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Robblee Sheds Maiden Status

Published: October 5, 2008 9:10 am ET

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It was a chance he'd get only once in his lifetime and 19-year-old Jim Robblee of Woodstock, Ontario made the most of it.

After gaining his trainer's license a year ago he was suiting up to drive for the first time in a pari-mutuel race with his four-year-old mare Fulla Camotion.

"That was awesome to win my first lifetime start," Robblee said after he calmly swept around the field on the final turn to win in the 9th race on October 4 at Western Fair. "My mare's been racing well and they went enough speed up front to get softened up.

"It was great to have my whole family there for the photo, my Mom, Dad, two sisters and two nieces were there," he added. "They were right there trackside for the race too and that's why I raised my whip in the air to them under the wire."

TV Interview

On the opening night of the Western Fair meet London's local TV station, A-Channel, did a live remote in the 6 p.m. news on Friday, October 3rd with Sports Director Norman James trackside. His guest was Jim Robblee on the broadcast which aired in Southwestern Ontario just over 24 hours before Robblee's first lifetime pari-mutuel start and dramatic sweeping win.

"I'm nervous about it but pretty confident," Robblee said on the newscast. "My mare's been racing well and we've drawn a good post. I started as a groom, you know brushing horses and taking care of them, and my Dad in recent years taught me a lot since we have a nice trotter named Loose Change Louie that's earned over $400,000 for us."

It's not the first time the Robblee name has been prominent in the London driving colony. Jim's late uncle, Rod Robblee, won several driving titles at Western Fair prior to his passing three years ago.

A-Channel Sports Director Norm James asked the upstart driver about how his high school peers viewed his career choice prior to his graduation from Woodstock's Huron Park Secondary last Spring.

"I'd say I was in pretty much a dead-heat with the popularity of the football players since the girls all seemed to like horses," Robblee quipped. "Though I'll probably get in a bit of trouble with my steady girlfriend for saying that on the six o'clock news."

New Post Time Roll-Out

Western Fair's new post time of 3:05 p.m. each Monday and Tuesday is rolled out this week for the October 6 and October 7 cards. The October and November schedules are laden with added-money events including the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold and Grassroots Series, The Trillium Series, and the Middlesex County Series.

In the coming week the OSS Grassroots Series two year old pacing fillies will take the stage at Western Fair on Friday night, October 10.

A family day at the track is planned for October 13 with a wide range of children's activities and a major fundraiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is set for October 17 as the third annual visit by the Mildred Williams International Women's Driving Series hits London.

Last Friday night the London track awarded a Smart Car valued at over $20,000 concluding the local 'Go For The Green' contest by the Slots At Western Fair. Handicapping contests are also planned for the Fall Meet.

In the 2008 Fall Meet, post time at Western Fair each Monday and Tuesday afternoon is 3:05 p.m. and each Friday and Saturday evening at 7:05 p.m.

(Western Fair Raceway)

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