Day At The Track

Precocious Beauty is living up to her name

05:48 AM 28 Aug 2013 NZST
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Precocious Beauty, harness racing
Precocious Beauty heads the She's A Great Lady Stakes Final
Iron Horse Photo

A 2-year-old filly pacer bred and owned by Kentucky's Jim Avritt Sr., Precocious Beauty has won three of five races, finished second in her two losses, and earned $87,158 heading into Saturday's C$451,000 She's A Great Lady Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario.

Two weeks ago, Precocious Beauty won her division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes at Mohawk in a stakes-record 1:50.2, which is the fastest time of the season for a 2-year-old filly pacer and was just one-fifth of a second off I Luv The Nitelife's world record for a 2-year-old filly pacer.

She followed that performance by winning her She's A Great Lady elimination by 2-1/4 lengths over Bahama Blue in 1:52.1. She starts Saturday's She's A Great Lady final from post two for driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair.

"I've been in this business for 50 years so I know anything can happen," Avritt said. "You've got to stay healthy and you've got to stay sound and you've got to have a little racing luck. But I certainly wouldn't trade her for anything else in there, that's for sure. Doug and Gregg have done a great job with her."

Precocious Beauty is a daughter of stallion Art Major out of Avritt's mare Precious Beauty. She is a half-sister to millionaire Sportswriter, who was named harness racing's best 2-year-old male pacer in 2009 and won the North America Cup at age 3 before being retired because of injury.

Avritt bred and raced Precious Beauty, who won a $141,750 Kentucky Standardbred Sales Company Stakes in 2003. That victory is Avritt's most lucrative to date, followed by Precocious Beauty's win in her $105,654 Eternal Camnation division on Aug. 17.

Precious Beauty, a daughter of Jate Lobell and Avritt's broodmare Dominique Semalu, won her first six career races before finishing seventh in her elimination for the She's A Great Lady.

"She got sick and didn't do any good," Avritt said. "But I liked her and kept her and bred her.

"I was fortunate to buy Dominique Semalu (in 1995) at the sale in Harrisburg," he added about the family. "She just turned out to be a really great mare for me. She threw some really high-priced yearlings for us and we kept some of her fillies. One of the fillies I kept out of her was Precious Beauty. Another one was Stunning Beauty, who is the dam of Swinging Beauty, who has made almost three-quarters of a million dollars.

"My plan is to keep every filly out of Precious Beauty and every filly out of Stunning Beauty."

The 72-year-old Avritt liked Precocious Beauty from the beginning. He broke the filly before sending her to Florida for winter training with Gregg McNair.

"She was a great looking filly; an absolutely gorgeous filly," Avritt said. "She's always been a big robust filly. She stood perfect and was very athletic.

"She's done far more than I could've ever expected. She won her first start in (1):54 at Tioga Downs with the last half in :56 and I knew she had to be a pretty good filly. Then she had a couple of tough races where she got roughed up pretty bad, but the way she came out of it and the way she raced I thought she could be a top filly. When she won the Eternal Camnation, I thought this is more than a pretty good filly.

"Doug says she's pretty easy to drive. She's got tremendous speed off the gate, tremendous acceleration and a tremendous will to win."

The She's A Great Lady final also features elimination winner Beach Gal, who captured her division by four lengths over Sudoku in 1:50.3. The third-place finisher in that elim, Gallie Bythe Beach, has won five of six races this year.

Following is the She's A Great Lady field in post position order:

1. Rockingcam Park, Andy Miller, Ron Coyne Jr.;

2. Precocious Beauty, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair;

3. Beach Gal, Scott Zeron, Dave Menary;

4. Ravinia Hanover, Ron Pierce, Jimmy Takter;

5. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell;

6. Sudoku, Jim Morrill Jr., Tony O'Sullivan;

7. I Need Hotstuff, Tim Tetrick, Menary;

8. Bahama Blue, Mark MacDonald, Carl Jamieson;

9. Ali Blue, Yannick Gingras, Takter;

10. Lasting Appeal, John Campbell, Robert McIntosh.

by Ken Weingartner


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