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Pacing fillies flock to Flamboro Downs Saturday
October 3, 2002
By Sandra Snyder

DUNDAS, ON — Flamboro Downs hosts a full afternoon of Ontario Sires Stakes action on Saturday with three Trillium Series divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies and the last $130,000 Gold Final of the season for the three-year-old pacing fillies.

The youngsters will open the 3 pm card with a $27,795 Trillium division and excitement will build toward the Gold Final with two more Trillium skirmishes in Races 5 and 8 before the veterans take over in Race 10 for their final regular season event.

Heading up the list of starters in the Gold Final is division leader Precious Delight, who kept her Ontario Sires Stakes unbeaten streak alive with a track and OSS record 1:53.3 triumph in the elimination round, and trainer Duane Marfisi is hoping she can replicate last week’s effort from Post 1.

“I’m glad we drew well. She’s actually in top form, she’s probably the healthiest she’s been in a long time,” says the Guelph resident. “She’s been battling sickness off and on for the last month, but I scoped her today (Wednesday) and she was 100 per cent.”

The Precious Bunny daughter, bred and owned by Peter Heffering of Port Perry, was undefeated through 11 starts last season, six of them in the Ontario Sires Stakes, and has recorded seven wins in 11 starts this year, all but one in provincial action. Her first loss did not occur until Aug. 3 when she went head-to-head with the top fillies in North America in the Mistletoe Shalee at The Meadowlands in New Jersey.

After the Mistletoe Shalee Precious Delight failed to find the winner’s circle again until Sept. 20 when she captured the Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association of Ontario Stake at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:53.3 over a racetrack rated two seconds slower than normal.

Her last two starts have Marfisi and Heffering hoping that the winner of $1.15 million is rounding into top form just in time for another crack at the division’s best in the Breeders’ Crown Eliminations at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 9.

“We’re aiming for the Breeders’ Crown,” says Marfisi. “Earlier in the year whenever anybody asked me which one I wanted to win, that was it, the Breeders’ Crown.”

However, before she gets her ticket to the Breeders’ Crown, Precious Delight and driver Mike Saftic have to deal with a talented field of Ontario-breds. The other elimination winner, Lady Graceful, starts from Post 6 and Oven Mitt, the only other Ontario-bred filly to best Precious Delight, will go after her first Gold Final win from Post 4. A win in Saturday’s $130,000 contest would make Lady Graceful, who is trained by Bob McIntosh for Robert Waxman of Ancaster, the second millionaire in the sophomore pacing filly ranks.

McIntosh will also harness a trio of fillies in the Trillium event, including the runner-up from the Sept. 29 Gold Final at Windsor Raceway, Please Me Please. Owned by Windsor resident McIntosh and his partners Dwight Stacey of Mitchell and Al McIntosh Holdings of Leamington, Please Me Please will start from Post 2 in the eighth race. The trio also own Cam Nice Girl, who will start from Post 2 in the fifth race and McIntosh harnesses Espirit Seelster for Ancaster’s Waxman from Post 2 in Race 1.

The outstanding afternoon of Ontario Sires Stakes racing gets under way at 3 pm, with Flamboro Downs fans being treated to the talented freshman in Races 1, 5, and 8, and the lightning fast sophomore pacing fillies in the tenth race.