Day At The Track

Miracle Mile winner started out in Southland

07:45 AM 01 May 2013 NZST
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Wyndham horseman Gordon Lee
Wyndham horseman Gordon Lee

Southland harness racing trainer Gordon Lee has no regrets selling his share of last Sunday's (April 28) Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling. 'I did want to keep her because even though she was little she showed a lot of ability when she was young.

“But I got a really nice price for her. Way more than what I expected. What do you do – she was just a $7,000 buy-back,” Lee told Harnesslink.

“I’m delighted for the owners. I always thought she would turn out alright but never in my wildest dreams did I think she would win a Miracle Mile,” he added.

The 5-year-old Western Terror mare began her racing career in Southland.

Baby Bling was a buyback at the 2009 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale in Auckland. Melbourne's Harvey Kaplan retained ownership with a bid of $7000.

“I was at the Sale and owner Harvey Kaplan from Australia offered Malcolm Shinn shares in her if he trained her. I was sitting with him and he said why don’t you take her? “And with that my wife Betty became a part-owner,” Lee said.

Baby Bling was unbeaten in four workouts and won a qualifying trial before finishing fourth in her first two starts for Lee, who trained her for her two New Zealand starts in partnership with his brother Colin.

After her second fourth at Wyndham on February 26, 2011, which was won by Mah Sish (see video below) Kaplan bought Mrs Lee's share and with that Baby Bling was sent to Australia.

She has gone on to win 17 races, including the Australian Oaks, Gold Coast Oaks, Teeny Teeny Stakes, the Goulburn Cup and now the Mile.

“Both times when I finished fourth with her we were in the one-one and didn’t get a run.

“I’m sure she would have won both starts had she any lucky in the running. She’s a nice laid back type with good manners,” Lee said.

Lee said he never wanted to rush her into racing.

“It was a slow education process with her. She was small and I asked Harvey to wait until she was three before even thinking about racing her.

“We were running 2:15, 2:20 miles early on and then she consistently got better. She got a lot happier in her work and we thought at the time, she was a Southland Oaks contender or better,” Lee told Harnesslink.

Lee had no problems letting the champion filly go.

“That’s what I do for my owners. I race them and then I get the best possible price for them. I’ve got some of Harvey’s horses still here (Wyndham) so hopefully there’s another Miracle Mile winner amongst them,” Lee said.

Baby Bling is now owned by Kaplan, the Estate of Kay Kilgour, S. K. Kilgour, Peter O'Shea, Adam Fairley, Z. D. O'Shea, and B. J. McCarthy. Breeder(s): Kay Kilgour and the Jordash Breeding Trust.

By Duane RANGER (editor)

Baby Bling finishing fourth behind Mah Sish at Wyndham on Saturday February 26, 2011:

The 2013 Miracle Mile:

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