Day At The Track

'Sweetheart' Lady Andi heads into Del Miller

07:49 PM 12 Jul 2012 NZST
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As he makes his way to his stable every morning, harness racing trainer Larry Rathbone already knows seeing his 3-year-old filly Lady Andi will be the most uplifting portion of the next 24 hours.

"She is an absolute sweetheart and the most pleasant part of my day around the barn," said the Lake Worth, Fla., resident.

The daughter of Andover Hall and Lady Lifter was purchased from the 2010 Lexington Selected Sale for $35,000 by M and L of Delaware LLC and Little E LLC. In her first year on the job, Lady Andi left the gate 13 times with two victories, three seconds and five thirds, collected $188,788 in purse money, and her fastest win came in 1:57.3s. Both of her triumphs were at Vernon Downs, in a $10,000 division of the Kindergarten Classic on August 26 and in the $182,500 Kindergarten Final on October 28.

The filly also was third in an $89,885 Champlain division at Mohawk on September 1, a $109,100 division of the Bluegrass at The Red Mile on September 29, a $93,000 division of the International Stallion Stake at The Red Mile on October 6 and the $365,000 Goldsmith Maid Final at Harrah's Philadelphia on November 13.

This year, Lady Andi has started five times with one win in a $32,000 PA All-Stars contest at Pocono Downs on July 8 in a new lifetime best of 1:55.1f, seconds in two overnight races at the Meadowlands on June 8 and June 29 and in the $35,445 Historic Stakes at Tioga Downs on June 17.

Her next appearance will be this Saturday (July 14) in the $245,500 Delvin Miller Memorial Trot at the Meadowlands where she will leave from post eight in a nine horse field.

"We were undecided whether we were going to drop her in the box for the Del Miller and then thought we would, hoping there would be two divisions and we would draw into the one away from Check Me Out and Win Missy B, but as you can see that didn't happen," Rathbone said. "She's not quite the caliber of those fillies, but I think she can pick up a check. I thought both of her overnight races at the Meadowlands were quite good and the race at Pocono was very nice for her too."

Her connections did not go into Ladi Andi's qualifiying races with the utmost confidence, but once the filly started to figure out her job they realized they might have a pretty nice horse on their hands.

"We weren't really sure how she would do until after we qualified her a few times," Rathbone remembered. "Then she started to come around."

The 65-year-old conditioner doesn't do much with the filly between races as he has to be mindful of her workload.

"She is a little on the fragile side, so I have to be careful how I train her," Rathbone explained. "She spends a lot of time on the Equiciser and in the paddock rather than training. I rarely train her at all if her races are close together and when I have had to train her it has worked, but she has minor soreness issues that I don't want to make worse if I don't have to. Also, her groom Ashley, who has been with her since the beginning, takes great care of her."

After Saturday's engagement, Ladi Andi has a full schedule for the rest of 2012 if all goes well.

"We go into the Tompkins-Geers the following Saturday," Rathbone said. "She is eligible to the Moni Maker, the Zweig, the Bluegrass and Kentucky Filly Futurity in Lexington, the Breeders Crown and the Matron, so she has a heavy schedule if she's up to it. It's awful ambitious thinking we might be able to make it to the Hambo Oaks, but we will see how she does against this group (on Saturday).

"She had a good year last year and won the Kindergarten and finished third twice in Lexington also," he continued. "So we figured we would give her a chance this year and staked her to everything. She's just a notch below the very best, but it's a good crop this year and I hope to win on Saturday, but I hope if Ray wins, he goes to the Hambo. If that happens that will influence us also and it's one stop at a time. She is kind of an overachiever and never disappoints us."

$245,500 Del Miller Memorial Trot

PP      Horse              Driver            Trainer

1-Personal Style-David Miller-R. Nifty Norman

2-On The Bright Side-Dave Palone-Jimmy Takter

3-She's All In-Luke Plano-Rick Plano

4-Sterling Volo-Brian Sears-Jan Johnson

5-Win Missy B-Brian Sears-Charlie Norris

6-Check Me Out-Tim Tetrick-Ray Schnittker

7-Superstar Hanover-Ron Pierce-Jimmy Takter

8-Lady Andi-Ron Pierce-Larry Rathbone

9-Quarantine S-Corey Callahan-Jonas Czernyson

by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Courtesy of the US Trotting Association's Web Newsroom


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