News ArchivesArchives for September '09
MacDonell expecting strong effort from Elusive Desire
FRASERVILLE, ON — Elusive Desire has been outstanding all season, but driver Paul MacDonell feels the three-year-old trotting filly is heading to Kawartha Downs on Saturday evening off a particularly exceptional outing.
“In her last start at Mohawk, there when she won the Simcoe, she looked as through she was beat around the last turn, but she dug in and found a way to win,” explains the Oshawa native. “She wasn’t at her best that night, and she still found a way to win.”
After a first up effort, Elusive Desire was fourth turning for home in the Sept. 10 Simcoe Stakes, but sprinted down the Mohawk Racetrack stretch to score a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:54.4. MacDonell says the filly should be back on her game for Saturday’s Gold Series skirmish, which will see him steer the Angus Hall miss from Post 5 in the first $40,000 Gold Elimination.
“I talked to Mike (Keeling) today and he says she is back in tip top shape,” says the reinsman, who now makes his home in Guelph. “It will be good to see what she can do again this week.”
Cambridge resident Mike Keeling trains the winner of $894,066 for P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc. of Cambridge, Charles Armstrong of Brampton and Robert Fasken of Oakville. Through 13 starts this season, the gifted young trotter has posted eight wins and three thirds.
Last season MacDonell piloted Elusive Desire to a record of three wins, six seconds and four thirds in 14 starts, and says the filly has been on roll since she found her way to the winner’s circle in the final Gold Series event of the freshman season.
“Last year it took a while for her to get going, I think it was her tenth start before she even won a race, but once she got into the winning mode she seemed to like it,” notes MacDonell, who won his first race at Kawartha Downs in 1981. “She’s matured somewhat, but last year, for a two-year-old she was fairly strong, and her gait is strong.”
Only six fillies will compete in each Gold Elimination on Saturday, but MacDonell expects the tempo will still be brisk in the first race. Reigning Gold Final winner Friendly Amigo starts from Post 1, with the Aug. 7 Gold Final champion Cuddler getting Post 3 and the May 17 Gold Final victor Mystic River starting from Post 2.
“There’s a bit of early speed in there,” says the driver. “I haven’t had a chance to look at the lines, but knowing some of the horses, I think there will be some early speed.”
The top four finishers from each elimination, plus one fifth-place finisher selected by random draw, will return to Kawartha Downs on Saturday, Oct. 10 for the last Gold Final of their career. From there the top 10 point earners go on to the Nov. 14 Super Final.
With 100 points earned in the elimination and final of the July Gold event at Georgian Downs, Elusive Desire is virtually assured a berth in the Super Final, but MacDonell would like to see her succeed in the Kawartha event as a preparation for the Oct. 17 Breeders Crown Eliminations, where the pair will resume their rivalry with the top fillies in North America.
Post time for Kawartha Downs’s Saturday evening program is 7 pm, with all four Gold Final winners squaring off in Race 1 and the other elimination going postward as Race 2.
For complete entries please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e1003kdfn.dat.