Day At The Track

Camilleri enjoying racing "Daisy"

09:56 AM 25 Feb 2021 NZDT
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Bronskimachkenzie A, harness racing Harness racing
Bronskimachkenzie A is also called Daisy around the barn
Photo courtesy of Tahnee Camilleri
Trainer Tahnee Camilleri and Daisy
Vicki Wright photo

It is no surprise that trainer Tahnee Camilleri feels like a proud mom when she watches Bronskimackenzie A on the racetrack. Camilleri has been part of the female pacer's life since the morning after Bronskimackenzie A's birth and the two have together risen to success in North America.

Bronskimackenzie A -- better known to her faithful followers as Daisy -- was among three horses Australia native Camilleri brought to the U.S. when she started her Stateside stable in 2018. Since arriving, Bronskimackenzie A has won 12 of 50 races and earned $128,249.

She began her career here in non-winners-of-two conditioned races and worked her way up the ladder, resulting in her upcoming start Thursday in the $30,000 open handicap for fillies and mares at Yonkers Raceway. She will start from post one and is 9-2 on the morning line with George Brennan in the sulky.

"If someone would have told me she would end up in a Yonkers mares open, I wouldn't have believed them," Camilleri said. "But she never ceases to surprise me. One way or another, she kept stepping up to the plate. It's very satisfying.

"Win, lose, or draw, I'm so proud of her. It's a proud mother moment."

The 7-year-old Bronskimackenzie A is a daughter of Mach Three out of Bronski Gorgeous.

"My business partner in Australia owned her mother," Camilleri said. "I wasn't there for the birth; she was born in the back field in the middle of the night. We saw her the next day and she's been part of my life ever since.

"She was a very cute foal. She had a blond tail, and her stable name became Daisy. She was called Daisy within a couple of days being born and she's had that name ever since."

Personality wise, Daisy can be a little fresh.

"Diplomatically speaking, she's very cranky," Camilleri said with a laugh. "I just let her think that she's the boss. She likes it that way. There is only one love in her life, and that's food. We try to keep her happy by leaving her alone."

Bronskimackenzie A's fitness routine includes a regular morning swim. Part of the routine includes the mare splashing the water with her front legs before exiting the pool.

"It's like her favorite thing to do," Camilleri said. "She won't come out until you've let her splash. The one time she didn't splash, she ended up being sick later that week. So, we always like to make sure she splashes.

"She's a bit quirky, but I wouldn't change her."

Bronskimackenzie A's 12 wins in the U.S. have come at four different tracks -- Yonkers, Freehold, The Meadowlands, and The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono -- with eight different drivers. Brennan has four wins with her, including her three earliest triumphs.

"George gets along with her very well," Camilleri said. "It's pretty cool to have him on her (Thursday) since he started with her in non-winners of two. She started at the bottom and she's gone all the way to the top.

"She's just like fine wine, she's gotten better with age."

The 34-year-old Camilleri has won 73 races and $1.71 million in purses since starting her U.S. stable. Her top horse so far has been Dancin Lou, a Breeders Crown champion in 2019 and winner of nearly $1 million. But he might not be her most popular. That honor might go to Bronskimackenzie A.

"She's got a really big fan club here in the States," Camilleri said. "So many people know her as Daisy. I get more messages about her than Dancin Lou. A lot of people follow her. She's pretty special."

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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