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Brown trainee debuts in Gold Series Tuesday
July 16, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

FRASERVILLE, ON — Ontario’s talented two-year-old pacing fillies head to Kawartha Downs on Tuesday afternoon for their second round of Gold Series action.

The fillies, led by reigning Gold Final champion Lucks Mistress, will compete for a total of $114,959 in three Gold Eliminations in an effort to advance to the lucrative $130,000 Gold Final one week later. The veterans of the season opening Gold event at Woodbine Racetrack will be joined by an impressive line-up of new faces, including Doug Brown trainee Eye Max, who learned her early lessons over the Kawartha oval.

“She’s come a long ways in about three weeks,” says Brown. “We changed a few things on her, she’s matured a little bit and she’s starting to kind of like what she’s doing. She wasn’t real happy about for quite a long while.”

Eye Max made her debut at Kawartha on June 8 in a two-year-old schooler where she finished fourth. Back at the Peterborough oval on June 29 she captured a two-year-old qualifier with an effortless 2:00 performance and then headed to Grand River Raceway for a non-winners of $5,000 event on July 5. Leaving from Post 2 the leggy filly controlled the pace from the halfway marker on, once again coasting under the wire in 2:00.

“She’s done everything we’ve asked her to and a little bit more,” notes the trainer-driver. “She’s still pretty green, but I’m pretty sure down the road she is going to be very competitive.”

Murray Ross and Joseph Hamilton of Norwood and Grant Ross of Peterborough bred and own the daughter of Astreos and $103,384 winner Sonsamilla, who also produced $411,590 winner Oakland Avenue. In spite of her sparkling pedigree the partners were conservative about their expectations for Eye Max’s two-year-old season due to her size when Brown started working with her last fall.

“They were worried about her because she’s so big. She was big when I started breaking her so they didn’t stake her to much as a two-year-old in case we had to stop with her,” explains the Bowmanville resident. “She’s the biggest one I’ve got, maybe even the biggest one I’ve ever had, but out of the five I broke her knees were fully closed before any of the others.”

Brown and Eye Max will tackle the Gold Series from Post 9 in the fourth race on Tuesday and will face reigning queen Lucks Mistress from Post 6. Elimination winner and Gold Final runner-up Claires Apache will also be on the starting gate in the fourth race, leaving from Post 2.

Murray Ross will also have his eyes trained on Ashlees Luck from Post 1 in the sixth race. The Norwood resident shares ownership on the Camluck filly with Gordon Irwin of Cobourg.

Post time at Kawartha Downs on Tuesday is 4 pm, with the two-year-old pacing fillies spotlighted in Races 3, 4, and 6. The top three fillies from each elimination will return to the Fraserville oval on Tuesday, July 27 for their second $130,000 Gold Final.