News ArchivesArchives for August '03
Queen Of Jewels finds her balance in Gold Series
REXDALE, ON — One year ago Carman Hie would not have believed that Queen Of Jewels would be among the favourites in Monday night’s three-year-old trotting filly Gold Final at Woodbine Racetrack. In March of her two-year-old season the filly started driving on one line and by the end of the year the problem had progressed to the point where it cost her the Grassroots Championship.
“Last year she had a lot of ability, but she drove on one line and beared in,” says Hie. “I’ve never had a filly trotter that could drive on one line so bad, and stay trotting, and still win some races.”
At two Queen Of Jewels posted two wins, one second and two thirds in seven starts for earnings of $55,252. She finished second in the Grassroots Final after losing ground badly while bearing in around the last turn and down the stretch at Georgian Downs. The level of frustration Hie and partners Stewart Cockshutt of Rockwood, Gary Smith of Burlington and Peter Kloepfer of Harley felt last season has been matched only by their delight that the King Conch daughter has turned things around in time to be a player in the Gold Series this year.
“This year she’s been better, and all of a sudden she’s starting to drive on two lines,” says the Beamsville resident, adding that he did not make any equipment or shoeing changes to bring on the filly’s new-found balance. “She’s just kind of come around.”
Queen Of Jewels heads into Monday night’s $130,000 contest off a sparkling 1:56.4 elimination victory that saw her control the pace for most of the race and extend her lead to more than two lengths by the wire. She will tackle the cream of the provincial crop from Post 1 in Monday’s sixth race and Hie expects driver Steve Condren to be on the lookout for the other elimination winner, Excusez Moi, from Post 8 and Canadian Breeders champion For The Luva Moni from Post 4.
“For The Luva Moni is the best horse in the race as far as I’m concerned. We’ve raced with her twice and she’s beaten us twice, and we had good trips both times,” says Hie. “And Excusez Moi is trotting very well, she beat For The Luva Moni last week. Really, any one of them could jump up and win it.”
After Monday’s battle the sophomore trotting fillies enjoy a seven week break from Gold Series action and Hie is looking forward to giving Queen Of Jewels a well deserved holiday.
“After this race she will have a little time off, because she’s raced five or six weeks in a row and I would like to see her get two or three weeks of down time,” he says. “When I bought her she was only nominated to five stakes, so the Standardbred Breeders (Sept. 11 and 19) is the only other stake she’s in.”
The veteran horseman would love to see the filly head into her sabbatical off a strong showing in Monday’s Gold Final, which goes postward as Race 6 on the 7:40 program.