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Random Margin Graduates To Gold

Published: July 12, 2012 10:18 pm ET

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A total of 26 freshman trotting fillies are headed to Flamboro Downs on Sunday to challenge reigning champion Legzy in the second Gold Series event of the season.

Both those fillies that tested their skills at the Gold Series season opener and those who debuted in the Grassroots program are headed to the Dundas half-mile. Among those making the leap up to the Gold Series level is Random Margin, who impressed her connections with a closing fifth-place finish in the July 5 Grassroots contest at Kawartha Downs, which also hosted the Gold Series season opener.

“That was her first race, and she didn’t know anything. She went and qualified and she was all by herself there, so that wasn’t really a race; she didn’t know what she was doing,” says trainer Raymond Duval. “Even up there she didn’t know, and then when she found out what she had to do, well Rick Zeron trotted on with her and she showed like she could trot quite a bit.

“Especially the whole last half, the whole last quarter, she made up a lot of ground, in a mile like that for a first time starter,” he adds.

Random Margin, a daughter of Pegasus Spur and Manhattan Lady, spotted the field more than 11 lengths at the start, but trotted home in :30 to finish just five lengths behind the leaders in a 2:01.4 clocking.

Dave Husul of Langton owns Random Margin, offering up $3,000 for the half-sister to $221,506 Manhattan Slick at last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale, and the owner figured his local oval was the best place to give the filly a run at the Gold Series talent.

“The owner wanted to give her a chance to go and see, because it’s so close to home too — well 55 minutes from here and the rest is hours and hours,” explains Duval, who makes his home in Port Dover. “He said he wanted to take one shot at it and see what happens.

“We’re not looking for a win — but I mean if that comes that would be awful nice — but we’d like to see her get a cheque,” he continues. “Like the owner says, ‘Oh what the heck, give her a shot.’ She actually trotted good enough to go and give it a shot.”

Duval was not surprised that the green trotter was as tough in the stretch as she proved to be at Kawartha. He has trained the filly with some of the older racehorses in his four-horse stable and she refuses to give way once she gets a nose in front.

“She just hesitates a slight bit when the gate leaves, ‘Oh well there they go I’m going to chase them’, and away she goes, but I’ve had racehorses here that can’t get by her coming home,” says the 66 year old. “No, she’s went some awful damn nice last quarters with the racehorses and they didn’t go by her, she just wouldn’t let them go by.”

The trainer, who has spent the last four decades concentrating on trotters, says the filly is a treat to drive and was pleased to retain the services of Oakville resident Rick Zeron for her second outing. He expects the veteran reinsman will further advance the filly’s raceway education in their second partnership.

“I think she learned a lot down there (Kawartha). She’s learning how to a leave a little bit more here with other horses,” he explains. “She’s so easy to drive, she don’t pull, she won’t bull, she just la-la-la’s along and so the driver, he has to ask her and teach her everything.

“Rick told me he’d race her anytime, he’d drive her anytime, she was so easy,” continues the horseman. “But you have to work a bit when you drive her, you’ve got to tell her, you just ask her and she’ll do what you want, as a rule.”

There have been a few occasions when Random Margin was not listening so closely, but Duval attributes those bouts of excitability to the filly’s age and says she has generally been a delight to train. He and Husul are hoping she provides another enjoyable outing from Post 2 in the third $40,000 Gold Elimination Sunday.

Reigning Gold Final champion Legzy will begin defense of her title from Post 1 in the first elimination. The top three finishers from each elimination will return to the Dundas oval on Sunday, July 22 for the $130,000 Gold Final.

The two-year-old trotting fillies will compete in Races 2, 4 and 5 on the Flamboro Downs Sunday evening program, which begins at 6 p.m.


To view entries for Sunday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Sunday Entries – Flamboro Downs.

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