CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — One month after she claimed the title, two-year-old pacing filly Lauren began a vigorous defence of her Gold Final crown with a powerful victory in the $40,000 Gold Elimination at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening.

Catch driver Ron Pierce, in town for the weekend’s lucrative stakes events, had Lauren on her toes behind the starting gate, and the reigning Gold Final champ led the field of 11 to a :13 opening eighth and a :27.2 quarter. As the fillies headed into the backstretch Imagine Semalu pounded up the outside to take over the lead, posting a :55.3 half, but before she reached the 1:24.2 three-quarters Pierce had moved Lauren back out of the pocket.

Returning to the front as she swept off the final turn, Lauren cruised down the stretch to a 1:53 victory, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of her peers. Jack Moiseyev found a hole to shoot Stonebridge Damsel through in the stretch and the filly, owned by High Stakes Inc. of Moffat, ON, Angie Stiller of Arva, ON and Barbara Bongiorno of Colts Neck, NJ, picked up a second-place cheque in her Gold Series debut. Lauren’s stablemate Bunkhouse Babe captured the third spot, keeping a whisker in front of Lyons Carrie and Imagine Semalu.

Windsor, ON resident Bob McIntosh conditions both Lauren and Bunkhouse Babe, who currently sit first and third in the freshman pacing filly division standings. The Hall of Famer trains the daughter of Modern Art and $318,254 winner One Cadet for owner-breeders Gordon and Claudia Wright of Charlotte, MI.

Lauren started her career in a maiden event at Woodstock Raceway on July 3, where she cruised along on the front end to a 1:59 score. The talented youngster’s first stakes event was the Whenuwishuponastar Series at Mohawk, where she won the first two legs but made an unfortunate break in the July 29 final that left her well back in ninth. Lauren made her Gold Series debut at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Aug. 8 where she captured her elimination on a very sloppy oval in 1:59, then came back the following week to claim a neck victory in the Gold Final with a 1:55.4 score.

Since claiming her Gold Final title, Lauren has made just one start, finishing fifth in a division of the Champlain Stakes over a sloppy Mohawk oval on Sept. 11.

The half-sister to $453,585 Gro will further defend her Gold final title from Post 7 in next week’s $130,000 Gold Final, which goes postward on Saturday, Sept. 25. The complete line up for the third Gold Final on the freshman pacing filly schedule is as follows:

$130,000 Gold Final — Saturday, Sept. 25 at Mohawk Racetrack

Post 1 Monkey On My Back

Post 2 Shipps Xanadu

Post 3 Bunkhouse Babe

Post 4 Village Janus

Post 5 Pearl Handlepistol

Post 6 Stonebridge Damsel

Post 7 Lauren

Post 8 Lady Jill

Post 9 Imagine Semalu

Post 10 Lyons Carrie

Also Eligible Lyons Puddin Pie

For complete results click: Mohawk Racetrack Results — Sept. 17, 2010