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Bourbon Slush Stable celebrates 1st win

June 14, 2011
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It may have been just a qualifier, and the winning margin may have been just a nose, but trainer Frank Antonacci told harnessracing.com that the victory by Betterthanbourbon at Plainridge Racecourse on Tuesday afternoon was as big as any the stable has ever had.

A son of Bettor’s Delight, Betterthanbourbon is one of three 2 year olds in the Antonacci barn that is owned by the Bourbon Slush Stable, a group of more than 100 persons who invested $500 each in a venture put together to attract new owners to the sport. Antonacci said there are now 125 investors who have a one-third of one percent interest in the three horses that also includes the colt trotter Bourbon Slush and the filly pacer Lil Miss Bourbon.

“The win was great. I was really happy for everybody,” said Antonacci about an hour after the trio of horses qualified. “I don’t qualify horses like that. Usually I carry a watch and I have an idea of where I want to go, but afterward I said, ‘Wow, it feels a lot better that he won by a nose than finished second by a nose.’

“It was a very good day. This means a lot. People have been patient and now we got all three to the races. I think that’s a great sign for the whole stable.”

With Antonacci driving, Betterthanbourbon sat fourth until the final turn and rallying home with a final quarter of :28.3 to edge Rambling Jet for the 2:00.1 victory. Also in that race was the Bourbon Slush Stable-owned Lil Miss Bourbon, who finished 1 ¼ lengths behind her stablemate. The daughter of American Ideal was driven by stable assistant Domenico Cecere.

“He was impressive,” Antonacci said of Betterthanbourbon. “Not that he was in against great horses, but they were all older, seasoned horses. He came first-up around the last turn and he powered by them like a good horse.”

Both pacers were $30,000 yearling purchases while Bourbon Slush cost $11,000. Bourbon Slush was the original stable purchase but when interest became so great, Antonacci decided to add the other two horses and enlist additional investors.

As for Bourbon Slush, he finished fifth, 27 lengths behind the winning 6-year-old Credit Watch, who scored in 2:02.

“I was happy with him. They went in 2:02 and I’ve only trained him in 2:08 at the Meadowlands,” Antonacci said of the son of Sand Vic. “The pacing filly was also very good today.”

Antonacci said with opening action of the New York Sire Stakes still about three weeks away he plans on qualifying all three horses again. He said that while there were approximately 15 members of the Bourbon Slush Stable at Plainridge Tuesday, he expects many, many more at his farm in Somers, Conn., on Sunday.

“We have Family Day at the farm on Sunday so we have about 100 people coming from the Bourbon Slush Stable,” he said.

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