08/11/2005 11:00PM

Soft-tissue injury sidelines Poker Brad for at least a year

Email

AUBURN, Wash. - Poker Brad is out of the Aug. 21 running of the Grade 3, $250,000 Longacres Mile after being injured in a workout here on Tuesday, according to trainer Tim McCanna.

McCanna said that Poker Brad, a 7-year-old with career earnings of $424,790, pulled up badly after working a half-mile in 47.80 seconds in preparation for the Mile.

"He took a bad step after he crossed the wire and hyperextended his right front," said McCanna. "It's a soft-tissue injury, but it is hard to say exactly what it is quite yet. I know it's bad enough that he'll be out a long time.

"I know how to deal with him, because all I had was hurt horses when I first started out. I'll take him home and leave him alone for a year, then we'll see what we've got. I won't bring him back as a broken-down horse."

Poker Brad has won 9 of 39 starts for Quadrun Farm LLC, an ownership group that includes McCanna. His stakes victories include the 2003 Portland Meadows Mile, the 2003 and 2004 Mt. Rainier, and this year's Independence Day Handicap.

"He's the best horse I've ever had," said McCanna. "It's a blow to lose him, but he had five strong campaigns and there aren't many who have run as well as he has for as long as he has. He's a warrior."

Bullet for Flamethrowintexan

Flamethrowintexan, who now ranks as the clear local favorite for the Mile, drilled five furlongs in a bullet 59 seconds with Bryson Cooper up for trainer Jim Penney. Cooper, the trainer's son-in-law, said the work was even better than it looks on paper.

"I came back and worked Arco Iris in the same time 20 minutes later, but there was no comparison between the two works," said Cooper. "He did it so easy and he galloped out so strong, I literally had goosebumps on my arms. I'm really, really pleased with the way he is coming into the Mile. He's at the very top of his game."

Flamethrowintexan is one of three Penney-trained horses nominated for the Mile, but Kay Cooper, the trainer's daughter and assistant, said he may be the only one to start. She said Turban is being pointed toward the Mile Consolation on the Mile Day program, while Sabertooth will be hard-pressed to make the Mile after being scratched at the gate before the Governor's Handicap on July 31.

"Scratching him after he acted up in the gate was absolutely the right thing to do, and I thanked the vet for doing it," said Kay Cooper. "At the same time, he missed his prep race and he also missed a workout. I promised the owners that we'd make every effort to get him into the race, but we're all in agreement that he won't run if he's not 100 percent ready. It's going to be touch and go."

Sabertooth, who races for Bob and Bruce Sparling, won the 2002 Mile and established a world record for 6 1/2 furlongs when he won this season's FSN Handicap in 1:13.

Mr. Makah has 'horrible' work

In contrast to Flamethrowintexan, Mile hopeful Mr. Makah worked "horrible" on Thursday, according to trainer Bonnie Jennie. The trainer was still smiling after Mr. Makah went a half-mile in 50.20, however.

"He does that sometimes," she said. "He worked five furlongs in 1:02.20 before his last race, and he still ran pretty well. All the same, I hope he is a little more serious about his final work. I'm going to blow him out three furlongs on Wednesday, and he could use a sharp work. He doesn't always try, though, and there isn't a lot I can do about it."

Despite his morning lethargy, Mr. Makah almost always shows up in the afternoons. He ran third to Adreamisborn in last year's Mile, and he won this season's Budweiser Emerald Handicap with his trademark late run. He was victimized by a controlled pace in two subsequent races, but still managed to finish a close third in the Independence Day Handicap, and closed almost nine lengths when fifth to Flamethrowintexan last time out in the Mt. Rainier Handicap on July 31.

"He didn't get the pace he needs in his last two races, but we shouldn't have to worry about that in the Mile," said Jennie. "They almost always go fast in the Mile, and that will give him a chance."

Summer sale lists 212 yearlings

Catalogs are now available for the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association's annual summer yearling sale, which will be held Sept. 6 in the M.J. Alhadeff Sales Pavilion on the grounds of Emerald Downs.

A total of 212 hips have been cataloged, including yearlings by such nationally prominent sires as Afternoon Delites, Boundary, Doneraile Court, Gulch, Helmsman, In Excess, Orientate, Phone Trick, Quiet American, and With Approval.

Stallions represented by 10 or more offspring are Cahill Road, Free at Last, Liberty Gold, Slewdledo, and Tribunal.