Day At The Track

Gold Star Gidget gets a Gold Star' in Florida

07:51 PM 29 Nov 2012 NZDT
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Gold Star Gidget
Gold Star Gidget - a talented 3-yerar-old daughter of Rock On.

After a second place finish in a harness racing $6,500 Filly and Mare Open at Pompano Park on Nov. 5, Gold Star Gidget seized the $54,800 Florida Breeders Stakes final, with a last to first brush, at the same venue five days later.

In her two subsequent performances, on Nov. 19 and 26, at her home base and while now under the care of trainer Dick Macomber, the filly enjoyed the same success.

A daughter of the Artsplace stallion Rock On and Squisita by Dragon Again, Gold Star Gidget has a record of 31-9-6-10 with $81,768 in purse money. The filly, one of 66 horses bred by Tom Audley's Gold Star Farms, only had one victory and four third place finishes from 10 starts her freshman year, but seemed to turn the corner once 2012 arrived.

"She came from a really good mare, but as a 2-year-old she struggled," the Bell, Fla., resident explained. "She was up against Cracker Coffee and some really good horses. I think she was probably the fastest but she just gave up. This year she was a whole different horse. She was full of herself and just continues to get better.

"I'd like to give credit to Walter Ross, Jr.," Audley continued. "He worked for me in the mornings jogging and training and then drove at night. He always handed me back a horse that could go next week and never really took it all out of them. I think he had a very good part in developing this filly."

Gold Star Gidget is certainly not the only progeny of Rock On, whom Audley owns, to do well in a Florida Breeders Final event. Goldstar Raider was second in last year's 2-year-old pacing colt final and third in this year's contest, while Goldstar Thumper triumphed in this year's 2-year-old pacing colt final. Audley also bred Gold Star Spike, the runner-up to Keemosabe in this year's 3-year-old colt pace final.

Gold Star Farms was also the birthplace of Gold Star Glitter, who is a half-sister to Gold Star Gidget by Squaw's Fella and was the 2010 Florida 2-year-old filly pacing champion.

"I got into the business when I was five years old sitting on my grandpa's shoulders in Alcorn, Wis., watching that big white Cadillac take off in the red dust," the 67-year-old said. "I was hooked from there, but I was a Deputy Sheriff for 30 years and when I retired we got into this (breeding). We raced for blankets for years around Wisconsin with Susan Schroeder. I liked the sport and I'm one of the glass is half full people. I believe even with all the troubles we are having there will still be harness racing, just not as we know it.

"Rock On is prepotent as I call it," Audley continued. "In dairy farming where I originally came from, we would say a bull is prepotent, which is he doesn't come out of the best cow, but he's prepotent to his father. When Rock On's babies are born they are still wet and following their mothers, but are off pacing already. He gives us naturally gaited horses which gives us kind of two months up on everybody else."

From 26 registered foals, Rock On has 12 winners with Goldstar Rosie being his most prolific earner ($116,929). Audley also added Mysticism (Dragon Again, p,4,1:49.2, $244,972) to his program this year, but until the foals from his ten mares hit the ground, he will continue to think Rock On will remain the better stud.

"My wife Marianne and my daughter Maggie are really the driving forces behind our broodmares," he said. "They will shop a catalogue like Harrisburg for two weeks and Marianne will go up with 20 horses circled. One always falls through the cracks because they are out of our price range, but that's how we keep our broodmares fresh and current.

"He (Rock On) doesn't get a big book, but the way I look at it if everybody bred to him, I'd have to race against them," Audley continued. "With the exception of an old-timer down here that I bred five or six mares for that the foals he did register never made it to the races, he's a 100 percent producer. Every one of his has won a race. I have Mysticism here now and I don't think he will top Rock On. He was more expensive and made more money, but I don't think he will be like Rock On. I bred seven to him so I have some faith in him, but he's got big shoes to fill if he's going to beat out Rock On. We are very fortunate to have him and need to make sure we have a good broodmare band for him."

by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Courtesy of the United States Trotting Association Web Newsroom


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