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Robblee’s Rookies Ready For Woodstock

Published: July 28, 2011 11:48 pm ET

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Woodstock resident Michael Robblee will harness a pair of two-year-old trotting fillies at his local oval on Tuesday, Aug. 2, one a first-time starter and the other looking for her second Grassroots trophy of the season.

Loose Change Lucy makes her debut from Post 1 in the second $24,000 division, and the trainer hopes the filly’s steadily growing confidence stands her in good stead against a field of Grassroots veterans.

“She was a little bit behind the other ones, but she’s caught up, or catching up now. I hope she’s caught up, anyway,” says the horseman, who conditions the half-sister to $473,874 winner Loose Change Louie for Ron Thomson of Embro and George Cuthbert of Ingersoll.

“She was a lot like Loose Change Louie, and I had another sister Paris Oaks, not the greatest trotters in the world, they made a lot of breaks and stuff, but the last six weeks she’s been staying at her business,” Robblee adds. “She’s been getting a lot more confidence in the last six weeks or so. The sister Paris Oaks, she was the same way. Until she got down to about 2:08, 2:09 she made a lot of mistakes too, but then after that she went on and made just under $90,000 for us.”

Loose Change Lucy heads into Tuesday’s test off a steady qualifier at Flamboro Downs that saw her cross the wire in 2:07. Veteran reinsman Paul Mackenzie piloted the daughter of Oaklea Julian and Celtic Merizi in the July 22 qualifier and will be back in the race bike on Tuesday.

For her first start Robblee is simply hoping that the filly, a $6,000 purchase out of last fall’s Canadian Yearling Sale, stays on her game and gains some experience. He is not expecting the sort of effort stablemate Casino Kate delivered in the Grassroots season opener at Flamboro Downs.

With Mackenzie at the lines, Casino Kate cruised to an impressive five length 2:02.3 triumph in the July 10 season opener. The daughter of Cadillac Hall impressed Robblee and Thomson so much that they opted to return to Flamboro for the Gold Series. Unfortunately the filly pulled off one of her front shoes and made a break in the July 20 Gold Elimination, but Robblee is not ruling out the possibility of taking another run at the province’s top fillies.

“She’s done everything we’ve wanted. We put her in the Gold there the last start and she made a break on us, lost a front shoe. That’s the excuse we’re using anyway,” says Robblee ruefully. “That was likely maybe only the second time she run since we broke her in.

“We think she is capable of the Gold, but Woodstock’s so close and we want to get her back going in the right direction again,” he says of the decision to return to the Grassroots level. “The way she was racing she should be one of the better ones in the Grassroots, so maybe I’m better off being one of the better horses than trying to chase, there’s about three real nice fillies in the Gold.”

Bred by Thomson and Reg and Donna Higgs of Denfield, Casino Kate has been a star in Robblee’s barn since her arrival last November, making the longtime horseman glad he let Thomson talk him into taking a half interest in the novice trotter sight unseen.

“Ron Thomson was partnered with Reg and Donna Higgs on her and Ron bought them out last fall,” recalls Robblee. “Ron came in one day, he thought he had another deal lined up and it fell through, so he came in and asked me if I’d be interested to take her and try her, and so I just went up and picked her up and started with her.

“I liked her, she was good right from the start,” he continues. “She always wanted to do her work. You never had to ask her twice to do anything.”

That positive attitude remained unchanged as the filly started her racing career, and Robblee says she is all business both in the paddock and on the racetrack. Regular reinsman Mackenzie will take advantage of the filly’s maneuverability from Post 2 in the tenth race on Tuesday.

Ontario’s talented two-year-old trotting fillies will show off their ever-growing skills in Races 1 through 10 on Woodstock Raceway’s Tuesday, Aug. 2 program, which gets underway at 4 p.m.


To view entries for Tuesday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Tuesday Entries – Woodstock Raceway.

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