Heat Throws McNair, OK Commander A Curveball
Published: July 8, 2010 4:32 pm ET
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Only people living under rocks are unaware that the North American eastern seaboard has been sweltering as of late. So hot, in fact, that it has affected trainer Gregg McNair's plans for OK Commander leading up to Saturday's Meadowlands Pace eliminations.
"I was planning on shipping him down yesterday, but the weather has just been too much," McNair told Trot Insider.
The resident of Guelph, Ont. explained to Trot Insider that although the mercury has been rising, OK Commander has still trained well this week. McNair also said that the three-year-old Art Major colt will be shipping tomorrow (Friday, July 9) and will go directly to the retention barn at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
In regard to a different type of trip -- that being the one his colt will be taking Saturday during his 'Pace' elim -- McNair is confident that his colt can utilize his versatility to gain entrance to the $1 million final, which will take place July 17
"We've got a good spot there. It gives Brian a lot of options," McNair said about OK Commander's starting spot (Post 1) for his elimination. "The horse can leave. He really went out and showed that in the North America Cup consolation, but I think that he is actually a better horse from off of it. He went a big trip over Maywood last year and was parked pretty much the whole way and still got up to win."
Even though OK Commander will be lining up against a good group in his elim, including Pepsi North America Cup winner Sportswriter, McNair is confident that his charge can trade punches with the best the division has to offer.
"I think he can go with any of them," said McNair, who added that, "he's a nice, big horse, and I don't think that he will have any trouble whatsoever handling the bigger track."
To view the draw results for the Meadowlands Pace eliminations, click here.