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Spunky Shacked Up ready for Super Final battle Saturday
November 11, 2009
By Sandra Snyder

TORONTO, ON — Five of the starters in Saturday’s three-year-old pacing filly Super Final hail from the Tracy Brainard barn, and while the New York native is expecting strong efforts from all five, she admits to being a little biased toward division point leader Shacked Up.

“She’s one of my favourite fillies,” admits Brainard, who conditions Shacked Up, Kabbalah Karen B, Cheap Motel, Not Enough and Coming Late for Bulletproof Enterprises of Boca Raton, FL. “She’s not a real big filly, she’s just real, real tough. I really like her; she has a lot of spunk to her.”

A two-time Gold Final winner, Shacked Up heads into Saturday’s $300,000 battle off an unplanned three week break in her schedule. Slated to compete in the Lady Maud Eliminations at Yonkers Raceway on Oct. 31, the Western Terror daughter was scratched due to a low grade fever.

“She was just running a little bit of a temperature,” explains Brainard, who spends most of her time south of the border, while boyfriend Josh Marks and second trainer Scott West oversee the Ontario-based horses.

Regular reinsman Luc Ouellette will steer Shacked Up from Post 5 in Saturday’s third race, with stablemates Kabbalah Karen B getting Post 1, Cheap Motel starting from Post 3, Not Enough returning to action at Post 6, and Coming Late landing the outside post in the field of eight.

Not Enough, who leads the eight starters in earnings with $1,097,725, will make her first start since Sept. 14 at Woodbine on Saturday. The Grinfromeartoear lass has had a stellar season, capturing the season opening Gold Final at Western Fair Raceway in May, the Lismore Final at Yonkers Raceway and the Fan Hanover Final at Mohawk Racetrack in June, the Canadian Breeders Championship at Mohawk in July, and the Mistletoe Shalee Final at The Meadowlands in August. Unfortunately, she has also been plagued with health troubles that have been difficult for Brainard and her staff to pinpoint.

“She hasn’t been quite 100 per cent. We did take her to a clinic in Kentucky, and gave her some time off,” says the trainer. “She trained back good, the time off couldn’t hurt her.”

Driver Mark MacDonald qualified Not Enough at Mohawk on Nov. 6 and the filly stepped around the seven-eighths mile oval to a runner-up finish in a 1:56 effort.

In addition to her arsenal of sophomore pacing fillies, Brainard will also send out three pacing colts in the sophomore contest — One More Drink, Power Off and Ideal Race — and Higher And Higher in the freshman pacing filly division.

Higher And Higher will be aiming for a return to the form she displayed earlier this fall when she captured her Bluegrass and International Stallion Stake divisions at The Red Mile in Lexington, KY, and her Breeders Crown Elimination at Woodbine.

“We got her from Paul Reid and took her to Lexington and she raced super down there,” notes Brainard. “The Breeders Crown, I’m not really sure what happened there, but she came back and raced good.”

A disappointing ninth after making a break in the Breeders Crown Final, Western Terror miss Higher And Higher finished third in the Nov. 7 Gold Final at Woodbine won by Western Silk.

Western Silk was an impressive three length winner in the last regular season event, and trainer Casie Coleman is confident that the freshman pacing filly point leader has recovered from the illness that torpedoed her Breeders Crown hopes.

“She came up sick in the Breeders Crown Final. That was a big, huge disappointment,” admits Coleman, who shares ownership of Western Silk with Tom Hill of Lancashire, GB. “She was quite sick. She scoped a three out of five for pimples and mucous.

‘She was on antibiotics for five days, and she seems good and healthy now,” adds the Cambridge, ON resident. “She couldn’t have raced any better (Nov. 7). Mark gave her a perfect trip and she exploded off cover. She was very, very good.”

Regular reinsman Mark MacDonald will steer Western Silk from Post 8 in Saturday’s $300,000 contest, and while Coleman’s first choice would have been a spot closer to the rail, she believes the Western Terror daughter’s skills will help her overcome the post position.

“Obviously, we could have drawn a little bit better, but she comes from off the pace best anyway, so I’m not worried about it,” says the trainer, who was in Surrey, BC on Wednesday for the BC Breeders Classic Day at Fraser Downs and to host a silent auction fundraiser for the Burn Unit of the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, BC, where she spent time after a barn accident at Sandown Park a decade ago.

In addition to Western Silk, Coleman will also harness three-year-old pacing colt Primary Purpose in Saturday’s sophomore pacing colt Final on behalf of Surrey, BC resident Rod Therres and Victoria, BC resident Charles MacFarlane. Primary Purpose will start from Post 7 with MacDonald in the race bike and Coleman is hoping for a big mile from the Cammibest gelding after a runner-up effort in a prep race at Woodbine on the weekend.

“He had tailed off a little, but he was back to himself there Saturday night (Nov. 7). He raced very good,” says the trainer. “We’ve got him as good as we can get him for Saturday night.”

Post time for Woodbine Racetrack’s Saturday evening program is 7:30 pm, and the eight Super Finals are featured in Races 3 through 10. The sophomore pacing fillies kick things off in Race 3, the three-year-old pacing colts follow in Race 7, and the two-year-old pacing fillies battle in Race 9.

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