News ArchivesArchives for August '11
Gillis hoping Prized Fighter’s luck improves before Friday
CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — The other nine trainers sending out freshman trotting colts in Friday’s $130,000 Gold Final at Mohawk Racetrack would no doubt agree with the wry wisdom a friend shared with Jeff Gillis a few years back.
“A couple of years ago I raced a couple of trotting colts that I think were the favourite and the second choice, and one made a break and the other was no good,” recalls Gillis. “A friend called me after the race and he said, ‘Training young trotters is not the fastest way to go broke, but it’s the surest.’”
Those words have resonated with Gillis this season as he works with Prized Fighter, who has experienced more than his share of ups and downs since his July 7 debut. Favoured in last week’s Gold Elimination at Mohawk, the gelding threw a front shoe and ended up third, half a length behind reigning Gold Final champion Il Mago. Also favoured in the season opening Gold Final at Kawartha Downs on July 14 — after winning his elimination with an impressive 1:57.3 effort the week before — Prized Fighter made a late break and finished out of the money in sixth.
“We’re kind of going through a tough stretch right now, but I think he has a tremendous upside,” says Gillis. “He’ll be kept eligible to everything.”
The Hillsburgh resident shares ownership of Prized Fighter with breeder Al Libfeld of Pickering and Steven Kazman of Thornhill. The gelding is a son of Libfeld’s sire Duke Of York and out of his homebred mare Concher, so the partners would love to see the youngster’s luck turn around before the end of the season.
“He’s been a pretty good colt throughout,” says Gillis. “Other than being a little bit hard on himself prior to being castrated he really hasn’t done anything wrong. He’s a complete professional.”
Aside from the gelding’s workmanlike attitude on the racetrack, Gillis expects Prized Fighter’s stature to be one of the elements that work in his favour over the long term. The gelding is solidly built, above average in both height and musculature.
“He’s a very, very powerful horse,” notes the trainer.
Prized Fighter will line up against his peers from Post 6 in Friday’s Gold Final, with elimination winners Il Mago and The Game Plan getting Posts 5 and 8 respectively. Former Gold Final winner Good Sound Advice will start from Post 3. The colts will battle for $130,000 in Race 6.
Post time for Mohawk Racetrack’s Friday, Aug. 26 program is 7:10 pm, and in addition to the two-year-old trotting colt Gold Final in Race 6, it also features the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (SBOA) Stake Finals for the three-year-old pacing fillies in Race 2 and three-year-old trotting fillies in Race 8.
To view Prized Fighter’s previous Gold Series starts please go to: Prized Fighter
For complete entries please go to: Mohawk Racetrack Entries -- Aug. 26, 2011