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Shea Brings Power To Willowdale Leg

Published: January 15, 2010 7:09 pm ET

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Trainer Joey Shea could be in for a big weekend.

The Montreal native sends out upset hopeful, Giddy Up Delight, in Friday's Snowshoe Pacing Series final, but also has two other major stakes prospects in Handsome Harry and Keep It Real, who are the morning line favourites in their respective divisions in the second leg of the Willowdale Pacing Series, Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack.

Keep It Real, the defeated favourite in the 2009 Pepsi North America Cup, has a chance to take a stranglehold of the older horse division with a strong performances this weekend and the $75,000 final on January 23.

If the Real Artist colt, owned by Wayne Whebby, can keep his feet healthy after a difficult fall, there could be no stopping him.

"He looks good," Shea said, about Keep It Real, the 2-1 choice in the Willowdale's second division. "We had a lot of problems with his feet from mid-to-late last year, so we gave him time off after the Breeders Crown and he's responded. He seems to be at the top of his game right now."

Keep it Real raced on October 31 and was not back until two qualifiers on December 3 and December 17. His racing return saw him miss by a nose over a sloppy track and two subsequent wins, including a score in the Willowdale's first leg.

"Wayne decided to give him some time off and try to get him back. They were going to stop with him, but Wayne said let's just give him a little time, race him in the Willowdale, see how he does and go from there. He could have a good four-year-old year if he stays healthy and his feet are good."

Paul MacDonell will get the drive from Post 6. Post-time is set for 9:36 p.m. (Race 7).

Earlier in the night, in the Willowdale's first division (Race 4, 8:33 p.m.) Handsome Harry is the 2-1 favourite against seven rivals.

Shea took over training of the 15-time U.S.-based winner for the Willowdale series from Mark Ford. The Dream Away colt was second last time after a clear lead in the stretch in the first leg.

"He was on top by three and just got caught at the wire last week," Shea said. "He had just shipped up here. He trained good this week, so we hope for the best. He's a nice horse. He'll make a nice four-year-old."

Shea said Handsome Harry will go back to the Meadowlands for the start of the Aquarius Pacing series next month.

Rick Zeron gets the drive from Post 4.

First race post-time for Woodbine's 12-race card is 7:30 p.m.

To view Saturday's entries, click here.


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