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A Life-Changing World Champion

Published: October 4, 2016 11:29 am ET

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Mel Hartman bucks something of a trend when naming the horse that changed his life. The horse owner and produce magnate from Ottawa doesn’t go back to an obscure horse that put him on the path to somewhere else. Instead, Hartman goes for the horse that elevated him to the very top of the sport -- Ontario Sired trotting mare extraordinaire Bee A Magician, whom Hartman owns with fellow Canadian Herb Liverman and Floridian David McDuffee.

“Very simple. She just took me to a different level… Being in the standardbred business for over 50 years, it sure changed my life to have a horse like that — a world champion. She won 17 in a row… she’s a hell of a filly,” Hartman said of the 2013 Horse of the Year in both Canada and the United States that was, indeed, undefeated in 17 starts that year and sports career earnings of more than $3.9 million.

In fact, Bee A Magician is undefeated in 2016, too, but her season was interrupted in May -- after wins in her first three starts of the year -- when she suffered a soft tissue injury. The daughter of Kadabra out of Beehive is scheduled to qualify Tuesday (Oct. 4) with the hope that she can return to form in time for a trotting race at Yonkers on Oct. 15 on the International Trot undercard. The main goal is for her to return in time for the Breeders Crown on Oct. 28 at the Meadowlands.

UPDATE: Bee A Magician won her Oct. 4 qualifier at Harrah's Philadelphia for driver Victor Kirby in 1:55.3.

“If she doesn’t race anymore it will be very depressing, but if it’s up to her she would like to race,” Hartman said. “When she got hurt, it was devastating and we’ve been very careful bringing her back. The vets approved of everything that (trainer) Nifty (Norman) has done with her. And talking to Nifty when he’s been swimming her, he said you can tell that she wants to get back to business.”

Bee A Magician not only has kept Hartman in the game, he said, “she has allowed me to look at top quality trotting fillies and we’ve done pretty well with them, thanks to her.

“Thank God, I’m fortunate enough to own a horse like that.”

(Courtesy Ontario Racing; Photo credit: New Image Media)

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