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Filly faces uphill battle in Gold Final Thursday
July 5, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

REXDALE, ON — Woodbine Racetrack’s outstanding Ontario Sires Stakes line up continues on Thursday evening with the $130,000 Gold Final for the impressive two-year-old pacing fillies.

After posting the fastest elimination win last week Babyremembermyname achieved her first taste of fame, but trainer Rod Hennessy is doubtful the filly will get a second look at the Woodbine winner’s circle after drawing Post 10 for Thursday’s Final.

“The 10-hole is very tough for a young horse. The filly that she beat by half a length (Pleasure Beach) has the opposite post (Post 1) this week and Carl’s (Jamieson) fillies are in there; it’s going to be very, very tough,” says Hennessy, who trains the filly for Edward James of Aurora. “I can’t see a win on the horizon from that spot, but hopefully she can get a little chunk of it.”

Babyremembermyname delivered an impressive performance en route to her 1:54.3 victory in the elimination round, sitting alone on the outside through much of the last half. And if anything is working in her favour when the starting gate swings away in the Final, Hennessy is confident it will be that gritty attitude.

“She’s a very strong filly. She was first up with Phil (Hudon) last week from the half on,” says Hennessy. “The mental part is always the biggest thing with fillies, and she’s got that. I think Phil was pretty ecstatic about her.”

The Apaches Fame daughter prepped for the Gold Series with a qualifier against older horses at Mohawk Racetrack on June 8 and then finished second to elimination winner Ingrid Bergrin in the June 22 Trillium Series event at Georgian Downs. Last week’s victory saw the talented youngster drop four seconds off her former personal best and Hennessy hopes she and regular driver Phil Hudon can maintain that level of performance through the action-packed weeks ahead.

“She’s been a very strong filly every which way, soundness-wise, training-wise and, knock on wood, so far she’s been healthy,” says the trainer-driver, who will watch the filly on television Thursday night while he competes in a Grassroots event at Hiawatha Horse Park with three-year-old trotting Americanadian. “They go to Windsor for a Trillium (July 14) and then it’s six days to the Ontario Sires Stake at Kawartha (July 20). If they make them all they’ll have four starts in 21 days. You don’t even do that with aged horses, so they had better be sound to start their life.”

Among the fillies Hennessy will have his eyes peeled for during the television broadcast are elimination winners Ingrid Bergrin from Post 5 and Claires Apache from Post 8.

The freshman pacing fillies are featured in Race 5 on Woodbine Racetrack’s Thursday evening program, which gets under way at 7:40 pm.

A. Balson