Day At The Track

Purchase of Muscle Baby Doll has paid off

04:33 AM 30 Oct 2015 NZDT
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Muscle Baby Doll
Muscle Baby Doll
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Louisville, KY --- When he received the call about a 2-year-old trotting filly that was for sale, Frank Bellino was in no mad rush to sign a check. His reluctance to purchase Muscle Baby Doll had nothing to do with her family tree or the fact she commenced her career on the Iowa fair circuit. He simply had already acquired a filly of the same age and gait that was also staked to the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series.

“I had just bought You’re Majestic,” said Bellino. “The connections are from Louisiana, but bring their horses to Ohio to sell them. I got her after she won her first start very impressively at Northfield. I was also looking for something that was eligible to the Ontario program.

“Since I already had that filly, I did not need another one for the same conditions and although she (Muscle Baby Doll) was a $5,000 yearling, the price the Huffmans (the filly’s former owners) wanted was much, much more than that.

“I finally made the move to get her because I loved her pedigree. (Jimmy) Takter trained her mother (Have You Ever) and made over $200,000 with her. I have purchased Iowa fair circuit horses before and done quite well with them. They were not stakes horses but performed great in overnights. Also, I really liked her races. It impressed me she beat older horses on a fair track as a 2-year-old. Even after I bought her, I still thought You’re Majestic would be the better filly.”

While You’re Majestic has certainly not disgraced herself as she has amassed just over $200,000 in her short career, Muscle Baby Doll was a quality filly last year and dominated the Ontario Sire Stakes circuit this year. She defeated Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown victor Wild Honey in their $26,250 Elegantimage elimination on Sept. 11 at Mohawk Racetrack and captured seven consecutive races before losing the $307,040 final.

With Bellino deciding not to supplement Muscle Baby Doll to the Breeders Crown and You’re Majestic also being ineligible, he decided to ship his fillies to Hoosier Park to compete against one another in the $140,000 Crossroads of America on Friday (Oct. 30).

Muscle Baby Doll, fresh off a track record performance of 1:53.1 in her $46,750 division of the Circle City over the same surface last week, will leave from post position two in what is carded as the 10th race. David Miller will be holding the lines and the filly is the 5-2 morning line selection. You’re Majestic drew the 10 hole with Yannick Gingras at the controls and is rated at 15-1 off her seventh place finish in the first division of last week’s Circle City. Although both fillies are conditioned by Tony O’Sullivan, they will race under Trent Stohler’s name this weekend.

“Both of them have raced at Hoosier Park before and done well,” Bellino said. “Tony pointed out to me that ‘Baby Doll’s’ race was a track record when he showed me the winners’ photo. I planned on supplementing her to the Breeders Crown, but that performance in the Ontario Sire Stakes final (10th) can be thrown right out. Something got her all worked up behind the gate, she broke and everything just went wrong for her, which is not like her at all. After what happened in the Breeders Crown, Tony and I were Monday morning quarterbacks because we were saying, ‘what if we had put her in’ but hindsight is 20/20 and she was excellent at Hoosier last week. I expect her to race well this weekend.

“With You’re Majestic, we just thought she would perform a bit better. Not that she has been bad at all, but she is definitely not as strong as ‘Baby Doll’ and just did not seem to advance from two to three.”

Muscle Baby Doll is a daughter of Muscle Mass and the Yankee Glide mare Have You Ever. She is the third foal from her dam, who won a $103,938 Simcoe Stakes division in 2004, was third in the Buckette, and fourth in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and $325,000 Delvin Miller Memorial. She was sold to Swedish interests after this filly was weaned.

In her two years of competition, Muscle Baby Doll has collected $387,720, compiled a record of 22-13-4-2 and a mark of 1:52. She has been a model of consistency and a very pleasant surprise for her connections.

She really illustrated an incredible amount of potential with a strong second place finish to Danielle Hall in last year’s Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final. Muscle Baby Doll’s equipment was broken, but she still managed to charge to the line to just miss.

This year she rolled along on that win streak until she had an off night in the Elegantimage and came home eighth. She was then second in a $78,750 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event and 10th in the Super Final after some unknown disturbance.

You’re Majestic has been entered in the same events as her stablemate and while trotting steadily, has been nowhere near as flashy or accomplished. The daughter of Majestic Son and You’re Adorable has earned just under $77,000 in 2015 while coming home fourth in the Super Final and fifth in the Elegantimage. Her lone win of the season came in a non-winners contest in June.

“Tony thinks she (Muscle Baby Doll) slipped through the cracks,” said Bellino, who is recognized as a pacer man due to the success of such horses as Rock N Roll Heaven and Pet Rock. “She went really late in the sale and he thinks people just were not paying attention to her. It does happen, but trust me we paid a lot more than $5,000 for her.

“Actually we’ve been offered quite a bit of money for her, but I wouldn’t sell. After the season ends though, I need to sell one of these fillies. It looks like that will be You’re Majestic, but she does get over a half (-mile track) well and Yonkers goes for really good money.

“We have had an offer from individuals in Sweden for Baby Doll, but I really need to think about it. Tony absolutely loves her and does not want me to sell her, but it’s hard for a 4-year-old to race against males and other older horses. Look how good Bee A Magician is and what her 4-year-old season was like. I have a lot to consider and plan on thinking long and hard about what to do. Especially since we don’t normally part with many horses, especially if they are stakes horses.”

How Carroll and Rick Huffman came to take Muscle Baby Doll home for only $5,000 remains a mystery, but Bellino knows one thing, he is thrilled he took a chance on her.

“I think she can compete with anyone,” he said. “If we don’t sell her to the Swedish interests we will keep her and breed her. Her pedigree is outstanding and she has already proven her class and toughness. When I told Tony I bought her, he asked me if we were now in the 2-year-old trotting filly business and was not sold on her, but now she is his favorite trotter out of all he has had. I didn’t think I wanted her and she showed me I was wrong.”

The Crossroads Of America

PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line

1-I'm So Fancy-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-3-1
2-Muscle Baby Doll-David Miller-Trent Stohler-5-2
3-Smokinmombo-Aaron Merriman-Christopher Beaver-10-1
4-Livininthefastlane-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-8-1
5-Fox Valley Yoko-John De Long-Curt Grummel-30-1
6-Churita-Trace Tetrick-Matt Rheinheimer-8-1
7-Armatrading-Mark O'Mara-Mark O'Mara-30-1
8-Speak To Me-Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-6-1
9-Bright Baby Blues-Tim Tetrick-Bob Stewart-4-1
10-You're Majestic-Yannick Gingras-Trent Stohler-15-1

by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

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