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State Treasurer Serves Notice

Published: April 15, 2016 3:48 pm ET

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On Friday morning, Canada's 2015 Horse of the Year made an emphatic statement with his first charted mile of 2016 -- a sizzling qualifier in Florida.

At Southern Oaks Training Center in Florida, State Treasurer and trainer Dr. Ian Moore were entered in a one-horse qualifier...not that it mattered as the mile would have left him alone at the wire regardless. With the fastest mile in track history, State Treasurer qualified in a jaw-dropping 1:49.4.

"Well, [owners] Allan and Sally [MacDonald] were there, and I had trained him a couple of times in :53. I've just been training him alone, no one to go with him. And they wouldn't qualify with me so I had to go alone...but that's alright," Moore told Trot Insider. "So I told Allan I'm going to down to the half around :56 and probably go a mile in :51.

"When we get going along with the gate, the guy on the gate says 'faster, Doc?' because we were right on it and I said 'no, that's good' and he turned around and tapped the roof of the truck, so the guy drove faster. Well, Treasurer's gotta follow it," said Moore with a chuckle. "I'm laid back on him pretty good going to the quarter, and the more I pull on him the more he pulls on me."

Moore had been very pleased with his soon-to-be-double millionaire during his winter training, noting that a bit change has made the horse much more manageable. However, that wasn't the bit the horse wore during his qualifying mile.

"I told [groom] Teesha Symes to take it out and we just had a Birch bit in him and I didn't have much control. He tossed his head about three times going to the quarter."

After fractions of :26, :52.3 and 1:19.4, the mile was timed in 1:49.4. It marks just the 13th sub-1:50 qualifying mile in harness racing history.

"I left the plugs in and didn't ask him at all. The last quarter's a little slow probably but what would you expect? He's ready to roll."

As a six-year-old, State Treasurer (Real Desire - Ideal Treasure) won nine races and banked more than $986,000 for Moore and the MacDonalds en route to divisonal honours. Moore and Co. will be heading back to Ontario next week, with plans for State Treasurer to make his seasonal pari-mutuel debut in the Preferred class at Mohawk Racetrack. There was never any plan to race in the Levy series at Yonkers, with Moore estimating State Treasurer's first major test would be around the end of May in the 2016 Molson Pace at Western Fair, "if they have us back."

With a number of standouts from 2015 like U.S. Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit already racing, Moore is well aware of how fierce the competition will be in this year's older pacing division and it will be no easy feat to repeat as the divisional champion.

"There are a lot of good horses around this year...Wiggle It Jiggleit looked pretty impressive last week, and there are some other ones in there too. It's going to be a little tighter than it was the year before."

Having said that, Moore doesn't necessarily feel that the 2015 version of State Treasurer was the top of the line model.

"I was quoted two years ago, I told Allan and Sally that he was better than he was the year before and last year I said the same...well, he seems even better again. He's just been a pleasure to train down."

The speed of this morning's mile doesn't worry the veteran trainer, knowing that the competition will be just as ready when they're lining up against him.

"He's going to have to go in :48 every start probably by the looks of things...or even more, just to be competitive," stated Moore. "So what do you want, train in :55 and give them eight more seconds in a race? When I have them ready, they're ready."

Moore looks to maintain his positive momentum from a career-best training year that saw him take home the O'Brien Award of Horsemanship. While he's missing the first leg of Mohawk's The Diplomat Pacing Series (set to start on April 23), he plans to drop a handful of sophomore colts in the box for the second leg on April 30.


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