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"I Think She Can Be Much Better"

Premiere-Steed-01.jpg

Published: July 21, 2011 4:01 pm ET

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Trainer Fabrice Souloy has brought one of his top trotting mares from France to compete against North America’s top aged trotters, in hope that he can capture the 59th edition of the Maple Leaf Trot this Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.

As the only mare in the classic, Premiere Steed is the third richest trotter in the field with $1,661,606 in earnings.

She also holds the title of the world's fastest mare on a five-eighths mile track with a 1:52 victory recorded in the 2009 edition of the St. Michel at Mikkeli, Finland.

After a slight delay at the airport and two days of travelling from France, the mare landed in Canada last Thursday evening. Trot Insider brought readers of standardbredcanada.ca an exclusive interview with Souloy prior to his mare's North American debut in the Maple Leaf Trot Prep, where she finished fifth.

Maple Leaf Trot Prep - Lucky Jim - 1:52.2

Souloy feels Premiere Steed raced well for being a little fatigued, but expects a better performance from his student in the $730,000 final.

“She was good, but a little tired. She didn’t sleep too much,” the top French trainer said from his home in Ginai. “Now she has been here one week. She can be relaxed for the week and jog with me. I think she can be much better Saturday.”

Souloy welcomes the change in location for his mare and feels that competing in North America will allow her to develop as she can now race on lasix.

In France, horses are not allowed to race on lasix, whereas they currently can in North America. In horses, lasix is used to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH).

The conditioner also said his pupil will sport new shoes for the rich final. “Last Saturday she raced in heavy shoes; this Saturday she will wear very, very light shoes,” he said.

Although the eight-year-old daughter of Workaholic has class and speed, she was not the conditioner’s first choice to bring to Mohawk.

“I wanted to come with Commander Crowe,” Souloy explained. “He is such a good trotter in Europe, but he is not a good traveller. It’s not so easy with quarantine and with the airport. I am a little afraid to bring him to Canada. He has enough money to take in Europe so I decided to go with Premiere Steed.”

Souloy will be making his second attempt at a Maple Leaf Trot victory. In 2008, he sent Improve As postward. His trotter had a third-place finish in his elim and was seventh in the final, which was won by Arch Madness, who will be one of Premiere Steed’s competitors.

Souloy admits there are a few in the field he is worried about, and drawing post position eight won’t make it easy.

“San Pail, Lucky Jim and Arch Madness, but after those three it’s open,” he said.

Both Souloy and Premiere Steed will be looking to add a Maple Leaf Trot victory to already impressive resumes.

The Maple Leaf Trot has been carded as the seventh race (9:21 p.m.) on Mohawk's Saturday program.

Click here for a free Saturday program, courtesy of TrackIT.

To view entries for Saturday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Saturday Entries - Mohawk Racetrack.

(WEG)


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