Stoebe Looking Forward To ‘Fun Summer’ With Instagram Model

Instagram Model at Gaitway Farm
Published: April 12, 2024 03:52 pm EDT

Instagram Model changed physically during her winter layoff, but the ways “Iggy” remained the same might be most pleasing to trainer Annie Stoebe as she prepares the four-year-old female trotter for the start of a new campaign on Saturday, April 13 at The Meadowlands.

The 2023 New York Sire Stakes champion and 2022 Jim Doherty Memorial winner will make her seasonal debut in an $18,000 USD conditioned trot as she gets ready for the first round of the Miss Versatility Series on May 4 at the Big M. Instagram Model has won eight career races, all in open or state-restricted stakes, and earned $545,986.

“She came back awesome,” said Stoebe. “When I brought her back, she had put on more weight and muscle and got bigger, but I don’t think she lost an ounce of fitness while she was off. I’ve always said that her work ethic is like nothing else, and that’s just as true now training back down. I’m looking forward to a fun summer with her.”

Instagram Model is eligible to a number of stakes this year, with the focus on races restricted to mares. She will skip the Graduate Series and Hambletonian Maturity, which are specifically for four-year-olds but would require taking on male foes.

“We decided to focus on most of the mare races just to give her the best shot,” said Stoebe, who trains Instagram Model for owner Lynn Curry. “I understand the Graduate and Maturity go for a lot more money, but I don’t want to do that to her. She’s been so good to us; we want to be equally as good to her.”

The Miss Versatility Series features six preliminary rounds followed by a final on Sept. 19 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. Five of the prelims are at The Meadowlands with one, on June 1, at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Mohawk race is one week prior to the Ontario oval hosting eliminations for the Armbro Flight Stakes for trotting mares.

Among the 21 mares eligible to the Miss Versatility in addition to Instagram Model are Dan Patch Award winners Bond and Special Way, two-time O’Brien Award recipient Adare Castle, and millionaires M Ms Dream and Refined.

Instagram Model will take her first step toward the series by facing nine male rivals on Saturday at The Meadowlands. She will start from post nine with driver David Miller and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. Oh Look Magic, who leaves from post eight with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke, is the 5-2 favourite in the 10-horse field.

It will be Miller’s first start with Instagram Model aside from her second-place finish behind Mambacita in a qualifier last week at The Meadowlands. The daughter of Chapter Seven-Check Out Trixie was timed in 1:54.3 with a :27.4 final quarter.

“David got to train her once and qualify her; he’ll get a good feel for her on Saturday,” said Stoebe. “She did everything we could have asked [in her qualifier]. She finished strong and came out of it great. I wish I had a little better post on Saturday, but it is what it is.”

In addition to Instagram Model, Stoebe is getting three-year-old female trotter Chapalonia ready for her upcoming season. Last year, the daughter of Chapter Seven-Avalonia won the consolation division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes and was a Breeders Crown finalist. She will qualify on Saturday morning at The Meadowlands.

“It’s very exciting,” said Stoebe. “I haven’t raced since November, so finally getting back to racing feels so good.”

Racing begins at 6:20 p.m. (EDT) at The Meadowlands.


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