dealin son straight to the front and never saw a challenge, cruising through fractions of :30, 1:02 and 1:32.3 on their way to a three and one-half length victory in 2:03.3. Les Nessman finished second and Marbellos rounded out the top three.
“Coco is a nice colt,” said Fontaine, adding that he was not surprised by the young trotter’s victory. “All winter he trained good, all the time.”
Fontaine trains Kenogami Coco for owner-breeders Jean Francois and Marie Claude Reid of Anjou, QC. Saturday’s win was the gelding’s first in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program and boosted him from thirty-third in the division standings to eleventh with 62 points. The top 20 point earners will compete in the Sept. 27 Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final advancing to the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Oct. 5.
In addition to the OSS program Kenogami Coco also spent the summer competing in the Future Stars Series at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres where he won two legs and finished second in the Sept. 8 final. In seven starts he boasts a record of three wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $38,462.
Gagnon and Fontaine recorded their second Grassroots win in the third division with Laval Titan, who got away second from Post 6 and took command just after the :30.2 opening quarter. Comfortably in command through a 1:01.2 half and a 1:31.4 three-quarters, Laval Titan dug in down the stretch to secure a one-half length victory over fan favourite Ripped And Ready in 2:02.2. Franks Angel was well behind the duelling leaders in third.
“He’s a big horse and I knew he was good on a half, the only thing I was not sure is if he run at the gate, but when I saw him starting at the gate and he take the front, for sure the race is finished,” said Fontaine of the gelding, who made early breaks in three of his first four lifetime starts. “He’s starting to come mature now at the end of the season.”
Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC bred and owns Laval Titan, who hit the board for the first time in the Sept. 3 Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park and finishes just above his stablemate in tenth spot with 67 points. Fontaine is hoping the E L Titan son can maintain his steady form through the Semi-Final and deliver on the promise he demonstrated through his early lessons.
“I’m very happy about him; about both you know, but him because all winter he showed me he was good — we staked him everywhere that horse. He has very nice conformation, big horse, everything, but he takes some time to come mature,” said Fontaine. “He’s coming, he’s not perfect, but he’s coming; just in time for the finals.”
Former Walkerton resident Mark Etsell won the last division with Secrets Justice, who was also making his first appearance in the winner’s circle. Starting from Post 3 Etsell settled the gelding in fourth as Mr Arch rolled out to a :30.3 quarter and then sent Secrets Justice up the outer lane heading for the 1:01.2 half. The pair remained in the outer lane as Mr Arch trotted by the 1:31 three-quarters, but in the stretch they succeeded in wearing the pacesetter down. At the 2:01.2 finish it was Secrets Justice with a head in front, leaving Mr Arch to settle for second and fan favourite Awesomedabra well back in third.
“He toughed it out today,” said Etsell. “When I saw the draw I said we’re in the toughest division — the horse that beat us last time (Awesomedabra) and then the two-horse (Mr Arch), he beat us in Georgian — but it all worked out so that was good.”
Etsell trains and drives Secrets Justice for owner-breeder Dave Husul, Arlene Husul and Nancy D’Hulster of Langton, ON. With one win and one third in Grassroots action the Justice Hall gelding wraps up the regular season tied with Kenogami Coco for eleventh in the standings.
The other division went to Enduring Strength, who carved out fractions of :31, 1:03 and 1:33.3 and then battled down the stretch to a nose victory in 2:04.2. Remember Titans finished second but was placed back to fifth for causing interference in the stretch, so Youboozeyoulose was elevated to the runner-up spot with Northern Flame moving up to third.
Mario Baillargeon trains and drives Angus Hall son Enduring Strength for fractional ownership group TheStable.ca’s Enduring Strength group of Guelph, ON.