LONDON, ON — Some of Ontario’s most gifted three-year-old fillies put on a show for Western Fair Raceway fans on Friday evening, competing for a total of $200,000 in Gold Elimination action.
Receiving the first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy of the 2011 season was Camille, who cruised along on the front end to a 1:57.1 victory in the first of two pacing filly eliminations. Regular reinsman Jason Brewer sent Camille to the lead from Post 1 and the pair fought off a three-quarter challenge from Patsys Luck and a late rush from Monkey On My Wheel to earn the half length victory. Monkey On My Wheel earned second-place honours, while local filly Patsys Luck paced into third, one length ahead of Smartygirl.
Trained by Rodney Duford, Camille was a star on the Grassroots circuit last season, winning three of six provincial starts including her Semifinal and the Final at Western Fair in October. Harrow, ON resident Larry Pollard bred and owns the talented Camluck daughter, who is a full-sister to $1.5 million winner Chancey Lady. The filly will make her Gold Final debut from Post 5 next Friday.
Although Patsys Luck qualified for the $130,000 Gold Final with her third-place effort behind Camille, trainer John Pentland and owners Natalie Pentland of Dorchester, ON and Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON opted not to enter their filly in the second round of provincial competition. Instead, Patsys Luck will pit her skills against the top money earners from the City of London Pacing Series in that May 27 final.
Village Janus has always preferred to control the pace, and the Modern Art daughter got her wish on Friday as she fired away from Post 1 and rang up fractions of :28.1, :59.1 and 1:27 on her way to a sparkling 1:55.4 victory. Catch driver Yannick Gingras engineered the win for trainer Rod Therres of Cambridge, ON and his partner Larry Schmidt of Abbotsford, BC.
Mach Lady sailed along behind Village Janus into second, fending off Lauren and Look Cheap. Shipps Xanadu rounded out the cheque earners from the second Gold Elimination.
Village Janus will be looking for her third straight victory from Post 3 in next week’s final, starting to the right of Monkey On My Wheel and Smartygirl. The complete line up for the $130,000 pacing filly Gold Final is below.
Once the pacing fillies had wrapped up their season opener it was time for the trotting fillies to take the stage, and Extraordinaire kicked off her sophomore campaign with a one and one-quarter length victory. Starting from the rail, the Duke Of York lass made an early break in stride, but was able to recover quickly and roll on to a :29.3 opening quarter. Trainer-driver Wayne Henry never saw a serious challenge as Extraordinaire carried on to a 1:01.1 half and 1:31.1 three-quarters before stopping the clock at 2:02.1.
Momentous finished second and China Pearls made an outstanding recovery from an early break to land the third-place finisher’s share. Fans who placed wagers on both China Pearls and eighth-place finisher Magical Paige received refunds when the judges ruled that neither filly had received a fair start due to their early miscues.
A two-time Gold Final winner at two, Extraordinaire will start from Post 4 in her bid to add a sophomore trophy to the collection accumulated by the Henry Stable of Arthur and Kaye Laverty of Sauble Beach, ON.
Last year’s Super Final champion Oh Sweet Baby got her three-year-old season off to a strong start with a 2:01.2 victory in the second trotting filly elimination. The winner of $243,530 and driver Mario Baillargeon led through all stations, reaching the wire one and one-quarter lengths ahead of fan favourite Peach Martini and My Whispering Eye.
Benoit Baillargeon conditions Oh Sweet Baby for Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, QC, and will send her after a second victory from the trailing Post 8 in next Friday’s final.
In the third elimination Lukes Sophie cruised up the outside to wrest control away from pacesetter L A Freeway and sail home to a three-length victory in 1:58.3. Jody Jamieson piloted the Here Comes Herbie daughter to her second straight victory for his father, trainer Carl Jamieson of Princeton, and Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON.
After dueling to a :27.4 opening quarter, neither Pretty Crafty nor L A Freeway had enough gas left in the tank to battle Lukes Sophie, settling for second and third spot respectively. Richard Thompson and Robert Watson of London, along with Mike Bartram of Ingersoll, share ownership of Pretty Crafty, who will start from Post 6 in the final. Elimination winner Lukes Sophie will benefit from the advantageous rail position.
Both the three-year-old pacing filly and trotting filly Gold Finals will complement the main event next Friday, May 27 — Western Fair Raceway’s signature race, the $300,000 Molson Pace.
Three-year-old filly pace $130,000 Gold Final — Friday, May 27 at Western Fair Raceway
Post 1 Monkey On My Wheel
Post 2 Smartygirl
Post 3 Village Janus
Post 4 Shipps Xanadu
Post 5 Camille
Post 6 Mach Lady
Post 7 Look Cheap
Post 8 Lauren
Also Eligible 1 Mias Star
Also Eligible 2 Modern Connection
Three-year-old filly trot $130,000 Gold Final — Friday, May 27 at Western Fair Raceway
Post 1 Lukes Sophie
Post 2 L A Freeway
Post 3 Peach Martini
Post 4 Extraordinaire
Post 5 My Whispering Eye
Post 6 Pretty Crafty
Post 7 Momentous
Post 8 Oh Sweet Baby
Also Eligible 1 China Pearls
For complete results please click: Western Fair Raceway Results — May 20, 2011