Can 'Bright' Filly Overcome Hudson Draw?
If you answered “$149,240 final of Yonkers Raceway’s Hudson Filly Trot” to the query, “What is harness racing’s richest race Saturday?” feel free to read on.
If you answered, “Bright Baby Blues” to “Who had the lousiest luck with the open draw in the Hudson?” feel free to commiserate with the connections.
“Everything was going very well,” trainer Bob Stewart said of the three-year-old lass who has earned just under $133,000 this season and more than $247,000 for her career, “until the draw.”
The draw slapped “Bright” right between her baby blues, landing her behind the always-cherished half-mile track eight-hole.
Perhaps it shall be nothing but a minor diversion for the royally-bred lass, whose father, the Stewart-trained Andover Hall, was the 2001 two-year-old trotting colt divisional honouree. Her mother, Bar Slide, earned 2010 divisional honours among three-year-old trotting fillies.
Bright Baby Blues certainly qualified as a bonus baby, originally selling $150,000 at Lexington (2013) to Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. She was then resold to her breeders (Bluestone Farms and Fredericka Caldwell) last September.
As a frosh, when she was trained by both 'Nifty' Norman and Joe Holloway (who trained Bar Slide), Bright Baby Blues won twice in a dozen starts with earnings of more than $114,000.
“[Bright Baby Blues] is a little smarter than her father [a then-world record holder after a 1:51.3 effort at DuQuoin as a three-year-old] and the spitting image of her mother,” said Stewart, who became her trainer this season.
“The Hudson has [been] part of her schedule all the time. Even though she’d never raced on a half before [last week’s elimination, a first-up, 1:56.4 win], she’d trained on one all summer and there was no reason to think she wouldn’t handle it.
“We’d made some equipment and shoeing changes before the Hambletonian Oaks [where she finished third in both elimination and $500,000 final], but nothing coming into the Hudson.
“She’s just getting better with each start,” Stewart said. “Obviously, she’s going to have to mix up a lot more in the final, but we have the horse we want and the driver [Brian Sears] we want, so I’m confident."
The final of the Hudson Filly Trot goes as the sixth of 13 races Saturday (first post 7:10 p.m., Hudson post approximately 8:50 p.m.). The card also includes the $116,430 Lady Maud Pace (three-year-old fillies), along with a pair of $40,000 eliminations for the 61st Yonkers Trot.
The field for the Hudson, in post position order is as follows.
1. Murderers Row (Jason Bartlett)
2. Lady Winona (Andy Miller)
3. Scent Of Roses (Ake Svanstedt)
4. Katniss (George Brennan)
5. Oh My Darlin (Dan Dube)
6. Marion Millionair (Yannick Gingras)
7. Wouldnt Itbesweet (Larry Stalbaum)
8. Bright Baby Blues (Brian Sears)
Note: Scent of Roses and Oh My Darlin race as a common ownership/trainer (Svanstedt) entry.