Day At The Track

Gates Brunet talks about his chances in 2013

07:48 AM 08 May 2013 NZST
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Gates Brunet - fair going for it! Gates Brunet and Cowgirl Hall Gates Brunet Gates and Debbie Brunet
Gates Brunet - fair going for it!
Gates Brunet and Cowgirl Hall - Winning at Vernon Downs in September last year
Gates Brunet - All geared up and rearin to go
Gates and Debbie Brunet
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New York harness racing trainer Gates Brunet compares training 2-year-olds at this time of year to a game of poker. 'I got a poor hand last year, and the babies didn't come to much, but this year it's is looking much more promising. I have shares in six or seven and even though it's early days I think I might have a nice hand.

“Hopefully I’ve got four aces but at this time of the season you can never really tell. I might only have a couple of kings, but I think at least a couple of them will go alright

“What I can tell you is that I do have a better crop of babies this year,” Brunet told Harnesslink.

Brunet targets the New York Sires stakes series with his babies.

The Munnsville based horseman might have had just an average season with his 2-year-olds in 2012 but that was not indicative of his season.

In fact far from it - the 61-year-old had his best season in 17 years of training. He also had starters lining up in the prestigious Hambletonian and Breeders Crown events.

He won 30 of his 151 starts and $730,362 – UDR an impressive 0.337. All up he’s now won 207 races and $3.4 million since 1992 – lifetime UDR: 0.301.

Included in his 30 wins were back-to-back Sires Stakes 3yo trotting filly and colt Finals with Cowgirl Hall (1:54.4) and Coraggioso (1:54.3).

Conway Hall gelding Classic Conway also won the Fall Harvest 3yo trot at Yonkers Raceway.

Coraggioso qualified in 1:56.3, winning by 31 lengths for driver Brunet at Vernon Downs on Friday (April 26).

A son of Conway Hall, Coraggioso (Italian for Courage) has won 11 of his 23 starts and just over half a million dollars.

“He’s a nice horse and I think will have another big year. He felt great in his qualifier. He’s a home bred, whereas Cowgirl Hall was a $23,000 yearling purchase,” Brunet said.

Cowgirl Hall won her qualifier in 1:56 even at Vernon Downs on April 19 and then a week later opened her season’s account with a close-up fifth on the same track.

“I was pleased with the run. She was less than two lengths from the winner and will be stronger for the run,” said Brunet who trains a team of 14.

Cowgirl Hall won $361,245 last year - $72,075 less than former stable representative – Some Girls.

That 5-year-old daughter of Conway hall won 16 of her 28 starts for Brunet. She is now being trained by Julie Miller in New Jersey .

So looking to this year’s 2-year-old crop, Brunet singled out three babies:

“There’s a wee bit of a buzz about for a Muscle Hill colt named Muscle Midas. His owner Bill Augustine also has a share in the Hambo winner Market Share.

“Then there’s another Conway Hall colt named High Q and a Crazed colt named Wild And Crazy Guy. They are both bowling around quite nicely.

“The cream will start to rise to the top in May and June, so it’s still a bit early to say exactly where my 2-year-olds are at, but at this stage of the year, I’m really happy with them,” said Brunet.

For the record Brunet had seven starters at Yonkers Raceway last year for six wins and a nose second.

Watch for Brunet’s name to be in even brighter lights this stakes season.

By Duane Ranger (editor)


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