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NYSS champion a BC hopeful

October 26, 2006

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New York Sire Stakes champion 3-year-old filly trotter Quick Credit squeaked into Saturday’s $500,000 Breeders Crown final at Woodbine, but her past performances still led to her being the 7-1 third choice in the race behind odds-on choice Passionate Glide and Pure Ivory.

Trainer Paul Kelley, who shares ownership of the daughter of Credit Winner with his brother, television producer David E. Kelley, and William Weaver’s Valley High Stable, had to make a driver switch for the final, replacing the injured John Campbell with Ontario-based reinsman Paul MacDonell.

“Paul, in my opinion, is one of the top drivers not only in Ontario, but I would classify as one of the top drivers in the business,” Kelley explained to harnessracing.com Thursday morning. “He drives a trotter real good and I like guys that can keep a trotting filly a little quiet; he fits that mold.”

After an eight-win season in 2005, Quick Credit has a 10-3-2-2 ledger as a sophomore, scoring her career best of 1:56.2 over the half-mile track at Saratoga while winning the New York Sire Stakes championship in mid September. However, in her next start in a Bluegrass division at The Red Mile she went offstride behind the gate, and then she came back the following start to finish a distant fifth in her Breeders Crown elim, just barely earning her way into the final.

“We’ve had a few bumps as the season has gone along. In Lexington she just never was really relaxed the entire time she was there,” said Kelley. “I’m not making excuses, but I stable at a farm in upstate New York with a real quiet atmosphere, but in Lexington, being at the track and on the track with so many horses every morning, it just didn’t seem to suit her. She was a little too keyed up and a little too anxious all the time. And that was the way she was when she went behind the car in the Bluegrass.

“In the Breeders Crown elimination I took a different approach after the Lexington race,” he continued. “I just wanted to make sure I had her quiet. I opened her up and I raced her with an ear hood, and she went from one extreme to the other: from being in Lexington a little too keyed up, to being totally relaxed, really too relaxed. This week I’ll close her back up and race her the way she has all year.”

Kelley said he was thrilled with the post position draw, which resulted in Quick Credit landing the two hole, right inside of Pure Ivory and Passionate Glide, respectively.

“We were fortunate to get in because we really didn’t race that great last week…so we got lucky there and we got lucky with the post draw,” he said. “She has a tough two in front of her, that’s for sure, but there’s a bunch of good fillies in the race.

“But it’s pretty safe to say that Passionate Glide is on a different plane than the rest of the fillies, and I would say that (Pure Ivory), if not on that same plane as Passionate Glide, she’s pretty close,” he concluded. “We’ll get a better idea on Saturday night how it all sorts out. But it’s a trotting race and anything can happen, so we’ll take our best shot.”
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