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Big stride aids freshman trotter My Miss Caroline
Thursday, October 28, 2010 - by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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Kimberly French

Louisville, KY --- There is certainly more than one reason My Miss Caroline has enjoyed such an outstanding freshman campaign, but Robert Taylor, the filly’s conditioner and co-owner, feels her action is the main component of her success.

“She’s just a medium sized filly; not real big and not real small,” explained the 28-year-old Bolivar, Tennessee resident. “She stands about 15.1, but her biggest attribute is how she gets over the ground. She really has a big stride and covers the ground like a horse much larger than her actual size.”

The Illinois-bred daughter of Psychic Spirit and Miss Clara T trotted 12 pari-mutuel miles this year with 11 victories and one third place finish. Owned by La Bella Vita Stables, Taylor and Kevin Dixon, My Miss Caroline collected $180,575 in purse money and owns a lifetime mark of 1:57.2.

Balmoral Park photo
My Miss Caroline won 11 times in 12 starts as a freshman, with earnings of $180,575.

The filly commenced her career in a $4,000 Vaporize Stake division on July 11 at Balmoral Park and captured the $49,500 Fox Valley Flan Final on August 4 at Balmoral, the $35,000 Illinois State Fair Filly Final on August 19 at Springfield, the $35,000 Shawnee on August 28 at Du Quoin, the $110,000 Lady Lincoln Land at Balmoral on October 6, the $45,850 Violet Stake final at Balmoral on October 20 and the $50,300 Hanover Stake, also at Balmoral, on October 27.

The only time My Miss Caroline has not visited the winner’s circle was after a third place finish in the $71,000 American-National final on September 22 at Balmoral Park.

“The two fillies that beat her (Crème De Cocoa and Caitrin Hall) are very nice fillies, so we were happy with her performance that she put up that night,” Taylor said. “She came out of the race good and she tried real hard, like she always does. I don’t think anybody was disappointed with her.”

Her connections purchased the filly privately from her breeder, Joe Springfield of Brownsville, Tennessee, last January and even before he got her in his barn, Taylor realized My Miss Caroline definitely had ability.

“A lot of horses start off on the right foot, but I could tell she was going to be a nice filly from day one,” he recalled.

The filly has also performed so well because of her attitude and mental capabilities.

“She’s very mature for a 2-year-old,” Taylor said. “She’s really laid back. She loves her treats, trains really well and generally takes good care of herself. When she’s in the barn, most of the time she’s laying down resting and she doesn’t allow anything to get her worked up or upset. She’s not nervous at all.”

Although she’s always been cleanly gaited, Taylor decided to put hobbles on My Miss Caroline before she started racing.

“When she was training down, she would kind of overtrot herself and try to get into gear too quickly,” he said. “That’s when I started training her with the hobbles to steady her gait a bit and ever since then she’s been real good.”

Her triumph in the Hanover will be the last of this season, as the filly will begin her winter vacation.

“We’ll just turn her out for a couple months and start jogging her around January 1,” Taylor said. “Next year we will kind of play it by ear. She will be staked to all the Illinois races and the American-National and Hanover and we are thinking about maybe taking her to Mohawk to try a couple races in Canada. She really has been a very nice filly to train and work with on a day-to-day basis.”

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