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David The Great is looking to live up to 'her' name
Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - by Charlene Sharpe, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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Charlene Sharpe
Laurel, DE --- In October, horseman Danny Minton’s green 3-year-old pacing filly qualified in 2:02.4 on her first trip to Harrington Raceway.

Minton, quite pleased with her performance considering it was the first race of her career, dropped her in at Harrington Raceway.

When she didn’t get in, he called to ask why not. He was told because he’d put his horse in the race designated for fillies.

“They thought she was a colt,” he said. Most would, as her name is David The Great.

David The Great has hit the board in four of five lifetime starts.

Minton, who works full-time as a police officer, trains a small stable with his wife, Heather. In 2010, he decided to purchase a yearling in OnGait’s online auction.

He was frustrated to be outbid in the last 30 seconds on the trotting colt he’d selected, but did not give up, just broadened his search. When he noticed a pacing filly whose dam was a full sister to She’s A Great Lady and the mother of Driven To Win p,5,1:49.3 ($985,093), he knew he had to have her.

“I sat at the computer and I just kept bidding,” he said.

Minton was successful this time, purchasing the I Am A Fool-She’s The Greatest filly for $3,500. It was then he noticed her name.

“I can’t figure it out,” he said.

He tried to change the moniker to something more appropriate but when the USTA told him the new name he’d selected was already taken he gave up. David The Great is, however, known now in the barn as Daisy.

“My 5-year-old daughter started calling her that and it just stuck,” Minton said.

Charlene Sharpe photos
Trainer Danny Minton brushes his 3-year-old pacing filly.

Since making the races in October, the 3-year-old filly has had two wins and two seconds from just five starts. After finishing second in her first two starts for driver Kim Vincent at Rosecroft Raceway, she broke her maiden at the five-eighths-mile track on Nov. 24, winning easily in 2:00.3. She proved she could handle the Delaware competition a few weeks later, winning her next start at Dover Downs in 1:56.4 -- after making a break.

“She cross-fired,” Minton said, explaining that the little skip just slowed the filly down a bit. After tucking in fourth she was able to get by her competition in the stretch, winning by a nose in 1:56.4.

Although the filly made a much costlier break in her most recent trip to the track, never even getting into the race, Minton is not worried.

“She ran into the gate,” he said. “It scared her more than anything. She’s just green as grass.”

Minton is confident that with experience she will continue to improve. He says he’s just happy to see her racing, as at one time she looked more like a broodmare prospect.

He said that a few months after she was broke he was hosing her legs off one day when she spun around and somehow managed to hit her right hind ankle with one of her front feet. The ensuing lump, still slightly visible, left the filly sore.

“I was just going to breed her but she got sound,” Minton said.

He said he knew ‘Daisy’ was going to be a racehorse when she came out of her second training mile -- in which she’d dropped 20 seconds for Minton’s wife -- in good shape.

“That’s when I knew she was special,” Minton said.

Minton, who was flattered earlier this month when he received two offers for David The Great, says that he is not planning to sell her and will continue to race her at Dover Downs. If she continues to improve he says he might race her at Harrah’s Philadelphia next year.

“There’s nothing I don’t like about her,” he said. “I wish I had 10 more like her.”

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