Star Power Report
Checking in with the connections of Broadway Donna, Color’s A Virgin and Womans Will
by Bill Finley
With stakes season rapidly approaching, Harness Racing Update continues to touch base with the camps behind some of the sport’s brightest stars. Today, the latest on a collection of names that should make plenty of trips to the winner’s circle in 2016:
Broadway Donna report:
Though she finished her year on a down note when seventh in the Breeders Crown, Broadway Donna had already done enough to merit being named the outstanding two-year-old female trotter of 2015. The daughter of Donato Hanover—Broadway Schooner won nine of 10 starts and earned $531,286.
Owner/breeder Jules Siegel reports that his filly is doing “very well” as she prepares for her three-year-old debut for trainer Jim Campbell.
“The plan is to get in some overnight races before we do anything else,” he said. “The first big race could be the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races on June 19 at Pocono.”
One place you definitely won’t find Broadway Donna is in the Hambletonian. Not only did Siegel say he had no interest in racing a filly in the Hmabletonian he said anyone doing so needs to question their sanity.
“That would be crazy,” he said of racing Broadway Donna in the Hambletonian. “It would be nuts. If you would do that you’re either money hungry or you’re nuts. It’s just too hard for a filly.”
Brian Brown report:
Led by Color’s A Virgin, Brian Brown had a huge year last year, setting new career bests in wins (143) and earnings ($3,430,241). With several top horses in his stable he could top those numbers this year.
Color’s A Virgin (Always A Virgin—Full Color) went over the $1 million mark in career earnings last year and should once again be one of the top older pacing mares in training in 2016. She had a busy winter. She was bred to Somebeachsomewhere through embryo transfer and Brown reports the recipient mare has been declared in foal.
“We’re a little bit behind with her because we’ve had some weather issues here in Florida,” he said. “She’s been in 2:08. I’ve got to get at least two, three good weeks of training in her before I can get her qualified.”
Brown said his goal is to make the May 8 Miami Valley Distaff at Miami but admitted that when it comes to having his mare ready in time he is “walking a tightrope.”
Lost For Words had a big year for Brown in 2015, earning $694,673 and also winning a heat of the Little Brown Jug. Brown said he intends to make the four-year-old season as easy as possible for the son of Well Said—Thou Shalt Not.
“We didn’t start him back until the first of February,” he said. “We gave him a three-month break and tried to put weight on him. He looks much better than he did the last couple of years. We did have to take an OCD chip out of the left hind ankle. I’m going to give that horse as easy an early part of the season as I can. The Battle of Lake Erie could be his first major race. I have him staked more heavily to the bigger races at the end of the year. I don’t want to race this horse against Always B Miki and those other tough older horses until as late as possible. Dave Miller thinks he’ll have a great five-year-old year if I don’t beat him up too much this year.”
Spider Man Hanover had a promising two-year-old season for Brown in 2015, earning $221,351. As is the case with Lost For Words, the trainer doesn’t want to be overly aggressive with the son of Western Ideal—Stolly Up Bluechip this year.
“He’s always been a very sound horse, but he’s also a very aggressive horse,” he said. “We are trying to rig him up to get him to calm down and let the driver make the moves instead of him making them. He’s probably as fast or faster than Lost For Words but I don’t know if he’s as tough. We’re planning on maybe sitting out those big races early, the Meadowlands Pace, the North America Cup, the Adios. If you go in all of them, that’s a very tough eight weeks.”
Julie/Andy Miller report:
In colt Milligan’s School and filly Womans Will, the Julie Miller stable had two good two-year-old trotters last year that had similar years. Both were good, but neither were the best of their division. With some improvement, that could change. Andy Miller, who drives for his wife, Julie, and assists her with the training, gave a good report on both of her three-year-old trotters.
“They’re both training back very well,” he said. “They’ve both been around 2:20 and are doing it nicely. We’re letting them dictate when we first start them this year, but it will be at least a month-and-a-half, two months. Obviously, we’re hoping to have them ready Hambletonian Day. That’s when we want them to peak and be at their sharpest.”
Milligan’s School made $302,560 last year and scored a major win in the International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile. Womans Will made $401,615 and her wins include the Matron at Dover.
Can they get to the next level?
“They can, but to do so they need to develop and we need some
luck,” Miller said. “They need to be sharp at the right time and you always need to have a lot of luck.”