10/16/2012 3:42PM

Breeders Crown: Put On A Show tackles the boys to finish off her year

Lisa Photo
Put On A Show paced a world record 1:47 3/5 in the Lady Liberty at The Meadowlands.

Trainer Chris Ryder is not shy about his decisions. The trainer of world champion pacing mare Put On A Show made history on Tuesday when he put his five-year-old in the box against male competition in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open event, slated at Woodbine for October 27.

“We’ve been thinking about racing her against the boys for the entire year,” Ryder said. “This was just the last opportunity on the schedule and likely her last race.”

While some may question the wisdom in the move, Ryder feels confident it was the right choice for various reasons.

“The fact that Betterthancheddar wasn’t going to be in it was a big factor in going,” said Ryder.

The obvious division leader was known to be out of action before the entries were drawn on Tuesday morning. The race drew nine males including Foiled Again, We Will See and last year’s Crown champion Bettor Sweet. Yet none of them struck fear in Ryder or Put On A Show’s connections.

“I just didn’t see any dominant horses in that division,” said Ryder. “There were no Lis Maras or Artistic Fellas.”

Put On A Show has at times been brilliant this year and at other times looked anything but dominant. Ryder felt that in some of her less impressive races she was used a little too hard, or in his words “overdriven.”

“I don’t think we have to worry about being overdriven against the boys,” Ryder said.

Put On A Show drew post seven in a $42,000 Open Pace at Woodbine on Friday night where she will go up against fillies and mares. Owned by Craig Henderson, Richard and Joanne Young, Put On A Show has won 11 of her 20 starts this season, good for $460,867. After missing her entire four-year-old season due to injury, Ryder believes that his 1:47 3/5 world record setting mare has never been better.

“She’s paced in 1:48 and come home in :26 seconds enough times this year for me to feel she can go with the boys,” Ryder concluded.

Put On A Show enters Friday’s contest off a sparkling 1:49 victory in an Open event at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on October 9.