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Sylvester Discusses Lucky Chucky

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Published: September 15, 2010 1:22 pm ET

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When Chuck Sylvester was asked whether he wanted Lucky Chucky to receive a bye into Saturday’s $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk Racetrack, he did not hesitate to accept, even though it meant a three-week layoff for his colt.

“For the last 10 or 12 years up there (in Canada) my horses always race good the first week and for some reason don’t perform as good the second week,” Sylvester said. “I said 'absolutely, I’ll take it (the bye).' I’m tickled to death we only have to race once.”

Last year, Lucky Chucky won his Breeders Crown elimination race at Woodbine Racetrack and finished second to Pilgrims Taj in the final. That result qualifies as a roaring success north of the border for Sylvester.

2009 Breeders Crown 2yoCT - Pilgrims Taj - 1:57.1

Since the start of 1991, horses listed under Sylvester’s name have made 70 Canadian starts, winning 16 times. Half those wins came in stakes elimination races, but failed to result in finals glory. During that span Bold Dreamer, Briggie Hanover, Day For Night, Graceful Touch, King Pine, Lindys New Lady, Lissome Hanover, and Muscles Yankee each won an elim and missed the board the following week. In five of those instances, the horse failed to collect a check.

In addition, four times Sylvester’s horses were second in stakes elims and did not hit the board in the final.

“I’ve made changes and no matter what I do, it doesn’t matter,” Sylvester said. “I’ve never figured out why.”

Lucky Chucky enters the CTC off a 1:53.3 win in a Zweig Memorial division on August 29 at Tioga Downs. A week earlier, he won the $500,000 Colonial at Chester Racetrack.

“It’s a three-week layoff, but I think he’ll be fine,” Sylvester said. “He’s trained up good; he’s tight. I don’t think he needs to race every week.”

Lucky Chucky, who got his CTC bye based on earnings, has won three of six starts this year and earned $766,454. He will start the final from Post 1 with regular driver John Campbell at his lines. The race will mark the first time Lucky Chucky will face Muscle Massive since Muscle Massive defeated him by a half-length in the $1.5 million Hambletonian on August 7.

“I think my horse has raced very well since then,” Sylvester said. “He seems to be stronger than he was then. I think he’s ready to go a good race. I don’t know where he’s going to get away; John can leave where he wants to. One thing about him, he’ll be close to the front. I think we’ll be fine.”

To read some comments from Muscle Massive's trainer, Jimmy Takter, click here.


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.

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