Frisky Strike: a pleasure to have in the barn

11:45 PM 03 Oct 2011 NZDT
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Jim Morrill, Jr.
Jim Morrill, Jr.

Harness racing trainer Bruce MacDonald would love to have a barn full of horses like two-year-old trotting filly Frisky Strike, who makes her ninth lifetime start in Gold Elimination action at Woodbine Racetrack on Thursday evening.

“She’s averaged over $10,000 per start; if you could have a barn-full like that it would sure make life a lot easier,” says the Alliston resident. “She always makes money and is easy to keep.”

In her first eight starts Frisky Strike has tallied four seconds, one third, one fourth and two fifth-place finishes, for earnings of $80,516. All of the filly’s starts have come in the Gold Series program, except for a runner-up effort in a Champlain Stakes division at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 1, and she currently ranks fifth in the division standings with 105 points.

“The Sires Stakes have been her bread and butter,” notes MacDonald, who conditions Frisky Strike for Mardon Stables of Loretto and breeders Ray Schnittker of Middletown, NY and Jeffrey Gural of New York, NY.

The daughter of Striking Sahbra and $148,127 winner Frisky Fergi will make her ninth start from Post 8 in the first of two $40,000 Gold Eliminations at Woodbine on Thursday, and will have Jim Morrill Jr. in the race bike for the first time this season. MacDonald says the filly is straightforward to steer and expects Morrill will have her in gear when the wings fold.

“She’s got great gate speed, I’m hoping she can be forwardly placed,” says the horseman. “They need to be close to where the action is, especially at that level, to get anything at the end.”

Among the fillies Frisky Strike and Morrill will face in Thursday’s third race are former Gold Final winner Witch Way from Post 1 and reigning Gold Final winner Miss Paris from Post 5. The top five fillies will earn a return invitation to Woodbine for the Oct. 13 Gold Final.

Frisky Strike heads into the final regular season event off a fourth-place finish in the Sept. 29 Gold Final at Rideau Carleton Raceway, and MacDonald says the filly needs little in the way of work in between starts at this stage in her career.

“She’s a real easy doer,” he explains. “If the weather cooperates she’ll be out in the paddock a little more, and all she’ll need is a bit of light jogging to have her ready for these races.”

Schnittker raised Frisky Strike and taught the filly her early lessons, qualifying her three times at The Meadowlands in New Jersey before sending her north to MacDonald. Possibly due to that early exposure to a one-mile oval, the dainty filly seems to prefer a larger racing surface, and MacDonald is expecting a strong effort on Thursday.

“She’s stepped right up on a big track,” notes the trainer. “Which is a surprise by her stature, but she has good quick speed and can carry it for a piece.”

The other Gold Elimination features former Gold Final winners Circles, who will be looking for a return to the winner’s circle from Post 5, and Counter Pointe, who will be aiming for her fourth lifetime win from Post 6.

Woodbine Racetrack sends its first race into the starter’s hands at 7:30 pm, and rolls out the red carpet for Ontario’s finest two-year-old trotting fillies in Races 3 and 8.

Sandra SNYDER

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