OTTAWA, ON — Emmylou Who delivered a commanding Gold Elimination victory in her first start off a month long vacation last week, and trainer Lyle MacArthur says the three-year-old trotting filly heads back to Rideau Carleton Raceway for this Thursday’s $130,000 Gold Final in top form.

“It was kind of forced time off. I didn’t have her in a couple stakes,” says MacArthur, referring to the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association Stake on Aug. 27 and the Simcoe Stake on Sept. 6. “But it probably freshened her up a bit.

“She gained a little weight back, she’s looking good,” he adds. “We’re pretty happy with her right now.”

Following Emmylou Who’s runner-up finish in the Aug. 14 Gold Final at Mohawk Racetrack, MacArthur sent the winner of $443,611 to a farm for five days of pure, unadulterated rest. Once she returned home he eased her back into a regular routine of jogging and training before sending her out to qualify at Mohawk on Sept. 10. The daughter of Ken Warkentin and Emerald Seelster cruised to a 1:56 victory in her qualifier and MacArthur was confident heading into last Thursday’s Gold Elimination.

Starting from Post 6, MacArthur opted to challenge early pacesetter Cross Of Lorraine before the half, and the move paid off as driver Jody Jamieson chose not to stage an elimination round duel. Emmylou Who sailed along on the front end to a six and one-quarter length victory in 1:58.3 over a rain soaked oval rated two seconds slower than normal.

“They are two nice fillies, there’s no sense beating each other over the head with them, especially in the elimination,” says MacArthur of Jamieson’s decision to cede control of the front end.

“She raced really good, I was very pleased with her,” he adds.

Emmylou Who will be looking for a second straight victory, and her first ever Gold Final win, from Post 4 in Thursday’s $130,000 contest. Defending champion Cross Of Lorraine will start from Post 6 and the other elimination winner, Wilsonator, gets the advantageous Post 1.

“She drew all right for Thursday, I hope she’ll be good,” says MacArthur, who conditions the talented trotter for Linda Wellwood of St. George Brant, ON, Tammy Aspden of Caistor Centre, ON, Anne Shunock of Dorchester, ON and Diane Ingham of Mount Pleasant, ON. “I trained her lightly today (Monday), she’ll have tomorrow off, I’ll jog her Wednesday, and leave for Ottawa Thursday.”

Emmylou Who started her sophomore campaign in the Gold Series season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on May 17 and has made a total of 13 starts, posting wins in two Gold Eliminations and the elimination for the Canadian Breeders Championship. She has been second five times and third twice, adding $309,938 to the $133,673 she earned in 12 starts as a two-year-old. MacArthur says her routine has been fairly consistent all season, and he has no changes planned through the last two months.

“We’ll just keep doing the same thing,” says the St. George Brant resident. “We try and give her a little paddock time all the time, every day. And she’s not one that has to be trained rugged, she’s just a nice horse.”

While none of Emmylou Who’s owners were able to make the trip to Ottawa last week, MacArthur expects she will have her own cheering section for Thursday’s $130,000 contest, which goes postward as the sixth race on Rideau Carleton Raceway’s 6:30 pm program.

For complete entries click: Rideau Carleton Raceway Entries — Sept. 23, 2010

To watch Emmylou Who’s previous Gold Series starts click: Emmylou Who