Warrawee Ubeaut left little question about her speed last year, but her behavior was not always the best. If her work heading into this season has been any indication, though, the returning Dan Patch Award winner is blossoming into Miss Manners.
“At times last year she would get a little too excited and she would drive me instead of letting me drive her,” said Yannick Gingras, who has sat behind Warrawee Ubeaut for every start of her career. “But all winter long they told me how good she was coming back and how well behaved she was. They were right.
“Her manners have been perfect so far. She’s just very chill out there.”
Warrawee Ubeaut, from the stable of trainer Ron Burke, in 2018 became the fastest 2-year-old pacer in history when she won a division of the International Stallion Stakes in 1:48.3 at Lexington’s Red Mile. She makes her 2019 debut Friday afternoon (May 3) in the first of two $83,240 divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
“We’re definitely excited,” Gingras said. “I thought she had a great year last year and we’re always looking forward to seeing those kinds of horses come back. I’m really happy with the way she qualified. She was perfect both times.”
Warrawee Ubeaut won two qualifiers at The Meadowlands, both in 1:53.2, ahead of Friday’s start. In the first qualifier, she paced her final quarter-mile in :26. In the second, this past Saturday, she came home in :26.4.
“She paced home a little more the first week on paper, but the last time was into a strong headwind and she still came home very strong,” Gingras said. “Both those starts were exactly what we wanted.”
Warrawee Ubeaut won seven of 12 races last year and earned $646,995 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Phil Collura, the partnership of Jerry Silva, Theresa Silva, Purnel Jones Jr. and Elizabeth Jones, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. In addition to the International Stallion, her victories included the Breeders Crown and Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes.
She is a daughter of former Burke star Sweet Lou, who shared the previous world record of 1:49 for a 2-year-old pacer, out of the mare Great Memories. She is a half-sister to retired O’Brien Award-winner Warrawee Needy, who still shares the world record of 1:46.4 for a 4-year-old pacer. “(Warrawee Ubeaut) won a lot of races last year on pure speed,” Gingras said. “This year she is going to have to have manners too. Of course, I think she’s got as much, if not more, speed than anybody else but there will be more horses that can keep up with her. If her manners are not good they can beat her. But Ronnie’s guys have put in a lot of hard work all winter to get her to where she is now.
“It’s a strong (3-year-old pacing filly) division,” he added. “It’s a deep group; there are a bunch of horses that can go. I think if Warrawee Ubeaut is at her best that she is a standout. But I’m sure other guys in the division think theirs are as good. We’ll let the horses do the talking.”
The opening round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes features seven of the nine fillies that competed in last season’s championship for 2-year-olds. Warrawee Ubeaut finished third in the final, beaten a neck by stablemate Sylph Hanover and nipped for second place by Philly Hanover. Those two fillies also return to PaSS action Friday, along with She’s Allright, Sweeter Lulu, Stonebridge Soul, and Rockn Philly.
Racing begins at 12:25 p.m. (EDT) at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
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