FRASERVILLE, ON — Kawartha Downs fans will witness the final Trillium Series contest for the two-year-old pacing fillies this Saturday evening, with 11 talented youngsters poised to battle around the Fraserville oval for a total of $78,500.

Kawartha regular Gord Brown will pilot one filly in each Trillium Series split, and the Brighton resident is looking forward to climbing back aboard Shellace in the first race.

“I drove her in the Driving Championship at Grand River,” recalls Brown. “She was my only bright spot of the night.”

Brown’s mount in the ninth race of the Ontario Regional Driving Championship at Grand River Raceway on Oct. 20, Shellace cruised along on the front end to a 1:59 score. The victory was the filly’s third in a season that also saw her score three seconds and three thirds in 14 starts for earnings of $103,066.

Putnam resident Scott McNiven trains Shellace for owner and breeder Donald Douglas of Ingersoll. The Aces N Sevens daughter scored one win in the Grassroots program before making a successful transition to the Gold Series, and was just nipped at the wire in her Trillium Series debut at Flamboro Downs last weekend, finishing second to Free N Easy.

“She’s a very nice filly. I loved her the one time I drove her,” says Brown. “That was a rotten night at Grand River, it rained all night, and she was very good. She paced home strong that night.”

Brown is hoping rain and snow will not be part of the weather menu this Saturday as he and Shellace will take a second crack at Free N Easy from Post 4 in the first race. Free N Easy will start from the advantageous Post 1, while Stonebridge Breeze, the third-place finisher in last week’s Trillium battle, gets Post 2.

In the second Trillium division Brown will steer Mufasas Place for owner and trainer Donald Lowes of Paris. The veteran reinsman piloted the Million Dollar Cam lass in a Grassroots event at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sept. 7 and was impressed by her raw speed.

“I drove her in Ottawa and she made a break. She was either going to be first or second, but she made a break late in the lane,” he recalls. “She’s very fast.”

After struggling with breaks through the first two months of the season, Mufasas Place seemed to put things together in mid-September. The filly scored a first and a second in the last two Grassroots events of the campaign to qualify for the post season, where she finished second in her Semifinal and then made a disappointing break at the three-quarter marker in the Championship.

Lowes re-qualified the fractious youngster on Nov. 17 and she bounced back with a solid fourth-place finish — behind Free N Easy and Shellace — in the Nov. 21 Trillium event at Flamboro Downs, so Brown is hoping she is ready for battle this weekend. He and Lowes have enjoyed success at Kawartha Downs in the past. Brown piloted Lowes’ trainee Deuces And Jacks to an upset victory over local favourite Bigtime Ball in Gold Final action last fall at the Fraserville oval.

“He’s a great guy, a real nice guy,” says Brown of Lowes. “It’s nice to team up with him again.”

Mufasas Place will benefit from Post 1 in the second race, but the filly faces off against the giant of the two-year-old pacing filly division, St Lads Popcorn.

“If there’s any such thing as unbeatable, she’s it right now,” laments Brown. “She seems to be able to out grit anybody. That’s what makes her good I guess.”

St Lads Popcorn heads into the race riding a month-long win streak, including victories in the Nov. 15 Super Final and last weekend’s Trillium. Jason Brewer will steer the Twin B Champ daughter from Post 4.

The two-year-old pacing fillies kick off Kawartha Downs’ Saturday evening program at 7 pm, battling for a total of $78,594 in Trillium lucre in the first and second races.

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