HORSE OF THE MONTH: LOYAL OPPOSITION

11:57 PM 01 Nov 2005 NZDT
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The sport of harness racing has been blessed with some of the most outstanding pacing mares in its history over the past decade.

Names like Bunny Lake, Eternal Camnation, and She’s A Great Lady have led the hit parade on the distaff side.

Now in 2005 it’s time to add the name Loyal Opposition to that elite list. A two-time Dan Patch Award winner, the 5-Year-Old pacing mare, owned by Daniel Waxman and trained by Ervin Miller, has put herself in position to add a third year-end trophy to her resume.

Loyal Opposition captured the Milton Stake and the Allerage Farm in her three October starts, victories which lifted her to Horse of the Month honours from the United States Trotting Association.

The daughter of Cole Muffler, out of the Life Sign mare Tising Tising, has won 13 of her 19 starts this year, with earnings of $638,525. Loyal Opposition has banked $2,487,388 lifetime with 43 wins in 72 career starts.

The bay mare opened up her month on October 1 in the $316,910 Milton Stake at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario.

Starting from the eight hole, she got away fourth as Burning Point took the field to the opening quarter in a time of 26.4 seconds. Driver George Brennan pulled Loyal Opposition off the rail and she was third on the outside of Burning Point and Glowing Report as the field reached the half-mile marker in :55.2.

Still advancing on the backstretch, Loyal Opposition took over the lead by the 1:22.3 three-quarter pole. She opened up two lengths on her foes by the top of the stretch, then used a 27.2s final quarter to reach the finish line on top by a 1 ¾ lengths in a time of 1:50. Glowing Report picked up the place check, while Burning Point slipped back to third.

Next up was the $80,000 Allerage Farm on October 8 at Lexington’s Red Mile. With Brennan again at the controls, Loyal Opposition parlayed the four hole into a fourth place standing as Glowing Report cut first half fractions of 27.3s and 55.1s. Brennan made his move going to the three-quarter pole, pulling Loyal Opposition out and putting her into the first over position in second place at the 1:23.1 three-quarter pole. They took over the front by a half length at the top of the stretch, then pulled away in the lane for a four length victory in a time of 1:50.2. Glowing Report again finished second, with Valley Electric ending up third.

Loyal Opposition concluded her month on October 27 in a $15,500 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace at Balmoral Park.

She started from post position seven with Andy Miller in the bike and was fourth on the outside of the track in an opening panel of :27.4. Loyal Opposition was still on the rim at the :56 half-mile marker, but was now in the lead. She cleared to the front by the 1:24.4 three-quarter pole, then paced a final quarter of 27.1s to reach the wire first in a time of 1:52. Stonebridge Kisses finished second, a 1 ¾ lengths behind the winner, while Parklane Powerful wound up third

Courtesy Of Paul Ramlow, Assistant Publicity Director, The United States Trotting Association

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