Battle Elims In The Books

ELORA, ON – Despite uncertain weather looming over the Elora, ON oval, the talent was certain and impressive from freshman colts and fillies aiming for a spot in the $239,000 Battle Of Waterloo and the $157,500 Battle Of The Belles finals to be contested next Monday August, 5 during Grand River Raceway’s 29th Industry Event.


Battle Of Waterloo

Thirteen of the nation’s finest two-year-old colts battled for a spot in the track’s coveted event with the top four from each division and one fifth place finisher advancing.


The first Battle Of Waterloo elimination saw Blake MacIntosh trainee Beach Blanket Book and driver James MacDonald blaze by the field to win by a head in 1:56.4. The elimination victory also doubles as a maiden breaker for the two-year-old Sportswriter colt who is owned by Hutt Racing Stable and Mac And Heim Stables.


With Beach Blanket Book being the only Battle Of Waterloo starter for MacIntosh, the St. George, ON resident — who is coming off a record year — will look to score his second Battle Of Waterloo title since winning with Sports Column in 2016. Beach Blanket Book will leave from post 4 in the final.


Better B Swift finished second to Beach Blanket Book. The Scott McEneny trainee was driven by Sylvain Filion and dueled early with race favourite Denali Seelster (Doug McNair / Ian Moore). Upon clearing before the first quarter pole, a rough gaited Denali Seelster was out for the re-take. Denali Seelster then fronted the field to the top of the stretch where he was passed by Beach Blanket Book, Better B Swift and Sports Obsession (Jody Jamieson / Carl Jamieson).


Both Scott McEneny and Ian Moore will vie for their second Battle Of Waterloo victory (McEneny won with Simple Kinda Man in 2017 and Moore won with Wellthereyougo in 2009) while Hall Of Famer Carl Jamieson will seek his sixth Battle Of Waterloo victory.


Better B Swift will need to bring some swift skills to the table as he will leave from the outside post 7, while Sports Obsession and team Jamieson will battle from post 5. Denali Seelster will leave from post 3.


Betterthancheddar colt Mr Cheeseman scored the final ticket to the big dance for driver Bob McClure and trainer Scott McNiven. The pacer was randomly drawn from the fifth-place finishers and will leave from post 6. A victory in the Battle Of Waterloo would serve as the first Battle title for both McClure and McNiven.


In an exciting drive to the wire in the second division, Aneto and Bob McClure were able to fend off Wind Blown and J Harris. Aneto, trained by Tim Gillespie for Synerco Ventures Inc. was a $44,000 yearling and is yet another son of Bettors Delight to seek Battle glory. In a coast to coast mission, Aneto led the field from the word go to fractions of 28.4, 58.4, 1:26.4 with a mile time of 1:55.4 to hold off Wind Blown by a head. The elimination win is also the colt’s maiden breaking victory. Aneto will leave from post 9 in the final.


Wind Blown is trained by Teesha Symes and was an impressive runner-up finisher after a first-up journey. A win in the Battle Of Waterloo would give the dynamic duo of Symes and Harris a first Battle win for each of them and would make Symes the first female trainer to ever win the Battle Of Waterloo.


The Battle Of Waterloo has been won by multiple sons of the late Mach Three including Machapelo, Three Of Clubs and the immortal Somebeachsomewhere. Leaving from post 1,  Wind Blown could add his name to the list of Mach Three grandchildren to capture the Battle of Waterloo.


Betterbuckleup will also advance to the final for driver James MacDonald and trainer Eric Adams who will leave from post 2. Tabloid Writer will start from post 8 for the brotherly tandem of Mario and Ben Baillargeon.


Battle of the Belles

Twenty-two rookie freshman fillies contested three eliminations to determine the contenders for the Battle Of The Belles. The top three from each division will advance to the final.


The fastest freshman of the season thus far, Alicorn, was victorious in the first of three Battle Of The Belles eliminations.


Driven by Louis Philippe Roy (hunting for his first Battle Of The Belles victory) Alicorn is trained by Chantal Mitchell who is looking for Battle redemption after finishing second with Bettors Wish in the 2018 edition of the Battle Of Waterloo.


The daughter of Bettors Delight was missionized early with a first-up move before the half mile marker against Sound Idea (Sylvain Filion) who recorded the opening quarter in 27.2. Alicorn then fronted the field to fractions of  55.2, 1:25.2 to a mile time 1:54.2 where she won by a margin of three-and-a-quarter lengths.


In addition to an Ontario Sires Stakes record she set earlier this month at Woodbine-Mohawk Park, Alicorn also matched the Grand River Raceway track record for two-year-old fillies set by Right On Molly in 2012. Owned by Windermere Stable Llc and Robert K Muscara, Alicorn will aspire to give her connections their first Belles victory from post 4 in the final.


The rest of the first elimination was rounded out by Sound Idea, driven by Sylvain Filion and trained by John Balzer. She will leave from post 6 in the final. Preeminence, driven by Paul MacDonnell for trainer Marcel Barrieau will start from post 1.


Also advancing to the Battle of the Belles final is Blake MacIntosh trainee Queso Relleno who was fantastic in her elimination with a sizzling sweep of the field with Jody Jamieson aboard. MacIntosh co-owns the daughter of Betterthancheddar with Hutt Racing Stable, Sue Vernon Smith and The Flanagan Sisters. She was a $26,000 yearling purchase for the group. Queso Relleno scored her maiden victory in the second elimination division in 1:55.4 and will leave from post 3 in the final.


Joining Queso Relleno in the Battle of the Belles final will be Temagami Seelster (J Harris / Wayne McGean) who will leave from post 2 and race favourite All Day Sunshine (Sylvain Filion / Richard Moreau) who will start from post 9. Trainer Wayne McGean seeks his second Battle title after winning with Bronx Seelster in last year’s Battle Of Waterloo. Harris, Moreau and Filion are all looking to score their first Belles title.


It wouldn’t be Industry Day without an entry from the local father and son duo of Doug and Gregg McNair who have been victorious in the Battle Of Waterloo and the Battle of the Belles with stable stars such as Trail Boss, Three of Clubs, Magnum J and Lady Shadow. This year, the team will send out Karma Seelster, the winner of the third and final elimination.


Karma Seelster let the early action unfold before coming on to mark her first lifetime victory in 1:56.2 (after heavy rainfall degraded the track from a fast to good speed rating). Karma Seelster comes from the royal lineage of Kendall Seelster, Kokanee Seelster and Kylie Seelster and was a $127,000 yearling. She is owned by Eileen and Keith Waples and their daughter Karen Hauver and will eyeball a Battle Of The Belles victory for her connections from post 8.


Finishing second to Karma Seelster and advancing to the final is the Amanda Fine trainee Highland Salsa, driven by J Harris. Highland Salsa will leave from post 5 for her young teamster. Trainer Blake MacIntosh will have another shot of capturing the Battle Of The Belles title with Bettorbeasecret, driven by Robert Shepherd. She will leave from post 7.


With more local talent being featured in both the Battle of Waterloo and the Battle of the Belles, Industry Day 2019 could foresee many firsts for both veteran trainers and up-and-coming talent.


Post time for Industry Day on August 5 is 12:30 p.m. EST The broadcast and festivities kick off at 12:00 p.m. EST. Complete event details are available here.





FFI: Contact Jenna Knox at (519) 846-5455 ext. 247 or


PHOTOS: (Credit Emma Ongman/AG Photography)

Winners in the elimination races for the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles, contested on July 29 at Grand River Raceway.
Finals for both races will be staged during the track’s 29th annual Industry Day celebration on August 5.