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Thunder Steeler Coming Up Big for Donna (03/09/13)

Posted Saturday March 9, 2013

                                                     By Mike Paradise

  For the second straight Saturday there were insufficient entries to card either the $17,000 Invitational or the $16,000 Open for fillies and mares.

  Betterluvnexttime, winner of the last four Balmoral Distaff Opens, has left town and if her first start out east is any indication, she won’t be back any time soon.

  The 4-year-old mare overcome the outside 8-hole at Saratoga last Sunday and breezed to a front-end 1:55.3 victory in the Upstate New York’s $20,000 Open Handicap Pace, on a “good” racing surface.

  A pair of $10,000 conditioned paces will be Saturday’s headliners on the Crete big-track and only six mares passed the entry box for the second race co-feature where Fox Valley Touche (Trace Tetrick) was installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite.

  The $10,000 tenth race conditioned pace for colts and geldings did come up with a full field of 10 pacers with the Donna Lee Ozment Stable’s Thunder Steeler the 3-1 first flash favorite.

  After four strong efforts since joining Donna’s stable I expect the 4-year-old gelding to go off at much lower odds. Thunder Steeler had a trio of wins to start off the year before he raced first up to Fort Silky last week and still was second-best, beaten only a half-length.

  Thunder Steeler arrived on the local scene for his 4-year-old campaign with 3 lifetime victories on his card. The son of Lis Mara already had that many wins during the month of February for Donna.

  “The same owner (Aaron Waxman of Uncirculated Stable) who sent me Doublertrouble also sent Thunder Steeler to me,” said Donna. “We were hoping to get him straighten out and send him to the Meadowlands for some series but the horse was really worn-down when I got him and it took a while to get him into top shape.

  “He’s a big horse. He’s 17 hands and he’s a smooth gaited horse. He might even be able to race free-legged but I don’t want to take a chance and try it because he’s racing so good now. That was another huge effort by him last week.”

  Thunder Steeler was lightly raced as a 2-year-old, going winless in 5 outings. He picked-up his trio of wins in Canada last year when he made $76,341 with over $24,000 of that amount coming in the $48,500 Upper Canada Final at Georgian Downs where he sped to a 1:50 flat clocking.

  Thunder Steeler took command in that race after the first quarter and went to a :54 flat first half enroute to a widening 9 length triumph for his Ontario, Canada owners who paid $20,000 for him as a yearling at the 2009 Harrisburg Sale when his name was Mara Manna.

  Thunder Steeler leaves from post six Saturday when he takes on Stamped By Design (program odds of 12-1), Star City Hero (15-1), and Bulla Lea (10-1, Major Monet (10-1), Don’t Worry Be Happy (9-2), Special Joe (5-1) and Born To Rockn Roll (10-1)

  A Five Bagger: Todd Warren brought home five winners on last night’s Friday card at Maywood including the 44-1 longshot Nash Gram at $91.00 in the 12th race. Casey Leonard added a trio of victories with Tamarac Sassy again dominating the filly and mare feature, this time by four lengths in 1:55.2.

  To view Archived Notes and Quotes click here


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