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Morgan Talks Greenlight Special


Published: August 19, 2009 9:28 am ET

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Greenlight Special makes the leap into the Ontario Sires Stakes fray this Saturday afternoon at Woodstock Raceway, and trainer Rusty Morgan is hoping the two-year-old pacing filly can hold her own in the field of Grassroots veterans.

“She’s shown that she might be something,” says the Norwich, Ont. resident, who shares ownership on the filly with his father Russell Morgan, Jr. “She didn’t qualify too good at Flamboro, but my Dad’s been driving her and she’s coming along.”

Greenlight Special qualified twice at Flamboro Downs in early July, finishing sixth both times, but in her pari-mutuel debut on July 22 she circled the Dresden Raceway half-mile in 2:03.2 to score an eight-length victory. Last Thursday (August 13), Morgan shipped the filly to Hiawatha Horse Park for an overnight and Greenlight Special carved all the fractions in a 1:57.4 mile before fading in the stretch to finish second.

“She threw up a good mile in Sarnia. She paced a quarter in :27.4; that kind of took the back end out of her,” notes Morgan.

Greenlight Special will start from Post 5 in Saturday’s ninth race, and her trainer does not expect to see the Camotion daughter near the front end this week.

“You can take her back too, she doesn’t even get grabby,” he explains. “I don’t think my Dad will be putting her on the front, the rail horse won in 1:57.2 over Hanover last week, wire to wire.”

The rail horse in Saturday’s ninth race is Windsong Gentille, whose win at Hanover Raceway was her second Grassroots victory. Storms Never Last, who drew the outside Post 7 for Saturday’s skirmish, was also a winner at Hanover on August 12, circling that half-mile oval in 1:58.3.

Morgan knows the competition will be stiff, but the third generation horseman is hoping Greenlight Special delivers a solid effort and earns the right to follow the Grassroots trail for the remainder of the six race regular season.

“I usually buy one (yearling) every year, but I haven’t had much luck with them,” says Morgan. “This is the first one me and my Dad have just bought ourselves.

“She’s a great big stocky mare. Nobody believes us that she’s two,” he adds. “And she’s just a sweetheart. She does whatever you want her to.”

Morgan picked the filly out of last fall’s Canadian Open Yearling Sale, writing a $3,500 cheque for the third foal of $209,519 winner Bitofblarney. A quick study, Greenlight Special was jogging solo by her second day in Morgan’s barn and easily overcame the few hurdles along the road to Saturday’s Grassroots outing.

“She trained down with all my old racehorses, so she had to learn quick,” says Morgan with a chuckle.

Greenlight Special will make her debut in the last of nine $24,000 Grassroots divisions on Saturday. The two-year-old pacing fillies will open Woodstock Raceway’s matinee program at 1:00 p.m. and compete in Races 1 through 9.

To Woodstock's harness racing entries for Saturday, click here.


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