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Trotting fillies return to Grand River Monday
September 24, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

ELORA, ON — In August Grand River Raceway played host to the talented two-year-old trotting fillies in five Gold Series Eliminations and a $130,000 Gold Final. On Monday night the young trotting lasses return to the Elora oval, this time competing in six $15,724 Grassroots divisions.

Grand River fans will recognize some of the fillies who tried their hand in the early Gold Series’ but have since stepped back to the Grassroots, including division leader Taylorlane Bliss. Things at the half-mile oval will also look familiar for the Royal Ballad daughter and driver Ross Battin. In their Gold Elimination start they drew Post 7 and on Monday the pair will start from the outside Post 8.

“She seems to draw tough every time she goes over there,” says breeder and owner Edwin Taylor. “If she gets away good she should be able to handle them anyway, but we’ll have to see what happens Monday.”

In the July 23 Gold Elimination Taylorlane Bliss finished fourth, so Taylor and trainer Frank O’Reilly opted to concentrate on the Grassroots program for the remainder of the filly’s freshman campaign. The decision has paid off with two wins and one second in three Grassroots starts, a point tally of 125 and earnings just shy of $30,000.

“We tried her in one Gold over there and they kind of ate us up,” recalls Taylor, who shares ownership on the filly with Orton resident O’Reilly. “So we’re just taking our time with her.”

Taylorlane Bliss heads into Monday’s contest off an impressive 2:04.3 victory at Dresden Raceway on Sept. 6 which saw her coast home four and one-quarter lengths in front of the competition. Taylor does not expect things to go as well for the filly from Post 8, but the Grand Valley resident has been involved with harness racing long enough to know that anything can happen.

“That’s a tough spot, but we’ve been in a tough spot before and all of a sudden everybody breaks and you get to the front,” he says. “All you need is a little bit of luck.”

And while Taylorlane Bliss has been the model of consistency through her first five starts, Taylor also knows that kind of record can come to a grinding halt in the blink of an eye.

“The biggest thing is keeping them flat, and she’s bound to break one of these times too,” he notes. “She’s a baby trotter and they’re always up to something.”

Taylorlane Bliss and her peers will impress Grand River Raceway fans in Races 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, and 10 on Monday’s 7:30 pm program. With only two events remaining in their regular season, competition will be intense as the fillies vie for one of 16 berths in the Grassroots Semifinal.