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Major Custard Heading East

Published: January 17, 2021 11:31 am ET

Last Comment: January 22, 2021 4:58 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Trot Insider has learned that Western Canadian standout Major Custard has been sold to Ontario interests.

In two seasons for owners Jim Marino and the JJJ Stables, Major Custard won 20 of 23 starts and banked $326,945. But with stakes opportunities in Alberta and British Columbia extremely scarce for older horses, it became time for Marino to bid the star of his stable a fond adieu.

"We sold him to Gino Toscani," Marino told Trot Insider. "They (Toscani and agent Herb Holland) bought another son of Custard The Dragon off me after his stakes were over — Rockin N Talkin — and he's done really well at Mohawk."

Major Custard — who at one point racked up a 17-race winning streak and routinely made easy work of his competition en route to an O'Brien Award nomination in 2020 — will look to follow in the footsteps of his stablemate as he acclimates to raceway competition on the tough Ontario circuit. And Marino, judging by Rockin N Talkin's transition and performance in middle- and upper-level conditioned races at Woodbine Mohawk Park, feels that Major Custard has a lot of potential for his new connections.

"There's a two-heat race in the middle of the summer in Alberta," Marino explained, referring to the Ralph Klein Memorial at Century Downs. "It was only one heat his year, thank God, but last year it was two heats, and we won it with Rockin N Talkin. When COVID came, we sold some, and Herb bought that horse and has done really well with him. So, the same connections came back to buy this horse, and I'm glad they did. He was smaller; Major Custard's quite a bit bigger and faster. I'm excited to see how he'll do there."

Major Custard, winning his final sophomore start at Century Mile

Having to part with such a standout performer is no doubt bittersweet for Marino, but the most practical move given the short-term uncertainty harness racing in Western Canada currently faces. Still, Marino is hopeful that the pride of his stable for the last two seasons can continue to blossom for his new connections.

"I wish I could race him forever, but the world's a crazy place right now," he admits. "I have no answers if we'll even race in 2021 in British Columbia, my home base. I'm sure Alberta will, but right now, I think the only thing I can do is focus on the younger ones and the stakes races. As much as I would love to keep that horse around to race in the Open, I just don't know if there will be an Open or how much it'll go for. It just made more sense to sell him.

"I hope this horse goes on to do bigger things, and I'll still enjoy watching him."

January 22, 2021 - 4:58 pmThe first stakes race of the

Mike Mobley SAID...

The first stakes race of the year for 4YOs is the first leg of The Graduate, at The Meadowlands, on 5/1. The 2nd leg is at Mohawk, on 6/5. The Confederation Cup, also for 4YOs, is scheduled for May 23, at Flamboro. I wonder if he'll be staked to either race?

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