While 10 three-year-old filly pacers will line up behind the gate in Saturday night's $457,500 Fan Hanover final at Mohawk Racetrack, reigning divisional champion Precocious Beauty won't be one of them. Sent off the 4-5 favorite in her elimination last weekend, Precocious Beauty faded from first to last in the stretch and failed to advance.
"She tied up bad,” trainer Gregg McNair explained to harnessracing.com of Precocious Beauty's sub-par performance. "She's a tie-up horse and we train her like one. She gets turned out every day. She got turned out that Saturday morning and it didn't help.”
McNair said he had Precocious Beauty examined by a veterinarian following her win in her sophomore debut the week before in a New York Sires Stakes at Vernon Downs and she passed with flying colors.
"They drew blood on her and it was the best blood she ever had,” said McNair. "I had her checked again (Monday morning after the Fan Hanover elims) and the guy said she would have been tied up before the race. He could tell in the blood that it was a pre-race tie-up. This sure surprised me because I've always had trouble with her white count and the week before it was her best white count ever.”
McNair said his son Doug, who drove Precocious Beauty, told him nothing seemed wrong during the race. Doug McNair did not drive after the Fan Hanover elim, which was Race 2 on the card, but he said it wasn't because of what transpired, rather it was because his son wasn't feeling well and had already relayed that to the track judges.
"Doug said she was racing normal and that she was fine and her ears were up, but when it was time to go, she had no go,” said Gregg McNair of the world-champion filly who won seven of 11 starts last year on her way to divisional honors in both the U.S. and Canada for owner Jim Avritt Sr. "Doug had told the judges he wasn't feeling that good and was figuring on taking the night off after the race. But he figured he'd be a little happier about it. He wasn't feeling good to start with and this didn't help much.”
McNair said not making the final means Precocious Beauty will make her next start in a New York Sires Stakes June 28 at Tioga Downs. She will then head to the Meadowlands for the Mistletoe Shalee elims on July 5.