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Oh Sweet Baby hoping to repeat in Windsor Sunday
October 5, 2011
By Sandra Snyder

WINDSOR, ON — Oh Sweet Baby’s summer was not without drama, but the three-year-old trotting filly still amassed over $200,000 and hopes to add to that total in Sunday’s $130,000 Gold Final at Windsor Raceway.

“She’s been pretty steady most of the year,” says trainer Benoit Baillargeon. “But she has had her ups and downs.”

On a fine July day Oh Sweet Baby was enjoying her regular time outdoors when she and her companion got a up a full head of steam that carried them straight through a fence. Although the filly was not seriously injured she missed a month of racing, including the Canadian Breeders Championship, and gave her trainer a scare.

“I don’t know what happened that morning. I was out jogging one and I saw these two crazy girls taking off and I thought, ‘Whoa, if they don’t slow down they’re going to go through the gate,’” recalls the Rockwood resident. “Unfortunately Oh Sweet Baby was the first, the other one didn’t have a scratch.

“She couldn’t walk for about four or five days. Her legs were all swollen up and we had to put a few stitches in,” continues the horseman. “It was very scary because there were lots of scratches on the outside, but on the inside she could have chipped something.”

The injuries proved superficial, and Oh Sweet Baby was back in action for the August Gold Series event at Mohawk Racetrack. The daughter of Angus Hall and Galahads Damsel has been a consistent player on the Gold Series circuit all season, logging three Gold Elimination wins, two seconds, one third and two fourths.

In last week’s test over the Windsor Raceway oval the filly and driver Mario Baillargeon jumped out to an early lead from Post 5 and refused to relinquish it, sailing home to a three length victory in 1:55.3.

“She’s just as good on a five-eighths as she is on a bigger track,” says Baillargeon, who conditions the filly for Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, QC. “She takes the turns real good, she doesn’t slow down on the turns.”

Oh Sweet Baby recorded her 1:55.2 personal best in a Gold Elimination over the Georgian Downs five-eighths oval in early July, and Baillargeon would love to see her match or improve on that effort this weekend. The winner of $459,638 will make her sixteenth start from Post 7 in the Gold Final, and will need to use some of her trademark gate speed to get positioned among the fillies lining up to her left.

Two-time Gold Final winner Peach Martini gets Post 2 in the $130,000 test, with reigning Gold Final champion China Pearls lining up at Post 3. The consistent Eagle Canada and Magic Wheel will make their bid for the last Gold Final trophy of the season from Posts 4 and 5.

While Oh Sweet Baby and several of her peers have already locked up a berth in the season ending Super Final, Sunday’s contest will be the last opportunity for the other fillies to add to their point tally in hopes of extending their season through the $300,000 finale. Among them is Oh Sweet Baby’s stablemate Pretty Crafty, but Baillargeon says the Here Comes Herbie daughter is battling some health issues that may prevent her from making the return trip to Windsor.

The sophomore trotting fillies will line up behind the starting gate in the eighth race on Sunday, with Windsor Raceway’s first race parading onto the track at 7 pm.

To view Oh Sweet Baby’s previous Gold Series starts please go to: Oh Sweet Baby

For complete entries please go to: Windsor Raceway Entries -- Oct. 9, 2011