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Grassroots Or Gold For Steacy's Filly?

Published: May 31, 2012 4:48 pm ET

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Lovely Vacation might be on the smallish side, but the trotting miss is large and in charge heading into her $81,020 division of the Casual Breeze Stakes this Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

“I think she is a contender if she races the way she has been,” said assistant trainer Shawn Steacy, who owns a piece of the three-year-old filly with David McDonald, Joe Loring and Dr. Malcolm Man Son Hing. “Some of the horses that are in there with her are horses that she has been racing against and has been able to beat and be right with them the last couple of weeks. If she is on her game, there is no reason why she couldn’t be top two or three.”

The consistent filly has yet to miss the board in four starts this year. The daughter of Majestic Son has one win and three second-place finishes, including a trip to the winner’s circle in her SBOA Stakes elimination on May 18 at the Campbellville oval, followed by a runner-up performance in the opulent final one week later.

Lovely Vacation, who has $103,554 in lifetime earnings and a lifetime mark of 1:54.3, wasn’t as consistent last year. She was four-for-eight as a freshman, but the trotter had issues minding her manners halfway through the season.

“She was kind of hot and on the aggressive side,” Steacy explained. “She didn’t like to sit in a hole and she still doesn’t like to, but she is more tolerant of it now.

“You hear that story from everybody how they matured, but this horse, she has matured,” he added. “This year, the speed is a lot faster, so since she is travelling at a higher speed, her manners are not as much of an issue as what it used to be. The hole is going fast enough now where she doesn’t have to worry about getting jammed up like she did before.”

Lovely Vacation, a $15,000 purchase at the 2010 Forest City Yearling Sale, has always been on the petite side, but Steacy, a resident of Lansdowne, Ont., knows she can come up big.

“She has a lot of substance,” said the 25-year-old Steacy, whose father, veteran horseman Mark Steacy, conditions the filly. “She has a really big hind end on her and I think that even though she’s not tall, she’s got a lot of strength and muscle behind her.

“She also has a very good gait to her,” he continued. “She wears no boots, just a little set of brace bandages. Her gait is effortless and that’s what makes a difference. She wants to be a winner, too. That’s what makes any good horse.”

Her summer stakes schedule is up in the air right now, dependant on how she performs in the Casual Breeze.

“Unless she goes some sensational mile on Friday night, I think we are going to skip the Elegantimage,” he offered. “From there, we are going to stick with the (Ontario) sires stakes program. We will try her in the (OSS) 'Golds' in the beginning, and if she shows she is a Gold player this year, and hopefully she will, we will race her there. If she falters or falls back, we will slip her back to the Grassroots.”

Either way, Lovely Vacation is the type to command attention.

“She has a lot of character out on the track, more character than just about any another horse we have in the barn,” said Steacy. “She just has that presence to her. She has that kind of, ‘Look at me’ attitude. ‘I’m the one you should be watching over somebody else.’”

Tabbed as the 3-1 morning-line favourite, Lovely Vacation will start from Post 3 in the second Casual Breeze division with driver Randy Waples in the bike.


To view the harness racing entries for Friday at Mohawk, click the following link: Friday Entries - Mohawk Racetrack.

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