Lori Ferguson, a Standardbred breeder from Woodville, Ont., puts a great deal of thought into the names she selects for her colts and fillies. Her most recognizable moniker was Billyjojimbob, whose name came from the closing sequence of the television show ‘The Waltons.’
Billyjojimbob would go on to become one of the most successful Ontario-bred trotters of all time, and is still the only Canadian-bred to win the prestigious Elitlopp, having accomplished the feat in 1992. The latest trotter bred and named by Ferguson is the Angus Hall lass Galbraith, who will start in the first of six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots events for two-year-old trotting fillies tonight at Mohawk Racetrack.
“Her dam, Dream Inspired, is from one of Harry Rutherford’s good trotting families,” Ferguson said, referring to the owner of Cool Creek Farm which has produced many good trotters over the years, including the $1.3-million winner Casual Breeze, who hails from the same family as Galbraith.
“We try to have a theme for the names of the foals of each of our mares. I decided with Dream Inspired’s foals to go with a Scottish surname. I wanted to name her first foal (a filly by Kadabra) Rutherford, but that was already taken, so I called her Rutherford Lass,” explained Ferguson, who operates her farm with her husband, Richard, and notes that Ferguson also fits into that category.
Rutherford Lass earned $18,700 in the OSS last year at two and has finished second in her most recent outings, overnights at Georgian Downs and Grand River Raceway for trainer Wayne Henry.
When Dream Inspired foaled a filly by Angus Hall in 2012, Ferguson selected the name Galbraith for her. “It’s a name well known in the harness racing world, so I thought it was appropriate,” she explained. Likely the most famous Galbraith in harness racing is Ontario native Clint Galbraith, a member of harness racing’s hall of fame and the developer of the great Niatross.
The filly was purchased privately as a weanling by Brad Duplisea of Quebec, who has two mares boarded at Ferguson’s farm. “We met through Twitter. He contacted me and asked if I would board some mares for him and it’s worked out very well. He’s an excellent owner and adores his horses.”
Duplisea grew up in P.E.I., right across the street from the Charlottetown Driving Park, and sent Galbraith there to receive her early training from Ron Matheson. She was then shipped to another P.E.I. native, Ronnie MacLean, to race in Ontario.
Tonight’s Grassroots event marks the first OSS outing for Galbraith and her second lifetime start. She’ll be driven by James MacDonald from Post 7. The fillies are featured in Race 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9 on the program.