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Impressive line up of fillies looking for Gold in Elora
ELORA, ON — Grand River Raceway fans will be treated to a performance by 40 of the best and brightest two-year-old trotting fillies on Friday evening. Competition will be fierce as only the top two finishers from each of five Gold Series Eliminations will return to the Elora oval for the $130,000 Gold Final on Aug. 2.
Frank O’Reilly opted to move Taylorlane Bliss up to the Gold Series at his local oval after the filly scored a solid victory in Grassroots action at Woodstock Raceway on July 3, but the Orton resident lamented his choice after the filly drew Post 7 in the sixth race.
“She trotted Woodstock in 2:05, with a back half in about a minute and then drew the seven-hole,” says O’Reilly. “And if she makes the Final there will be 10 in it. Right now Belleville’s looking pretty good.”
The next Grassroots event is at Belleville’s Quinte Exhibition Raceway on Aug. 2, but trainers are required to select either the Gold or the Grassroots event being staged in the same time frame and cannot change their mind once an entry has been cast.
“It’s close to home so Ed and I thought we’d race her over there,” says the trainer. “And if she had some luck she could certainly beat good fillies.”
O’Reilly trains the Royal Ballad daughter for Edward Taylor of Grand Valley and his wife Dr. Julie Ballinger of Orton. Taylor bred the filly, who is a half-sister to $153,838 winner Northern Kiss and $109,086 winner Northern Beau, but opted not to send her to the yearling sales due to her physical imperfections.
“She’s got a chest like a 68 cent chicken and she’s a pretty crooked legged thing,” says O’Reilly. “But she’s always wanted to go forward, and was pretty good at going forward, and she’s as tough as a two dollar steak.
“As of now, my wife and I are very glad she didn’t go through the sale.”
Ross Battin will pilot Taylorlane Bliss on Friday and O’Reilly hopes that the pair can overcome the difficult post position draw.
“When you see her on the track she looks splendid. She’s a gorgeous trotting filly,” says the descriptive horseman. “And if she belongs she should beat them from there anyway.”
Among the fillies Taylorlane Bliss will face in the sixth race is Jameson, one of two entries from Elmira resident George Zirnis’s barn, and Kind Gesture, one of four fillies from the powerful Ross Henry barn in Arthur. Jameson will start from Post 2 and Kind Gesture gets Post 5.
Grand River Raceway’s Friday evening program begins at 7:25 pm and the talented two-year-old trotting fillies are featured in Races 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. Only the top two finishers from each elimination will return to the Elora oval for the $130,000 Gold Final, which is part of the popular Battle of Waterloo program on Aug. 2.