Bargain Filly Hoping For Grassroots Success

Clinton Raceway fans will watch 30 freshman trotting fillies test the Ontario Sires Stakes waters on Sunday afternoon as the popular half-mile oval plays host to four $24,000 Grassroots divisions.

Twin B Miss D will have an edge on the competition in the first Grassroots skirmish, having one qualifier and one race over the Clinton oval already under her belt.

“We figured we were going to the Grassroots, and being our home base we thought, why not qualify and race her there,” says Pam Forgie, who trains the Mr Lavec daughter for her father David Wilkinson of Goderich. “If she can get around up there, she can handle everywhere else.”

Twin B Miss D made her Clinton debut in a July 5 qualifier, delivering a steady effort to finish fourth in 2:06. On July 12 the novice trotter braved the overnight waters and delivered another solid 2:06 mile to finish fifth.

“She’s been actually, knock on wood, pretty consistent. We’re pretty happy with her,” says Forgie.

Wilkinson is especially happy that Twin B Miss D has already earned her first pay cheque, albeit a modest $300 from her fifth-place effort on July 12. Forgie says the longtime owner purchased the filly out of last fall’s Canadian Open Yearling Sale for $3,700, and failed to mention his new acquisition at the dinner table until this spring.

“My dad bought her out of the sale, and he never looked at her,” she begins. “He couldn’t figure out why she was going so cheap. It was because it was written on her stall door that she had chips in her hock.

“He’s not supposed to be at the sales buying horses, and therefore my mother never found out until about two weeks ago that he owned her,” she continues wryly. “I missed that conversation.”

Fortunately for Wilkinson, the filly had the bone chips removed from her hock soon after the sale and bounced back without any hiccups. She caught on to her early lessons easily and displayed a remarkably laid back personality.

“The second time I had her out on the racetrack, I was on a lunge line and another guy was in the bike, someone decided to weed eat in the ditches,” recalls Forgie, who makes her home in Dorchester. “She didn’t care. She’s pretty easy going, pretty level headed.”

Gorden McKnight guided Twin B Miss D through her first two Clinton appearances and will be back in the race bike on Sunday, steering her after a share of the Grassroots lucre from Post 5. McKnight has also trained and schooled the filly, so Forgie is confident the veteran reinsman will not have any difficulty from the outer half of the gate.

“He’s helped me out a lot. He came over and trained her with me one day, and he’s pretty much sat behind her every fast trip since,” explains the trainer. “He schooled her both times, qualified her and raced her.

“She had the three and four at Clinton and she schooled out of the six and seven-hole at London, it doesn’t seem to matter to her,” Forgie adds. “It’s a little clearer sailing out there if stuff goes on inside her.”

Three of the fillies Twin B Miss D and McKnight will face in Race 1 have also logged a race in preparation for their Ontario Sires Stakes debut, while four are heading straight into battle off qualifiers.

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