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Peck: Retirement Best Thing For Muscle Hill


Published: October 26, 2009 11:21 am ET

Last Comment: October 27, 2009 12:32 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

It is the opinion of many, including trainer Greg Peck, that Muscle Hill wasn't even pushed once during his sparkling career, which is now officially a thing of the past. Although, Peck believes that the best place for the superstar son of Muscles Yankee to be is in the breeding shed.

"I don't think he ever was (pushed in a race)," Peck was quoted as saying in a Toronto Sun article after Muscle Hill's thorough domination of the $617,880 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot this past weekend at Woodbine Racetrack. "The slowest he was going was at the wire tonight and it was only (the wind) that could slow him down."

Muscle Hill will now vanish from the public eye with a grand resume. The colt was a winner in 20 of his 21 career races and triumphed in the sport's greatest stakes event with relative ease. He retires a co-World Record holder with a mark of 1:50.1, over $3.3 million in purse earnings and a huge fan base.

In an article yesterday by the Toronto Star, Peck stated that the best thing for the horse is to be retired now. "I know there has been a call from industry and the media to race him again," said Peck, who has also recently bought thoroughbred yearlings to train, "but we need to do what's best for him and the time for him to go out is now."

Click here to read the Toronto Star article.

To read the Toronto Sun article, click here.

For a complete recap from Breeders Crown night at Woodbine Racetrack, click here.

(With files from the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun)

October 27, 2009 - 12:32 pmI agree with Mathieu that we

Lynne Magee SAID...

I agree with Mathieu that we need heroes in racing today. Why is a three year old ready to retire? Why is it "the best thing for him" when he is still just a youngster? If he is the real deal (and I believe he is), racing another year or two should enhance his breeding prospects and give racing a much-needed boost. There is not much point in breeding if things aren't looking too rosy for those 2 and 3 year olds of 2012, 2013. Same goes for SBSW and others that are retired young and at a high point to maintain that status in order to attract the breeders.
On the other hand, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush so if owners are looking to make as much sure money as possible out of these stallions with high breeding fees, that first year or two, maybe three, is usually a sure thing. What happens after that is up to the market and how those babies turn out once they start racing--if there is a place for them to race.
I really think we need to stop thinking short term and start planning for the future of
racing in North America. We have to grow our product in an age where there is so much competition for the entertainment dollars. Tiger Woods is a good example of how a super hero can entice the audience and the dollars. They say that watching golf is like watching grass grow but it seems to have caught the attention of a huge number of "grass watchers". Racing is two minutes or less of action and 15-20 minutes of nothing between races (unless you're at Elora)so it is quite similar to golf. Why are we losing our audiences? Our super stars are here today and gone tomorrow--just when they start to catch the attention of the media and then the public. We are killing ourselves.

October 27, 2009 - 7:30 amIt's pretty easy to sit back

jeff coleman SAID...

It's pretty easy to sit back and say that Muscle Hill should keep racing when it's not your money at stake. What if you where in this position? Your telling me you would keep racing him and not take the millions of dollars from the breeding shed?

Isn't this the reason some people invest heavily into our business in the hopes of this happening to them and getting a return on their investment? I'm sure that these owners will in turn keep buying yearlings and investing in the industry going forward which will help the industry grow hopefully.

Is there problems / concerns about how the system is now, yes but let's keep things in perspective.

October 26, 2009 - 12:16 pmThis decision is certainly

This decision is certainly the best for the owners in term of money, but it is maybe the worse decision for harness racing. It is like saying : "Ok Crosby, you are one of the best hockey player we ever seen, but since you have alreay played 2 years you should retire now". This statement is unbelivable in any other professional sports, so why it is correct in harness racing ?

Muscle Hill beats who ? The best horses or the best horses in the same category for a particular year ? Was it a good show to see him racing ? Not at all, he was completly alone ! I think people would prefer to see him racing for another 1-2 years or so against the best. Why not here and in Europe ? People like heros, they like to see and follow their athele for many years. That is why other professional sports are so popular and keeps going and growing. Tiger Woods did not stop is career in 1997 and guess what ? The PGA is now one of the most popular sport because of him ! I can not wait to see a rule stating for stalions, not before the age 5.

I can understand the money perspective from the owner side, but if we continu this way I think there will be no more money at all in a near future.

Mathieu Paquette

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