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McNair On Stable Standouts

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Published: April 3, 2009 9:27 am ET

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Following her Silver Reign Series sweep at Woodbine Racetrack, Trot Insider caught up with Warrawee Koine’s trainer Gregg McNair to find out what is next for the undefeated three-year-old daughter of Astreos and a few of her stablemates.

After winning the opening legs with ease, Warrawee Koine overcame an outside post position in the finale on March 23 with a wire-to-wire romp in 1:53.

“Duane Avery trained her as a two-year-old,” explains McNair. “She had some minor problems and he turned her out early. Then he brought her over to us to start back jogging.”

“She’s been good. She’s got a real good pedigree on her - Warrawee Koine's dam is a full sister to Cammibest. She’s got some size to her and she’s aggressive enough,” says McNair, who is pointing her towards the Spring Series at Woodbine beginning on April 27.

While Warrawee Koine will be heading to the track to compete in her second stakes series, stablemates and training buddies Trail Boss and Striking Lindsey will be getting ready to qualify for May 1st.

“We worked the pair of them at Mohawk around the 10th of March and trained them in 2:05.”

McNair is aiming to have Trail Boss, a three-year-old Apaches Fame pacer and last year’s Battle of Waterloo champ, ready for the $500,000 Upper Canada Cup at Georgian Downs in May before competing in the Ontario Sires Stakes – but he says he is taking it one week at a time.

“[Trail Boss] could handle another second or two, that would be pretty good for him. If he can develop as good as the horses he’s racing against he could have a decent year.”

As for Striking Lindsey, an OSS Gold and Bud Light Stakes winner, McNair says the sophomore trotter could have a nice looking year ahead of him too.

“We’ve had quite a few Striking Sahbras and some of them haven’t turned the corner very good from two to three. If he goes ahead, he’s staked up to turn around and have a good year.

“He was competitive in the big races [last year]. I guess if I was to say anything, he made a couple of mistakes last year going for pretty good money so to stay on stride there more would help him a bit.”

While the boys are on schedule, McNair says his OSS filly Icey Breeze suffered a setback last month, which has put her three weeks behind.

After spending the winter at part-owner Mary Clark’s Highland Thoroughbred Farms, Icey Breeze resumed training on February 1st. McNair says she was training good before the setback, but will now have to wait until June 1st to qualify.

“She’s staked up to pretty much everything in Ontario,” says McNair. “To make her a better horse she has to stop falling down on the racetrack. If she was a little quieter that would help her a bit. She’s a little high strung. We had a lot of trouble last year with her blood, which you can tell by her races. She’d race good one week and
then no good the next week. She was up and down all year. That’s just the way she is. She’s hyper and she doesn’t relax very well on the track.”

The Western Terror filly ended her two-year-old campaign on a higher note though, finishing second to O’Brien Award winner St Lads Popcorn in a pair of Trillium divisions.

“It looks like St Lads Popcorn should be the top three-year-old again this year if she stays consistent,” says McNair respectfully. “She was the best [filly] all year last year. Things would have to change quite a bit to say [Icey Breeze] could be competitive with her.”

While Eagle Luck, a six-year-old son of Camluck, had some blood issues of his own last fall in Lexington, McNair says he seems to be over that right now.

Last year’s Molson Pace winner is approaching the million-dollar earnings mark and is looking forward to another stakes-filled season.


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