OTTAWA, ON — Following hot on the heels of their sophomore cohorts, Ontario’s gifted two-year-old trotting fillies sweep into Ottawa on Friday evening for a pair of $40,000 Gold Eliminations.

Pretty Crafty takes her second shot at the province’s top trotters from Post 6 in the second elimination and trainer Darren McCall is hoping the filly has a chance to show off her full range of skills over the Rideau Carleton Raceway oval.

“She leaves pretty fast,” says McCall. “I’d like to see her up close, to keep her interested.

“She’s a really nice filly, good gaited,” adds the Cambridge, ON resident. “She’s always shown ability. It looks like she’s going to be a handy Sires Stakes horse.”

The daughter of Ken Warkentin and $266,475 winner Appleby Dreambelle made her first lifetime start in the Aug. 19 Gold Elimination at Mohawk Racetrack and finished seventh, failing to advance to the Final. However, the following week Pretty Crafty returned to Mohawk for an overnight event for fillies that did not make the final and delivered an impressive 1:58.3 victory.

Pretty Crafty made her third lifetime start in an elimination for the Peaceful Way Stakes at Mohawk, but made a brief miscue behind the gate and wound up sixth. In the Sept. 17 Peaceful Way Consolation she picked up second pay cheque with a fourth-place result.

“She’s a game little thing,” says McCall, who conditions Pretty Crafty for owner-breeders Richard Thompson and Robert Watson of London, ON and Mike Bartram of Ingersoll, ON. “She’s not big by any means, but she tries hard.”

McCall also conditions Pretty Crafty’s elder sibling Digital Image, a winner of $535,728, and says the filly reminds him a great deal of her older brother in spite of the fact that Digital Image towers over her. The size difference between the half-siblings may be short lived however, if Pretty Crafty continues to put away as many servings of oats and hay as she currently enjoys.

“She likes her food,” explains McCall. “She’s a very hungry little girl. I don’t think she’s ever left a grain.”

McCall would love to see Pretty Crafty deliver a top four finish on Friday and earn a berth in next week’s $130,000 Gold Final, both in an effort to accumulate enough points to land in the season ending Super Final and to reward her owner-breeders for their longtime involvement in the Standardbred industry.

“I’m hoping that she does good. They are nice owners and they’ve been in the game a long time. It would be nice to see them get some money,” says the trainer, adding that he expects this year to be the prelude to a long and successful racing career for the dainty filly.

Among the fillies that Pretty Crafty will face in the talent laden fourth race on Friday evening are reigning Gold Final winner Beach Party AS from Post 8 and two-time Gold Final winner Extraordinaire from Post 2. My Whispering Eye, currently ranked third in the division point standings, will also make her bid for a top four finish from Post 5.

The top four finishers from each $40,000 elimination will return to Rideau Carleton Raceway next week for the $130,000 Gold Final, along with one fifth-place finisher selected by random draw. The Gold Eliminations will go postward as Races 2 and 4 on the Ottawa oval’s Friday evening program, with the first race rolling in behind the starting gate at 6:30 pm.

For complete entries click: Rideau Carleton Raceway Entries — Sept. 24, 2010

To view Pretty Crafty’s previous Gold Series start click: Pretty Crafty