'Difficult' Brusque Brushes Off Handpainted

The "difficult" horse made things look easy at Woodbine on Saturday.

Sent off at 18-1, Brusque ran like a seasoned champion in the $272,000 Mazarine Breeders' Cup Stakes, brushing aside a stout field of seven rivals, including the previously undefeated Handpainted.

Emile Ramsammy, who picked up his ninth stakes score on the season, wasted no time in assuming command of the 1 1/16-mile event, rushing Brusque to the front in the two-turn race.

The duo cut an opening quarter-mile clip in a snappy :23.30. Todd Kabel, aboard Handpainted, rated his filly second, while Na Somsanith had Mountain Dawn in third.

After a half-mile in :47.30, the daughter of Canaveral rocketed away from the field into the final turn, maintaining her comfortable advantage with each step.

The final time for the race was 1:45.33, over a main track rated as "fast."

The strong showing, however, represented the final race of the year for the improving chestnut, a calculated move on the part of conditioner Ronald Woods.

"She's very difficult to train, she's very tough to gallop and I don't want to run her into the ground," said Woods, who earned his first added-money victory of 2002. "She's a pretty nice filly."

It was also redemption of sorts for the Kentucky-bred, whose only previous stakes experience was less-than-memorable.

"We were confident going into the Ontario Debutante Stakes (the two-year-old's race on Aug. 11), but she was rushed to the gate and went down on her heels in that one," said Woods, who also owns the lifetime winner of three races. "But she came back strong."

Ramsammy, who made every pole a winning one, felt Brusque's need for speed would serve her well on this day.

"She's a speed horse and was up there all by herself," noted the Brampton resident, who was aboard Brusque for the first time. "I thought they'd be up close, but, when I looked back, I realized I was more in the clear than I had thought."

In spite of the uncontested triumph, Ramsammy, fourth in the colony in wins on the campaign, believes the filly has the goods to fend off any challengers.

"She gives me the impression that if horse comes up to her, she'll dig in and be very game."

In victory, Brusque earned $165,900, boosting her lifetime total to $260,964.

She paid $38.10, $10.10 and $5.80 across the board, combining with Handpainted ($2.70, $2.10) for a $107.20 exacta. Mountain Dawn ($3.60) held for third, rounding out a $335.90 trifecta.

(Chart, Equibase)