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Solar Sister carrying Canadian flag in Crown

October 23, 2015
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Veteran Ontario trainer Gregg McNair said he would love nothing more than to win the Breeders Crown with his son, Doug, in the sulky and ultra-talented Ontario-sired 3-year-old pacing filly Solar Sister leading them to the winner's circle Saturday at Woodbine. It would be the first Crown victory for either McNair.
 
"I've had a few Breeders Crown starts and it's awfully good to just have them race well and get money, but with that horse and with Doug driving her, it would be a great thrill to win it,” Gregg said.
 
Last Saturday, Solar Sister posted a one-length victory over Frost Damage Blue in 1:52.1 in their Crown elimination.
 
Solar Sister is one of 27 Ontario-sired horses racing in the 12-race, $7.6 million Breeders Crown at Woodbine and one of the best. No horse, regardless of gait or gender, earned more money in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program in 2015 than Solar Sister, which is only fitting since she's the product of a royal Ontario family going back to her Ontario Sired graddam Cathedra, one of the greatest mares in the history of harness racing.

"You don't have to be up on the horses too much to know the family,” Gregg said.

Solar Sister, a homebred owned by David Willmot and Clay Horner, earned $317,150 of her seasonal total of $507,494 in the OSS competition, where she won three Gold Series legs and the $250,000 Super Final on Oct. 10 at Woodbine Racetrack. But after a lackluster fourth-place finish on Oct. 1 in a Gold Series leg at Flamboro Down, Gregg said he knew something was wrong. At first he thought it was the fact the daughter of Mach Three out of the millionaire Cabrini Hanover had not raced in almost a month. Then he discovered a foot injury.

"It was quite a mess,” Gregg said. "Either some gravel or maybe she hit it one time in the field or something. I don't know what it was, but she was really sore on it. You wouldn't have been able to race her. She wasn't just a little off, she was a lot off.”

Gregg said the injury healed the week before the Super Finals. "Touch wood, she's been good ever since,” he said.
 
Click here to read the entire story by Dave Briggs for Ontario Horse Racing.
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