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White willing to wait for filly’s brain to catch up with her feet
August 3, 2012
By Sandra Snyder

INNISFIL, ON — Ontario’s exciting two-year-old trotting fillies arrive in Innisfil on Tuesday evening and trainer Nelson White hopes Abs Muscle Hall gets off the trailer ready to race.

The Muscle Mass daughter heads into the fourth Grassroots event off an impressive victory at Dresden Raceway on July 29, but prior to that the filly had made two consecutive breaks in provincial action and finished up the track.

“She kind of wants to be the driver and the engine at the same time,” says White ruefully. “She’s a nice filly, but I think she’s got more speed than she knows how to handle at this time of year.”

David Boughton guided Abs Muscle Hall to the 2:04.1 triumph in Dresden and the Carlisle resident will return to the filly’s race bike on Tuesday. The pair will line up from the outside Post 8 in the first of eight $24,000 Grassroots divisions, which White admits may be less than ideal for the strong-minded youngster. While he is hoping that Abs Muscle Hall continues to accept Boughton’s guidance and delivers a second flawless outing, he is pragmatic about the filly’s chances.

“We play it one day at a time with her. We will arrive in Barrie and if she races well we’ll be happy, and if she doesn’t then we’ll load up and come home,” says the Rockwood resident. “What else can you do?”

White trains Abs Muscle Hall for owner-breeder Maumee River Stables of New Haven, IN. He prepped the filly for her Ontario Sires Stakes debut with a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack in June, where Abs Muscle Hall made a break in the June 22 effort, but recovered to finish third, and then posted a 2:01.2 win on June 29.

In rein to Steve Condren in the Grassroots season opener at Kawartha Downs on July 5, the filly was moving up the outside after the half when she made a miscue and finished well back of the field. At Hanover Raceway on July 21 the fractious youngster refused to cooperate with driver Ross Battin from the start and was never part of the action.

“In Peterborough she got trotting faster than she knew how to,” explains White. “And at Hanover Ross (Battin) couldn’t even get her to pick up and go to the gate.

“Things weren’t suiting her so she had a little temper tantrum,” he adds.

The 70-year-old horseman is philosophical about the filly’s errors and confident that with time and patience her mental maturity will catch up with her natural ability.

“Two-year-old trotters drive most people over the end before they are done, and I think fillies are the worst,” he says with a chuckle.

“She is a nice filly with tons of speed, but she’s got to allow people to control her speed,” continues the horseman. “She has to relax and let people drive her.”

Abs Muscle Hall faces a number of fillies in Tuesday’s test that have also struggled through their early Ontario Sires Stakes appearances. The only other filly with a win under her belt is Pointe De Vue, who was also successful at Dresden Raceway with a 2:05 effort and will be looking for a second Grassroots trophy from Post 4.

Pointe De Vue, Abs Muscle Hall and their peers lead things off in Race 2, with the other seven Grassroots divisions slated for Races 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11.

Georgian Downs kicks off its Tuesday, Aug. 7 program at 7:25 pm.

For complete entries please go to Georgian Downs Entries -- August 7, 2012