INNISFIL, ON — When Kingfishers Gypsy lines up behind the starting gate in the $89,586 Trillium Series event at Georgian Downs on Saturday night, the two-year-old pacing filly will be looking to make amends for the only lacklustre effort she has put forth all season.
“She’s a bit temperamental, but I really don’t know why she raced poor,” says trainer Rob Fellows of the filly’s last place performance in the $100,000 Grassroots Championship at Kawartha Downs on Oct. 27. “I wish I knew. It was just one of those bad nights, and she picked to do it going for $100,000.”
A team of draft horses led the post parade for each Grassroots Championship, and Fellows wonders if the sight and sound of the big horses threw Kingfishers Gypsy off her game, but the Rockwood resident has resigned himself to the fact that he will probably never have a satisfactory answer. On the up side, the daughter of Bo Knows Jate and Shame Shame came back on Nov. 10 with an impressive effort against older horses at Georgian Downs, so Fellows hopes she will be able to hold her own in Saturday’s Trillium skirmish.
“She raced very good against some aged horses last week,” says the horseman, who trains Kingfishers Gypsy for Michael Capton of Ohsweken. “She didn’t draw very good, but she likes to follow other horses, she likes chasing down other horses. She doesn’t really stay focused by herself.”
Regular reinsman Michael Whelan will steer Kingfishers Gypsy from Post 8 in the rich Trillium division, slated as Race 7 on Georgian Downs’ Saturday evening program, and Fellows says the young driver has done an outstanding job with the filly through her first 11 starts.
“He has put her in a situation every week that, if she was good, she could get money. I can’t say enough about the job he’s done,” says Fellows. “We’ve been following horses and just trying to trip her out, because she’s not a big, strong, rugged horse.”
Through 11 starts Whelan and the full sister to The Drunkard ($289,390) and Doctor Ruth ($222,783) have crafted a record of three wins, two seconds, two thirds, one fourth and one fifth for earnings of $45,274. Up until the Grassroots Championship fiasco, the filly had never finished worse than fourth in Ontario Sires Stakes action, and she captured her Grassroots Semifinal with a smart 1:56.3 come from behind effort.
“She’s been pretty good in every effort, except for that Grassroots Final,” says Fellows ruefully. “She’s just a slight filly, but she’s very willing.”
Kingfishers Gypsy will see a number of familiar faces in Saturday’s contest, along with several newcomers to the provincial program. Open to any filly owned in full by Ontario residents, Saturday’s Trillium features three American-breds and six Ontario-breds.
Post time at Georgian Downs on Saturday, Nov. 17 is 7:35 pm, with the lucrative Trillium contest scheduled as Race 7.
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