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Brainard, Coleman Talk Super Finals


Published: November 12, 2009 9:53 am ET

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Five of the starters in Saturday’s three-year-old pacing filly Super Final hail from the Tracy Brainard barn, and while the New York native is expecting strong efforts from all five, she admits to being a little biased toward division point leader Shacked Up.

"She’s one of my favourite fillies," admitted Brainard, who conditions Shacked Up, Kabbalah Karen B, Cheap Motel, Not Enough and Coming Late for Bulletproof Enterprises of Boca Raton, Florida. "She’s not a real big filly, she’s just real, real tough. I really like her; she has a lot of spunk to her."

A two-time Gold final winner, Shacked Up heads into Saturday’s $300,000 battle off an unplanned three-week break in her schedule. Slated to compete in the Lady Maud eliminations at Yonkers Raceway on October 31, the daughter of Western Terror was scratched due to a low-grade fever.

"She was just running a little bit of a temperature," explained Brainard, who spends most of her time south of the border, while boyfriend Josh Marks and second trainer Scott West oversee the Ontario-based horses.

Regular reinsman Luc Ouellette will steer Shacked Up from Post 5 in Saturday’s third race, with stablemates Kabbalah Karen B getting Post 1, Cheap Motel starting from Post 3, Not Enough returning to action at Post 6, and Coming Late landing the outside post in the field of eight.

Not Enough, who leads the eight starters in earnings with $1,097,725, will make her first start since September 14 at Woodbine on Saturday. The Grinfromeartoear lass has had a stellar season, capturing the season-opening Gold final at Western Fair Raceway in May, the final of the Lismore Pace at Yonkers Raceway and the finale of the Fan Hanover Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in June, the Canadian Breeders Championship at Mohawk in July, and the final of the Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands in August. Unfortunately, she has also been plagued with health troubles that have been difficult for Brainard and her staff to pinpoint.

"She hasn’t been quite 100 per cent. We did take her to a clinic in Kentucky, and gave her some time off," the trainer said. "She trained back good, the time off couldn’t hurt her."

Driver Mark MacDonald qualified Not Enough at Mohawk on November 6 and the filly stepped around the seven-eighths mile oval to a runner-up finish in a 1:56 effort.

In addition to her arsenal of sophomore pacing fillies, Brainard will also send out three pacing colts in the sophomore contest — One More Drink, Power Off and Ideal Race — and Higher And Higher in the freshman pacing filly division.

Higher And Higher will be aiming for a return to the form she displayed earlier this fall when she captured her Bluegrass and International Stallion Stakes divisions at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky, and her Breeders Crown elimination at Woodbine.

"We got her from Paul Reid and took her to Lexington and she raced super down there," noted Brainard. "The Breeders Crown, I’m not really sure what happened there, but she came back and raced good."

A disappointing ninth after making a break in the Breeders Crown final, Western Terror miss Higher And Higher finished third in the November 7 Gold final at Woodbine, won by Western Silk.

Western Silk was an impressive three-length winner in the last regular season event, and trainer Casie Coleman is confident that the freshman pacing filly point leader has recovered from the illness that torpedoed her Breeders Crown hopes.

"She came up sick in the Breeders Crown final. That was a big, huge disappointment," admitted Coleman, who shares ownership of Western Silk with Tom Hill of Lancashire, Great Britain. "She was quite sick. She scoped a three out of five for pimples and mucous.

‘She was on antibiotics for five days, and she seems good and healthy now," added the Cambridge, Ont. resident. "She couldn’t have raced any better (November 7). Mark gave her a perfect trip and she exploded off cover. She was very, very good."

Regular reinsman Mark MacDonald will steer Western Silk from Post 8 in Saturday’s $300,000 contest, and while Coleman’s first choice would have been a spot closer to the rail, she believes the Western Terror daughter’s skills will help her overcome the post position.

"Obviously, we could have drawn a little bit better, but she comes from off the pace best anyway, so I’m not worried about it," said the trainer, who was in Surrey, British Columbia on Wednesday for the BC Breeders Classic Day at Fraser Downs and to host a silent auction fundraiser for the Burn Unit of the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, BC, where she spent time after a barn accident at Sandown Park a decade ago.

In addition to Western Silk, Coleman will also harness three-year-old pacing colt Primary Purpose in Saturday’s sophomore pacing colt final on behalf of Surrey, BC resident Rod Therres and Victoria, BC resident Charles MacFarlane. Primary Purpose will start from Post 7 with MacDonald in the race bike, and Coleman is hoping for a big mile from the Cammibest gelding after a runner-up effort in a prep race at Woodbine on the weekend.

"He had tailed off a little, but he was back to himself there Saturday night (November 7). He raced very good," said the trainer. "We’ve got him as good as we can get him for Saturday night."

First-race post time for Saturday’s 12-race program is 7:30 p.m., and if you can’t make it to Woodbine Racetrack for the championship card be sure to tune in for a special three-hour edition of Race Night on the Score. Coast-to-coast coverage airs from 8:00 - 11:00 p.m.

To participate in Standardbred Canada's OSS Super Final Trivia contest, head over to Jeff Porchak's blog and answer the questions.

To view Saturday’s harness racing entries, click here.

Click here for TrackIT’s preliminary program pages for Saturday evening’s card of racing.


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