Day At The Track

Fellows' fellows look to rake in Autumn prize

05:59 PM 26 Nov 2011 NZDT
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Vimy Ridge
Vimy Ridge
New Image Media Photo

They have been, undoubtedly, a tough-luck duo, but harness racing trainer Rob Fellows is hoping the resilient Vimy Ridge and Piston Broke find their share of good luck when they line up behind the gate in their respective Autumn Stakes eliminations on Monday at Woodbine.

Vimy Ridge, a full sister to Wilsonator ($496,049), will be making just his third lifetime start in his $25,000 elimination for sophomore trotting colts and geldings. The son of Kadabra-Sahalee was one of Fellows' top prospects, but was sent to the sidelines due to  injury.

Not once, but twice.

"He was training down as a two-year-old and cracked a knee," Fellows explained. "The obvious decision was to give him the time he needed to recover and we did that, then earlier this year he cracked the same knee."

Fellows didn't give up on his youngster and prepared him for the winter meet at Woodbine.

"He's such a naturally talented horse," he said. "Training down as a two-year-old, he just had a phenomenal gait to him. I think that if all goes well, he will make a name for himself in the years to come."

From a pair of career starts, Vimy Ridge has banked $13,750 with a 1-1-0 record from two starts and a life's best clocking of 1:58.3.

Sylvain Filion will steer the bay gelding on Monday for owner/breeder Michael Pozefsky and Edward Wilson.

Piston Broke, a son of Shark Gesture-Rebid, has also endured a rough ride.

The rookie son began his two-year-old season in fine form for Fellows, before a surprisingly poor performance at Rideau Carleton.

"We raced him in the Grassroots in Ottawa and he came home in :34-seconds," Fellows noted. "It made no sense, he was a complete mystery. I thought he would have been sick, but that wasn't the case. I took him everywhere to be examined, but no one could pinpoint the issue."

Fellows decided to turn Piston Broke out for the summer months in hopes of a fall return.

"It's a shame because he was such a nice horse training down and looked terrific in his first few starts. In his first qualifier, he came home in :27.3, then won a few starts later in 1:56.4."

Purchased for $23,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale in 2009, Fellows admits he didn't travel to Kentucky specifically looking for what turned out to be his two-time winner.

"I wanted to buy a Jeremes Jet that year, but then again, so did everyone else," he laughed. "I came across him and he looked the part and fell into my price range."

After taking time off, Piston Broke returned to the track in a successful qualifying effort at Mohawk before finding the winner's circle in his very next start at Georgian Downs, stopping the timer in1:56.4.

Piston Broke has banked $17,110 in his rookie campaign for Fellows, along with Willard Sabrosky, and Arpad Szabo. Filion will be at the controls once again on Monday evening as Piston Broke begins from post one in his elimination for freshman pacing colts.

Fellows is hoping the night proves to be twice as nice for his pair of hard-knocking performers.



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