2009 O'Brien Awards - Three-Year-Old Trotting Fillies

Elusive Desire

3, 1:53.2 ($1,286,348)

Angus Hall – Valley Amber – Valley Victory

2009 summary: 18 – 11-2-3 ($890,444)

Trainer: Mike Keeling

Drivers: Paul MacDonell, John Campbell

Owners: PC Wellwood Enterprises Inc. (ON), Charles Armstrong (ON), Robert Fasken (ON)

Breeder: Valley High Stable (NJ)

Following an outstanding freshman season, Elusive Desire came into 2009 with lofty expectations and the speedy daughter of Angus Hall - Valley Amber did not disappoint.

Her first stakes win came in a $35,000 Elegantimage elimination on June 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. She would go on to finish fifth in the final.

In early July, she swept both her elimination and the $130,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold final at Georgian Downs and followed that up with victories in her elimination and the $155,417 Canadian Breeders Championship at Mohawk.

She carried that four-race win streak into her Hambletonian Oaks elimination at the Meadowlands and extended it to five with a dominant 3-1/2 length win in 1:53.2. She was made the favourite in the $783,042 final but a troubled trip would lead to a heartbreaking third-place finish.

Elusive Desire returned to Ontario where she captured a $128,584 Simcoe Stakes division and the last OSS Gold final of the season. After finishing a strong second in the $617,880 Breeders Crown, she trounced her OSS counterparts in the $300,000 Super Final and finished the season with over $1 million in career earnings.


Yursa Hanover

3, 1:53.2 ($747,164)

Windsongs Legacy – Yankee Topaz – Lindy Lane

2009 summary: 16 – 7-4-2 ($377,834)

Trainer: Benoit Baillargeon

Drivers: Tim Tetrick, Mario Baillargeon, Rick Zeron

Owner: Richard Berthiaume (QC)

Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. (PA)

Yursa Hanover enjoyed another productive campaign in 2009 and established herself as one of the premier three-year-old filly trotters in North America.

In addition to being one of the highest earners, she was also one of the fastest by virtue of her 1:53.2 victory in a $168,000 division of the Del Miller Memorial on July 17 at The Meadowlands.

Her first stakes win of the season came in June at Mohawk Racetrack when she scored in a $75,000 division of the Casual Breeze. She later captured a Hudson Filly Trot elimination and then posted a win in a $46,072 division of the Bud Light Stakes at Flamboro Downs.

One of Yursa Hanover’s best efforts of the season came on October 2 at Lexington’s Red Mile where she finished second in both heats of the Kentucky Filly Futurity, including a narrow one-length loss in the $181,440 final behind Seaside.

Demonstrating her durability, Yursa Hanover capped off her sophomore campaign by sweeping both her elimination and the $214,163 Matron final at Dover Downs in a sparkling 1:53.4.

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