“He trained down good, but was always like the slow kid on the block,” said Jonas Czernyson, the gelding’s conditioner. “He knew how to do it, but didn’t have the concentration you needed to get something done. He would be out training and would see a bird fly by then all of a sudden his head would go up in the air. You could see he was wondering where that bird was flying off to. Pretty much his whole 2-year-old year was him forgetting what his job was when he was on the racetrack. You could feel there was something in there, he just wasn’t ready to give it to you.”
|USTA/Mark Hall photo|
|Trainer Jonas Czernyson will send Lauderdale after his second straight score in the Kentucky Sire Stakes on Saturday.|
An $80,000 purchase at the 2011 Standardbred Horse Sale, Lauderdale is by Deweycheatumnhowe and is the first foal out of the Angus Hall mare Dornello, who earned a little more than $250,000 in her racing career and is out of 1990 Dan Patch winner Me Maggie.
The gelding, owned by William Donovan, wasn’t precocious at two and compiled a record of 8-1-1-1, a mark of 1:55.4s and put $17,310 in the bank, but did show some promise by coming home third in an $81,750 division of the International Stallion Stakes.
This year, however, Lauderdale has certainly improved. He captured a $15,000 leg of the Summer Survivor Series at the Meadowlands on June 21, was third in the $450,000 Yonkers Trot final on July 27, and third in his $70,000 Hambletonian elimination heat on Aug. 3 before his sneaky good finish in the $1 million final that same day, ending up just four lengths behind the winner.
He has gone to the post on 11 occasions this year with two wins, three seconds and four thirds. He has $104,950 in the bank and his lifetime mark now stands at 1:54.2.
His next engagement will be the second leg of the Kentucky Sire Stakes series on Saturday (Aug. 24) where he will leave from post four in the first race with Corey Callahan once again holding the lines.
Czernyson considers some of his improvement should be attributed to Callahan becoming involved with the horse in the first heat of the Hambletonian.
“He is a difficult horse to drive,” he said. “In the Hambo we got a little too far out of it (he got away ninth), but we were only beaten by a head for fifth and a length for second, but I saw him breaking loose a little bit in there. Corey and him kind of get along so I thought he might have a big start (in the first leg of the Sire Stakes), but he always has tricks up his sleeve. He will just decide he is done all of a sudden and pull up to come home. He does it in a split second. He’s on the bit and going forward, then the next second he is pulling back and you are on the outside fence. We got lucky enough to get Corey to come back down to drive him again and he’s been training really good (in Kentucky) so hopefully we can perform well again.”
Ohmybelle looks to get back in the winner's circle
Another horse looking for a triumph on Saturday at The Red Mile will be last year’s 2-year-old Kentucky filly trotting champion Ohmybelle. The daughter of Ponder and the Cambest mare My Best Girl, clinched last year’s $250,000 final with relative ease in 1:56 and came home her last quarter in :26.2, capping off a season that saw her go 12-9-2-0 and put $172,005 in the bank for owner Janet Banks, who resides in Lexington.
|Nigel Soult photo|
|Ohmybelle was a 1:56 winner in the 2012 Kentucky Sire Stakes final.|
Conditioned and piloted by Randal Jerrell, the filly was purchased for $11,000 at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale and her only off the board finish in her career was a fourth place finish in last year’s $117,250 Kentuckiana Stallion Management division at Indiana Downs, and it wasn’t because the competition was too much for her to handle.
“She fractured a sesamoid in her left rear leg,” Jerrell said. “It was a small fracture and they took it out immediately. They said we could start back with her in two months, but she was off from October until February.”
This year Ohmybelle sports a record of 9-6-2-1, with $14,490 in purse money, and a mark of 1:53.4, with most of her campaign, like last year’s, on the Kentucky Fair Circuit.
“She is a very big gaited filly and she wasn’t very good when we started her out,” Jerrell said. “I was about to start training her really hard, but then she got to where she really liked racing and started to show something so last year we took her to the fairs to kind of teach her, but this year it was because we didn’t know what to expect with her coming back from that sesamoid, so we kind of stuck to the same schedule.”
In the first leg of the Kentucky Sire Stakes series, Ohmybelle finished second in her division, but once again all was not right with the filly.
“She is really nice to drive,” Jerrell said. “I can do anything with her and last week when I took her around the last turn, kicked the plugs and she didn’t go into another gear, I knew something was wrong with her. Sure enough right after the race the vet scoped her and she was sick.”
The filly definitely is ready this week, but she will face several new elements she has not encountered in her career when she competes in the evening’s 13th and final race.
“I told people in the barn she’s never been in more than an eight-horse field,” Jerrell said. “This week she has the 10 hole and will be in with 11 horses. She can leave or come off the pace, but I really don’t like to drive her on the front. That is only at the fairs where that is the place to be.”
After her performances in Kentucky, Ohmybelle will travel to Indiana and then return home, before heading out to Chicago.
“She will race in the same Indiana race she did last year and then she will come back here for the Grand Circuit,” Jerrell said. “She’s in the Glen Garnsey and I don’t know if we have anything else between that and the American-National, but it’s all fairly local.”