Grey Huron Stakes Kickoff
There were 13 races to get the Grey Huron Stakes series off and running at Clinton Raceway Sunday afternoon.
It was a gloomy day, but the Grey Huron Stakes had some shining moments Sunday afternoon. Clinton Raceway was the scene for thirteen fields going to the gate for $8000 in purses per race. On the day, some heavy favourites, wild long shots and one of the nationís top drivers surely made an impact.
The first race was part of the horse & gelding pacing division, and Mumaslittlelad outlasted a pocket-sitting Rambling Gambler to win in 2:01.3. Jason Brewer has not driven the colt to back to back victories for trainer George McClure. Sunday, he took command at the quarter and never looked back, paying $19.20 to win as the fourth choice on the tote board.
Other winners in the horse & gelding pacing division were Macktwowilldew (Lorne House), Rustlemewithenvy (Trevor Henry), and I Wanna Be Geared (Brandon Campbell) in the second, eighth and ninth races respectively. I Wanna Be Geared was another longshot winner for trainer George Plyley. The three-year old gelding paced a back half in :59.3 to pull away for his maiden-breaking victory, setting the fastest time of his division with a 1:58.3 clocking.
The horse & gelding trot division featured a couple strong performances and a rather shaky winning favourite over its three elimination races. So Sure and Nick Steward too advantage of slow fractions to cruise home in a brisk :29.0 to win in 2:05.0 in the quickest of three heats in the division. Call me Hanover turned in an upset in race four in wire to wire fashion with Maria Flink doing the driving duties. In the third split of the division, heavy favourite The Aviator looked in control in the backstretch with a sweeping move to the lead. However, the gelding made a mess of things, going off stride on the last turn. Driver Trevor Henry got the horse settled in time to recover and regain the lead in the stretch and win a sloppy seventh race in 2:06.2.
The fillies & mares pacing division saw the fastest mile of the day, in what was the most impressive performance put forth in any division. Just two days after winning the City of London series at Western Fair Raceway, Sonic Breeze swept from third to first to convert a first over trip. The four-year old mare won her fourth straight race, this one in 1:58.0. Mark Williams drove for trainer William Kirkpatrick. Other winners in the fillies & mares pacing division were Alexacam (Henry), Lucky Jingle (Mike Horner), and Trouble With You (Bruce Richardson).
In the final division, for trotting fillies & mares, one heavy favourite and one huge longshot got the job done in the respective fields. The sixth race saw Winbak Audit set the tone for driver-trainer Brian Dunbar. The three-year old out of Angus Hall was able to fend off a stretch drive from Cut The Rug and Mike Horner in 2:02.4, the fastest trot of the afternoon. The win was the first of her seven start career.
Terry Kerry and Joyful Road closed out the afternoon that was bookended by long shot winners. Joyful Road benefitted from a breaking favourite in Pattysloosechange. Kerr got the victory pacing the mile in 2:04.0, over fractions of :31.0, 1:03.2, and 1:33.1. Joyful Road paid $39.50 to win. Peter Core trains the filly who notched her first victory in five lifetime starts. Hot Flash Thumper took a pocket-trip to finish second, before being placed back for a pylon infraction. Rompaway Express inherited the second place finish for a 4-5-2 triactor which paid $504.40.
Trevor Henry was the big winner in the race bike on Sunday afternoon as he made three trips to the winnerís circle. Henry posed for the camera with The Aviator in race 7, Rustlemewithenvy in race 8, and Alexacam in race 10. Watch for him to have another big night Saturday in Hanover as the series shifts to Grey County for the second leg, where eliminations will be contested for $10,000 per heat.