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O'Brien Profiles - Two-Year-Old Trotting Colts/Geldings

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Published: January 22, 2009 11:40 am ET

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With the 2008 O'Brien Awards less than two weeks away, the SC website will shine the spotlight on the finalists in each O'Brien division.

Today we profile the two-year-old trotting colt division.

ENCORE ENCORE – Encore Encore established himself as one of the premier rookie colt trotters in North America in 2008.

After finishing seventh in his first start of the season, the son of Broadway Hall - Keys La Nina rattled off four straight wins, including a division of the Reynolds Stakes at Pocono Downs, a division of the Tompkins-Geers at Tioga Downs and his Peter Haughton Memorial Elimination at The Meadowlands in a life's best 1:55.3.

Unfortunately, the Richard Gillock trainee was scratched sick from the $500,000 Final but bounced back later in the year with victories in a $98,000 Bluegrass Stakes division at Lexington, a $30,000 Wellwood Memorial Elimination at Mohawk Racetrack and a $23,000 Valley Victory Elimination at Woodbine Racetrack.

Encore Encore concluded his freshman season with 12 top three finishes in 15 starts and just over $406,000 in earnings.

FEDERAL FLEX - Federal Flex left little doubt that he belonged in the upper echelons of North America's two-year-old colt trotters.

The compact son of Muscles Yankee - Scully FBI was a natural from day one. After winning two consecutive qualifying races, he debuted in a $20,000 division of the first round of the Bridger Trotting Series at Mohawk Racetrack and won easily for co-owner/driver Jody Jamieson in 1:58.2.

He opted to bypass the second leg and then came back to capture the $50,000 Final on August 21 in a solid 1:56.4. That was followed by a dominant 1:56.1 tally in his $111,636 Champlain Stakes division, also at Mohawk.

Prominent Ontario owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld were so impressed with what they saw, they decided to purchase a 20 per cent interest in the trotting colt just prior to the William Wellwood Memorial eliminations in his fourth career start. They joined a partnership that already included Jamieson along with Ken Henwood and trainer Jeff Gillis.

The result was another dominant win in his $30,000 split in 1:56.2. As expected, he was heavily favoured the next week in the $514,100 Final but had his only poor result of the season when he tied up and eventually rolled off stride in the late stages of the race.

Federal Flex rebounded from adversity with a victory in the $718,000 Valley Victory Final at Woodbine Racetrack on October 25 and a strong third-place finish from post 10 in the $700,000 Breeders Crown at The Meadowlands.


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