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Sauble Joyce looking to prove she’s more than lucky
July 8, 2010
By Sandra Snyder

ELORA, ON — There is a sports adage that says, “you have to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good” and that was certainly the case for two-year-old pacing filly Sauble Joyce in last week’s Gold Eliminations at Grand River Raceway.

The Million Dollar Cam daughter encountered a bevy of racing luck that propelled her to a 1:56 victory and a berth in the Monday, July 12 Gold Final, but driver Trevor Henry says it was the novice pacer's brains and ability that allowed her to take full advantage of all the manna tossed her way.

“She’s really good gaited,” notes the Arthur, ON resident. “She’s a pretty smart filly, I think she can race any way.”

In last week’s elimination round Henry and Sauble Joyce benefited from the early miscues of rail horse Pindars Grin and the two-horse Modern Wind, which allowed them to cruise away from Post 4 and drop into second spot without breaking a sweat. Then, sitting comfortably behind pacesetter Montenegro, they had a clear route to the lead when that filly floated away from the rail coming around the third turn.

“She had some help to get away second. The one-horse run and I think the two-horse even run before the turn,” recalls Henry. “Then Mike Saftic’s horse (Montenegro) kind of run out past the paddock turn and she went up the inside, but she was well in hand at the wire. She done it fairly easy.”

Larry Hall trains the filly, and also bred and raised her at his Sauble Hill Farms in Tara, ON. The horseman prepared Sauble Joyce for her Ontario Sires Stakes debut with a June 19 qualifier at Mohawk Racetrack, where she finished second with a 2:01 effort, and a June 26 start against older horses at Hanover Raceway, where she was narrowly beaten for second in a 2:00 mile. The Gold Elimination was the first time that Henry piloted Sauble Joyce, and the reinsman says Hall did not provide detailed instructions, simply a sketch of the filly’s on-track history.

“He just said that she’d never been tested,” Henry recalls. “She’d raced up in Hanover in 2:00, and they’d never really tried her.”

The pair will start from Post 6 in Monday’s $130,000 Gold Final, and while Henry says he has not studied the competition, he wonders if the sharp fractions clocked by the qualifiers from the other elimination will come back to haunt them this week.

“The first division went a big half,” he explains. “That would be tough on those fillies in their first start — a half in :56.2 on a half-mile track.

“Hopefully they’ll be tired this week,” he adds with a chuckle.

The other elimination went to Modern Connection — who watched from third while Lyons Puddin Pie and Shipps Xanadu battled tooth and nail from the opening quarter to the three-quarter pole, then slipped up the passing lane to score a 1:56.4 victory. Doug McNair piloted Modern Connection for trainer Joe Seekman and owners Yousif S. Yousif of Chesterfield, MI and Ameer Najor of Detroit, MI, and the Guelph, ON native was just as impressed with his mount’s brains and ability as Henry was with Sauble Joyce.

“You can’t get most three, four or five-year-olds to go up the inside, let alone a first time starter two-year-old,” says McNair of the Modern Art daughter. “She’s pretty smart that way, and she had lots of go.”

McNair expects the fillies to put on an exceptional show for Grand River fans on Monday, noting that any one of the eight contestants could be first under the wire. He and Modern Connection will make their bid for the lion’s share of the $130,000 Gold Final purse from Post 4.

“It’ll be a good race. A lot of them will be a different story this week… they’ve got a start under their belt. It’s not going to be an easy race,” says the St. Thomas, ON resident. “Any of the eight fillies could win it.”

The fillies will square off in their very first $130,000 Gold Final in Race 10 on Grand River Raceway’s Monday evening program, with the first race getting things under way at 7:15 pm.

For complete entries please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e0712grvrn.dat.