Day At The Track

Yannick Gingras knew Drop The Ball was fast

03:19 PM 06 Oct 2011 NZDT
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Drop The Ball
Drop The Ball - Equaled the fastest mile of the season
Nigel Soult Photo

Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras knew Drop The Ball was fast, and now the 3-year-old filly is showing she can win with that speed. Last weekend, Drop The Ball won the $153,000 Bluegrass Stakes by four lengths over Strike An Attitude in a stakes-record 1:49.1 at Lexington's Red Mile.

On Saturday, Drop The Ball and Gingras return to action in a $130,000 division of the Glen Garnsey Memorial at The Red Mile.

"I think she's the horse to beat," Gingras said. "Her last race was impressive. She won as easy as a horse can win in (1):49.1. We always knew she had that power to put out those kinds of miles, but now she's showing she can do it. It's fun, that's for sure."

As a 2-year-old, Drop The Ball won her first four starts, including a track-record 1:50.4 performance at the Meadowlands in a division of the Countess Adios. She then encountered trouble staying on gait; a problem that continued into this season. The change to a flip-down bridle, and newfound confidence, seemed to put Drop The Ball back on solid footing.

Since the bridle change, the Ross Croghan-trainee has won three of four races and not gone off stride. Her winning ways started with a 1:49.1 victory in the $272,500 Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands on August 6. She won a division of the Shady Daisy in 1:50 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on September 10.

For her career, Drop The Ball has won seven of 17 starts and earned $344,311 for owners Let It Ride Stables, Dana Parham and Robert Cooper Stables.

"Early in the year, the minute she would clear the other horses her mind would be wandering and that's when she would make breaks," Gingras said. "Now she's got her confidence back. Last week I was able to come first up and clear fairly early, at the top of the stretch, and she never tried to do anything. A lot of it has to do with confidence. She's definitely better than she was.

"She's scary fast. Maturity may be part of it. We changed her bridle a little bit and I think that helped. Speed-wise she was ready, but race-wise maybe she wasn't. I'm very pleased with the way she's come along, that's for sure."

A daughter of Western Terror-Mattcheck Girl, Drop The Ball is a full-sister to multiple-stakes-winner Straight Shooting. After the Garnsey, the Breeders Crown is next on the schedule.

"I think last weekend she stamped herself as one of the horses to beat, if not the horse to beat," Gingras said. "I'm very confident in my filly. I'm not scared of anyone else, that's for sure."

by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Courtesy of the US Trotting Association's Web Newsroom

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