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A Pacer To 'Fear' In 2017

Published: January 20, 2017 9:23 am ET

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It was 20 years ago when Bruce Trogdon sat alongside Kelly O’Donnell as he bid on Dragon Again. At that time, he thought O’Donnell might not be making the best financial decision, but Trogdon now has a colt by that stallion in Fear The Dragon that is poised to set the sophomore pacing division aflame.

“I was done shopping and sat down with Kelly,” Trogdon said. “He used to train for me and Dragon Again was a really nice-looking colt; his conformation was perfect, but he was by Dragons Lair, so the pedigree might not be there. I told him $40,000 was too much for that horse, but I guess what did I know?”

Fear The Dragon is a three-year-old son of the aforementioned stallion and the Western Ideal mare Armbro Cinnamon. While world champions Huntsville and stablemate Downbytheseaside have been grabbing all the headlines, this half-brother to Cinamony (Art Official, $532,404) has quietly amassed $228,391, has defeated Huntsville and equaled a track record at The Meadows of 1:50.3.

“This is without a doubt the finest colt I have ever had,” Trogdon said. “I usually sell colts and just keep fillies, but he was just so good from the day he was born; not too big, not too small. He does what you ask him, too. I think Huntsville and Downbytheseaside are very talented horses, but this colt is nice, too.”

Conditioned by Brian Brown and steered nearly exclusively by David Miller, Fear The Dragon commenced his career with a second place finish on June 26, 2016 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in a $30,000 Pennsylvania All Stars division. He demonstrated speed, however, by throwing down a :26.4 last quarter-mile in his debut.

The colt then reeled off four consecutive victories, three in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes company and a $19,291 division of the Arden Downs at The Meadows, before coming home third behind Huntsville, a rival he had defeated the previous week, on Aug. 27 in a Sire Stakes contest.

Fear The Dragon - First Lifetime Win - Pocono, July 4, 2016

“Early in the year he was the best two-year-old in the country, which he showed by beating Huntsville and some other real good colts,” said Trogdon. “The first time David Miller drove him he said that he liked him better than Downbytheseadside. That is saying a lot because he and Huntsville are both tremendous horses I think. Both are future stallions that I would likely want to breed to.”

Fear The Dragon was third again in his next contest, the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, to Huntsville and Downbytheseaside, prior to his runner-up finish to his barn mate in a world record mile of 1:50 at the Delaware County Fair on Sept. 18 in a $34,500 division of the Standardbred stake.

“What people don't know is that Yannick (driver Gingras on Normandy Beach) accidentally stepped on our wheel going for home in the PASS championship and he raced the last quarter with a flat tire finishing third,” Trogdon said. “We then drew the outside at Delaware while our stablemate Downbytheseaside drew inside in his world record shattering performance. Dragon came off the pace and closed well for second.

“He then won the Elevation at Hoosier, beating Ocean Colony, who is another good son of Somebeachsomewhere. I own his full sister (Romanceonthebeach); she is one of our broodmares.”

Following Delaware, Fear The Dragon rebounded with a powerful performance to enter the Hoosier Park winner’s circle with a triumph in the $140,000 Elevation Stake on Sept. 24. He threw down a blistering last quarter-mile in :26.3 and his time of 1:50.4 just missed the track record.


Fear The Dragon, winning the Elevation at Hoosier Park (Hoosier Park photo)

“Dragon injured his eye somehow before Lexington, that is why he raced in the fly mask,” Trogdon said. “He raced well, but it was really bothering him.

“I rarely race my two-year-olds late, so he was not staked to the Breeders Crown last year. We quit with him early and he had a great turnout at our farm.”

The colt’s first race with the fly mask resulted in a seventh place finish in the Bluegrass Stakes at Red Mile, the only time he has been off the board. Fear The Dragon, however, bounced back with a second place finish to Huntsville in his world record equaling mile of 1:49 in a division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 8.

“He (Brown) shipped him to Florida the first of December and he is feeling good and training down great,” Trogdon said. “He is staked to a lot including the Adios, Little Brown Jug, Lexington and Breeders Crown, so we will have a chance to prove that he is no fluke.

“I have turned down huge offers for him as everyone knows how good he was. He races very relaxed and can leave or come off the pace; he is very handy and has an effortless gait. That's why Dave (Miller) likes him so well.

“We raised him and broke him at Emerald Highlands. We own his mother and she is back in foal to Dragon Again because we liked him so well. He is a good-looking, medium-sized horse with great conformation. His mother is a daughter of Mattaroni. I am hoping he becomes a great stallion himself and is the one to carry on the Dragon Again line. He would make a great outcross to practically my entire broodmare band.”


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.


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