03/21/2012 9:17AM

Meadowlands: Gottaseeaboutagirl seeks victory in Night Styles final

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Unraced last season at age 2, Gottaseeaboutagirl has won three of seven races, finished second twice, and earned $26,100 this year for trainer Bob Rice and owners Mike Horn, Charlie Bonham and Rice’s father, Alexander.

Not bad for a $2,000 yearling purchase.

On Friday night, the 3-year-old filly pacer will compete in the $46,000 Night Styles series final at Meadowlands Racetrack. She will start from post four with David Miller listed to handle the driving duties.

Gottaseeaboutagirl finished second to Miss Behave in her second-round division of the Night Styles last week, missing by a half-length from post seven in 1:53 2/5. A week earlier, she won from post six by a head over favorite CS Kentucky in 1:54 1/5.

“I think she’s got a good chance,” said Rice, who lives in Delaware. “I think the only thing that got her beat last week was the outside post; she had too far to come late. If she can work out a trip with some decent flow and she’s within striking distance, she can come home pretty good. I think she’ll be right there.”

Gottaseeaboutagirl is a daughter of Western Terror out of the mare Minnie Driver. Her dam is a half-sister to Hawaiian Jenna, who won the 2000 Sweetheart Pace and is the mother of millionaire Hana Hanover.

“We got her out of the bargain bin,” Rice said, laughing. “Mike Horn liked the breeding on her and he liked Western Terror; the Western Terrors have been hot. For the price she was going for, we just decided to take a shot at her.

“She was a real little horse in the sale, which is probably why she didn’t bring much. She’s still small, but she’s put together nice.”

Last year, Rice quit training Gottaseeaboutagirl in June and turned out the filly until October.

“She was a little immature; she couldn’t quite get it together,” Rice said. “We figured we’d get her ready for this year. So far, it’s been the right move. She’s just a real little horse and she wasn’t quite ready last summer.

“We liked her. She was a little sloppy gaited, but she could really come out of a hole good and had a quick step to her. As we got down close to qualifying time, she started getting on a line and she started making breaks. She just wasn’t quite ready. We turned her out and let her have some time.”

In January, Gottaseeaboutagirl won her career debut by a neck in 1:58 2/5 at Dover Downs. She won her opening round in the Tender Loving Care series at the Meadowlands, but finished fifth in both the second round and final.

“She got a little aggressive,” Rice said. “We were changing her bits around and we just couldn’t get her quite right for the second leg and the final. She had a three-week break between the two series and we were able to change some rigging on her and get her used to some earplugs and she’s been real good.”

Gottaseeaboutagirl is at her best when racing from off the pace.

“That’s going to be it, I think; she’s a closer or a stalker,” Rice said. “If she gets a good trip she’s always going to be a horse to worry about. She’ll be coming.”

Rice, who graduated in 1996 from the University of Delaware, where he studied animal science, said Gottaseeaboutagirl could race in the Bobby Weiss series at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs following the Night Styles. She also is eligible to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes as well as the Matron, Lynch, Simpson, and Reynolds stakes.

Last year, Rice won the White Ruffles series final with Tryst.

“It’s been a lot of fun the past couple years with horses like these,” said Rice, who is training a stable of nine horses. “I’d love to (win the Night Styles). I’ve trained a lot of horses for these guys over the past few years. They’ve been looking to get one like this; that was the goal. If all goes well, they’ll hopefully be able to make some good money with her. I’m happy to do it for them. They’re good owners.

“We’ve done well here the past five or six years, knock on wood. I enjoy doing it. You have to enjoy doing it if you’re going to do this for a living.”