04/25/2012 7:42AM

Harness: Western Silk must overcome post 8 in Blue Chip Matchmaker at Yonkers


Driver George Brennan confidently stated that he thinks he’s got the best horse in Saturday’s $297,000 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker at Yonkers Raceway. But when the posts were drawn and his mare Western Silk landed post eight and rival See You At Peelers drew the rail, Brennan softened his stance a bit.

“We’re going to have to hope that things work out and we get a third- or fourth-over trip,” he stated.

From the first week of the series Western Silk has shown blazing speed around the half-mile Yonkers oval.

“She’s very quick,” said Brennan. Indeed in the opening leg Western Silk appeared to have all the cards stacked against her coming off the pace after a soft 57 4/5 opening half. That didn’t stop the five-year-old mare by Western Terror from making an explosive move on the third turn and waltzing off to a 1:52 3/5 mile in just her first race of the year.

Last week Western Silk caught the eyes and the imagination of many when she supplanted pacesetter Krispy Apple past the half-mile pole and paced an individual third quarter in an unheard of 261/5 seconds. That’s some kind of pacing on a half-mile track, but Brennan wasn't suprised.

“After that 1:00 3/5 half it's not that big a deal for these type of horses to go like that,” he said.

Even though Western Silk finished second to Krispy Apple in that mile, Brennan has not lost confidence in her.

At the same time Yonkers's leading reinsman is well aware of the competition. “See You At Peelers is definitely the horse to beat,” he said. But that was as far as Brennan would go in showing concern for others in the eight-mare field. And there’s good reason for that.

In 2010 Western Silk was as good as any three-year-old filly in North America. She earned $1,075,233 during that campaign, which included a memorable victory in the Jugette at the lightning fast Delaware County (Ohio) Fairgrounds half-mile track.
Last year in a rather brief campaign she was undefeated in her three starts at Yonkers.

It should come as no surprise to breeding experts that Western Silk has become a top pacing mare. Her third dam was the champion mare of the 70s Silk Stockings. Her second dam, Lady Longlegs, was the richest daughter of Silk Stockings. Her dam, Extemperaneous, was the richest daughter of Lady Longlegs.

Western Silk is the first foal of her dam by one of today’s top, if underrated sires Western Terror.

Western Silk has appeared to be a much more mature horse at five than she was at four. In all legs of this series she has exhibited tremendous pacing power through the third quarter no matter how fast the fractions were.

While Brennan wasn’t about to tip his hand about his driving strategy one has to wonder with Western Silk’s quickness whether he will try to use her early in the race as opposed to near the end.

The owner of the winning mare in the Blue Chip Matchmaker is offered a free breeding to any stallion at Blue Chip Farms in New York. Western Silk should fit the bill if she wins. It was her third dam, Silk Stockings, who helped make Blue Chip’s Most Happy Fella into a champion stallion and elevate the farm’s status to number one in New York.

The Matchmaker final is slated as race 7 on the 12-race Yonkers card. Post time is scheduled for approximately 9:10 p.m.

$297,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker final

PN Horse Driver DRF Harness Eye Line
1 Rocklamation Yannick Gingras 7-2
1A Ginger And Fred Jason Bartlett 7-2
2 See You At Peelers Brian Sears 8-5
3 Anndrovette Tim Tetrick 2-1
4 Fox Valley Sage Cat Manzi 20-1
5 Billmar Scooter Eric Goodell 12-1
6 Chancey Lady Andy Miller 10-1
7 Western Silk George Brennan 8-1