Burgess keeps the faith in Blue Porsche
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Despite posting four consecutive off-the-board finishes, Blue Porsche’s reputation still speaks tons as the 3-year-old colt has been installed the 4-1 second choice by the Mohawk oddsmaker in the first of two eliminations for the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic (CTC) on Saturday night.
Trainer Blair Burgess told harnessracing.com Thursday evening that he still has faith in Blue Porsche, who started off his 2011 campaign with three straight victories, including the $353,000 Goodtimes final June 18 at Mohawk. But then the son of Glidemaster was afflicted with a virus, which put him on the shelf for six weeks before returning for the Hambletonian elims at the Meadowlands, where he finished seventh and failed to advance to the final.
Blue Porsche then finished seventh again in his next two starts, and then in a Simcoe division Sept. 3 at Mohawk, he appeared a possible winner while on the lead at the top of the stretch before making a break and finishing last.
“Something’s pinching him and he just hasn’t been trying the same way since he came back from the sickness,” Burgess said with a sigh. “I still think he’s super talented and he’s still super fast, but he has to put together beyond being fast. That’s what I’m looking for.”
Burgess said he believes Blue Porsche, voted the 2010 O’Brien Award as Canada’s 2-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year and runner-up (by one vote) to Manofmanymissions in Dan Patch Award voting in the U.S., has been struggling to regain his strength since coming up sick in late June and missing 42 days of racing.
“He’s been anything but dull, but he did lose some strength,” said Burgesss. “And he’s changed the way he’s trotted a little bit over the summer, and I’m not sure even he has totally figured out how to handle himself. He has some soundness issues behind, and if he was stronger I think he could deal with it better. But he just hasn’t been able to deal with it because he’s sort of changed things up a little bit when he came back from being sick.
“I still think he’s super talented though. He can still smoke if he’s doing things right, but I have to get him doing things right the whole mile.”
Following the Hambo elims, Blue Porsche made a break in a Big M overnight. Returning to Mohawk on Aug. 23 in a Preferred Trot, Blue Porsche stayed flat and finished in a dead heat for seventh, just five lengths behind the winning Define The World. Then came the Simcoe and the break in the stretch.
“He was raced conservatively in the Preferred but he raced good, trotting in (1):52 and change with a last quarter of :27.3,” said Burgess. “So I got optimistic off that effort. But last week was a setback again. He was probably a winner if he had behaved himself.”
Although Trevor Ritchie has been the primary driver of Blue Porsche throughout his 16-start career, a switch has been made to Jody Jamieson for the CTC elims. Jamieson and Blue Porsche will leave from post two in the first of the two elims, with the 6-5 morning-line favorite, Hambletonian winner Broad Bahn, starting from post one.
“I’m just trying to shake it up and change my luck a little bit,” Burgess explained of the driver change. “Go a different way, I guess.”