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O’Reilly trainees sport a pair of finely tuned engines
September 30, 2008
By Sandra Snyder

OTTAWA, ON — Frank O’Reilly is heading back to Ottawa for Friday’s two-year-old trotting filly Gold Final with a pair of youngsters he likens to a high powered sports coupe and an oversized luxury car.

Talented but tiny Cumin First returned to her early season form with an impressive five length 1:58.1 victory in the first Gold Elimination at Rideau Carleton Raceway last week, and then her leggy, powerful stablemate Quantum Royalty rocked home in :28.2 to record a 2:00 win in the second split. Cumin First and Quantum Royalty will line up beside each other at Posts 6 and 7 in the $140,000 Gold Final on Friday, and O’Reilly is looking forward to watching them butt heads for the first time.

“All my horses struggled with illness, so it’s nice to see those fillies jump up and go where they can go,” notes O’Reilly. “We had a good start to the year, but we stalled in the middle, now we need to kick some butt finishing.

“We might even make enough money so that I can go scuba diving in the Caribbean this winter,” adds the irrepressible horseman.

O’Reilly trains Cumin First for breeder Dr. Ruth Irving and Mary Anne Lauzon of Russell, Jim Fielding of Toronto and John Jesson of Tillsonburg, and conditions Quantum Royalty for Jean Pierre Lareau of Montreal, QC. With the talented duo heading into the elimination round off a serious bout of sickness, O’Reilly shipped them to Irving’s Hamstan Farm early last week in order to avoid placing any new stress on their immune systems. The move seemed to pay off, and the fillies are enjoying their second week at the farm where Cumin First was born and raised.

“She’s at Hamstan Farm, where she was born. She’s right back with her mommy and loving it,” says the Orton resident of his two-time Gold Final champ.

O’Reilly adds that Cumin First seems to have bounced right back to where she was before being struck by the virus that circulated throughout Ontario stables in the late summer.

“She’s back to herself,” he asserts. “She won by five, but (Rick) Zeron shut her down halfway down the lane. She came home in :30.3, but he’d shut her right down.

“Now that other big filly, she came home in :28.2,” he continues. “Can she ever haul the mail. She’s a big, powerful mare.”

While Cumin First has been under O’Reilly’s tutelage all season, sweeping unbeaten through the first two Gold Series events and finishing second in an Aug. 16 elimination before falling victim to sickness, Quantum Royalty is a recent arrival in the horseman’s barn. Trained by Daniel Martin through her early season efforts, last week’s outing was the Angus Hall daughter’s first start from the O’Reilly stable.

“I got her about six weeks ago from Daniel Martin. Daniel was moving back to Quebec, and I’ve known Jean Pierre Lareau for a long time, so I guess they saw I was doing some good and thought I knew what I was doing,” O’Reilly explains. “As far as having speed — Daniel Martin raced her in the Gold Elimination and she came a back half in :57.4, last quarter in :27.4 — so she was good before she got to me, but it’s good she came.”

O’Reilly says both fillies are a pleasure to work with around, with flawless manners and appealing personalities. The duo will be looking to add another line to their glowing resumes with strong efforts in Friday’s Final, which goes postward as Race 6 on Rideau Carleton Raceway’s 15 race program. The evening’s festivities kick off at 6:30 pm.

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