“No One Ever Wants To Experience It"

Published: November 2, 2011 01:10 pm EDT

Although he’s never posted a world record, raced in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, or won in under 1:50, Whippet Good has certainly been a feel-good story for co-owner and trainer James De Chellis


Purchased for a mere $4,700 in 2004 at the Standardbred Canada Mixed Sale, Whippet Good has gone on to bank $765,751 the hard way for De Chellis and his son, Nino.

Whippet Good has had plenty of good fortune on the racetrack over his career, but is currently on the road to recovery after being involved in a race accident on October 8, which sent the seasoned veteran to the sidelines.

The nine-year-old was interfered with and fell to the track while unseating regular driver Jason Brewer in the process. Whippet Good remained loose for several minutes at the Woodbine oval before being caught.

“That was a terrible night,” De Chellis said of the incident which left the bay with multiple cuts and bruises. “No one ever wants to experience it, but the good news was that he didn’t break any bones. I’ve driven in races before and I know accidents do happen. I’m just glad he’s healing well.”

The prognosis for a full recovery is encouraging.

“He’s (been) back jogging now for about 10 days," De Chellis said. "He doesn’t need much work or training and I plan to have him back in mid-December if everything goes well."

Reflecting back on the early stages of Whippet Good’s career, De Chellis remembered how he found his star pacer.

“It was a bit of coincidence as to why we bought him,” he said. “I did like him at the sale, but he was hip number 213 and my birthday is February 13. I like to think it was meant to happen.”

Now, seven years later, the son of Island Fantasy--Whippet has been what every trainer hopes for: a regular Saturday evening competitor on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit. The iron-tough gelding has marched to the winner’s circle 42 times from 231 efforts.

“I always knew what I was doing on Saturday nights,” De Chellis said. “It was either racing him (Whippet Good) at Mohawk or Woodbine. I never complained about it, that’s for sure.”

With a lifetime best of 1:50.1, De Chellis knows a horse like Whippet Good doesn’t come along every day.

“There are a lot of horses that are better than him, but then again, he’s better than a lot of them, too. He’s such a tough horse. He took his lifetime best as a five-year-old and now at nine he’s still pacing in (1:) 51 and (1:) 52. Not many horses can do that.”

The goal of De Chellis is simple: to see Whippet Good surpass $1 million in earnings.

“I know he’s nine years old, but he’s a sound horse and I can see him racing until he’s at least 11 or 12. He has showed no signs of slowing down and I think he could come close to reaching a million. What a milestone that would be.”


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Great to see Whippet and Jim being recognized for their great partnership. Whippet is one tough horse. Whippet and Jim and Nino are the reason that I was able to enter the industry. A huge thanks to Jim, Nino, Michelle, Rob, Bumpy, Louie, Scott, and of course the one and only Whippet Good.

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