FRASERVILLE, ON — Blair Burgess is not making any predictions about Saturday night’s $130,000 Gold Final at Kawartha Downs, but the horseman will say that three-year-old trotting filly Friendly Amigo is at the top of her game.
“She’s excellent right now,” says Burgess. “Bruce Richardson said she was tugging on him most of the way.”
Richardson engineered the filly’s Gold Elimination win at Kawartha Downs last weekend, her victory in a Sept. 26 division of the Bud Light Stakes at Flamboro Downs, and her Sept. 4 triumph in Gold Final action at Grand River Raceway. Last weekend’s 1:55.4 effort was a personal best for the daughter of Amigo Hall, who has posted four wins and four seconds in 18 starts this season.
Burgess trains Friendly Amigo for his wife Karin Olsson Burgess of Milton and his father Bob Burgess of Campbellville. The family bred the filly — Burgess trained both $1 million winner Amigo Hall and the lightly raced mare Diminutive — and are enjoying her current success. If Friendly Amigo carries her momentum through Saturday’s Gold Final, she may get one more shot at North America’s best.
“We’re going to think about maybe racing in the Breeders Crown, and of course she’s got the Super Final,” notes the trainer. “She’s had a lot of races, I hope she’s not getting tired.”
Friendly Amigo tested the top tier waters in the Casual Breeze and Elegantimage Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in June, finishing third placed second in her Casual Breeze division, and seventh in her Elegantimage Elimination. The filly has also spent a great deal of her summer trailing Elusive Desire across the finish line, and Burgess quips that it was a honour to finally reverse the order of finish in last weekend’s elimination.
“It was a privilege to beat Elusive Desire once,” says the Campbellville resident. “I’m not sure we can do it again, it might have been a one time gig.
“I’m not making any promises, I just hope she can come back and race well,” he adds.
Burgess missed the Friendly Amigo’s triumph last weekend, and will not be on hand Saturday when she attempts to defend her Gold Final title from Post 3 in the sixth race.
“I wasn’t there, I was in Lexington. My wife and Bill Rapson are in charge,” says the trainer, adding that he was unable to watch the Gold Elimination from Lexington, Kentucky’s The Red Mile.
The other elimination winner, Mets Inn, will start from the trailing Post 9, while Elusive Desire will line up alongside Friendly Amigo from Post 4 in the sixth race. Post time for Kawartha Downs’s Saturday evening program is 7 pm.
For complete entries please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e1010kdfn.dat.