Millar Discusses 'Youthful' Final

Published: April 7, 2010 01:03 pm EDT

The $60,000 final of the Youthful Pacing Series for three-year-old colts and geldings is all set for this Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack, and it is truly a wide-open


Prominent owner George Millar will have strength in numbers, however, as he sends out the formidable entry of Legal Justice and Top Gear.

Legal Justice is the only colt in the field with a chance at the series sweep after back-to-back victories in the preliminaries. His victory in the first leg came as a shock to horseplayers who let him get away at odds of 45-1, but not so much to his owner.

“I was pleasantly surprised he won but couldn’t believe he was that overlooked,” admitted Millar. “He’s a well-bred colt, but is still green and it’s just been a case of him starting to learn what it’s all about. I’ve always had high hopes for him.”

Prior to this series, the gelded son of Western Hanover, out of Millar’s stakes-winning mare Catch A Wish, had won once in just four trips postward. Although, he’s been impressive with two straight wins, Millar believes there is room for improvement.

“Sylvain (Filion – the driver) said he was lugging in a bit at the finish of both races,” he said. “His feet were just a bit tender and pinching him so we did some work with him this week and think he’ll be good for the final.”

A foot issue forced the scratch of stablemate Top Gear from last week’s second leg of the series. The colt finished a close second in the opening round, but Millar said he was not operating at one hundred per cent.

“He (Top Gear) was just unsteady the whole mile and we could tell he was off somewhere,” he explained. “It turned out that he had a gravel pocket in his back foot. We cut it out and he trained very well for us this week. He’s already had some tough races this year so I don’t think the week off will hurt him from a conditioning standpoint.”

Like Legal Justice, Top Gear has a mark of 1:52.1 taken this season. He is a gelded son of Real Desire from Millar’s Trust Me Ashley, who is named after his daughter. In fact, he recently attended his daughter’s wedding in South Africa and expects her and her new husband to be in attendance this Friday.

When asked to pick which colt he likes better at this point, Millar had a difficult time.

“I really do like them both, but if I had to choose one I’d probably lean towards Top Gear. He’s just bigger and more rugged and maybe a bit tougher at this stage.”

Legal Justice will start from Post 3 in the field of 10, while Top Gear has drawn Post 8. The other preliminary leg winners, Lil Bit Lil Bit and Ashton Seelster, will start from Posts 4 and 6, respectively.

First post for Friday’s 12-race card is 7:30 p.m.

To view the field for the final of the Youthful Pacing Series and the rest of Woodbine's Friday card, click here.