CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Ontario’s talented two-year-old pacing fillies head back to Mohawk Racetrack for Gold Eliminations on Monday, Sept. 29, just 10 days after wrapping up a Gold Series over the Campbellville oval.
Grin Goddess posted an impressive Gold Consolation victory on Sept. 19, but trainer David Poley is hoping the talented youngster will have a chance to flex her muscles in the Gold Final this time around. With only two $40,000 eliminations slated for Monday’s program, the top five finishers will advance to the Oct. 6 Gold Final, and Poley thinks Grin Goddess is up for the challenge.
“We were all pretty happy with her last start,” says the Mount Hope resident, who shares ownership on the filly with his uncle Harold Poley of Brampton. “Starting out, you don’t know what you have, but once she had raced a couple of times she showed pretty good potential. I thought one day she would put that kind of mile together.”
The Grinfromeartoear daughter captured the Gold Consolation in 1:53.4, three seconds faster than she paced around the Mohawk oval in her first victory, in an Aug. 7 overnight event. The filly’s return to the winner’s circle took a little longer than Poley thought it might, but now that she has tapped into her raw speed he expects big things from the young pacer.
“I thought she would put the speed together a little quicker than she did,” admits the horseman. “Unfortunately, when I went to the Eternal Camnation she made a break behind the gate, and once I got that dealt with that she got a little bit sick on me. It was about 40 days between a respectable mile, where she paced in 1:56.4, and then she had to go in 1:55 (in the Gold Elimination).”
With two solid starts under her belt, Poley expects the filly to be even sharper in Monday’s elimination, but he also knows the competition will be stiffer than it was in the consolation. Three time Gold Final winner St Lads Popcorn will line up alongside Grin Goddess from Post 2, and Sept. 12 elimination winner Briar Goes West will be on her other flank at Post 4.
“We’ll see how she fares,” says Poley. “It’s not going to be the same as last week. All the best are going to be in there this week.”
Roger Mayotte will steer Grin Goddess from Post 3 in the second $40,000 Gold Elimination on Monday, as he has in all her starts, and Poley gives a great deal of credit to the veteran horseman for they filly’s steady forward progress.
“Roger has done a great job with her. He’s helped quite a bit in her development,” says Poley, who lost his sight over a decade ago. “He’s one of the biggest reasons she’s developed like she has until now, because of the time he has taken with her in her races.”
Mayotte will be looking for a top five finish with Grin Goddess on Monday, to give her shot at the $120,000 Gold Final on Oct. 6.
A modest $5,000 purchase from the Blooded Horse Sale in Ohio last fall, Grin Goddess has earned $23,800 from a pair of wins and one third in eight starts. She will be aiming to boost that tally on Monday, as well as accumulate a few more points toward the season ending Super Final. Through three Gold Series events, Grin Goddess currently sits in a tie for sixteenth, 18 points short of the top 10.
Mohawk fans will also be treated to a performance by the three-year-old pacing fillies, who will square off in a pair of $36,000 Trillium Series divisions on Monday. Gold Series stalwarts Shake That Junk and Windsong Eva will test their skills against Grassroots stars St Lads Seraph and Call Me Yours, plus a handful of Ontario-owned, American-sired youngsters like Unique Legacy.
The three-year-old pacing fillies will battle in Races 4 and 9, while the two-year-old pacing lasses attempt to earn a return ticket to the Campbellville oval in Races 2 and 5. Monday night action at Mohawk Racetrack gets under way at 7:20 pm.
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