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‘Spoiled’ Mare To Upend The Stars?

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Published: October 29, 2010 3:43 pm ET

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“She is basically a part of the family and is spoiled rotten,” said Sammy Syd's co-owner Gord Young, of his mare that will tackle some of North America's top pacing distaffers during Saturday's $167,000 Forest City Pace at Western Fair Raceway.

“We’ve been lucky to have her and have turned down some pretty good offers for her," said Gord, who shares ownership of the mare with his wife, Jean, who handles the training duties.

"We want to keep her and eventually breed her ourselves,” said Gord, who explained that Sammy Syd is their only horse.

The London, Ont.-based couple are retired. Gord had put in 33 years with London Life, while Jean had worked in the pathology department of London Heath Care Services. Jean’s harness racing ties include going to school with the sports’ most celebrated driver, John Campbell, with whom she still remains friends.

The couple first met Sammy Syd at the 2005 Forest City Sale. The Youngs had gone to the auction looking for a trotting colt, but when they hadn’t found one by the third day of the sale, they ended up bringing Sammy Syd home for $15,000. Gord had watched the filly being inspected over the course of the sale several times and had thought she’d bring about $45,000. She would have been a bargain even at that price it turns out.

Sammy Syd has never been a flashy performer, but rather one of those consistent horses that rarely misses a cheque when she races. She took a record of 1:51.1 at Mohawk Racetrack last year, and has $234,000 in lifetime earnings on her card. The mare also seems to have an affinity for her home track, Western Fair.

The now six-year-old daughter of Astreos has made 124 lifetime starts, many of which have come over the London, Ont. oval. She has six wins this year, five of which have come in the Mares Preferred, the highest class for females at Western Fair, so she’s quite familiar and comfortable over her half-mile stomping ground. Her other victory was on the toughest circuit in Canada, the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit.

She will face some of the best pacing mares in North America on Saturday in Forest City Pace elimination winners Dreamfair Eternal and Voelz Hanover and recent Mohawk track record holder A Ps Money Maker.

“It is just great to be in a race like this with horses of this calibre," said Gord. "I wish we’d have been in this race last year; she actually paced faster here the next week than the Forest City final went in. I’m not sure if she’s tight enough to really go with these mares just yet this year, but we hope she races well.”

Sammy Syd will leave from Post 2 tomorrow night with Mike Whelan at the lines. Program pages as well as live coverage of the entire program are available on the Western Fair website (westernfair.com).

The first 500 fans with a program coupon will receive a free hat, and those arriving between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. will have the chance to meet TSN anchor Jennifer Hedger.

To view the entries for Western Fair's Saturday card, click here.

(Western Fair)


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