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Keyes hopes filly gives him cause for a homecoming
October 1, 2012
By Sandra Snyder

OTTAWA, ON — Ontario’s talented three-year-old pacing fillies will battle at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Thursday evening and the regular cast of Gold Series contenders are being joined by a couple of fillies who recently wrapped up their Grassroots season.

Among the fillies getting a late test against the province’s best is Memumsnotnice, who qualified for the Grassroots post season at Grand River Raceway, but just missed a berth in the championship after finishing fifth in her Semifinal. Trainer Corey Johnson likes the Jeremes Jet daughter and is hoping she earns a return trip to Rideau Carleton for the Oct. 11 Gold Final.

“She’s been a nice filly. I like her a lot,” says Johnson. “She never really got into the race at Grand River or she would have been competitive in the final, with a good post.”

Memumsnotnice started from Post 7 in her Sept. 19 Grassroots Semifinal and will be back at Post 7 for Thursday’s Gold Elimination. Denis St. Pierre, who piloted the filly around the Rideau Carleton oval in her early season qualifiers, will return to the race bike. The pair only needs to best one horse in order to earn a spot in the $130,000 Gold Final.

“She has some gate speed, and she likes to race up near the front. That’s where she likes to be,” notes Johnson, who conditions the filly for Colin Johnson of Le Gardeur, QC, Gilles Caouette of Garson, ON, Claude Baril of Mascouche, QC and Fred Brayford of Alliston, ON. “She likes to be up in the action.”

Reigning Gold Final winner Apogee Seelster will start to the right of Memumsnotnice, getting the outside Post 9, while the other two former Gold Final winners, Cooking The Books and Mach A Wish, will start from Posts 2 and 10.

Starting alongside Memumsnotnice at Post 8 is Mia Seelster, a Gold Series regular who is looking to pad her point total in order to lock up a berth in the season ending Super Final. Through the first four Gold Series events the Camluck daughter has accumulated 48 points from two thirds and two fifths and she currently sits ninth in the standings.

“She gets a cheque most of the time,” says owner Norm Keyes. “She doesn’t win very often, but she’s in the running.”

Through 24 sophomore starts Mia Seelster is just shy of $90,000 from two wins, six second and four thirds. The filly has only missed one Gold Final this season and Keyes is hoping she gets back to Ottawa for next week’s Gold Final.

“I don’t think I’ll go this week. I’ll go down for the final if we’re in it,” says the longtime owner. “It’s my hometown, Ottawa. I’ve got a brother and a sister down there.”

Keyes’ son David conditions Mia Seelster and Mario Baillargeon will make the trip to Ottawa to steer the filly on Thursday. Baillargeon piloted the filly in the Sept. 20 Gold Final at Mohawk Racetrack, a race Keyes feels might be the youngster’s best to date.

“Her very best effort might have been the final at Mohawk. If you play that back, he says, ‘Mia Seelster is full of pace but has nowhere to go,’” Keyes explains. “She ended up fifth, but very close in, so I was kind of looking forward to Rideau.

“There are some nice horses in there, so I might be just whistling past the graveyard, as they say, but you’ve got to be optimistic in this business,” he adds with a chuckle.

With just 10 fillies entered in Thursday’s $40,000 Gold Elimination, only one will be eliminated. The top nine finishers will earn a return ticket to Ottawa for the Oct. 11 Gold Final, the last Gold Final on the sophomore pacing filly calendar.

Post time for Rideau Carleton Raceway’s Thursday evening program is 6:30 pm, and the fillies will parade onto the five-eighths mile oval in Race 7.

To view Memumsnotnice and Mia Seelster’s previous Ontario Sires Stakes starts please go to: Memumsnotnice, Mia Seelster

For complete entries please go to Rideau Carleton Raceway Entries -- October 4, 2012