In thoroughbred racing, horses off a handful of starts - much fewer than years ago - head to Kentucky to race 10 furlongs in a 20 horse field in front of 100,000 people, in May. In harness racing, years ago a trainer would let a horse race into his or her own, and they'd let them tell you when they were ready to go faster. Now, trainers have their horses peaking in qualifiers in April, ready to go fast in start one.
Modern racing seems to be all about throwing a horse into the deep end of the pool.
It is that way, unless you are trainer Luc Blais, and your horse is a trotter named Intimidate.
Last year the industry was shocked that this Quebec bred gelding, racing very cautiously in slow times most of the early year, won the Breeders Crown. This year the industry was shocked when the horse came back to prep in Quebec, racing in 2:01, or ten full seconds slower than he was racing in. Like, isn't he supposed to qualify in 1:53 and be ready to go 1:51 May 10th? That's the way things are done. What's with this guy?
Lo and behold, after fie or six starts, he was finally ready. Blais shipped the Crown champ to Vernon last night for the Credit Winner and he beat the best in the World in 1:51, a new track record.
This horse, just like last season, went fast when he was ready to go fast, and he seems to be on his way to contending in another Breeders Crown.
Enjoy your Saturday folks.
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