HALLANDALE BEACH, January 27, 2023 – Ontario Bred Miss Speedy is primed and ready for the biggest spotlight of her career, the Gr. 2 Inside Information pres. by Brightline, one of six additional graded stakes on the $3 million Gr. 1 Pegasus World Cup pres. by Baccarat card at Gulfstream Park.
The Mark Casse trainee – owned by Gary Barber and father-son duo Barry and Ryan Shane Kerbel – comes into the race off a two-month layoff following a win in her final start of 2022, an allowance at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ont., on December 10.
“She is training lights out,” said Ryan Shane. “Mark is thinking the horse is in great shape, and wants to try something a bit more interesting.”
Miss Speedy, a five-year-old mare by Ontario Sire Souper Speedy, was a stakes winner at three, taking the $150,000 Duchess over seven furlongs on the tapeta at Woodbine.
The seven furlong Inside Information pres. by Brightline is her second attempt in graded stakes company, and running on dirt. Her first time doing both came in the 2021 Gr. 2 Lexus Raven Run at Keeneland.
“It seemed like she handled dirt well that time, but lost her footing on the turn and had a small setback,” said Kerbel. “But, Mark actually likes her better on the dirt, she is training better, and last time her body was adjusting the surface.”
Since leaving Woodbine in December, Miss Speedy has been at Casse’s farm in Ocala, Fla.
“It’s a tough race, but to me she gets over the dirt very well,” said Casse. “I think she is probably a better dirt horse than synthetic horse and she is going to need to be. It’s a tough race, but we are cautiously optimistic.
The Kerbel’s purchased Miss Speedy as a yearling from Susan Foreman’s consignment at the 2019 Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (CTHS) Ontario Yearling sale.
Bred by Linda Mason, Miss Speedy was a physically imposing yearling who caught their regular trainer Denyse McClachrie’s attention.
“Denise liked her eye, her size, and her conformation,” said Kerbel. “She and her siblings have this grandeur to them. Her brothers have the same size, just big musculature. As a yearling she looked like a two-year-old, as a two-year-old she looked like a three-year-old and now she looks like a seven-year-old.”
Mason bred the dam, Miss Dorothy, to Souper Speedy, because she liked his pedigree and felt they would cross well. She went back to Souper Speedy in 2019 and Miss Speedy’s full brother Mr Speed broke his maiden at Woodbine this year.
“The foals are just stunning out of that mare,” said Mason. “Plain dark bay, but good looking and good-minded horses, and that’s what the mare threw. Just good-minded horses.”
So, Kerbel and his father have been with Miss Speedy for the long haul. She didn’t make the races at two, but broke her maiden at first asking for McClachrie. Then Barber partnered on the horse, and she was transferred to Casse’s barn.
“Denise broke her in, picked her, and gave her the foundation for success, and Mark has done a fantastic job too,” said Kerbel. “He is just such a patient guy. He just waits and waits until the horse is ready, and finds the right race.”
Patience will be key for Miss Speedy on Saturday, with plenty of speed in the seven furlong race, she’ll have to stay within herself.
“There looks to be a fair amount of speed, so in an ideal trip I’d like to see her just off the pace,” said Casse. “It’s not easy at Gulfstream coming from too far out of it. We don’t want to be too far out of it, so we’ll try to be close.”
Kerbel will be heading south to Gulfstream Park to take in that action and hoping for that ideal trip.
“Any time you’re in a race it’s exciting, so of course being in a stakes race is exciting,” said Kerbel. “But, the goal is to have stake caliber horses, and allowance caliber horses, and the dream is winning graded stakes, so it’s exciting for all connections to see her in this race.”
Image: Miss Speedy wins at Woodbine Racetrack on December 10, 2022. (Michael Burns Photo)