CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — When Mark Herlihy hands Miss Fineline over to driver Travis Henry for Monday evening’s Grassroots test at Mohawk Racetrack, the trainer’s message will be simple — hustle off the gate, grab control of the race and stay there.
“Try to make front and hopefully she stays there. Simple,” says Herlihy with a laugh.
“She likes the front. She doesn’t like to pass horses, but if she gets the front she sort of swells up and then she’s good,” he continues. “If you ever have to put her in a pocket you’re just hoping that she doesn’t spit the bit at some point. But if you put her on the front — like her races show — if she makes front she wins.”
Through four starts this season the three-year-old pacing filly has posted three victories on the front end, the most recent a 1:57.1 effort at Flamboro Downs on May 13. That mile, which saw Miss Fineline and Henry reach the wire four lengths ahead of their peers, convinced Herlihy that the filly deserved a shot at the Grassroots fillies on Tuesday.
“I was pretty impressed with her last week. I didn’t expect a mile in 1:57,” admits the Rockwood, ON resident. “So she is getting better with every start. I thought she was just going to be a 1:58 filly and if that was the case then she wasn’t going to be entered in the Grassroots, but last week she did it pretty easy and she was wrapped up doing it.”
This week Henry will send the filly after a share of $24,000 from Post 6 in the fourth Grassroots split, facing off against six newcomers to provincial competition and only one filly who made more than two starts in the program as a freshman. A Grassroots division winner at two, Trusting finished second in the Grassroots Championship last October and makes her return to stakes action from Post 7.
Miss Fineline made two starts in the Grassroots program as a two-year-old, logging one fourth and one sixth-place finish for owner John Simeonidis of Ancaster, ON. A modest $1,300 purchase from the 2009 Fall Extravaganza Sale, the daughter of Intrepid Seelster and Nights Crombie has banked $12,992 to date, and her connections would love to see her add to that on Monday.
“She tries, every time she gets out there,” says the trainer, “But like I said, she tries a lot harder when she’s on the front.”
In preparation for her sophomore stakes debut, Miss Fineline has been loafing in the field with a few friends this week. Herlihy says the filly will train Saturday, enjoy another day of rest Sunday and then gear up for race day on Monday.
“I’ll probably train her on Saturday, just because the last time she was in was last Friday,” explains the horseman. “The storm put a little dampener on her, but usually she’d be outside until four or five days out, then she’d come in and jog a day or two, and then she’d go two trips, and have a day off, and race.”
Racing gets under way at 7:10 pm at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, with the three-year-old pacing fillies featured in Races 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 9. Last season’s point leader Lucky Taryn headlines Race 2, making her return to provincial action from Post 7. Former Gold Series regular Stonebridge Damsel will tackle the Grassroots fillies from Post 2 in the fourth race, starting alongside Ontario Spring Series winner Worth Remembering, who gets Post 3.
For complete entries please click: Mohawk Racetrack Entries — Monday, May 23, 2011