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Ready To Put On A Show


Published: February 15, 2012 6:41 pm ET

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Aged pacing mares could have another divisional juggernaut back on track shortly as harness racing's richest pacing filly at two and three is poised to make her return.

After 16 months on the shelf, Put On A Show will make her five-year-old debut in a qualifier on Thursday morning at the Meadowlands. Co-owner Richard Young told Trot Insider that the knee irritated by a bone chip discovered in 2011 is now healed.

"She's training very well. The vet thinks the knee was a deterioration over time,” said Young. "If that's the case, she may be dangerous this year as she likely raced semi-sore at three."

It's for the best that Put On A Show's knee is stronger, as Young states that the Chris Ryder trainee has grown into "a gorgeous monster" standing 16.2 hands high and "wide like a truck," requiring the connections to purchase a custom-made bike to fit her race frame.

During tomorrow's qualifying session, Put On A Show's connections will also be keeping a close eye on her soon-to-be rival, reigning divisional champion Anndrovette, who makes her own season's debut in the following qualifier. Tim Tetrick is listed to drive both mares.

Thursday's qualifier will be followed with a second test for Put On A Show the following week. That will give Young, who co-owns with his wife Joanne and Craig Henderson, the indication he needs to know if the Rocknroll Hanover-Stienams Place mare is able to compete at the sport's highest level. Young says she will only race if she's able to compete in stakes events, and if she can't then she'll become a broodmare.

"Being realistic, off almost 17 months I can't expect her to win right away. She goes right into the fire with no preps. It won't be easy, but we will know."

In the event that all goes well in the two qualifiers, look for Put On A Show to debut in the Overbid Series at The Meadowlands on March 2. If she's not competitive, she'll stop racing. If she is, Young's keeping his options open.

"Since there are so few races for mares until July, we have her eligible to some open never know," noted Young with his trademark wit. "We are crossing our fingers. A sound 'Show' -- bigger, stronger -- has our hearts pumping, yet we know it's not easy to come back from injury after that long off."

The Youngs and Henderson are very excited, as is the normally calm, cool and collected trainer Chris Ryder.

"He can't wait," said Young. "He openly says she's the best he's ever had. Usually you can barely get a smile out of him."

To view Thursday's qualifying entries, click on the following link: Thursday Entries - Meadowlands Racetrack.

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