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Local Pacing Filly Eyeing Gold Final Berth

Published: July 31, 2012 10:50 am ET

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There have been some ups and downs in Eyemajet’s debut season, but trainer Rick Fife is hopeful that the three-year-old pacing filly is on a strong upswing heading into Thursday’s Gold eliminations at Kawartha Downs.

“The mare is good right now and that’s why we’ve decided to do that,” says Fife of the decision to test the Gold Series waters. “She won her last start there in Mohawk, and she’s been getting back to herself — we appear to have all the issues under control, for now anyway — and we’ll give it our best shot.”

Eyemajet recorded a 1:53.2 personal best at Mohawk Racetrack on July 20, her first victory since mid-April, and Fife feels that the daughter of Jeremes Jet and Aahptometrist has regained the early season form that saw her capture a leg of the Ontario Prep Series at Flamboro Downs and finish third in the April 22 final.

“She started out all right in the spring there with the Flamboro prep, and then we had some issues and a bad spell there for a little bit,” notes the Ennismore resident.

With Eyemajet struggling to find her early season form, Fife and partner Val Spar Stables of West Hill opted to avoid the Gold fillies in the season opener and headed to Hanover Raceway for the June 9 Grassroots test. Starting from the outside Post 7, Eyemajet finished third in her first Ontario Sires Stakes outing, four and one-half lengths behind division leader Lyons Luck.

The partners opted to skip the mid-June Grassroots roots event at Rideau Carleton Raceway, and when Eyemajet started to bounce back in recent weeks, Thursday’s Gold Eliminations began to look more attractive than the third Grassroots contest.

“We thought that, being at Peterborough, our home track, where she’s familiar with that, we’d take a shot at the Gold,” says Fife. “We know we’re not the best by any means, but if we can do some good…

“We don’t have to do that two and a half, three hour trucking, or whatever it is. Let somebody else do it for a change,” he adds wryly.

Eyemajet will take her crack at the Gold Series fillies from the outside Post 6 in the first $40,000 Gold Elimination. Among the Gold Series regulars that Eyemajet and driver Gord Brown will face are Canadian Breeders Championship runner-up Katys Jet from Post 1, last season’s Super Final champion Apogee Hanover from Post 2 and reigning Gold Final champion Cooking The Books from Post 5. Fife says Eyemajet is easy to drive and Brown will have several tools at his disposal as he looks for a top four finish.

“To drive she’s just a dream. Gordie Brown drove her the first couple of starts there at Kawartha when we started out with her and just she’s just a dream to drive, two fingers,” says the horseman. “And she can leave like a rocket. At Flamboro Anthony (MacDonald) had the seven hole and he was on top and had them all lined up before they even got halfway through the turn.”

The other division, which will see just five fillies line up behind the Kawartha Downs starting gate, features Grassroots point leader Lyons Luck at Post 2 and Canadian Breeders Champion Class Of O Nine from Post 3. The top four fillies from each elimination, plus one fifth-place finisher selected by random draw, will return to Fraserville for the August 9 Gold Final.

While Fife would love to hoist a Gold Series trophy at his local oval, the horseman has experienced enough ups and downs with Eyemajet to be satisfied with a ticket into the $130,000 Gold Final.

“It would be great to win in front of your hometown crowd in a big race, I certainly don’t get to do that very often,” admits the horseman. “But just getting to the final would be a start, and then see what happens. Anything can happen in a horse race.”

The three-year-old pacing fillies will battle in Races 5 and 9 on Kawartha Downs’ Thursday evening program, which gets rolling at 7:00 p.m.

To view the harness racing entries for Thursday at Kawartha, click the following link: Thursday Entries - Kawartha Downs.


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