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Local fillies deliver the goods at Grand River
July 24, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

ELORA, ON — Local favourite Lookit captured her second Gold Elimination victory with an impressive performance from Post 6 at Grand River Raceway on Friday evening.

The Royal Strength daughter and driver Wayne Henry fired off the gate in the first Gold Elimination and were on top by two lengths as the fillies swept by the :30.2 opening quarter. The pair continued to lead the field of two-year-old trotting fillies through fractions of 1:00.4 and 1:32.3 before coasting home to the 2:04.3 victory, one and a half lengths ahead of Draven and three and a half up on Playfull Image.

Trainer Ross Henry and his sons Wayne and Trevor of Arthur share ownership on Lookit with Wally Yantz of Bloomingdale, acquiring her for $15,000 at last fall’s Canadian Classic Yearling Sale. Through four starts the filly has already amassed $71,822 from three wins.

Lookit and second-place finisher Draven will advance to the $130,000 Gold Final on Monday, Aug. 2, part of the first Battle Of Waterloo program to be held at the new Elora facility.

Lookit’s time was matched in the fourth elimination by reigning Gold Final champion Real Live Woman, who also opted for front-end tactics to score the one and three-quarter length win in 2:04.3. Gregory Peck of Newton, PA trains the Angus Hall daughter for his partner Gerald Bloch of Cote-St-Luc, QC and Paul MacDonell engineered the impressive effort, which saw the filly reach the front just past the quarter pole coming from the outside Post 8.

Keystone Leah delivered a solid effort to earn the third-place finisher’s share of the $21,658 purse and Gaelic trotted under the wire in third spot. However, fans earned their show money on fourth-place finisher Sister Paco when Grand River racing officials ruled that Gaelic had not received a fair start due to broken equipment and issued a full refund on all tickets purchased on the filly.

Local favourite Dream On Bernie captured her first victory of the season with a half length win in Race 4 over Praha. Check And Balance was nine lengths back in third.

Trainer-driver George Zirnis of Elmira shares ownership on the homebred daughter of Berndt Hanover and his former OSS star Dreamfair Tierra with fellow breeder Janet Fairall of Windsor, Tanya Martin of Elmira and Nancy Holmes of Clinton.

Hologram Hanover posted a second straight victory with a front-end romp in the sixth race, hitting the wire in 2:05, six lengths ahead of B Cor Renee and Whispering Girl.

Don McElroy drove the Berndt Hanover daughter to the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of LaSalle, CSX Stables of Liberty Center, OH and Michael Kohler of Sterling Heights, MI. The filly made her victorious racing debut July 17 in a Flamboro Breeders division at Flamboro Downs.

World Class Image captured the final elimination, taking full advantage of early miscues by the favourites. In rein to trainer Pat Hunt, World Class Image settled in third spot from Post 4 and was content to let Oaklea Nattie do all the work on the front end. Through fractions of :31.1, 1:04 and 1:35.2 Hunt and the Balanced Image filly were as much as six lengths off the pace, but as the fillies turned for home World Class Image had closed the gap to two lengths and proceeded to reel in the pacesetter and post the one length upset in 2:06.4.

Hunt trains World Class Image for Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, who deposited $10,829 against the regally bred filly’s $130,000 purchase price.

Oaklea Nattie also advanced to the Final, while Southern Senorita was six lengths back in third.

The top two fillies from each elimination advance to the rich $130,000 Gold Final on Monday, Aug. 2. Also on the program is the $300,000 Battle Of Waterloo which features Ontario’s top two-year-old pacing colts.