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Fire On Ice

By Jon Forbes | 08/27/2011 05:06 PM ET

Fire On Ice may not be the easiest horse to train, but trainer John Kimmel will happily cope with the colt’s quirks if he continues to offer the brilliance he displayed in his debut win on Travers Day at Saratoga Race Course.

“We had the horse for a couple months, and we were trying to come up with a name,” said Kimmel, who owns the son of Unbridled’s Song in partnership with Eli Gindi. “We thought the name might be taken, but we looked it up and it wasn’t taken. It certainly is appropriate for his demeanor. He has a lot of energy, and you certainly have to keep a close eye on him when you’re walking him or he’ll take a nice, big chunk out of you.”

On Saturday, Fire On Ice dueled with Casual Trick through fractions of 22.29 and 45.07 seconds, dispatched that rival straightening for home, and continued to run away from his opponents after jockey David Cohen put away the whip inside the final furlong.

Fire On Ice, whose official margin of victory was 10 ¾ lengths, completed the six furlongs in 1:09.67.

“On the other side of the coin, that same fire has made him extremely impressive not only in his morning trials, but he’s also now showed it in the afternoon,” said Kimmel. “He’s never lost a breeze and has breezed with horses who have won. It didn’t surprise me that he won, because I felt that if he ran in the afternoon like he did in the morning that he’d be a pretty serious horse.”

The ease of Fire On Ice’s maiden victory pleased Kimmel.

“We’ll go through years and years and years without coming up with a horse who breaks his maiden like that,” said Kimmel. “He’s healthy, he ate up. He didn’t even stop eating – he went right into his feed tub. He’s kind of impressive. Most horses, if they put forward an effort like that, they might not eat their full complement.

“What I like about him is that he won with a lot left in the tank,” continued Kimmel. “It’s almost a good thing if they don’t go too fast first time out. Sometimes, it really takes a lot to repeat that performance. If he had to run harder, I’m pretty confident he would have broken 1:09.”

Kimmel has ambitious goals for Fire On Ice.

“I would say there is no other place to run in than the Champagne [Grade 1, Belmont Park, October 8]. Obviously, the real bright races are the Champagne and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile [Grade 1, Churchill Downs, November 5].”

Uncle Mo, who also broke his maiden in a six-furlong race on Travers Day, won the Champagne and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile en route to being named last year’s Champion Two-Year-Old Male.

Fire On Ice, who sold for $160,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s July Selected Yearlings sale and was a $170,000 buyback at Keeneland’s Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale, is the third foal and first winner out of Lost in the Storm, an unraced half-sister to 2001 Champion Sprinter Squirtle Squirt.

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