News ArchivesArchives for July '08
Brewer willing to fly for St Lads Popcorn
GLOUCESTER, ON — On Sunday’s flight to Ottawa, Jason Brewer will be recognizable by his white knuckles and pale face, but the young reinsman is prepared to deal with his fears so he can get to the nation’s capital and drive two-year-old pacing filly St Lads Popcorn in the $140,000 Gold Final.
“I’m not much on flying,” admits Brewer, “But I’ll fly for her.”
The 30 year old Ohio native, who now makes his home south of London, has driven St Lads Popcorn in all of her starts, including the schooling race at Classy Lane Training Centre that cemented his position in her race bike.
“Jack (Darling) has used me ever since I was at Windsor, four or five years ago, before he moved up here,” explains Brewer. “He asked me one day if I was qualifying any at Mohawk on Saturday. I had three or four two-year-olds to qualify and he said, “If you give those up it will be worth your while to come out to Classy Lane.’
“I don’t know whether he had her in mind or not, but I went out.”
Following the Classy Lane outing Cambridge resident Darling and Brewer qualified St Lads Popcorn at Mohawk Racetrack on July 5 and the young pacer delivered an impressive mile — dodging traffic twice and then sprinting home in :27.1.
In the Gold Series season opener the daughter of Darling’s former protégés Twin B Champ and Hot Butter drew the outside Post 7 and finished fourth, failing to advance to the Gold Final. Fortunately her luck took a turn for the better, and when another filly was withdrawn from the July 18 final due to sickness, St Lads Popcorn drew in to Post 2. Brewer sent the gifted youngster straight to the front and St Lads Popcorn powered around the Flamboro Downs oval to an Ontario Sires Stakes record 1:53.3.
“I knew she was going to be better than what people thought,” admits Brewer. “She raced good, and I never asked her much.”
In last week’s elimination at Rideau Carleton, Brewer and St Lads Popcorn found themselves back on the outside, and the reinsman admits he was a bit concerned when he saw the results of the post position draw.
“We drew the eight-hole in a 10-horse field, and any place you go — Mohawk, The Meadowlands, anywhere — the eight-hole in a 10-horse field with a two-year-old filly is not a very good spot to be,” he recalls.
Wanting to avoid the kind of road trouble that caused them to miss the first Gold Final, Brewer chose to sit on the outside with the youngster until he could get her to the front. Fifth at the quarter, St Lads Popcorn was in control by the half and cruised home to a three-quarter length win in 1:56.4.
“She’s a grinder, she only does what she has to do, she takes care of herself. That’s what I like about her,” Brewer points out. “She’s a pretty smart filly, Jack told me that from the get-go. He said she’s good and smart, and she doesn’t do anything wrong.”
With Post 1 in Sunday’s $140,000 Gold Final, Brewer is not sure what strategy he will employ and figures he won’t know until the starting gate pulls away from the field of nine pacing lasses.
Rideau Carleton Raceway fans can catch Brewer’s rapid-fire decision making in the fifth race on Sunday’s program. The Ottawa oval sends its first race into the starter’s hands at 6:30 pm.
For complete entries please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/entries/data/eridcfsu.html.