Steve Charlton hopes pacing fillies succeed

04:16 AM 21 Aug 2012 NZST
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Ontario Sires Stakes

Steve Charlton will arrive at Hanover Raceway on Thursday evening (August 23) with a trio of two-year-old pacing fillies hoping to take home a share of the $192,000 in Grassroots purse money up for grabs at the half-mile harness racing oval.

Mademoiselle Paris will be first out of the paddock for Charlton and the young pacer will be looking to rebound from a ninth-place effort in her Aug. 15 Grassroots debut at Flamboro Downs.

“She was the trailer last week and she just wasn’t interested,” notes the Clifford resident. “She has a little bit of talent, so that was a disappointment. We’re hoping for a better result.”

Mademoiselle Paris will be looking to redeem herself from Post 3 in the first $24,000 Grassroots division. She faces a field of six, including recent division winner Cams Macharena from Post 7.

The filly finished sixth in her first lifetime start, a two-year-old filly contest on Aug. 9 waged over a Mohawk Racetrack surface rated one second slower than normal. She also qualified at Mohawk, stepping to a 1:56.2 clocking on Aug. 3.

All three of Charlton’s fillies are by sire Bolero Charles and the horseman says all three trained well all winter, but do not seem to have inherited their father’s size, a trait he was hoping to see in the horse’s offspring.

“He’s a big giant of a stallion, but he never threw the size I was hoping on,” explains the horseman, who trains the fillies for Kathleen Charlton of Clifford and Laroque Racing Stb. Inc. of Thornhill.

The trainer adds that one quality the youngsters did inherit from Bolero Charles is a tendency to be aggressive on the racetrack, a quality he feels cost Mon Petite a win in her Aug. 15 Grassroots start. The filly led for the first half of the mile, but faded to third in the stretch.

“She wouldn’t relax,” says the trainer. “If she’d ever get to the front and was left alone she’d be more relaxed and I think you’d see the best of her.”

Mon Petite did score a 1:58 win in an Aug. 8 overnight event at Grand River Raceway, but Charlton says the filly fought driver Scott Coulter for much of the mile. In her first two starts, including the July 20 Grassroots event at Woodstock Raceway, Mon Petite made errors that forced her to re-qualify twice.

Mon Petite outshone her stablemates all winter and was often on the front end in training miles, developing a preference for that position. The trainer is hoping that the combination of time, patience and racing experience will eventually help the filly learn to relax no matter where she is positioned during the mile.

The filly’s next learning opportunity comes at Post 6 in Thursday’s tenth race, where she faces former division winners Racey Miss from Post 2 and Senorita Santanna from Post 3. Former Gold Series competitor Burlesque makes her Grassroots debut from the trailing Post 8.

Kinda Tough makes her Grassroots debut for Charlton from Post 1 in the fourth race and the trainer’s expectations for the dainty filly are modest.

“She qualified good, Mike Saftic said she was strong to the wire, so we figured what the heck, we’re going to be there,” he explains. “She’s a nice filly, but she’s not overly big.”

Kinda Tough qualified at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 15, pacing her own mile in 2:00 to finish second. The filly’s debut comes in a tough field that includes three Grassroots division winners, Pan Luis Obispo at Post 3, Foolish Mind at Post 6, and Jeremeyes Jewel at Post 7.

“We’ll be there and we’ll be trying,” sums up Charlton. “That’s all you can do.”

Two-year-old pacing filly division leaders Embassy Seelster and Western Empress will be looking for their third straight Grassroots wins from Post 1 in the sixth race and Post 3 in the eighth race, respectively.

The freshman pacing fillies will wage the fourth battle of their regular season Grassroots campaign in Races 2 through 6 and 8 through 10. Post time for Hanover Raceway’s Thursday evening program is 7:15 pm.

To view Mademoiselle Paris and Mon Petite’s previous Grassroots starts please go to:

by Sandra SNYDER

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