Grand River Raceway was flooded with freshman fillies of the trotting variety, as the Ontario Sires Stakes rolled into town for a five-pack of $40,000 OSS Gold Series eliminations.There was a bit of everything over the course of the evening including a track record performance and a bombs away winner.
The track record effort was turned in by Wilsonator, who torched the Elora, Ontario oval in 2:00.4 for the team of driver Mike Saftic and trainer Mike Wade. The daughter of Kadabra-Sahalee, who was making her pari-mutuel debut, took advantage of a pocket trip en route to shaving three-fifths of a second off the former mark set by Charming Oaks.
Owned by Michael Pozefsky of Gloversville, NY and Ed Wilson of Seagrave, ON, Wilsonator sat behind Cross Of Lorraine through panels of :29.3, :59.4 and 1:29.2 before that rival self-destructed. Wilsonator used a :30.4 final quarter to post the comfortable victory over Ruling Class and the 7-5 favourite Isthatallyagot.
Longshot players had a chance to hit the jackpot later on the card when Random Destiny erupted for a 48-1 upset for trainer/driver Riina Rekila and owner Esa Lahtinen of Campbellville, Ontario. The Ken Warkentin-Front Porch Swing miss, who making her first lifetime start, rallied to win in 2:05.1 over Angel Creek And Oaklea Sierra.
The opening division went to Boots N Hearts, who turned in a 2:04.3 score in come-from-behind fashion for soon-to-be Hall-of-Famer Dave Wall. “Mr OSS”, as he been dubbed, guided his Striking Sahbra-Dell Ridge Savanna miss to the 5-1 upset over Daylon Mission and Soft Mink. The filly is now 1-for-2 to start her career.
Trainer Doug McIntosh and driver Trevor Ritchie joined forces to win with Sooner Than Later, who had no problem delivering on her 1-9 pari-mutuel promise. She took over command shortly after the quarter pole and never looked back en route to a five-length win in 2:02.3. Daria Hall was second and Our Angel Flight was third. Sooner Than Later, who was second in a division of the Robert Stewart Stakes in her only other assignment, is owned in partnership by McIntosh and breeder William Weaver III of Freehold, New Jersey.
The only wire-to-wire winner in the eliminations was Little River Dance, who whacked out splits of :30.1, 1:00.4 and 1:31.3 before scooting home in :29.4 to win in 2:01.2 for trainer/driver Brad Kramer. Tommi My Girl was second best and the show dough went to Excellence. It was a sharp debut for the homebred daughter of Angus Hall-Benns Riverdance, who is owned by Kramer and partners Tim Hall, Richard Siedel and Scott MacArthur.
The top two finishers from each of Monday’s eliminations will move on to the rich final at Grand River Raceway on Monday, July 20. Here’s how they’ll line up on the starting gate:
$130,000 OSS Gold Series Final
1. Daria Hall
2. Sooner Than Later
3. Daylon Mission
4. Tommi My Girl
6. Angel Creek
7. Ruling Class
8. Boots N Hearts
9. Random Destiny
10. Little River Dance
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