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Brooklyn Finds Her Stride For Antonacci

Published: October 20, 2010 7:36 pm ET

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Brooklyn has made great strides since her first trip to the racetrack for a qualifier in June resulted in trainer Frank Antonacci giving the two-year-old filly trotter an overhaul. Last week, Brooklyn won a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington’s Red Mile, giving her four victories in six starts this season for the Adam Victor & Son Stable. She returns to action Thursday in a division of the International Stallion Stakes.

“She always wanted to be a good horse,” Antonacci said. “I got her qualified in June, but she had some gait issues. I told Adam [Victor Jr.] he was going to have to be patient. If we’re going to go forward, we have to go way backwards again.

“We took another two months to where I thought she was better gaited and could handle her speed better. Then we were able to use the late closer program in New York to bring her along nicely and get her some confidence.”

Brooklyn won her pari-mutuel debut at Tioga Downs on August 27, followed by a second-place finish and two more wins before going off stride in a division of the Simpson Memorial at Vernon Downs on October 7.

“She absolutely freaked out,” Antonacci said. “She’d always been an intelligent, great headed filly. That night it was 50 degrees and 50 mile-per-hour winds. Windy, cold nights are the worst enemies of any young horse, especially fillies. She came out for the post parade and got hit by that big wind and she wanted to break everything. She wanted to go completely nuts.”

Otherwise, Brooklyn has exhibited all the qualities Antonacci likes to see in a filly.

“She’s great to be around,” he said. “She’s got one of those dispositions you want in a filly. She’s tough enough that she wants to pass horses and doesn’t want to be passed. That’s what you need in a trotting filly. Some of these trotting fillies can get very pouty very quickly. If anything, she wants to do too much for you rather than not enough.”

Brooklyn sold for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. She is a daughter of Conway Hall and the first foal out of the mare Anna Karins Girl. Mom is a half sister to 2008 Hambletonian Oaks winner Creamy Mimi and the family also includes 2002 Dan Patch Award winner Pizza Dolce (best two-year-old filly of the year) and stakes winners Mars Bar and Big Stick Lindy.

“Adam and I were talking and he wanted to buy a trotting filly,” Antonacci said. “He wanted something with enough pedigree behind her to be a standout-type horse and possibly go into his broodmare band. That family has been very good to our farm and our breeding operation, Lindy Farms.

“I thought it was a good opportunity. It seems like it’s worked out pretty well. She’s a very nice filly and hopefully we see more of her in the future.”

Brooklyn is eligible to the $600,000 Goldsmith Maid at Woodbine Racetrack (eliminations, if necessary, October 29; final November 6), but Antonacci was uncertain whether she would go to Canada.

“If it happens to fall in our lap and she performs well again this week, we’ll have to discuss with Adam,” Antonacci said. “I think it’s very hard to race two-year-olds up in Canada at this time of year. I would have to be extremely confident of her chances up there to take her there. There’s probably a better shot that this would be her last start of the year, but this is horseracing and I’m not going to say it’s for sure.

“She needs to grow up a little bit more,” he added. “For not a very big horse, she’s got a great big gait. I think as she grows up she’s going to learn how to handle that better.”


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.

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