Write Me A Song pens record ONSS victory
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"I didn't know what the track record was, but it doesn't surprise me that she went in 1:51," said Darling. "Like I said, it's a tremendous group of fillies, I knew they'd go fast and I knew she was sharp, I was just hoping she could get the job done."
The only 3-year-old pacing filly with two Gold Series wins to her credit, Write Me A Song finished second in the May 26 season opener at The Raceway at Western Fair District, third at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 23 and was victorious at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 20, giving her a total of 137 points. Shower Play, who finished fourth in Sunday's test, is 54 points back in second. Sunday's victory was Write Me A Song's fourth straight. Between the June 23 and July 20 Gold legs she swept her elimination and the final of the Kin Pace, lowering the track record to 1:54.3 in the July 8 final.
Darling opted not to race Write Me A Song between her July 20 win and Sunday's Gold leg, instead sending her out in an Aug. 10 qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park which she won in 1:51.3. The horseman may follow a similar strategy heading into the fifth and final Gold leg, scheduled for Sept. 25 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
"I'm going to be really easy on her. I didn't race her between her last start and this one, I just wanted to kind of keep her fresh and happy and hoping for a big effort. She's got to race so tough. Whatever class she races in at WEG it's so tough, you've just got to be a little bit careful and just kind of pick your spots and manage her a little bit," noted the horseman. "I'll have to give her at least one more start before the next one (Gold). She's not eligible to the Simcoe, so I've got no other stakes for her."
Sunday was Neon Moon's first Gold Series start of the season. Competing at the Grassroots level the filly, also a daughter of Sportswriter, had finished third in the first two events of the season and then delivered a track record 1:52.4 effort at Grand River Raceway in the Aug. 6 event. With 74 points she currently sits seventh in the Grassroots standings, while the 12 points she earned in Sunday's Gold leg put her in a tie for 11th in the Gold standings. The top 20 point earners advance to the Grassroots semi-final, while the top 10 move on to the Gold Series Super Final.
"I'll take a look at the situation later on. I guess I've got options, just the fact that I've got Write Me A Song in there makes me think I should probably go Grassroots with Neon Moon, but I don't know," said Darling. "I'll play it by ear, week-by-week."
The 3-year-old pacing fillies wrap up their Grassroots campaign at Flamboro Downs on Sept. 4, with the semi-final on Sept. 21 and the final on Sept. 29, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
The fillies served as the warm-up act to Georgian Downs' signature race, the $57,000 Earl Rowe Invitational Trot, and Dancer Hall got a confident front-end steer from Sylvain Filion to capture the 2018 title. The Deweycheatumnhowe 4 year old trotted under the wire in 1:52.2, 4 3/4 lengths ahead of B Yoyo and Catch The Dream. Paul Reid trains Dancer Hall for 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, Ont. (OSS)