Frau Blucher, named after a character in the Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein who frightens horses, looks to threaten heavily favored Bee A Magician in the first elimination for the Hambletonian Oaks on Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Trainer Chris Oakes also sends out Classic Martine in the second of two Oaks $35,000 eliminations. The first five finishers from each split of seven fillies return for the $500,000 final on Hambletonian Day, Saturday, August 3.
The Oaks eliminations are races two and five on a 13-race program, which also includes two eliminations for the US Pacing Championship, plus preps for the Anthony Abbatiello SBOA New Jersey Classic and the Thomas D’Altrui SBOA Miss New Jersey.
With Bee A Magician on the rail, Frau Blucher drew post five with Jim Morrill, Jr. in the sulky. The consistent Broadway Hall filly has 11 wins, four seconds and a third in 17 career starts, and earnings of $581,409 for Hauser Bros. Racing of Orangeburg, NY, Susan Oakes of Wilkes-Barre, PA, J & T Silva Stables of Long Beach, NY and Matt Tudisco of Park Ridge, NJ.
Frau Blucher was a bargain $21,000 discovery.
“Tim Hauser spotted her first at the Harrisburg Sale, and he had me go over her to check out her conformation,” recalled Oakes. “After we looked at her breeding, we went to look at her and found she was a good looking filly.”
Frau Blucher enjoyed a solid two-year-old campaign with seven wins, three seconds and a third in 12 starts, and banked $398,478.
“She had a very good two-year-old season,” said Oakes. “She was a little bit of a feisty filly, but was pretty much a natural athlete from Day One. She always had a lot of talent. She’s push button. I’ve never raced her on a half-mile track, but I suspect she’d be fine on it. She’s such a great-gaited filly.”
In 2012, Frau Blucher pretty much cruised through the lucrative Pennsylvania stakes program where she was either on or near the lead in most of her races.
“Her highlight last year was winning the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Final in a track record of 1:54.4 at The Meadows,” remembers Oakes. “That was a pretty impressive mile. When you know you’ve got that kind of filly you certainly have the Hambletonian Oaks in the back of your mind. Of course, you have to stay healthy and sound.”
Frau Blucher has continued her forward progress and built on her speed as a three-year-old, lowering her mark to 1:52.3.
“She transitioned and filled out nicely from two to three,” noted Oakes. “She’s a beast. She’s an absolute specimen to look at. She’s a very sound horse with zero vet work. She pretty much does everything on her own.
“She bled very mildly when I was training her back, and she was also sick, so I figured I better cover that base at the same time,” he continued. “She gets the minimum amount of Lasix. I don’t think it’s an issue. I trained her with a back half of :56 on Tuesday, and she was clean as a whistle.”
Frau Blucher comes off a second in the Delvin Miller Memorial at the Big M on July 13 and was left in the wake of a 1:51 world record by Bee A Magician.
“I’m not saying she should have beaten Bee A Magician, but I wasn’t happy with her,” admitted Oakes. “I would’ve like to see her be a bit a closer. I just think my filly was dull. I can’t explain it. She didn’t scope sick, but she didn’t eat her breakfast for two or three days. Maybe she had a little bug going through her.
“Also, I don’t know why, but I thought my filly was struggling over that track, “ he continued. “So, we put four aluminum shoes on her. When I trained her in them she transitioned well with them.
“Some people might think I’m crazy, but I believe she could have been better than that. I don’t like to make excuses. We all know Bee A Magician is a special horse, but I think my filly will be more competitive in the next two starts.”
Oakes sends out another speedy filly in the second division from post seven. Classic Martine was a recent purchase for Hauser Bros. Racing of Orangeburg, NY, Susan Oakes of Wilkes Barre, PA, Conrad Zurich of Fayetteville, NY, and Edwin Gold of Phoenixville, PA. She took a mark of 1:53.1 in the PA All Stars at Pocono Downs on June 30. Hall of Famer Ron Pierce is down to drive.
“I bought Classic Martine from Todd Schadel last month,” revealed Oakes. “She won her first two starts for me, then I don’t know what happened at Tioga Downs last time. From what I understand, the track was off, and she got jammed up in the first turn. She was pretty far back and still closed for second. I don’t think she’s quite as good as the top two fillies right now, but we’ll have to see how it goes. It would be great to have an entry in the Oaks.”
Oakes has also entered a sharp pair of three-year-old pacers on the card, Shock It To ‘Em [post ten in race 11] and Big Time Promise [post six in race 13].
“Because their schedule allowed it, I gave both of those three-year-olds a few weeks off. Any time you get a chance to give them a breather it’s probably not a bad idea. Both of them are ready to go. They have Pennsylvania Sires Stakes on Friday, August 2.
“Things are going well again this season. I’m third leading trainer at Pocono Downs. I’m stabled at the track, and I have my own farm in Bear Creek, PA, which is ten minutes from Pocono.”
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