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The 'Show' Goes On For Ryder

Published: October 20, 2010 7:29 pm ET

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Chris Ryder needs only two words to sum up his time so far with three-year-old filly pacer Put On A Show.

“Absolutely great,” the trainer said.

Best of all for Ryder, the show goes on.

Put On A Show, the No. 3-ranked horse in harness racing’s top 10 poll, races Friday in a division of the Glen Garnsey Memorial at Lexington’s Red Mile. Put On A Show, with regular driver Tim Tetrick in the sulky, is coming off her win in the $500,000 Breeders Crown on October 9 and has won 12 of 14 races this year.

She has won 19 of 23 career starts, finished second on three occasions, and earned $1.82 (U.S.) million for owners Craig Henderson, Richard Young, and Joanne Young. Her purses are the record for most money earned at ages two and three combined for a filly pacer. The previous record of $1.77 million (U.S.) was set by Miss Easy in 1990-91.

“You have to be proud of that achievement,” Ryder said. “As I’ve said for a month or so, she just keeps on giving and giving. We’re so proud of her. It’s just been a great ride. The Breeders Crown was what we wanted badly; it was great to win that. She’s just a big achieving mare. It’s really special.”

Put On A Show is undefeated in three lifetime starts at The Red Mile, including a victory in the $171,000 Nadia Lobell in September. In the Nadia Lobell, Put On A Show got the lead at the halfway point, reached in :53.2 seconds, and paced to a three-quarter-length win in 1:49.4.

Since a sixth-place finish in the Mistletoe Shalee on August 7 at the Meadowlands, Put On A Show has raced more on the front, and won five consecutive starts. Counting the Mistletoe Shalee, Put On A Show led at the half in just two of her first nine races this year. Following that race, she has been in front at the half in four of five.

“We had a hiccup in the Mistletoe Shalee,” Ryder said. “We’d been racing from off the pace and that day it didn’t work. We’ve changed. Timmy’s been putting her on the front, and she still wins. I’ve seen three races where she’s made the lead in :53-seconds first half. It makes you a little nervous when they’re doing that, and she’s still won.”

Part of Put On A Show’s success might be attributed to her size.

“She’s a filly that looks like a colt; that’s what I like about her,” Ryder said. “Looks don’t matter a lot once you start racing, but she’s an imposing mare.”

One race Ryder really wanted to win was this season’s Breeders Crown. Last year, Put On A Show finished second to Fancy Filly. After Put On A Show’s victory at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Ryder expressed relief.

“That just goes with the territory,” Ryder said of dealing with the pressure of big races. “I just try to focus on the horse and not let the pressure alter your thinking. You just try to take care of her as an individual. It’s in the back of your mind, of course, but you can only take care of the horse. That’s all you can do.”

Following the Garnsey, Put On A Show has the American-National at Balmoral Park (November 13) on her schedule and, possibly, the Cinderella at Maywood on November 19.

In addition, the plan is for Put On A Show to continue racing next season as a four-year-old.

“I think she’s a horse that’s just going to keep improving,” Ryder said.

Last year, Ryder told the filly’s owners he thought Put On A Show would be a better three-year-old. He was worried he misspoke after she won seven of nine races and earned $732,308 (U.S.).

“I couldn’t expect her to have a much better year,” he said, laughing, “but I got lucky and was reasonably right, I suppose.

“We’re just happy she’s still in good shape and is still formidable. We’re really blessed to be a part of it.”

Put On A Show is not the only standout on Friday’s card at the Red Mile. The other Glen Garnsey Memorial division includes Shady Daisy winner and Breeders Crown runner-up Rock N Soul.

Poof Shes Gone, who was the O'Brien and Dan Patch Award winner as best two-year-old filly trotter in 2009, is among the horses entered in the Bluegrass Stakes, which was divided into three divisions. Poof Shes Gone is in the same division as Breeders Crown winner Impressive Kemp, Kentucky Filly Futurity champion Fashion Feline, and stakes winners Spicy Wings and Glide Power.

The second split finds Hambletonian Oaks winner Bar Slide and Elegantimage champ Ultimate Cameron. Millionaire Costa Rica is in the first division, along with stakes winners Springtime Volo, Behindclosedoors, Munis Blue Chip, and Action Broadway.

Breeders Crown winner Manofmanymissions is in second of three International Stallion Stakes divisions for two-year-old male trotters. Bluegrass Stakes division winner Neal is in the opening division and another Bluegrass winner, Big Rigs, is in the third.

Strike An Attitude, a Bluegrass winner and Breeders Crown runner-up, is in the first division of the International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old filly pacers, along with Sweetheart winner Honky Tonk Woman. The second division includes stakes winner So Perfect and Sweetheart runner-up Ms Malicious.


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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