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Blais Discusses His Stable, Stars

Published: January 26, 2015 4:48 pm ET

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All things considered, trainer Luc Blais was pretty happy about his first year training for prominent Standardbred owner Serge Godin. While in discussion with Trot Insider, the conditioner also provided an update on Intimidate, Prestidigitator and Wheeling N Dealin.

And he likes the look of 2015 so far, with O’Brien Award finalist Intimidate heading a 21-horse stable that includes returning star Prestidigitator, promising three-year-olds Migrate Blue Chip and Lookslikeachpndale and 11 two-year-olds purchased at various North American auctions.

“I like the stable. I have a good feeling about our purchases this year,” said Blais, who took over the Godin string from Dustin Jones at the end of the 2013 campaign.

Blais also sold Godin his half-interest in Intimidate, a move he says he doesn’t regret at all, despite the fact the gelding (now six years of age) won two of racing’s biggest pots in 2014, the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk Racetrack and the $500,000 TVG final at the Meadowlands Racetrack, victories that made him a clear favourite for an O’Brien Award as champion older trotter in Canada and maybe got him into the mix, as well, for Canadian horse of the year.

“I’m still the trainer. He stays here. That was enough for me,” said Blais. “I’m happy for the owners (Godin of Montreal and breeder Judy Farrow of Hemmingford, Quebec), and I get to do what I love to do. I appreciate the opportunity to train quality horses.”

One of those quality horses is Prestidigitator, due to return to the races this year after an absence of more than two years. The six-year-old son of Kadabra, a career winner of $870,000, hasn’t raced since winning the $300,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack in November of 2012.

“He’s training now, and will probably be back at the end of April if all goes according to plan. He’s a beautiful horse, and I think the rest really helped him. If he can stay healthy, I think he’ll fit with the best older trotters.”

Wheeling N Dealin, a former two-year-old champion, had trouble making that adjustment last year at four and is the one getting the extended rest this year. “He has no big problems, he’s just getting a break,” Blais said.

As for millionaire Intimidate, Blais said he’s farther along physically at this point in the year than in either of the last two seasons. “Everything looks good. We gave him two months (off) last year before the big (fall) races and I think that’s the reason. He finished fresh.”

The campaign mapped out for him in 2015 is largely the same as last year, when the Justice Hall gelding started in the Cutler, Maple Leaf Trot, Cashman, Earl Rowe, Crawford, Breeders Crown and TVG.

“It’s a tough group but he’s shown he belongs with them,” said Blais. “You just hope he stays healthy."

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)

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