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The Biggest And Baddest Of Them All?

Published: June 17, 2011 11:56 am ET

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"Truthfully, when you're going for this kind of money you try to go with a game plan but you've got to be careful not to overdo it, and going for $1.5 million I highly doubt they're going to be at the half in :56 or :55. So I've got to be careful how I race him

because the colt - in my mind - he can race any way. He loves following a horse, he loves passing a horse, he loves racing on the front. I've just got to be careful."

On today's episode of Trot Radio, Norm Borg gets the inside scoop on 2011 Pepsi North America Cup morning line favourite Big Bad John from the two that know him best - trainer Ron Potter and driver Brett Miller. Potter, who describes the experience of bringing Big Bad John into the race of his life as "nerve-wracking and pretty stressful", told Borg that the colt is even better than last week and will head into Saturday's lucrative race as sharp as can be expected.

"He actually seemed a little better to me afterwards. We got him home and turned him out a little bit Monday morning and then jogged him, and he was just like his old self like he hadn't even been anywhere," continued Potter. "I trained him Wednesday and he trained really good and we're just anxious to get back up there and get to business."

Many were surprised that Potter would elect to ship his prized pacer back to Ohio instead of just leave the horse in Canada between the elimination and final for harness racing's richest pacing event. Potter commented on the rationale for that decision.

"Well, I have other commitments and at home and I don't train that many horses," stated Potter. "This horse is a really good shipper and he loves him home. He got off the trailer on Sunday afternoon and it was like he hadn't been anywhere so I was 99 per cent sure that bringing him back home wouldn't hurt anything."

Despite not driving the horse at two, Miller was selected by the owners and Potter to drive Big Bad John at three and the duo have been unstoppable thus far with four wins in four tries. Miller recalls how he found out he would get the call to drive.

"Kind of a funny thing about that is two days before Ron called me to drive this colt, myself and my wife were looking over the eligibles for the North America Cup and I looked over at my wife and said 'man, here's a horse I'd love to drive: Big Bad John'," noted Miller, "and Ron called me two days later to drive him. My wife and I, we just couldn't believe it."

Miller noted this although it might have seemed that the horse was all out to hold off the backfield in his elim, that definitely wasn't the case.

"He's the type of colt that when a horse gets to his eyeball and he sees another horse, he digs in. So when he opened up on them, I kind of kept chasing him a little bit strictly for the fact that the Mohawk stretch is so long. And with that long stretch you always have horses coming out of the woodwork."

The full interview with Borg, Miller and Potter is available below.

Episode 205 – Big Bad John's connections - trainer Ron Potter and driver Brett Miller
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

Please note that the opinions expressed in the featured interview are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect Rideau Carleton Raceway and/or Standardbred Canada.


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