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Speed records on the line at Windsor Saturday
November 4, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

WINDSOR, ON — With a little cooperation from Mother Nature, a pair of Windsor Raceway track records could be in jeopardy when the two-year-old pacing fillies and three-year-old pacing colts return to the border oval on Saturday evening.

In last weekend’s elimination round Lady Dillinger tied the pacing filly track record in spite of a racing surface rated one second slower than normal. The D M Dilinger daughter returns to Post 3 in Saturday’s $130,000 Gold Final and owner-breeder Gaetan Hebert is hoping she can come up with another big mile.

“It’s in her hands, but if she races like she did last week she should repeat it,” says the Freelton resident, who trained Lady Dillinger himself through her first nine starts.

“Nov. 13, that’s why I gave her to Nat (Varty),” says Hebert, referring to the $300,000 season ending Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack. “The foundation was there when I gave her to him, but he made a few changes and it helped her. And he put her on a diet, she was pretty chunky with me.”

Since moving to Varty’s barn Lady Dillinger has delivered a pair of victories and Hebert says her Oct. 21 triumph over older horses impressed him even more than the track record equalling effort last weekend.

“The way she raced the week before against the three-year-olds was even more exciting,” he says. “She went by them like they were standing still. It was very surprising.”

Some of Varty’s regular owners have expressed an interest in acquiring Lady Dillinger, but last week’s performance solidified Hebert’s desire to hang onto the filly for at least one more season.

“You dream about a horse like that,” says the former blacksmith. “He (Varty) keeps asking me if I want to sell her, but after last week I said forget it. She’s got her three-year-old career and I can sell her after that for a broodmare or whatever.”

Claires Apache captured the other elimination and will start from Post 2 in the Final, while reigning Gold Final champion Lucks Mistress gets Post 5 in the ninth race.

The favourite in the pacing colt Final also hails from Varty’s barn, and Windsor resident Kevin Wallis will handle the lines on reigning Gold Final champion Geartogear for the second week.

The local reinsman piloted the Grinfromeartoear son to an effortless 1:53.1 win in the elimination and expects the colt to deliver another impressive performance on Saturday.

“I was impressed with him. He seemed to win pretty easy, he was well in hand,” says Wallis. “I would think he would go into the race as the favourite and I don’t remember seeing anything that looked better than he did. I’m pretty confident in him.

“I hope I didn’t just jinx myself,” he adds with a wry chuckle.

Geartogear boasts a record of eight wins, four seconds and one third in 17 starts this season and owns a personal best 1:49.4 clocking taken at The Meadowlands in New Jersey. Perfect World Enterprises of Old Westbury, NY own the winner of $416,940, who was a $40,000 US yearling in 2002.

Perfect World Enterprises also owns Scott Forbes trainee D Essential who will start from Post 5 in the Final with Jason Gale in the driver’s seat.

Pokagon captured the other elimination and will make his bid for a second Gold Final trophy from Post 2 in the eleventh race.

Post time on Saturday evening at Windsor Raceway is 7:15 pm and the Ontario Sires Stakes stars will shine in Races 9 (fillies) and 11 (colts) this weekend.