05/30/2013 10:17AM

Yonkers: Talented Lonewolf Currier has upset aspirations in Rooney Final

Derick Giwner
Trainer Kevin McDermott feels his Lonewolf Currier could be the fastest horse he has ever trained.

Trainer Kevin McDermott has seen more outside draws than he’d like during his career but he still believes that Lonewolf Currier is up to the task in Saturday’s $275,000 Art Rooney at Yonkers Raceway.

“It seems like in every big race I draw the 10 hole,” said McDermott, after landing post seven in the Rooney.

On the bright side is a very talented son of The Panderosa that McDermott has been careful with and now seems ready for the big races.

“He bucked his shins last year. I know that’s a thoroughbred injury. We could have continued with him but we decided to give him the rest of the year off and bring him back. He’s come back great,” said McDermott.

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After a couple of wins to begin his season, Lonewolf Currier tasted defeat for the first time at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on May 19, finishing fourth in a record-setting 1:48 4/5 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes division.

“I was disappointed at first,” said McDermott on his assessment of the race. “But when Timmy (Tetrick) came back and told me that the horse wasn’t grabbing the track and that he was off the leader by design, I felt better.”

Lonewolf Currier was wearing aluminum shoes on that occasion and according to the trainer the track was rock-hard and it compromised the effort.

McDermott had asked Brian Sears to watch the Sire Stakes event so that he could lure the driver to commit when the horse was entered for last Saturday’s Rooney eliminations.

“When the horse didn’t race well, I was worried that Brian would choose another horse,” said McDermott. “But he trusted me and it’s worked out well.”

Yet McDermott was still surprised by his horse’s performance in last week’s trial considering how far back he was and how strongly he finished.

“You don’t see horses coming home in 27 (seconds) at Yonkers,” McDermott said with some conviction.

In fact, Lonewolf Currier paced his final quarter in :27 2/5, missing just a head in his elimination heat to Sir Carys Z Tam.

While Brian Sears has been named to drive Lonewolf Currier in the final (race 9), the trainer hopes his pilot will be up to the task.

“Brian hasn’t driven since last Saturday. He threw his back out,” McDermott said. “I spoke with him earlier and he said he thinks he’ll be back for Saturday.”

The Rooney is an early test on the sophomore pacing calendar and McDermott believes his horse is as good as anyone in the field and may prove over time to be as good as anyone in the division.

“I’ve said from the start that this horse may be the fastest horse I’ve ever trained. People may not know who he is now but I think they’ll know by the end of the year,” said McDermott.

Doctor Butch, an eight-time winner in 2012, was made the morning line favorite in the race with George Brennan in the bike from post five. Trained by Linda Toscano, Doctor Butch cut the pace in his elimination heat and finished third, but is expected to improve in just his second start of the season.

Source Of Pride (post 2) captured one of the two eliminations last week and should be a force in this race with Dave Miller in the bike. The full brother to last year’s top sophomore filly American Jewel is the more advanced of the Jimmy Takter-trained entry that includes Sunfire Blue Chip (post 1).

The Rooney is the feature on the 13-race program that also includes the $117,060 Lismore for three-year-old filly pacers carded as race seven.