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Shower Play Is Ready To Rumble

Published: April 25, 2020 10:01 am ET

Last Comment: April 25, 2020 10:14 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

With names like Shartin N and Caviart Ally highlighting the field of older mares gearing up for this season, there is another female foe that will be looking to make it rain in 2020. Her name is Shower Play.

After solid two- and three-year-old seasons, including an O'Brien Award as Canada's Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the year in 2018, Shower Play’s winless four-year-old season may not have been what was expected from the daughter of Shadow Play - Alice Emily.

Susie Kerwood doesn’t dwell on that less-than-stellar season. Kerwood, who co-owns Shower Play with partner Rene Dion and Martin Leveillee, reflected on the bright side of those losing efforts Shower Play put forth in 2019.

“The four-year-old year is always a tough one. You have to race against tougher horses and she had to race against horses like Shartin N, she did pace in 1:47.3 at the Meadowlands in a world record mile. Really, she was amazing,” Kerwood told Trot Insider. “She had to come from so far and the saddest part about last year I think is that if you look at her last three-quarters and last-halves in a lot of her races even at Mohawk, she paced like :51 last half and stuff like that against aged mares. I’m not going to say that all of them can do it but a lot of them can do it so it's hard to gain from there.”

Kerwood also discussed another issue that halted the mare's season.

“She ended up having a slight hairline in a front pastern, so that’s why we had to lay her off,” she noted.

“We did toy with the idea of whether we should try her again or if we should breed her and we said she loves racing, she really does. She really thrives on it so we said we’ll give her one more year and we’ll go from there. We actually trained her in 2:01 at Mohawk the day before everything closed down so she was ready to school and then qualify. So right now we are just keeping her where she is at and keeping her fit.”

While many other top mares have recently been retired to the broodmare life, Kerwood further explained how the team justified the decision to race Shower Play in 2020.

“I think if she would have struggled and struggled and struggled last year we would have just bred her, but that :47 mile, she was amazing. I would have loved to see if she was a little closer if maybe she could have been second in that race, not that third wasn't amazing. So, we started to jog her back and she was sound and x-rayed clean and everything else is great on her. She’s full of herself, she is happy she is back working and she wants to go fast. She is the kind of mare that you can just train her a couple fast trips and she's ready to go.”

Kerwood also provided an update on sophomore trotting filly Jula Shes Magic, who captured the 2019 OSS Super Final for two-year-old trotting fillies.

“She just came back from Florida, she was there with Tommy Andersson and she looks great...she's ready to go as well. She trained a couple times down there in 2:00. They’re all ready to go, it's just playing the waiting game now. There's actually nine three-year-olds training back here. We ended up buying a farm last year so we’ve been training out of here. It’s been great because we have a lot of paddock space and the horses love being outside.”

The Swedish native also gave some insight into how the country overseas is handling racing and COVID-19, and shed some light on options that could be up for consideration in Ontario.

“Sweden never really missed a beat. They have been racing all along with no attendance and their handle is through the roof. I'm sure that when we do start up we will race with no attendance also. But, in Sweden it's not like they have a paddock, when they ship in some of the trainers have their own stable type of areas, there are smaller areas for smaller stables and that's where people race out of which makes things easier for them. I said to Rene it would be nice if Mohawk would open up the backstretch at Mohawk and each section of a barn is designated for a trainer, and you raced out of the barns instead of the paddock because I think that's the biggest concern is having everyone confined in the paddock.

“I'm sure that everyone in the racing industry that is so eager to race we'd all comply with all the rules and all the precautions. I know it's not easy for the authorities to make these decisions on what to do either. But, I think the main thing is for everyone to stay healthy and let's just all try to do the best we can,” Kerwood added.

While the uncertainty persists in Ontario, Kerwood & Dion have taken all precautions to keep their staff, themselves and their stable healthy.

“We have two people that work for us and we remind them often about social distancing and they've been really good about it all. We try to just go grocery shopping every 10 days or so and stock up on what we can and we ask our help to do the same as well,” said Kerwood. “We really hardly leave the farm whatsoever. For us it’s not a big deal because we have lots to do with the new farm. It hasn't really changed our lives too much except for the fact that our three-year-olds are ready to go and can’t race. But, we have stayed healthy and we hope to keep it that way."

April 25, 2020 - 10:14 amMy favourite race mare. That

My favourite race mare. That was a terrific mile at the Meadowlands. I am looking forward to watching her race. Good luck with her!

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