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Equipment Change To Keep Filly Fighting

Published: August 31, 2011 10:43 pm ET

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Six sophomore pacing filly Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions will be featured as part of Clinton Raceway’s popular Legends Day this Sunday afternoon, adding to an outstanding line up of trackside events in support of the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation.

The fillies will battle for a total of $144,000, and trainer Jack Parsons is hoping Miss Mach can claim a small share in the second division. The filly will be hampered by the outside Post 7 in her sophomore Grassroots debut, but she has only missed two cheques in 11 starts this season and Parsons hopes the young pacer is ready for a big effort.

“She didn’t get in really tight there,” observes the Hay, Ont. resident. “I think she might be part of it. It depends on the trip.

“It’s only a seven-horse field, so there’s one less to beat,” he adds wryly.

Samuel Taylor of Lucan, Ont. owns Miss Mach and Parsons says the longtime owner was unconcerned when he learned about the filly’s outside post for her provincial debut.

“He wasn’t too worried,” says Parsons. “He likes horses coming from the back end anyway. He was after driver Lorne House from Day 1 not to get too excited at the start.”

Ingersoll, Ont. resident House and Miss Mach head into Sunday’s test off a runner-up finish at Sarnia’s Hiawatha Horse Park on Aug. 25, clocked in 1:57.3. The filly was bested by just a neck and Parsons says the daughter of Miss Mach and Silver Words looked like she had the race won in the stretch before relaxing and getting caught at the wire. As a result Miss Mach will sport an open bridle on Sunday; an equipment change Parsons hopes will keep her fighting right to the finish line.

“As soon as she got up and passed the horse she thought the race was over,” observes the trainer. “So we’ll change her for Sunday and let her see everything.”

With four races in her freshman campaign and 11 races to date this season, Parsons says Miss Mach still shows a bit of inexperience on the racetrack, but adds that things seem to be coming easier to the filly in recent weeks. Since July 19 Miss Mach has not been worse than third, amassing a record of three wins, one second and one third in her last five starts.

“She’s a nice little racehorse,” notes the horseman. “She’s still a little green, but she’s starting to put things together pretty quick right now.”

Parsons notes that while the filly is quite maneuverable on the racetrack, she is a little more difficult to work with in the barn.

“She’s still a little cantankerous in the barn,” he explains. “Her attitude is a little touchy. She likes to kick a little wee bit and nibble at you.”

If Miss Mach can hold her own against the fillies in Sunday’s fifth race, she will get another shot at the Grassroots program in the regular season finale at Hiawatha Horse Park on Sept. 15.

“We’ll just keep our fingers crossed, that’s all we can do,” says Parsons. “Hopefully she puts in a good race for us and then we can go from there. We’ll play it by ear.”

The three-year-old pacing fillies will show off their skills in Races 4, 5, 6, 9, 11 and 12 on Sunday. In addition to the Grassroots divisions, fans will also be treated to the Legends Day Trot in Race 10 when eight legendary reinsman will pit their skills against each other aboard a group of talented aged trotters.

The legendary horsemen -- Doug Brown, John Campbell, Jim Doherty, Bud Fritz, Wally Hennessey, Bill O’Donnell, Ray Remmen and Ron Waples -- will sign autographs from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and will be joined for the meet and greet by Hall of Fame horseman Keith Waples.

While the drivers greet fans, guest announcers Roger Huston, Ken Warkentin, Greg Blanchard, Ken Middleton and Tim O’Connor will show off their skills behind the microphone.

Joining the harness racing legends is former hockey star Theo Fleury, who will be on hand from 1 to 4 p.m. signing autographs, posing for photos and participating in a trackside interview.

Fans can also purchase raffle tickets in hopes of winning a VIP dinner for up to eight people with Fleury on Sunday evening, autographed memorabilia, NHL tickets and more. Raffle tickets, with proceeds going to the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation, are $10 each or three for $20.

Fans can also get in on the Ontario Sires Stakes program’s Win The Thrill contest, which will see the eventual Grand Prize winner awarded a share in the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association’s (SBOA) highly successful New Owner Mentoring Program. Fans can learn more about the Win The Thrill contest and the SBOA New Owners Mentoring program at www.ontariosiresstakes.com and www.standardbredbreeders.com, with ballots and details available in the official Clinton Raceway program.

Starting at 4 p.m. Clinton Raceway will spark up the BBQ, offering a $12 chicken dinner, children’s activities and entertainment, once again with proceeds supporting the Hospital Foundation.

All the Legends Day excitement gets underway at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday and will last until the final chicken dinner is served at 6 p.m.

To view Sunday's harness racing entries, click on the following link: Sunday Entries - Clinton Raceway.

(OSS)


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