dark brown horse and driver with fans watching

Do Better Proves Best In Battle of Waterloo; Cheese Party upsets in Battle of the Belles

Written by John Rallis

Bob McIntosh sent out two elimination winners in the $205,200 Battle of Waterloo final, presented by Winbak Farm, at Grand River Raceway on Monday afternoon, and neither one of them disappointed. Do Better, a gelded son of Bettors Delight, guided by Sylvain Filion, delivered as the public’s choice to capture the prized event in 1:54.3. Always A Thrill, the second of two homebred rookies for McIntosh, finished second to complete the exacta for the stable.


Off as the 1-9 favourite, Do Better got away fifth off the car from post-position three and inherited the fourth spot after Chalk Hanover jumped it off before the first quarter, which was clocked in :27 by pace setter, Max Patrick. Sylvain Filion sat patiently right behind stablemate, Always A Thrill and waited patiently for him to make his move before following his cover. Bob McClure made a first over bid just before a 56.4 half and Do Better followed suit. The two McIntosh homebreds separated themselves from the field at the three-quarter pole in 1.25.3, where Do Better drew away for the score. Always A Thrill finished second and Enforcer finished third. For reinsman Sylvain Filion, there was never an ounce of panic.


“I didn’t want to get caught up in a speed duel early,” admits Filion. “When I saw Bob leaving out, I figured he’d be great to follow. It worked out.”


For Fillion, the win gave him his first Battle of Waterloo trophy, a race he’s finished second in four separate times.


“I’ve been in this race many times and to get into the winner’s circle today was very satisfying. He’s a very, very nice horse who’s done every right so far.”


Bob McIntosh couldn’t be there in person to witness his second Battle of Waterloo title, but co-owner Marv Chantler, of Mardon Stables is sure the Hall of Fame conditioner is as proud as he is.


“Bob and I have a great relationship, for many, many years,” says Marv. We’ve had a lot of fun, made a lot of money. I’m sad Bob isn’t here today, but he’s definitely pleased. He’s hurting physically right now but finishing first and second in this race isn’t so hard to take!”


Do Better remains undefeated through five starts, amassing $181,150 to date. The win gives Filion his first Battle of Waterloo trophy and Bob McIntosh his second in this marquee event. The gelding paid $2.20 to win.



In the $138,400 Battle of the Belles final, things didn’t go as many anticipated, with Cheese Party, a daughter of Betterthancheddar, blowing up the tote board to deliver at odds of 50-1. After 1-5 favourite, Pass Line, put in steps behind the gate, the race shaped out for a major upset, with Trevor Henry and the Kyle Bossence trainee there to deliver just that.


Once James MacDonald and Pass Line put in steps behind the gate, the two Luc Blais trainees from the inside, Greatest Pleasure and Collusion Hanover got off the gate 1st and 2nd. Louis-Philippe Roy opted to remove his elimination winner to take control of the race in a first quarter of 27.3. Leading through a half of 57.4 and a third quarter of 1:26.3, the daughter of Bettors Delight got a little leg weary turning for home, with the backfield coming to life. After getting a second over trip, Trevor Henry tipped Cheese Party three-wide before the final turn and managed to hang on by a nose, holding off a hard-charging Pass Line who recovered nicely despite the miscue. The win gave Trevor Henry his second straight Battle of the Belles title, but the reinsman admits even he was surprised.


“We were hoping to get a cheque, more or less,” admits Henry. “At the start when the favourite ran, then another one did, it set up for her. We got lucky enough to get cover from Dougie and she responded.”


Asked if he thought he’d get there, Trevor wasn’t sure.


“I didn’t know whether she’d get there. Worst case scenario I thought we’d be third. I was worried about James on the far outside coming back on, but my filly got it done. Anything can happen.”


The win gave owner/trainer Kyle Bossence his first victory in this event, but even he didn’t see this coming.


“I didn’t expect to win, I was hoping for a piece going for that kind of money. I said before the race, these are two-year-olds, anything can happen. You never know. This is the biggest win of my career. All my family is here, Trevor, who is my neighbour is here and it couldn’t have happened any better.”


The win gave Cheese Party the first of her career and vaulted her earnings to $82,525. She paid $103.20 to win.


The 34th Industry Day card, which featured 11 races, had an all-sources handle of $590,824. That was the biggest handle in the history of Industry Day at Grand River. Thank you to all who participated!


Racing continues Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through September starting at 6:30 pm!