News ArchivesArchives for July '10
Modern Connection roars to Gold Final victory in Elora
ELORA, ON — Monday’s $130,000 Gold Final at Grand River Raceway saw driver Doug McNair opt for a radically different strategy than he used to guide Modern Connection into the winner’s circle last week, but it proved to be the right decision as the Guelph, ON native and his two-year-old mount sprinted home to a second straight victory.
Starting from Post 4 in Monday’s lucrative test, McNair allowed Modern Connection to float off the starting gate and was eight and a half lengths off the pace when Montenegro reached the opening quarter in :28.1. Not wanting to get caught in traffic, the young reinsman sent the filly up the outside before the :58 half and had moved into second, two and one-quarter lengths back, by the time Montenegro reached the 1:26.1 three-quarters.
As the fillies turned for home McNair tipped Modern Connection to the outside and asked for another gear, and the daughter of Modern Art and Cambest Connection responded with a smart finishing kick that propelled her past Montenegro and on to a one length victory in 1:55.3. Shipps Xanadu rounded out the top three, five lengths back of the dueling leaders.
The victory peeled more than one full second off the time Modern Connection posted in her elimination, and came within one-fifth of a second of Grand River Raceway’s two-year-old pacing filly track record.
Joe Seekman trains Modern Connection for owner-breeders Yousif S. Yousif of Chesterfield, MI and Ameer Najor of Detroit, MI, and before the race the veteran horseman expressed his hope that Modern Connection could deliver a Gold Final trophy for her owners.
“They are the nicest people in the world. I’d like to see them get an outstanding horse,” said Seekman. “They’ve stuck it out through thick and thin.”
Seekman also conditions Modern Connection’s three-year-old half-sister Artcam ($123,947) and says the two-year-old is already bigger than her elder sibling, but adds that the filly’s size has not had an impact on what he perceives to be her greatest weapon.
“I think her biggest asset is that she can do it from behind. She doesn’t have to leave. She can be two fingers off the gate and come from the back,” said the trainer. “She’s pretty simple really. When they’re naturals, they’re naturals.”
If all continues to go well, Modern Connection will return to Grand River Raceway on Monday, July 26 for the Battle of the Belles Elimination, hoping to qualify for the $150,000 final, which goes postward Aug. 2 as part of the Elora oval’s popular Industry Day program featuring the $300,000 Battle of Waterloo for two-year-old pacing colts.
The two-year-old pacing fillies make their second Gold Series start following the Battle of the Belles, heading to Flamboro Downs on Aug. 8.
Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Grand River Raceway this week, as the two-year-old trotting fillies kick off their Grassroots season on Wednesday, July 14 at 7:15 pm.
For complete entries please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0712grvrn.dat.