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Quebec-Owned Filly To 'Rock' Oaks?

MartiniontherocksBCRacehorsephotoedit.jpg

Published: July 27, 2011 7:32 pm ET

Last Comment: July 27, 2011 9:33 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

She might not look like much around the barn, but when dressed for a night out she can turn heads.

That’s Martiniontherocks, last year’s Breeders Crown winner and one of the 19 three-year-old trotting fillies entered in the Hambletonian Oaks. Two Oaks elimination races will be held Saturday night at Meadowlands Racetrack, with the top five finishers in each division returning on August 6 for the $750,000 nationally televised final.

“When you see her with the harness on, she’s a nice looking horse. But without the harness on, you wouldn’t know that she could trot that fast,” trainer Dustin Jones said. “She’s just a narrow little filly. If you pointed to her in her stall a lot of people wouldn’t believe you when you told them she won the Breeders Crown. She looks a lot bigger on the track.

Martiniontherocks - 2010 Breeders Crown 2YOFT

“I’ve got a lot of nice big pretty ones that can’t go, so that’s OK,” he added with a laugh.

Last year, Martiniontherocks won four of 10 races, including the $600,000 Breeders Crown (in a stakes-record 1:57 for a five-eighths-mile track) and a division of the Champlain Stakes. She saw her 2011 campaign slowed by bad weather at Jones’ base in Quebec, making only one start – a second-place finish against older horses on July 15 at Mohawk Racetrack – heading into the Hambletonian Oaks.

“She’s doing OK; I just wish we could have had a few more starts in her before [the elims],” Jones said. “Instead of trying to rush her, we decided to let her get ready when she got ready. Hopefully, she’s good enough to qualify for the final, and maybe with one more race in her she might be alright. But it’s going to be a pretty tough race with some of those fillies that have been racing all year.”

Martiniontherocks will start her Oaks elim from post No. 1 with driver Ron Pierce. Her race includes last year’s two-year-old divisional champion Crys Dream and 2010 Merrie Annabelle winner Thatsnotmyname. The other elimination is headlined by Jezzy, who is eight-for-eight this year and the winner of 18 of 19 career starts.

A daughter of Conway Hall-Inspired Society, Martiniontherocks was purchased as a yearling for $40,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. She is owned by Ecurie Synergie of Montreal.

Whatever Martiniontherocks lacks in size, she makes up for in smarts.

“For a trotting filly, she’s pretty sensible,” Jones said. “Usually a lot of the trotting fillies are a little bit whacko; most of the good ones are a little bit crazy. But she’s the exception, being smart-wise. I can handle her all by myself. Some trotting fillies you were always wondering what was going to happen until you got on the track. She doesn’t cause any problems.”


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit ustrotting.com.

July 27, 2011 - 9:33 pmGood luck Dustin. We

Rick Karper SAID...

Good luck Dustin. We Quebecers are behind you.


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