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‘Eva’ Poised For Late Season Surge

Published: September 10, 2008 10:38 pm ET

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When Windsong Eva rolls off the gate from Post 2 in her Gold Elimination at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night, it will come as a relief to trainer Bill Cass, who was starting to think poor posts in Ontario Sires Stakes action were a genetic flaw.

“We have her brother, Windsong Cruiser,” explains Cass. “He’s made over $200,000, but in the Sires Stakes he always drew the 10-hole.”

Windsong Eva has not drawn any 10-holes yet, but the three-year-old pacing filly has landed her share of poor post positions in provincial action this summer. Things started off on the right foot when she drew Post 1 for the season opening Gold Series Eliminations at Western Fair Raceway, but a six-hole in the May 30 Gold Final kicked off a stretch of unfortunate luck that Cass would love to see come to an end.

“She’s been a little luckier this week,” says the Milton resident, who shares ownership on Windsong Eva with John Craig of North York. “With the two-hole this week, I’m really pleased.”

Windsong Eva heads into Saturday’s ninth race off a tough trip in the Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk on Aug. 31. The daughter of Rambaran and Surviving Trouble spent most of the mile parked on the outside and faded through the stretch to finish sixth. Two starts before that she scored her first win of the season with a come-from-behind effort against overnight company, stopping the Mohawk teletimer in a personal best 1:52.1, and in the Aug. 22 Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association Stake Final, she sprinted home in :26.4 to earn the third-place share of the $179,300 purse.

“She’s turned it around a little bit in her last four or five starts,” notes Cass. “Right now I think she’s as good as any of them, with a trip. If she gets tripped out, she’ll be right there at the wire.”

Regular reinsman Randy Waples is committed to John Kopas trainee Shipps Bikini in the same elimination, so Windsong Eva will benefit from the attentions of Cass’s second choice, top reinsman John Campbell. Campbell is in town to participate in Mohawk’s spectacular line up of stakes events on Saturday, including the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic Final, eliminations for the Maple Leaf Trot for aged horses, and a pair of Nassagaweya Stakes divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts.

“He has such a good set of hands,” says Cass of his Hall of Fame catch driver. “She’ll finish for him, she’ll finish for him well.”

Cass and Craig would love to see Windsong Eva deliver a strong performance in Saturday’s elimination for a number of reasons. After three Gold Series events the filly has only earned eight points toward a berth in the $300,000 Super Final, so she needs a couple of top performances over the last two regular season events to extend her season through to the Nov. 15 finale. In addition, the pair have their eye on the filly’s full brother, who will sell at the Canadian Open Yearling Sale this Sunday.

“If she could get a few good cheques at the end of the year, we can reach out and buy a few more yearlings,” explains Cass.

A top five finish on Saturday will advance Windsong Eva and her peers through to the Sept. 20 Gold Final. The $40,000 eliminations go postward as Races 6 and 9 on Mohawk Racetrack’s stakes laden program, which is also the last Family Fun Night of the season. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the family fun activities, with the first race going postward at 7:30 p.m.

To view Saturday’s entries, click here.


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