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Montini poised for ‘Delightful’ season at the Big M
Thursday, February 15, 2007 - from the Meadowlands Publicity Department

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East Rutherford, NJ --- Cape & Cutter Series starter KG Delight heads a small, but powerful team that Ontario-based trainer Tony Montini has shipped to the Meadowlands this season.

The 5-year-old daughter of Northern Luck has drawn post five in the $35,000 second leg of the Cape & Cutter for open pacing mares on Friday night (Feb. 17). She is rated at 6-1 on the morning line with David Miller set to drive.

Montini, his brother-in-law Basil Michele and Paul Giammichele purchased KG Delight from breeders/owners Karin and Gordon Bryan on November 25, 2006. The mare was previously trained by Doug Brown.

“I liked a lot of things about her, so we purchased her privately last fall,” said Montini, who stables his New Jersey string at White Birch Farm in Allentown, New Jersey. “She was a good mare in the (Ontario) sires stakes here as a 3-year-old and it looked like she would be good as an aged mare. She had an okay year in 2006 and was nearing the end of her 4-year-old season.”

KG Delight ended 2006 with a slate of five wins, five seconds and three thirds and earnings of $113,409. She won in 1:53.2 in her first start for Montini on December 8, 2006 at Woodbine.

“We didn’t make any serious changes to her,” he said. “We closed up her bridle a little bit. Brownie (Doug Brown) had raced her in an open bridle. She seemed a little spooky on the track and needed to keep more of her attention to racing. That’s all we did, really.”

KG Delight has four starts under her belt this year. She finished fourth in last week’s opening leg of the Cape & Cutter after gamely battling her way past Miss Galvinator. It was a last minute decision by Montini to enter her in the series.

“Originally, I didn’t have my sights set on the Cape & Cutter at the Meadowlands until I saw an advertisement in one of the magazines,” he said. “She fits it okay, but I don’t think she dominates it. She’s a trip sensitive mare, and I don’t think she’s rugged enough to be first over like last week. Her trip is to follow the flow on the outside and give you a big burst at some point in the mile. If you time it right down the stretch, she can be as good as any of them in there.

“She’s paid into the Overbid (series at the Meadowlands) and the plan right now is to keep her there,” he added. “Right now she’s competitive, and it will all depend on health and success.”

Montini will also race Anahar Charlie on Friday night at the Meadowlands. The trotter will start from post eight in the fourth race.

“He’s a hard luck trotter who battled on the front end last week (at the Meadowlands),” he said. “He still finished third, which is quite commendable. I claimed him (October 2005 at Woodbine) for $15,000 and he moved up to the preferred level.”

New Dice Please, another Montini-trained trotter, will take the week off after winning his Meadowlands debut in 1:55.3 on February 8.

“(He) will miss a week with a problem with one of his feet,” he said. “It’s nothing serious. He raced (at Mohawk) in the Glorys Comet Series and was dropping in class into non-winners of $7,500 (at the Meadowlands), so he was going to show some improvement. I realize the racing at the Meadowlands will get a good horse beat by another with a better trip.”

Montini’s Saturday night contender is Grin Some More, who has drawn the rail in the fourth race. The 6-year-old gelding was sixth in his last start at The Big M.

“I hate to make excuses, but Grin Some More has been a hard luck horse,” Montini said. “Last week, he was sitting last when they went three quarters in just 1:24, he comes home in :26.3 and has nothing to show for it. Last year, he was just a notch below the open level up here. He gets around a half-mile track well. He was third in the Battle of Lake Erie (last season at Northfield).”

Montini, 37, comes off a career season, winning $2,286,794 and 115 races in 2006. His previous best was 2005, when he won $1,125,098 and 81 races. He resides on a farm in Acton, Ontario.

"I've got eight stalls, a paddock and a walker (at the farm),” he said. “I'm stabled at Mohawk, about 13-14 minutes away, so it's very handy.”

Among the standouts he campaigns is Canada’s O’Brien Award-winning older trotter Stiletto, who banked $489,301 in 2006. The conditioner plans to ship Stiletto to the Meadowlands next month for the Su Mac Lad Series, which begins March 25.

“The highlight for Stiletto, financially, was when he finished second to Peaceful Way in the Maple Leaf Trot,” Montini said. “It was his biggest payday ($197,438). He won the Glorys Comet Series (Mohawk) and the Frank Ryan (Rideau Carleton). He showed up at the right time. He makes his own luck with his phenomenal gate speed. If a couple of them don’t show up, he’s always in a position to strike. He’s eligible to the Su Mac Lad. He was a little sick after his last start and has some downtime now in preparation for the Meadowlands. That’s our short term plan.”

Montini also reports that his lightning-fast pacer Primetime Bobcat is recovering well from surgery to repair an injured tendon sheath. The 10-year-old gelding paced a 1:47.2 mile at Woodbine on May 13, 2006, breaking Jenna’s Beach Boy’s 1996 record for the fastest race mile in harness history by a fifth of a second. Holborn Hanover would later lower the record to 1:46.4 on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands.

“At the time (December 16, 2006), the injury was life threatening,” Montini said. “He’s not in any danger right now. We ultrasounded him (on Tuesday) for the first time since he’s been operated on and all reports are good. He’s healing well and his spirits are good. His prognosis for racing is still up in the air. We’re cautiously optimistic.”

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