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Family connections lead to OSS winner’s circle

"You look at yearlings and sometimes you can look at them and you can kind of visualize or maybe imagine what they might look like come this time of year."

(Photo of driver Trevor Henry and two-year-old pacing filly Deb courtesy of New Image Media)

Harness racing fans got their first look at the 2018 two-year-old pacing filly crop at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday night and the fillies delivered impressive performances in all three $66,400 Gold Series divisions.

Taking the quickest tour around the Campbellville oval was Deb, who was able to sprint up the inside to a 1:53.2 clocking in the second division. Driven by Arthur, Ontario resident Trevor Henry, the Sportswriter daughter crossed the wire one and one-half lengths ahead of Skyhigh Ambition and fan favourite Quebec Blue Chip.

“That’s her first two-year-old start of the year, so it’s nice to see that,” said trainer Dr. Ian Moore of the filly’s victory. “It’s very rewarding and very satisfying for me as a trainer, and Janice Hubbard looked after her all winter, it’s satisfying for her as well.”

Acquired at last fall’s London Selected Yearling Sale for $24,000, Deb blossomed over the winter into the kind of filly Moore and owners Jim and Wilma MacKenzie of Ennismore, Ontario could only imagine last October.

“I liked her at the (Seelster) farm and I liked her even more at the sale itself,” recalled Cambridge, Ontario resident Moore. “She was kind of a gangly filly, but you know, you look at yearlings and sometimes you can look at them and you can kind of visualize or maybe imagine what they might look like come this time of year. So she started out as very rough, coarse, gangly, just poking along on the trot filly, and grew into a really beautiful, nice, big, tall filly, lovely filly.”

Moore initially went to look at Deb as a yearling because her mother is a half-sister to his current three-year-old pacing colt Atomic Seelster, and it was also a family connection that led trainer Tony Beaton to Better Single, who captured the first division on Monday.

“I wanted to get a Betterthancheddar baby to train, because I did a lot of work with Cheddar back when I was at Casie’s (Coleman), and we kind of had a bond together,” Beaton explained. “So I was hoping to help out his career too, you know, if possible.”

Betterthancheddar daughter Better Single was a favourite of Beaton’s throughout the winter and delivered on her promise with a 1:54.3 effort on Monday. In rein to Guelph resident James MacDonald, the fan favourite paced home one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Revival Cards and Medici Hanover.

“She always trained good, she showed some signs that she was going to be an okay filly, we just weren’t sure how good she would be, but she’s shown us that she’s a pretty decent filly, right now anyway,” said Waterdown, Ontario resident Beaton, who shares ownership of the filly with David Mercer of Sydney, Nova Scotia. The pair offered up $17,000 for Better Single at the London Selected Yearling Sale last fall.

“She’s got a real nice gait to her and she’s actually, I didn’t think she was as big as she is until I seen some of the fillies that we were in against tonight, and she kind of towered over them a little bit,” added Beaton with a chuckle.

Arriving in Campbellville off a third-place result in a 1:51.3 mile at The Meadowlands, fans were right to send Disturbed Hanover off as their top choice in the third and final Gold division of the night. The filly held on for a 1:53.4 victory, one length ahead of fast-closing Crisp Mane and Summer Charm, who finished in a dead heat for second.

“I was relieved to win with this filly tonight,” admitted driver Jody Jamieson. “I took a chance taking off a (Dave) Menary horse, Summer Charm, which I don’t like doing, but I felt my best chance to win was with this girl. It almost backfired on me as Dave (Menary) had her (Summer Charm) quite good in finishing second.

“Bart gave me a perfect reflection of what to expect from his filly,” continued the Moffat, Ontario resident. “And she performed perfectly.”

Jamieson engineered the win for trainer William “Bart” Dalious and owner The Wiz Kids Stable LLC of Dover, Delaware. A modest $10,000 purchase at last fall’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Disturbed Hanover has already netted her owners $34,400. The Big Jim daughter is a half-sister to former Gold Series competitor Drachan Hanover, a winner of $492,027 in his racing career.

The talented two-year-old pacing fillies will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park for their second Gold Series start on July 20.

On Tuesday evening (July 10), the Grassroots contingent of two-year-old pacing fillies will take their place on the Woodbine Mohawk Park stage, competing in Races 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 10. Tuesday evening’s program gets under way at 7:30 pm.


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