"I would say her gait and her attitude were [key to her consistency throughout the year] because she had a big gait and she just had a tremendous attitude to win. Those two things really were her biggest features."
The Bob McIntosh-homebred L A Delight was the unanimous winner in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category last weekend at the 2015 O'Brien Awards.
Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce (left) makes the presentation to Nicole Pedden (caretaker of L A Delight), Al, Bob, and Patty McIntosh.
The Bettors Delight-West Of L A filly had a near-perfect debut season for Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc., winning all 11 consecutive stakes events that she competed in from 12 starts and earning just over $700,000 to make her the top money-earning horse in Canada for 2015.
"I think that every race was impressive, but as we got to the last races, she got tested in the [Ontario Sires Stakes Super] Final," McIntosh told Trot Insider after the awards presentation on Saturday night. "I think that was the best race because she didn't have an easy trip, she stepped up and she was a really good filly. It was pretty impressive."
L A Delight won the $250,000 Super Final in October by four lengths, equalling her lifetime mark of 1:51.2 that she had set about a month earlier in the $455,000 Shes A Great Lady Stakes. She also earned victories in the Champlain Stakes, Eternal Camnation, four other Ontario Sires Stakes events and the Whenuwishuponastar Series -- named for McIntosh's 1996 O'Brien Award-winning freshman filly.
An unassuming filly training down, L A Delight wasn't staked heavily and remained on home turf for her freshman campaign, but that could change in her sophomore year.
"Well, she's going to dictate her stakes schedule to me. When she's ready, I'll let her," said McIntosh. "But she's eligible to everything so we'll see what she dictates."
The 63-year-old Hall of Fame horseman said that L A Delight just started back training at his farm in Windsor, Ont.
"She's been jogging six miles a day," he said. "She's back in good shape. She didn't grow a whole lot, but she put a lot of muscle on."
In addition to L A Delight, there may be some more star McIntosh homebreds to keep an eye out for this year.
"I don't want to jinx them, but I'll tell you one thing: I like more of them than I dislike them so that's a good sign," smiled McIntosh.