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Elimination winners start shoulder to shoulder in Final
November 2, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

LONDON, ON — Western Fair Raceway welcomes back Ontario’s top two-year-old trotting fillies on Friday evening for the last Gold Final of their freshman campaign.

Leading the field of talented youngsters are elimination winners Elena and Real Live Woman, who will start from Posts 1 and 2 in the $130,000 Final.

“I’m actually very happy with the post. I was hoping for the two-hole,” says Real Live Woman’s trainer Gregory Peck. “Post position means a lot, especially on a half-mile track like London.”

Real Live Woman scored a 2:03.1 victory off a front end trip in the elimination round and Peck was pleased to see the filly bounce back from a virus that caught up to her in mid-September, causing her to miss the Mohawk Racetrack Gold Series Sept. 28 and Oct. 5.

“She had a high white blood count so I gave her the necessary time off to get better,” says the Newton, PA resident. “Most people would have tried to run antibiotics through her, but my father always said time is the greatest healer.”

Real Live Woman also missed the Windsor Raceway Gold Series in late August due to sickness, but in spite of that the Angus Hall daughter currently sits atop the division standings with 175 points earned through two wins and one second in Gold Elimination action and a victory in the season opening Gold Final. She also boasts a win in a Robert Stewart division at Woodbine Racetrack and a second in a division of the Champlain Stake at Mohawk Racetrack.

“She a gorgeous filly. I bought her at Harrisburg last year for $43,000 (US) and I really didn’t do anything but put the harness on her, she did the rest,” says Peck. “She’s a talented athlete and I think they are born, not made. She had talent from Day 1. All we have to do is let Real Live Woman do whatever she has to do and stay out of her way.”

Assisting Real Live Woman in her $176,449 Ontario campaign have been caretaker Joe Skowyra and regular driver Paul MacDonell, and Peck is quick to hand out praise to all the members of the filly’s team.

“Joe Skowyra and his girlfriend Kelly work very hard on her. They’ve done a great job. I’m just the captain of the team really,” he says. “I have a good blacksmith, Joe does a great job, Kelly does a great job, Paul has done a great job and Trevor Ritchie and Steve Condren did a great job when they drove her. And Gerry Bloch, my partner, has been a pillar.”

Trevor Ritchie piloted Real Live Woman to her elimination win, but MacDonell will be back in the race bike on Friday for Cote-St-Luc, QC resident Bloch and Peck.

Post time for Western Fair Raceway’s Friday evening program is 7:30 pm, with the two-year-old trotting fillies slated to take control of the track in Race 7.

Friday’s event wraps up the fillies regular season and the London oval’s 2004 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, which also included outstanding performances by the two and three-year-old pacing fillies and the two-year-old pacing colts.