TORONTO, ON — Ferocious wind, rain, snow and a sloppy track conspired against the province’s top trotters and pacers at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday night, but the nasty weather did nothing to diminish the glow that surrounded Somebeachsomewhere as he captured his nineteenth victory in a remarkable 1:50.3.
“He’s unbelievable, and he’s never disappointed,” said trainer Brent MacGrath after the race, which saw the colt finish almost 12 lengths ahead of Keystone Horatio and Trade Editor. “He amazes me every time he races. I did not expect a mile in 1:50 out of him in that tonight. Yeah, he was tired at the end of it, but he’d have to be, that kind of head wind.”
After a day of rain, the Woodbine oval was rated three seconds slower than normal, and the wind was so strong the winner’s circle presentations for the eight Super Final events were held under cover of the Thoroughbred paddock. As driver Paul MacDonell brought Somebeachsomewhere down the corridor into the paddock, the three-year-old pacing colt’s fans raised the roof with their cheers and applause.
“This was a great idea coming in here, out of the elements. I thought we’d have a pretty good crowd, but — it’s just great for the business,” added MacGrath, who shares ownership on the remarkable Mach Three colt with fellow Truro, NS residents James Bagnell, Garry Pye and Stuart Rath, Pamela Dean of Londonderry, NS, and Reg Petitpas of Shediac Bridge, NB.
Somebeachsomewhere’s Super Final victory, in his last appearance on Canadian soil, pushed the colt’s lifetime earnings over $3 million. The final stop in his remarkable racing career will be at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ where he will contest eliminations, if necessary, for the Breeders Crown on Nov. 22 and the $500,000 Final on Nov. 29. Immediately after the Breeders Crown Final Somebeachsomewhere will retire to stallion duty at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania and the Schooner Stable members will turn their attention back to the mundane aspects of daily life.
“We have lots of things at work to do, and we’ll be going to the awards banquets. We’re going to have a little vacation this winter, we’ll probably go skiing,” says MacGrath of his post-Beach plans. “We’ll keep ourselves busy.”
Somebeachsomewhere was one of four horses Paul MacDonell guided to Super Final glory on Saturday. The Guelph resident also captured three of the four trotting finals with three-year-old gelding Define The World, freshman filly Elusive Desire and his own freshman colt Pointe of Honour.
MacDonell had to earn his last victory, one more Super Final title than he logged in 2007, urging Define The World down the stretch to hold off a charging Sergeant York by a head. The Duke Of York son led the field through fractions of :28, :58.1 and 1:28.1 and then displayed considerable grit to hang on for the 1:57.4 victory, his seventh in 10 Ontario Sires Stakes starts.
Pickering resident Al Libfeld bred and owns both Define The World and his sire Duke Of York, who was a Super Final winner in an outstanding freshman campaign that also saw him capture the Breeders Crown Final. John Bax trained Duke Of York through his $925,921 career and has nurtured Define The World to earnings of $739,221 over the last two seasons. The pair intend to continue racing Define The World, and fans may see the gelding back at Woodbine as early as January for the Glorys Comet Series.
MacDonell opened the Super Final night with an impressive 2:00.2 victory aboard Elusive Desire, who romped home an eight length winner to the relief of her trainer Mike Keeling, who had been concerned about the filly’s health right up until post time.
“She’s a thrill. You don’t get ones that have this, the �je ne sais quoi’, that thing,” said the joyful Cambridge resident, who conditions Elusive Desire for Charles Armstrong of Brampton, Robert Fasken of Oakville and P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc. of Cambridge. “Ten minutes before the race she’s just standing here and she’s just game face. She’s such a pleasure.”
Flawless through her last three starts Elusive Desire wrapped up her season with a record of three wins, six seconds and four thirds from 13 starts for earnings of $395,904. I’ll Wait For You and division point leader Cumin First rounded out the top three.
While MacDonell was favoured with Somebeachsomewhere, Define The World and Elusive Desire, Woodbine fans overlooked Pointe Of Honour, sending him off as their third choice. The Striking Sahbra son stepped lively off the gate, allowed favourite Winning Mister to take over heading for the three-quarter marker, then pushed down the stretch to a 2:00.1 victory. Winning Mister settled for second and Hitithard earned third-place honours.
Cambridge resident Paula Wellwood trains Pointe Of Honour and shares ownership on the colt with MacDonell. His first lifetime victory in 11 starts boosted Pointe Of Honour’s earnings to $262,114.
Pointe Of Honour was just one of two upsets on the eight race Super Final card, the other coming in the three-year-old trotting filly showdown where longshot Kadealia trotted her way into the spotlight with a 1:59.1 front end effort for driver Jack Moiseyev. Brenda Teague trains the Kadabra daughter for Elmer Fannin of Lincoln, DE.
Division leaders St Lads Popcorn and Nebupanezzar prevailed in the two-year-old pacing filly and colt contests, stopping the Woodbine teletimer at 1:54.4 and 1:55 respectively. Cambridge resident Jack Darling owns and trains Twin B Champ miss St Lads Popcorn and Jason Brewer engineered her impressive victory, while Steve Condren landed No Pan Intended son Nebupanezzar in the winner’s circle for trainer Bob McIntosh of LaSalle and owner-breeder Peter Pan Stables Inc. of Pepper Pike, OH.
Favourite Voelz Hanover scored her third straight victory in the three-year-old pacing filly final, hanging on for a half length win in 1:56 for driver Mario Baillargeon, trainer Benoit Baillargeon and owner Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, QC. The Astreos daughter will now join Somebeachsomewhere on the road to New Jersey for next weekend’s Breeders Crown.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r1115wdbsn.dat.