04/22/2010 11:00PM

Concert Music's comeback is no easy task


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The connections of Concert Music were pretty excited and optimistic about her future when she came out and romped in her first two starts last year.

She just toyed with her competition when she debuted in a $15,000 maiden claiming race last May 2. Proving her facile win was no fluke, Concert Music came right back and scored an easy six-length win over Quillo's Intention in a first-level optional $50,000 claimer two weeks later.

Optimism turned into concern, however, when Concert Music came down with a virus that caused her to miss the rest of the year.

Her trainer, John Snow, is looking forward to Concert Music's comeback Sunday in the eighth race at Hastings, a six-furlong money allowance also open to $50,000 claimers.

"We had her entered in the Supernaturel Stakes on Canada Day and she got real sick on us," said Snow. "We treated it aggressively with a 21-day program that seemed to kill it, but she just never got healthy. Every time it looked like she was turning the corner it came back and hit her. She was in training off and on until last October. Finally we just turned her out. That was an ordeal I've never been through before and never want to go through again."

Snow was quite surprised by Concert Music's impressive debut.

"She had a bit of a breathing problem and she never really showed us she had that kind of talent," he said. "We made some adjustments to help out her breathing, plus some equipment changes, and she did seem to be coming around just before her first start. I wouldn't have run her for $15,000 if I thought she was that good, though."

Snow is happy with the health of Concert Music, though she did miss some training this spring.

"There is no sign of the virus, but she did skip a work because of a minor foot problem," he said. "She is ready to go, though. She works so strong, and gets a lot out of them, so I'm not worried about her coming up short."

Concert Music will get a serious class test on Sunday. She will be facing Wind Storm, the top older female sprinter at Hastings last year.

Concert Music's uncoupled stablemate Blue Sky Holiday is no slouch either. She won the Grade 3 B.C. Oaks in 2008 and the Delta Colleen last year. Blue Sky Holiday probably wants more distance, but Snow thinks she has a big shot to upset Wind Storm.

"She seems to be as good as I've ever had her," said Snow. "She just goes out there and just does her thing every time. Wind Storm is a very nice horse and is clearly the one to beat, but I sure like the way Blue Sky Holiday is going right now."

Blue Sky Holiday has won sprinting, but she was facing pretty weak company when she won a five-furlong maiden special weight race at Portland Meadows in 2008. She really blossomed when she started going long, and comes into Sunday's race as the top money earner in the field with $227,296.