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Fabulous fillies showcased at Flamboro on Friday
July 13, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

DUNDAS, ON — Flamboro Downs hosts an action-packed afternoon of Ontario Sires Stakes racing on Friday, with three Trillium Series divisions for the talented three-year-old trotting fillies and the $130,000 Gold Final for the top sophomore pacing lasses.

The Trillium events lead off the program and Roger Mayotte is hoping the second race is the confidence building start that Northern Fuchsia needs to move her game to the next level.

“She’s a real sweetheart. Everything she does is professional. She’s got the manners, she’s got the gait, everything’s just got to blossom together for her,” says the Etobicoke resident. “She shows me enough potential that I think she is going to improve off each start.”

Northern Fuchsia has just four starts under her belt and has been battling the top Ontario-sired fillies in Gold Series action. She finished fourth in the May 17 Gold Elimination at Mohawk Racetrack, second in the consolation one week later and then enjoyed a six week break before the second Gold event where she finished fourth in the July 2 elimination and seventh in last weekend’s Final.

During the break between Sires Stakes events Mayotte says the filly went through a growth spurt that briefly threw her off her game.

“I think she’s taken a bit of a growing spurt in the last month or six weeks. I trained her a couple of times and she was making some breaks and just wasn’t right and I think it was because she was growing. Her hind end shot up on her,” notes Mayotte, who trains the Angus Hall daughter for Donald Lawson of Guelph, Paul Lawson of Georgetown and James Lawson of Oakville. “She’s definitely a bigger filly than when I started with her.”

Leaving from Post 5 in the second race, Mayotte and Northern Fuchsia will face a field of six that includes Gold Series regular Incredible Iam from Post 3, four fillies from the Grassroots program and one American-bred eligible to the Trillium through her Ontario ownership.

The trotting fillies are also featured in Races 4, 6, and 8, warming up the Flamboro crowd for the $130,000 Gold Final in Race 10.

The top eight pacing fillies from last week’s elimination round are returning to the Dundas half-mile and the Bob McIntosh duo Special Magic and Los Angeles struck pay dirt early, drawing Posts 1 and 2 for the lucrative Final.

The fillies head into the Final off impressive efforts in the elimination that saw them finish first and second. Special Magic earned the victory with a 1:54 mile that saw her sit off a lightning fast early pace and then swoop down on the leaders around the final turn. In similar fashion, Los Angeles was 13 lengths off the pace at the halfway marker and had to sprint home to earn the runner-up’s share.

“I never expected that hot a pace,” says McIntosh, who credits topnotch driving from Steve Condren and Mark MacDonald for securing the Camluck daughters their berth in Friday’s Final. “Some of those guys get in a hurry when they’re going for big money, but they pay you at the end, not at the half."

While Special Magic already boasts an impressive three-year-old record of three wins, two seconds and one third from six starts on behalf of owner-breeders Brittany Farms of Versailles, KY, Los Angeles has been a little shower out of the gate with one second and one third from four starts.

“She had a tough year last year, a couple of brutal trips,” explains McIntosh, who shares ownership on Los Angeles with Al McIntosh Holdings Inc., of Leamington and CSX Stables of Liberty Center, OH. “In the Shes A Great Lady she finished third, but it was a gut twisting race. It took it’s toll on her and I was a little concerned about how she would come back.”

In her first two starts Los Angeles was tenth and fifth, but in the June 21 consolation at Woodbine Racetrack the filly showed a spark of her former ability and last Friday’s elimination effort confirmed her trainer’s belief that she was starting to round back into form.

“I put a blind bridle on her and that seemed to pick her up,” he notes. “It would be nice if she put another one together. She’s very capable of being in the same league as the other filly if she’s back to her game.”

McIntosh admits his fillies will benefit from the placement of elimination winner Invitro on the outside of the starting gate.

“Invitro looks like the best filly out there this far,” says the LaSalle resident. “She’s handicapped with the eight-hole, but maybe we should start her out on Highway 5. She’s got my respect that’s for sure.”

Post time for Flamboro Downs’s first race on Friday is 2:45 pm, with the Trillium Series taking centre stage in Races 2, 4, 6, and 8 and the $130,000 Gold Final slated as Race 10.