Stewart thrilled with Tactical Landing's qualifier win
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Shortly after watching his 2-year-old colt trotter Tactical Landing romp to a 27 ½-length win in 1:56 in a qualifier early Friday afternoon at The Red Mile, trainer Bob Stewart told harnessracing.com that it is all systems go for the $800,000 yearling purchase to make his pari-mutuel debut on Saturday, Aug. 26, in the second round of Kentucky Sires Stakes.
"I knew that he could go out there and go like that at any time, but he hadn't done it," said Stewart. "I can tell you this, I am sure glad he went like that today. He's just a big horse with a very big gait and it's just taken him a little while to put it all together."
The big-ticket purchase at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Tactical Landing is a full brother to the world champion trotter Mission Brief. The son of Muscle Hill won his first baby race on July 15 at the Meadowlands in 2:00.4 with Brian Sears driving, but he then made a break in his next two attempts, the first at the Big M and the second at Harrah's Philadelphia.
Stewart turned to Charlie Norris to drive Tactical Landing on Friday at The Red Mile, and the colt strolled through fractions of :29.3, :58.3 and 1:28 as he steadily drew off into another county over his rivals. Stewart said while he has not yet made any equipment changes, he is probably going to make a switch in shoes.
"I think we might make a little shoeing change, but other than that, we've changed nothing so far," he said.
Stewart added having Tactical Landing back at his home base at The Red Mile is a big positive, noting the upcoming Sires Stakes races as well as the colt being eligible to the International Stallion and Bluegrass during the two-week Grand Circuit stand.
"The one thing I'm very happy about is that he is going to be at The Red Mile for the next couple months," said Stewart. "I think today is a reflection of The Red Mile with the surface and the two turns. He is just a big, big gaited horse who is going to have to learn to go fast and there is no better place to do that than The Red Mile."
Stewart quipped that Tactical Landing's win was the easy part of his day and the toughest part was the time it took to talk to all the partners in the Tactical Landing Stable. The group is comprise of: Kevin Greenfield; Lynda Stewart; Taylor Stewart; Howard Taylor; Urie Byler; Michael Creps; R. Michael Frank; Wayne Farthing; D Farm; and Andrea Lea Racing Stable.