Conditioner Tony O'Sullivan will look to add back-to-back scores to his resume when he sends out Drop The Ball inthe 2012 edition of the $384,000 Milton Stakes final on Saturday night at Mohawk.
O'Sullivan, who captured the event last year with Laughandbehappy, has another heavy hitter as Drop The Ball captured her elimination in 1:51.4, defeating the world champion Put On A Show in the process.
"Pretty awesome,” O'Sullivan said about his pupil's effort. "She got on a helmet and I think she appreciated that. That might have been the only time that's happened this year. She needed it and it worked out great.”
The 4-year-old daughter of Western Terror had a terrific sophomore campaign, banking $529,047, while competing against North America's top 3-year-old pacing fillies.
This season, the bay has to take on older mares, a task O'Sullivan was confident she could handle.
"I'm not really surprised that she can handle and go with this group,” the Cambridge resident said of Drop The Ball, who has crafted a 5-3-1 record from 10 starts this season. "She's an athlete, extremely fast, tough and the complete package.”
O'Sullivan, a first-time finalist for Trainer of the Year in 2011, was quick to mention Drop The Ball's best attribute.
"Her turn of foot,” he said. "She'll train what you want her to go, but when you ask her, that's when you can really see what she can do. When she switches gears and gets into full speed, you get the 'wow' factor. It's pretty incredible.”
Looking ahead to the rich final, O'Sullivan remains confident inhis 15-time career winner, but admits other rivals are also very competitive in this field.
"There's a few of them that can win, but she is a very capable mare,” he said. "She really fired home last week off a great trip byYannick (Gingras). If she gets a similar trip like that, she'll be very tough to beat. It's a tough level to compete at, she's had a good week and we'll do our best to have her ready.”