Filly CBC elims in the books; Red Star Biggirl equals track record at Mohawk

by Jeff Renton, media/communications, the Woodbine Entertainment Group

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 21, 2006 – Five Canadian Breeders Championship (CBC) eliminations for three-year-old fillies of both gaits were contested Saturday evening at Mohawk.

After the last elim was contested, the fields for the two finals were drawn.

Brief synopses of each elim are listed below, followed by the draw results for the two finals, which will be contested Saturday, July 29 over the Campbellville seven-eighths of a mile oval.

Filly Pace – Elim #1

Purse: C$27,601

Bold Bidder ($20.20, $7.90, $3.00) was much the best in the first of two elims for the pacers, as the daughter of Grinfromeartoear left from post two and cut all the fractions (:27.2, :56.3, 1:25.1) en route to a 2¾-length victory in a life’s best 1:52.1 for driver Mark MacDonald and trainer John Pentland.

Owned by Karen Carroll of Shedden, Ontario, Bold Bidder showed a handful of breaks on her previous six racelines, but MacDonald was able to keep her flat for the filly’s first win in nine starts this year, also the second of her career.

“John [Pentland] told me before I went out on the track that she was probably the best three-year-old filly in Canada with the least amount of money. She’s just had no racing luck this year, but she clicked tonight,” Macdonald said about Bold Bidder, who topped a $79 exactor with Sun N Sand ($3.50, $2.50), who was piloted by Paul MacDonell.

With Steve Condren at her lines, Beechwood Duchess ($3.20) finished 4¾ lengths behind Bold Bidder and bottomed the $391.60 triactor.

Intrepid Water, the 6-5 morning line favorite, was scratched ‘sick’ from the event.

Filly Pace – Elim #2

Purse: C$27,601

O’Brien Award winner Style ($9.30, $5.10, $3.50) emerged victorious from the event-filled second pace elim after rushing to the front before the half-mile indicator and fending off all comers in a life’s best clocking of 1:51.3.

Steve Condren piloted the Rustler Hanover bay for trainer John Kopas, who conditions the lass for Pennsylvania’s George Hempt and Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Ontario.

Style sat third at the :26.4 opening quarter and cleared to the lead after going first-over before the :56.1 half-mile pole. With the flow beginning to mount on the outer tier, Style clicked off the three-quarters in 1:23.2, fought tough through the lane and eventually notched a half-length victory.

With Lyle MacArthur in the bike, Southwind Madonna ($13.00, $7.50) finished second, completing the $240.20 exactor, while Even Now ($3.80) finished three-quarters of a length back of Style, bottoming the $768.10 triactor.

“We [along with trainer Kopas] agreed that we were going to be very aggressive with her tonight and see if that made a difference, too,” Condren said. “It’s not her forte the way she raced, but hopefully it stretched her out a little bit to where she can get back on her old form.”

The win was the second in five starts this year for Style, who now has nine overall victories on her card.

Filly Pace – Elim #3

Purse: C$27,601

Red Star Biggirl ($2.50, $2.30, $2.10) and driver Mario Baillargeon were downright dominant in the third pace elim, as the daughter of Grinfromeartoear took over before the half-mile pole and zoomed away to a win in 1:51-flat, equaling Mohawk’s three-year-old pacing filly track record, which she now holds along with Invitro.

A homebred of Surrey, British Columbia’s Robert Murphy, Red Star Biggirl was fourth to the :26.2 opening quarter and went first-up and cleared to the lead before the :54.3 half-mile pole.

From there, the bay trained by Robert Merschback clicked off the three-quarters in 1:23.2 and paced home strongly for a new life’s mark.

Don’t You Smile ($5.10, $3.80) and Jody Jamieson finished second, beaten four lengths, and bottomed the $15.70 exactor, while Luxury Seelster ($3.30) and driver Mark MacDonald were defeated by 4¼ lengths and completed the $41.20 triactor.

“I watched her [O.S.S. Gold] Final two weeks in ago in Windsor [Raceway], and any filly who can go around that track in [1]:51-and-a-piece is a heckuva filly and she proved it tonight,” said Baillargeon, who also noted that she can both carry her speed and is very versatile.

