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Walker Returning To OSS Postseason

Published: September 30, 2020 5:02 pm ET

Last Comment: September 30, 2020 7:35 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Two years after earning her first Grassroots championship, trainer Julie Walker will be returning to the Ontario Sires Stakes postseason at Woodbine Mohawk Park this Friday (Oct. 2) with a pair of three-year-old trotting fillies.

Yen will start from the outside Post 9 in the first $20,000 sophomore trotting filly semi-final, and Walker said she is glad Sylvain Filion will be responsible for decision making once the wings fold for the second race of the program.

“I always say I’m glad I’m not the driver, because I don’t know what I would do, but I think in my mindset as a trainer, I just want to make it to the final,” said the resident of Carlisle, Ont. “They take the top five, that’s all I’m looking for is top five and hope for a better draw.”

Yen heads into Friday’s semi-final on a two-race win streak at Woodbine Mohawk Park; the first having come in a September 14 overnight race and the second in the September 21 grassroots leg. Two other winners from the regular season finale will also line up in the first semi-final, as No Angel Here has drawn Post 4 and Sonadora Deo Post 6.

Both Yen and Sonadora Deo were late arrivals to the Grassroots program after starting their sophomore campaigns at the gold-series level. Yen recorded one third, one fifth and one ninth-place result before Walker and owner/breeder Overseas Farms Ltd. of Cambridge, Ont. decided a change of scenery was in order for the daughter of E L Titan.

“I think that she was not the best Gold horse, but I still believe that she was a Gold horse. It’s just every time we went somewhere she had a bad post, got away last -- just such bad luck we thought we’d change our luck,” said Walker. “And you can see that she still hasn’t drawn [well] even in the Grassroots, but because I think she’s a little better than the competition, even if she draws bad we can still compete.”


Yen, pictured victorious with driver Sylvain Filion at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Unlike her stablemate, Profound Paragon spent the summer competing on the Grassroots circuit and was riding a perfect record of four Grassroots and eight consecutive wins until the September 21 race where she made an uncharacteristic break in the stretch which saw her placed back to ninth.

“I feel confident that it was just a little bump in the road just because nothing can be too easy,” said Walker, ruefully. “Obviously I’m happy it happened then and not in the semi-final, and I really don’t think it was anything. I think it was just a little reminder that nothing’s easy. They both trained Tuesday and they both trained really well, so that’s all we can do going in.”

Walker shares ownership of Profound Paragon with breeder Steven Titus of Manalapan, New Jersey, and Jean Bernard 'Bert' Renaud drives the daughter of Muscle Mass. Profound Paragon boasts a record of 10 wins from 14 starts this season.

“Bert’s done a great job with 'Shelby' (Profound Paragon). That’s been a big part of it,” said Walker. “I think it’s funny that everyone was kind of shocked at the break she made. Yeah I was shocked and disappointed, but at the same time I think that Bert’s made her look better than what she’s been the whole time, because he knows the ins and out of her so well that he can kind of hide those little parts that maybe she’s not perfect at. I think that’s kind of cool, that she’s come as far as she’s come.”

Profound Paragon heads into the second sophomore trotting filly semi-final, scheduled as Race 7, at the top of the division standings with 200 points, and will be looking to advance to the October 10 championship from Post 8.

While preparing Yen and Profound Paragon for the Grassroots postseason, Walker has also started searching through yearling catalogues and videos in hopes of finding a future Ontario Sires Stakes star who could take her to another Grassroots Championship or a Super Final.

“Obviously you work towards having a barn full of Gold fillies not just Grassroots, but the fact that I have two now instead of one, it’s a little progress,” said the trainer, who earned her 2018 Grassroots title with two-year-old trotting filly At Will. “I’d like to have a little better calibre in my barn, but I think I’m heading in the right direction, just very baby steps.”

Friday’s three-year-old semi-finals will get underway at 7 p.m. with the three-year-old pacing fillies kicking things off in Race 1 and wrapping them up in Race 11. The three-year-old trotting fillies compete in Races 2 and 7, the three-year-old trotting colts square off in Races 3 and 9, and the three-year-old pacing colts will battle in Races 5 and 10. Fans can download a program and watch the live stream on the Woodbine Mohawk Park website.

To view the harness racing entries for Friday at Mohawk, click the following link: Friday Entries - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

(OSS)

September 30, 2020 - 7:35 pmJulie is a dedicated

Shawn Murphy SAID...

Julie is a dedicated professional that has a very bright future. She has a true love for what she does and it is shown through her strong results. Congrats on your success.


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