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Coconut Cove To Excel In Sudbury?

Published: September 16, 2009 10:19 am ET

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Coconut Cove has been a consistent performer through her first two Ontario Sires Stakes starts, but trainer Eric Adams is hoping the two-year-old pacing filly will be even sharper when she arrives in Sudbury on Saturday evening to compete in the last of five $24,000 Grassroots divisions.

"She’s not too aggressive, she’s a little bit lazy," Adams explained. "So I changed her equipment, I put a hood with cups on to get her a little more aggressive, and she trained a little sharper this week."

Coconut Cove made her career debut in a July 3 overnight event at Grand River Raceway, finishing fourth in a 1:58.2 mile, then shipped to Kawartha Downs for the Grassroots season opener on July 18. In a division with eventual Gold elimination winner Western Silk, Coconut Cove finished fourth, pacing her own mile in 1:57.3. The Camluck miss then posted a runner-up finish in the August 12 Grassroots event at Hanover Raceway.

"We didn’t know how she’d get around a half-mile track, so we took her to Grand River as a test," recalled Adams, who conditions Coconut Cove for breeder Millar Farms of Newmarket, Ont. "She raced pretty good there, so we figured she’d get around the smaller tracks okay, which you have to do in the Grassroots."

Coconut Cove fell victim to a virus after the Hanover contest, so Adams skipped the third Grassroots event and allowed the filly to regain her health. Once she had resumed a regular training schedule he went shopping for an overnight event as a prep for this weekend’s skirmish, but had to settle for a schooler at Georgian Downs.

"I couldn’t get a race for her, so I schooled her in Georgian Downs," Adams explained. "She schooled pretty good with the different head gear on."

Randy Fritz will steer Coconut Cove from Post 3 in the ninth race on Saturday, tackling a tough field of eight from a post Adams thinks will suit the young pacer perfectly.

"The three-hole is good, I’m not real crazy about the rail with a two-year-old," he said. "She can leave, that’s probably where she’s most aggressive, at the start."

Adams says the full sister to $143,478 winner Andromeda, and $78,023 winner Welcam, is easy to get along with, aside from one quirk that only appears on race days.

"She doesn’t like tractors too much," the horseman admitted. "That can be a little tough on smaller tracks, because it’s a little tighter quarters."

Both Adams and Fritz will navigate the Sudbury Downs oval with care prior to Saturday’s ninth race, and then turn the filly loose to see if she can garner a few more Grassroots points. With her second and fourth-place performances, Coconut Cove currently sits tied for 25th in the Grassroots standings with 33 points, 17 points below the cut off for the top 16.

The two-year-old pacing fillies will battle for Grassroots points and purse money in Races 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9 on Saturday, with Sudbury Downs’ first race rolling in behind the gate at 7:15 p.m.

Click here to view Sudbury's harness racing entries for Saturday.

(With files from the OSS)

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