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What Happened To Magnum J?

Published: October 29, 2015 5:30 pm ET

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After winning the 2015 Battle of Waterloo for Team McNair, rookie pacer Magnum J was absent from the racing wars for the rest of the 2015 stakes season. Trainer Gregg McNair explains why.

Magnum J made four starts as a two-year-old, winning his elimination and the final of the $227,397 Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway. His next start was set to be a Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg at Rideau Carleton in mid-August but he was scratched lame.

"He came up a little lame so he had to be shut down for the rest of the year, that's all," McNair told Trot Insider. "He should be fine for next year."

The veteran horseman noted that despite the wins at Grand River, Magnum J was not quite 100 percent.

"Even before he qualified you could tell he wasn't going to be around all year. We eventually had to shut him down," said McNair. "He's a nice horse with a lot of heart and he should come back good."

A $10,000 Forest City Sale yearling purchase, Magnum J (Big Jim - Jamirotoy) banked $126,798 in his abridged rookie campaign for McNair, Tony Lawrence and William Brown of Hanover, Ont. McNair is still quite high on the colt, noting that he's yet to resume training after an injury was found in the horse's right hind leg.

"He's going south [to Florida] but he needs to be re-X-rayed before he goes. He had a cracked bone [in his left hind] and they usually heal up pretty good. I hope so anyway. He's not going to start back until he's right.

"We sure missed him around the last part of the year. We didn't race too many two-year-olds of that calibre."

McNair will be searching for what could be his next Battle of Waterloo winner at Harrisburg next week, although that horse could already be in his barn. McNair secured the sale topper from this past Sunday's Forest City Yearling Sale, Stonebridge Bullet, and that horse will have Hall of Famer Keith Waples among his owners. Waples and McNair were also partners on OSS freshman Senior K this past season.

After Harrisburg, McNair will briefly return to Ontario before heading south to train in Florida for the winter. The trainer already has some of his Standardbreds at his Florida location with more to be heading stateside in the upcoming days. All told, McNair figures he'll have between 30-35 horses in training with 20-25 of them 2015 yearlings. That number will depend on how many McNair is able to successfully obtain in Harrisburg.

"If it's a strong sale like they've been, it will be hard to get them," noted McNair. "You'd like to say you want them cheaper to buy but the consignors really took it hard there a few years ago. They have to survive, too....Seems like we're paying a lot for them now but nobody was saying that a few years ago."

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