Brooks brigade primed for Woodbine series
December 05, 2012
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Uxbridge conditioner Jeffrey Brooks and owner/breeder Prince Lee Acres will be busy this weekend at Woodbine. The pair will send out a trio of starters in the last two stakes engagements of the year.
PL Firstlady will contest the first round of the Niagara Series on Friday and PL Fighter and PL Faststrike will contest the opening leg of the Valedictory Series on Saturday.
When PL Fighter crossed the wire first in the $60,000 Autumn Stakes final this past Saturday at the Toronto oval at odds of 16-1, he caught the betting public off guard as well as his trainer.
"Oh, yes, I was certainly surprised by that victory as I'm sure everyone else was,” Brooks said. "I wasn't surprised by his late kick because I always knew he had that, but him defeating Autumn Gottem caught me off guard. I didn't think we could beat that horse.”
The sophomore son of Jereme's Jet was 10 1/2 lengths back of the tempo-setter at the three-quarter pole before using a sizzling :26.3 final quarter to pick off the post-time favorite, Autumn Gottem, in the final strides to win in 1:52.
The pair will be reunited once again in the $20,000 first leg of the Valedictory.
"He's the type of horse that the race has to set up for him,” Brooks said of PL Fighter. "He doesn't enjoy being on the front or first-over, but if he can get covered up with a good trip, he's got that late kick that he really benefits from.”
PL Fighter has had a successful campaign this season, unraced as a rookie, the gelding has amassed a 4-4-2 record from 23 starts with $77,000 in earnings.
"He got off on the right foot with two straight wins of his career,” said Brooks. "But, then he'd get sick on us from time to time. He was picked to win the Ontario Graduate final at Georgian a few starts ago, but we couldn't race him because of that. I guess this past Saturday made up for that.”
Brooks admits that his pupil has a certain presence about him.
"He's a cocky horse,” Brooks laughed. "When he won the other night, he knew he did something special or something right. He had the look. He's such a good-feeling horse, which is a good thing. He's not really big, but he doesn't know that.”
PL Fighter, who will leave post three for driver Chris Christoforou, will kick off the Saturday program in first race, which will get underway at 7:30 p.m.
In the second division, Christoforou will also steer post one starter PL Faststrike for Brooks and Prince Lee Acres.
The sophomore pacing colts and geldings will line up as follows:
1. Eight Ten Eom
3. P L Fighter
5. Curious Phoenix
6. Autumn Gottem
1. P L Faststrike
2. Instant Thrill
7. First Art Down
Before PL Fighter and PL Faststrike can contest their dashes, stablemate PLFirstlady will try to take all the spoils in Friday's $20,000 first leg of the Niagara Series.
The 3-year-old daughter of Mach Three is fresh off a victory at Georgian Downs and will begin from post six for Christoforou.
"She's becoming a nice filly,” Brooks said. "Much like ‘Fighter,' she has a tendency to get sick. After her last start, she was sick after the race. I guess there was a bug going through my barn.”
The bay lass has banked $19,675 this season from 12 starts, including four victories.
"She's got talent, but also has some soundness issues,” said her conditioner. "She's a good-size filly and continues to progress in the right direction.”
The sophomore pacing fillies will line up as follows:
1. R U For Me
2. Makes Her Mark
4. Masked Lover
6. P L Firstlady
7. Amazing Step
2. Natural Instinct
3. The Speed Of Music
4.Apach Of Luck
The second $30,000 leg of the Valedictory and Niagara will go to post on Monday, Dec. 17, with both $60,000 finals slated for Boxing Day (Wednesday, Dec. 26), which will have a special 1 p.m. post time. (WEG)