Elora, ON — Yannick Gingras had a perfect night in Ontario Sires Stakes action at Grand River Raceway on Friday (Sept. 4), steering the winners of all three $54,923 Gold Series divisions for the 2-year-old pacing fillies.
Gingras kicked off his driving hat trick with Twin B Sunkissed. Starting from post three, Twin B Sunkissed left smartly and then yielded to Game Of Shadows heading by the :27.4 quarter. Game Of Shadows continued to lead at the :57.2 half, but was under pressure from Voelz Delight by the 1:26 three-quarters. Circling the dueling leaders at the top of the stretch, Twin B Sunkissed battled Voelz Delight down the lane and was able to get a head in front at the 1:54.3 finish. Game Of Shadows settled for third.
“She actually raced really good. I’d never sat behind her, and I was really happy,” said Gingras, who was making his first appearance in the Sunshine Beach-Western Heat daughter’s race bike. “The trip worked out obviously, but I think she performed really good. It was a good mile here tonight.”
Frances Dumouchel trains Twin B Sunkissed for his co-owners Ecurie CSL and 9174 7998 Quebec Inc. The win was the filly’s first in six career starts. In her two previous Gold Series appearances the filly had finished fifth and sixth, which gives her a total of 58 points and a spot in the top 10 heading into the last Gold Series leg. The top 10 point earners at the end of the regular season will advance to the C$250,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 17.
Gingras was back in the winner’s circle after the second division with lightly rated City By The Bay. Also starting from post three, Gingras settled City By The Bay in fourth and watched fan favorite Postscript put up a :28 opening quarter. Heading for the :57.3 half, the reinsman tipped City By The Bay out behind Nightlife Seelster and tracked that filly as she challenged the pacesetter through the 1:26.3 three-quarters. Coming off the final turn Gingras gave City By The Bay a clear look at the wire and the filly powered down the stretch to a 1-3/4 length victory in 1:56. Shiatzu Seelster and Shes A Sassy Beach finished second and third, respectively.
“I raced her last week and she really didn’t give me, I think, her best effort, but they changed the bridle on her and then I think maybe the smaller track probably played in her favor as well,” said Gingras, who calls New Jersey home, but is currently in Ontario for six weeks of stakes action. “She had a good trip, but she really exploded home. I was really happy with how she raced tonight. Last week she didn’t have that, but tonight she had a real good kick.”
Ashleigh Hensley trains City By The Bay for Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Weaver Bruscemi. The win was the Bettor’s Delight-Bay Girl daughter’s first after finishing fourth, second and seventh in the first three legs, giving her 85 points and a share of fourth in the standings.
The final division saw Gingras partner up with Battle Of The Belles champion Scarlett Hanover and the filly once again delivered a dominant performance over the Grand River half-mile. Starting from post seven, Scarlett Hanover had to dodge a breaking Alumni Seelster on her way to the front, but still reached the quarter in :28.2. From there it was all Scarlett Hanover as she rang up a :59 half and a 1:27.1 three-quarters before pulling away to a five length victory in 1:54.4. Fan favorite Best Head West had to settle for second and Sportsdrink completed the top three.
“This one was really, really good, she won super easy. I mean she was really the one I thought that had a good chance to do some good tonight, and she showed up for sure,” said Gingras. “She gets around this track so good and she won really easy.”
A stablemate to City By The Bay in the Ashleigh Hensley barn, Scarlett Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. The Bettor’s Delight-Sammy’s Magic Girl daughter has a flawless record of three wins in three appearances at Grand River Raceway.
Her first Gold Series win boosted Scarlett Hanover into third spot in the standings with 88 points. The filly finished fourth, second and fifth in the first three legs.
The 2-year-old pacing fillies will wrap up their Gold Series regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 5.