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“I Never Dreamed Of Winning A Breeders Crown"


Published: October 31, 2011 3:49 pm ET

Last Comment: November 1, 2011 3:20 pm ET | 9 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

When Travis Umphrey began the voyage from his native Alberta to Ontario in early 2009, the last thing on his mind was notching a Breeders Crown victory.

Now, three years later, the conditioner is feeling right at home, courtesy of his stable star, Monkey On My Wheel, who captured the $501,950 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Filly Pace this past Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack.

The sophomore stopped the timer in a career best clocking of 1:49.3 for Umphrey, who shares ownership with breeder Mac Nichol.

The results are not too shabby for a horseman who has admitted there was a time he wasn’t sure if he’d even be training horses.

“There was some consideration for me not even to move to Ontario from Alberta,” Umphrey said. “With the race dates being reduced in Alberta, the decision was either to move to Ontario to train or find a different job in Alberta. It’s always hard to leave your home, friends and family, but I made the right choice.”

Monkey On My Wheel is without question the top horse in Umphrey’s barn this season, as the bay filly by Mach Three--Legislation has earned $741,034 this year, with the $300,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final still on the horizon on November 12.

The 10-time winner continues to lead her rivals in the Ontario Sires Stakes program this campaign, something that Umphrey takes great pride in.

“The main reason why we paid her into the Breeders Crown is because it fit into her schedule quite nicely and it was at Woodbine,” Umphrey said. “I never dreamed of winning a Breeders Crown, but then again not many people do. When I left Alberta I was just trying to make a living.”

2011 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Filly Pace - Monkey On My Wheel - 1:49.3

Umphrey, 42, had his pupil is top form heading into the final after a second-place finish in her elimination. Even so, he would have been satisfied with a top-three finish.

“I thought she had a legitimate shot to hit the board, but I didn’t think anyone could beat Drop The Ball,” he said. “She raced unbelievable in her elimination and I would have been very happy with a second or third-place finish.”

A mere $5,500 buyback purchase as a yearling by Nichol, Monkey On My Wheel has stashed away a handsome $956,034 in her career.

She will make her final appearance of the season in the $300,000 OSS Super Final, but will return next season according to Umphrey.

“That’s the plan,” he said. “One more race then she will get some well deserved time off. She seems to be maturing as the year goes on, so that only helps when looking forward to next year.”

For Umphrey, it’s another journey he never expected to happen, but one he’s happy to be on.


November 1, 2011 - 3:20 pmWhat a race!This filly was

What a race!This filly was absolutely wonderful,as she has been all year! Travis,I drove her hard right from my coach & cheered 'til I was hoarse. I'm so happy for you , my friend...congratulations & best of luck in the future.

November 1, 2011 - 8:26 amI've been following Monkey

I've been following Monkey On My Wheel since January 2011. There was just something special about her! Congratulations to all her connections and I can't wait to see her in 2012.

November 1, 2011 - 1:21 amWay to go young

Way to go young fellow--sincere congrats and all the hard work has paid off. Watched race on horseplayer and was thrilled to see the filly win. Everyone in Alberta real proud of you.When in Phoenix next time golf for DW and me is on you. Congrats again.

October 31, 2011 - 8:26 pmWay to go travis. congrats

cy mcewen SAID...

Way to go travis. congrats to you and Mac. How Sweet it is and one for the little guys. You are a fine example for all and deserved this well earned win! keep up the great work and we will all watch for your next big one! , Cy mytown

October 31, 2011 - 8:15 pmGreat job Travis

kelly clark SAID...

Great job Travis

October 31, 2011 - 6:09 pmcongrats Travis on your

congrats Travis on your amazing win, its been a long time comming.

Amber Campbell (McDonald)

October 31, 2011 - 5:59 pmCongratulations from Alberta

Congratulations from Alberta Travis. Very happy for you and you connections.

October 31, 2011 - 5:15 pmCongratulations Travis

John Doyle SAID...

Congratulations Travis

October 31, 2011 - 3:51 pmCongrats Trav. Great to see

alan guthrie SAID...

Congrats Trav. Great to see that your hard work pays off.

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