Jewel sparkles in Delta

April 3, 2001: Ray Gemmill does not necessarily believe the so-called experts.

And with close to a half century in the harness racing business why should he.

Those so-calleds thought Dal Reo Jewel, a nice three-year-old filly in Gemmill’s barn, would contend but not beat favored Samantha Square in the final of the Delta Pace last Saturday at Fraser Downs.

“I think you (looking straight at this TrackMarks guy) put too much emphasis on Samantha,” he said shortly after Jewel had run down Samantha in the stretch run to capture the Delta for three-year-old fillies and mares run for a purse of $29,890.

“We thought that today she would have a hell of a shot,” Ray explained gently. “If she was ready to race to her potential we knew she could win. She had been sick (she was off from Feb. 18 to March 23) but she won the previous week and had trained well all week.”

Gemmill, as usual, knew of which he spoke. Jewel won four of four starts including the Breeders Stake as a two-year old (while racing for Dal Reo Farms who sold her to Western Pacific Stable) and now has two wins and two seconds in five 2001 starts.

Samantha Square had those kind of impressive stats for trainer/driver Rick White. She had been unbeaten in three 2001 starts after winning the Sales Stake in December.

Last Saturday, Samantha had to battle Red Star Areba for the lead from the gate. Although she had the lead by the first quarter, a couple of extra steps, and a quick time of 27.2 may have taken a toll.

Jewel, piloted by Dave Hudon, sat third on the pylons, and when asked to challenge Samantha Square was equal to it. She won by 3/4 of a length in 2:02.1. Taylor Lite finished third.

Gemmill took time to give extra credit for the showing of Dal Reo Jewel.

“Grooms do not get enough credit,” Gemmill said, “And Greg Smith (Jewel’s groom) deserves lots. Greg Smith is the best thing to happen to me in a long time. Wait, don’t blow him up, he’ll want a raise.”

Gemmill is now pointing Dal Reo Jewel to Edmonton where she will get into action before the end of April.


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