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Gold Repeat For Lyons Luck?

Published: August 6, 2012 10:25 pm ET

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Ciaran Morrison opted to start Lyons Luck in the shallow end of the three-year-old pacing filly pool this season and the decision paid off at Kawartha Downs last Thursday as the filly made a victorious leap up to the Gold Series level.

On Thursday, August 9 Lyons Luck will return to Kawartha for her first $130,000 Gold Final and Morrison is hoping she and driver Paul Mackenzie can replicate the mile that landed them in the winner’s circle last week.

“She’s a little filly and we didn’t want to plunge her in too far, too soon,” explains Morrison. “We started off easy and she progressed, and we haven’t got to the bottom of her yet.”

Lyons Luck made her sophomore Ontario Sires Stakes debut in the Grassroots season opener at Hanover Raceway on June 9. With Mackenzie at the helm the daughter of Camluck and Pacific Rockette cruised to a 1:56.1 victory. The pair replicated that result in the second Grassroots event, posting a seven-length 1:53.3 victory at Rideau Carleton Raceway on June 17.

Two overnight events at Mohawk Racetrack followed, with Lyons Luck posting a second on June 29 and a third on July 6. Off four strong starts Morrison and owner Joseph Lyons Mound of Burford decided to give the filly a shot at the major leaguers in the Canadian Breeders Championship. Lyons Luck finished fifth in her July 21 elimination and then dead heated for third in the final, just half a length behind winner Class Of O Nine.

Top North American reinsman Tim Tetrick piloted Lyons Luck in the Canadian Breeders Championship and his post-race advice to Morrison prompted the trainer to make an equipment change for last week’s Gold Elimination performance.

“After the race he said, ‘If this filly was opened up tonight she’s a winner,’” recalls Morrison, who had put an open bridle on Lyons Luck for the Canadian Breeders elimination but, slightly unsatisfied with her effort, opted for a return to a closed bridle for the final. “And you have to take that on board from Tim Tetrick. He’s driven some of the best horses in the world.

“So last week at Kawartha I put a totally different bridle on her,” Morrison continues. “And when it was time Paul (Mackenzie) said she dug in and stuck to her guns.”

Sporting a Kant See Back bridle Lyons Luck got away second from Post 2 in last week’s Gold Elimination, and when Mackenzie asked her to accelerate out of the pocket she responded with a sharp :27.2 final quarter that propelled her to victory in a track record setting 1:52.1.

Wearing her new bridle, Lyons Luck will line up at Post 3 for this week’s $130,000 Gold Final, and Morrison expects another game performance from the filly. The other elimination winner, Katys Jet, will start from Post 7, while reigning Gold Final champion Cooking The Books gets Post 9 and Canadian Breeders champ Class Of O Nine gets Post 4. Local filly Eyemajet, owned by Val Spar Stables of West Hill and Richard Fife of Ennismore, makes her first Gold Final start from Post 5.

Purchased by Mound for $52,000 from the 2010 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Lyons Luck made seven starts last season, scoring two victories — one in regular season Grassroots action and one in her Grassroots Semifinal — one second and two thirds for earnings of $46,760. The half-sister to $571,792 winner Pacific Playboy will be looking to maintain her newfound standing in the Gold Series with another strong effort at Kawartha on Thursday.

“You just have to play it by ear don’t you,” says Harley resident Morrison. “It she stays healthy and good, she’ll stay in the Gold.”

The three-year-old pacing fillies will battle in Race 7 on Kawartha Downs’ Thursday evening program, which gets under way at 7 pm.


To view entries for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Entries – Kawartha Downs.

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