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Fillies Get Set For Last Gold Final

Published: October 8, 2012 9:29 pm ET

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After their thrilling Gold elimination performance last week, Ontario’s exciting three-year-old pacing fillies return to Rideau Carleton Raceway this Thursday, Oct. 11 for the last $130,000 Gold Final of their career.

Reigning Gold Final champion Apogee Hanover finished a head back in third last Thursday and driver Doug McNair feels that a slight change in his race strategy would have landed the filly her second straight victory.

“We were three high in the last turn and she lost a bunch of ground. That’s the reason she lost last week,” explains the reinsman. “If I’d waited until the top of the stretch I think she would have won.”

McNair steers Apogee Hanover for trainer Ervin Miller and owner Roger Hammer of Bedford, PA. Through 18 starts this season the Jeremes Jet daughter has tallied three wins, three seconds and three thirds, banking $160,625 along the way. Last year’s division champion has been a consistent player on the Gold Series circuit this season, appearing in every Gold Final, but she had not made an appearance in the winner’s circle until the Sept. 20 Gold Final at Mohawk Racetrack.

Apogee Hanover will look to defend that Gold Final title from Post 3 in Thursday’s $130,000 battle and McNair hopes he can capitalize on the inside draw.
“It gives you lots of options; the front, first over or second over,” notes McNair. “She’s been a lot stronger in her last four or five starts. She’s definitely found a new gear and come right around.”

Four fillies finished a head apart in last week’s exciting Gold Elimination, with former Gold Final champion Mach A Wish just one and three-quarter lengths back in fifth, and McNair expects another heated battle this Thursday.

“Scott’s (Zeron) horse (Katys Jet) raced good and Jeff Gillis’s horse (Jet Wash) got a perfect trip too,” says McNair. “I think the one I’m most worried about is Rick’s (Zeron) horse (Mach A Wish).”

Rideau Carleton Raceway regular John MacDonald engineered the perfect trip that landed Jet Wash in the winner’s circle and the Russell resident will be back in the race bike this week. MacDonald crafted the 1:52.3 victory for trainer Jeff Gillis of Hillsburgh and his partners Jonathan Binks of St. Thomas, Mac Nichol of Burlington and Ellen Ott of Buffalo, NY.

“I was stuck in the three-hole for a long time,” recalls MacDonald. “It just worked out that we had lots of room in the last eighth and she did a big brush down the lane.”

The filly, another daughter of Jeremes Jet who was bred by Gillis, got a nose in front of pacesetter Katys Jet to record her second Gold Elimination victory. She also posted an elimination win in the June 30 season opener at Georgian Downs.

Through 17 starts Jet Wash has posted five wins, one second and two thirds for earnings of $183,909. A consistent player on the Gold Series circuit — she currently sits third in the division point standings behind Cooking The Books and Apogee Hanover — Jet Wash will make her bid for a second straight victory from Post 2 and now that he is familiar with the filly’s strengths, MacDonald will be aiming for a different kind of perfect trip.

“I don’t want to be locked in the three-hole on the rail. I got lucky once and it’s not going to happen again,” he says ruefully. “I’m going to drive her a little more aggressively. If I could get a second over trip that would be perfect.”

Like McNair, MacDonald notes that a number of fillies are in the running for the last Gold Final of the season and predicts that Rideau Carleton Raceway fans are in for another exciting show.

“It just depends on who gets the best trip,” says MacDonald. “It makes for good racing.”

In addition to Jet Wash at Post 2 and Apogee Hanover at Post 3, last week’s runner-up Katys Jet gets Post 1, fourth-place finisher Memumsnotnice gets Post 9 and former Gold Final champion Mach A Wish gets Post 8. The three-year-old pacing fillies will wage their battle in the seventh race on Rideau Carleton Raceway’s Thursday evening program, which gets under way at 6:30 p.m.


To view entries for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Entries – Rideau Carleton Raceway.

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