Day At The Track

Blue Ivy takes on male rivals

09:24 AM 03 Mar 2021 NZDT
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Bill Bercury, harness racing Blue Ivy, harness racing
Bill Bercury trains Blue Ivy
Chris Gooden photo
Blue Ivy in action
Chris Gooden photo

Whether it's her performance on the racetrack, or her demeanor around the barn, Bill Bercury can find an abundance of reasons to be happy with female harness racing pacer Blue Ivy, who on Thursday will take on five male rivals in the $14,600 Open Handicap at The Meadows.

"She's ready, willing, and able," said Bercury, who trains the 5-year-old mare for his wife Renee. "She's put together perfectly, and she's got a great attitude. I throw my arms around her and give her a big hug and she doesn't pin her ears or anything. She's very pleasant, very accommodating. She's never at the back of her stall, she's always at the door, ready for you to get her.

"She's a wonderful mare. I just love her."

Bercury bought Blue Ivy, a daughter of Captaintreacherous out of Grand Circuit stakes-winner Ali Blue, near the end of her 3-year-old season. She has won 16 of 24 races for Bercury, earning $134,825 in purses. For her career, she has captured 22 of 50 starts and banked $301,560.

"I loved watching her race," Bercury said about his initial attraction to Blue Ivy. "When (drivers) pulled her, she went. I was very impressed with the way she raced. Obviously, she's royally bred. I just liked her a lot."

Blue Ivy has won three of four races this year. Following Thursday's start in the Open at The Meadows, where she is the 2-1 morning-line favorite, Blue Ivy will head to New York for the six-week Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway.

"I have to race her against the boys because I just can't find a race for her," Bercury said. "That will be challenging. I hate to do it, but I hate to send her into the Matchmaker without her being reasonably tight.

"In my opinion, I have her just right. I've not pushed her this year, knowing that's where I was going. I think she is going to be very comfortable with that six weeks in (the Matchmaker)."

Bercury will send Blue Ivy to trainer Todd Buter and driver Tyler Buter for the Matchmaker. Tyler Buter has won four times with Blue Ivy during her career.

"He's a very good driver," Bercury said. "He drove her some before I bought her and did very well with her. I think I made a good choice.

"When I bring her up there, it will be (Todd's) horse. I'll stay out of it. Two guys can't train a horse."

The Matchmaker will be Blue Ivy's first appearance on the Grand Circuit since joining Bercury's stable. Bercury hoped to race the mare in the Breeders Crown last year but decided against it because he thought Blue Ivy was getting tired at that point in the year. He has the Breeders Crown on his radar again this season.

"I think she's that kind of horse," Bercury said. "I'm looking to find another one just like her."

Racing begins at 12:45 p.m. (EST) Thursday at The Meadows. For complete entries, click here.

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

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