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Dream On Bernie carries family legacy into Gold Final
July 30, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

ELORA, ON — Tanya Martin has spent less than ten years in the harness racing industry, but on Monday the Elmira resident will watch the second generation of her favourite trotting family, two-year-old filly Dream On Bernie, start in the $130,000 Gold Final at Grand River Raceway.

“I paddocked her mother Dreamfair Tierra. She was one of the first horses I paddocked, and definitely the first Sires Stakes horse I paddocked, and her and I had a special relationship. George (Zirnis) always commented that he hadn’t seen a relationship like that between a groom and a horse before,” says Martin. “So when George went to register the filly he asked if I was interested (in becoming a part-owner), knowing how much her mother meant to me.”

In addition to working alongside Zirnis at his Elmira facility, Martin also cares for the trainer’s broodmares and was present the night Dream On Bernie was born. The 25-year-old watched the filly grow up and says it is remarkable how much she resembles her mother, a former Gold Final champion and the winner of $223,185.

“She has the same colour and the same markings,” says Martin. “But she definitely has got a lot better manners than her mother. This mare is very intelligent and that’s one thing her mother wasn’t.”

Sired by Berndt Hanover, Dream On Bernie has been quick to follow in her mother’s footsteps and boasts a record of one win, two seconds and one third through four starts for earnings of $56,925. A 2:05.4 winner in her July 23 Gold Elimination at Grand River, Dream On Bernie will make her bid for a Gold Final championship from Post 6 on Monday and Martin, Zirnis and their partners Janet Fairall of Windsor and Nancy Holmes of Clinton hope she comes up with a big effort on the track’s popular Industry Day program.

“It’ll be tough enough from there (Post 6), but I saw some of the draw and two of the major better ones both having the trailing position will make is difficult for them,” notes Martin. “George always hopes so much to have one in on Industry Day and we’ve never managed to get one there (to winner’s circle). Hopefully luck will be on our side this year.”

Reigning Gold Final champion Real Live Woman and two-time Gold Elimination winner Lookit, owned by the Henry Stable of Arthur and Wally Yantz of Bloomingdale, will start from the trailing Posts 9 and 10 in the large 10-horse field. The other two elimination winners, Hologram Hanover and World Class Image, will start from Posts 2 and 4.

“It’s still our home track and it’s definitely nice to be there on Industry Day,” adds Martin. “They put on a great show.”

In addition to the two-year-old trotting filly Gold Final the afternoon program features the area’s richest sporting event, the $320,000 Battle Of Waterloo for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacers.

The on-track Industry Day excitement begins at 1 pm, with the two-year-old trotting fillies taking centre stage in Race 8 and the Battle Of Waterloo wrapping up the rich afternoon in Race 12.

In addition to the outstanding card of racing, fans can take in a morning seminar with Dr. Mike Wilson of Warrawee Farms. From 10:30 am to noon the renowned veterinarian and breeder will address the topic “Raising Yearlings and Other Things” with a question and answer period during the last 45 minutes. The ‘Grey Gladiator’ Admirals Express, a winner of $1.1 million, will be on hand for photo opportunities compliments of Grand River Raceway from 1 to 3 pm and a Celebrity Horse Shoe Auction runs from noon to 4 pm with proceeds going to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. Shoes from world champion Gallo Blue Chip, Hall of Fame trotter Goodtimes and outstanding trotting sire Balanced Image are among the selections.