With the victory, Red Star Biggirl has now finished on the board in all of her 12 2006 starts, and now sports a 7-3-2 seasonal record after going a perfect five-for-five as a two-year-old.

Filly Trot – Elim #1

Purse: C$37,513

Oaklea Odessa ($5.40, $3.80, $3.60) and driver Paul MacDonell withstood some decent challenges in the final half-mile of the first trot elim, as the duo held on for a three-quarters of a length victory in 1:56.3, just three-fifths of a second shy of her life’s mark.

The pair left from post seven after a recall and were parked to the opening quarter in :27.3. MacDonell cleared and then tapped the brakes in the second quarter, which prompted Fin De Maye and driver Shane Weber to come flying from the backfield to challenge by the :58.2 half-mile pole.

Oaklea Odessa, a daughter of Balanced Image, passed the third stanza in 1:27.3 and then had to keep her eye on Corries Glory ($23.80, $3.60) and pilot Jack Moiseyev, who closed home with plenty of trot through the lane and finished second, rounding out the $133.50 exactor.

Steve Condren and Meadowview Tiffy ($7.50) finished third, beaten 3½ lengths, and were the final piece to the $888.80 triactor puzzle.

“I was trying to get a bit of a breather in backstretch, and people don’t like that and they take runs at you, but she was able to survive it,” MacDonell said with a chuckle, in reference to Fin De Maye’s charge from the back of the pack.

Trained by John Bax, Oaklea Odessa is owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Ariel Stables and Glenn Van Camp, all from Ontario.

In victory, the filly won her seventh start of the season from what was her tenth try.

Filly Trot – Elim #2

Purse: C$37,513

Merles Pearl ($10.90, $5.80, $3.50) and driver Trevor Ritchie did all the work themselves in second trot elim, as the two went gate-to-wire in 1:55.4, a new life’s best for the daughter of Shipps Speed.

After leaving from the trailing post 11, Steve Condren and Pure Ivory ($3.20, $2.70) finished second, beaten 1½ length, and rounded out the $39.50 exactor. With Paul MacDonell in tow, Oaklea Omega ($3.00) finished third, beaten two lengths, and bottomed the $119.10 triactor.

Owned by Tommy Andersson of Gotene, Sweden, Merles Pearl – who cut the fractions in :27.4, :58.1 and 1:28 – is trained by John Smith and has now scored in three of her five starts this campaign after winning eight of 10 starts last year as a two-year-old.

C$193,209 Canadian Breeders Championship

Filly Pace

Post Position – Horse – Listed Driver

1 – Sun N Sand – P. MacDonell

2 – Red Star Biggirl – M. Baillargeon

3 – Even Now – M. Saftic

4 – Don’t You Smile – J. Jamieson

5 – Southwind Madonna – L. MacArthur

6 – Luxury Seelster – Ma. MacDonald

7 – Beechwood Duchess – J. Moiseyev

8 – Bold Bidder – Ma. MacDonald

9 – Style – S. Condren

10 – Camaronni N Cheese – R. Zeron

AE1 – Alias Seelster – Ra. Waples

AE2 – Dolphins Can Talk -TBA

(For the final of the filly pace, the top three finishers from each elim gained entrance, and fourth-place finisher Camaronni N Cheese was drawn in by lot)

C$175,061 Canadian Breeders Championship

Filly Trot

Post Position – Horse – Listed Driver

1 – Holyrood – L. Ouellette

2 – Oaklea Odessa – P. MacDonell

3 – Pure Ivory – S. Condren

4 – Patsys Point – K. Oliver

5 – Geisha Hall – Ma. MacDonald

6 – Corries Glory – J. Moiseyev

7 – Merles Pearl – T. Ritchie

8 – Oaklea Omega – P. MacDonell

9 – Birminghim – C. Christoforou

10 – Meadowview Tiffy – S. Condren

AE1 – Kings Keepsake – G. Whelan

AE2 – Bernice Daniece – M. Saftic

(For the final of the filly trot, the top five finishers from each elim gained entrance)

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