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O'Brien Winner Doesn't "Knee"d Surgery


Published: April 3, 2012 11:03 am ET

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While most champion four-year-olds are either occupied in the breeding shed or prepping for the upcoming stakes season, Up The Credit is earning a little extra credit doing double duty this spring.

Following a million-dollar sophomore campaign which included a victory in the $1.5 million North America Cup and divisional honours at the O’Brien Awards, trainer Carl Jamieson and his partners Thomas Kyron, Joanne Morrison, and Brian Paquet decided the son of Western Terror out of the Pacific Rocket mare Cantbuymehappiness would become a sire and continue to race as a four-year-old.

With Jamieson heading south to Florida for winter training, Up The Credit was placed with conditioner Mark Horner while he stands stud at Seelster Farms.

“Mark’s doing me a great deed by training him this winter and breeding him for me because he’s only 15 minutes away from Seelster Farms,” noted Jamieson, who will be returning home at the end of April.

“I picked him up December 29 to be exact,” said Horner from his St. Mary's, Ont. farm last week. “He jogged light until the first of February and then he started training. He’s been training now in 2:15 and that’s at home in the jog cart.”

Horner says Up The Credit gets his training sessions in between his Monday-Wednesday-Friday breeding schedule.

“He’s been a busy boy,” said Horner. “I don’t have the exact numbers as to how many mares he’s bred, but I know he’s been busy. Hopefully it stays that way.”

Near the end of his sophomore year, Up The Credit looked to be facing surgery on a knee that was injured as a freshman and had resulted in some calcification around the area once it healed. However, Jamieson says the issue has cleared up with some TLC and the procedure is no longer needed for him to continue racing.

“He’s 100 per cent,” confirmed Jamieson, who was nominated on the ballot for this year’s Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductions. “We thought last Fall we might have to do surgery on the knee, but we were using the laser on him all summer and fall and it healed the knee up and everything’s the same as he was born with. He never had surgery and he’s 100 per cent ready to go.”

“He seems to be in good shape and I’m really happy with his conditioning right now,” added Horner. “I think he’s good to go.”

Up The Credit is expected to qualify mid-April in preparation for the Molson Pace eliminations on May 18 at Western Fair Raceway. He has also been nominated to a handful of other open stakes including the Ben Franklin, Des Smith, Canadian Pacing Derby, U.S. Pacing Championship, and Breeders Crown.

“Obviously it’s tough and there’s a lot of nice horses out there,” said Horner of the step up in competition Up The Credit will face. “Anytime a four-year-old goes into the older pacing ranks it's tough so hopefully we’ve picked the right spots and he’s in great shape and he has lots of luck. I hope that he’s ultra competitive and I really can’t see why he wouldn’t be if he brings it up to the next level.”

Meanwhile, Up The Credit’s younger stablemate and fellow O’Brien Award winner Warrawee Needy is on track to follow in his footsteps down the road to North America Cup 29. More on him in the coming weeks as Trot Insider begins its annual countdown of the 2012 Spring Book contenders.

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