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“He Should Win There, Too”

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Published: November 29, 2011 11:38 am ET

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After having put together a tremendous 2011 campaign, many would concede that Canadian trotting dynamo San Pail is a favourite to capture Horse of the Year honours in his home and native land. His trainer, Rod Hughes, has now said that he is looking south of the border for some year-end hardware, as well.

“He should win there, too,” Hughes said in regard to the Dan Patch Award for Horse of the Year in the United States.

The conditioner's comments have come courtesy of an interview with the Woodbine Entertainment Group's publicity arm. “What else did he need to do to win?" Hughes queried. "We travelled with him there (the U.S.) more than before and he never lost on their turf. I don’t know who else would beat him (for U.S. Horse of the Year).”

The WEG release also states that Hughes will be pointing San Pail to the late-March/early-April Glorys Comet Trotting Series, which he triumphed in this season. WEG recently announced that it has switched the format of the popular event back to a multi-legged series in 2012. “I raced him in January last year, but I wouldn’t do it this year," Hughes explained. "He’s got a long season ahead of him, so having him ready at the end of March or early April will better suit his season.”

2011 Glorys Comet Stakes - San Pail - 1:53.2 (Stakes Record)

In addition to looking forward to San Pail 's 2012 campaign, Hughes took a look back on his charge's 2011 season, one which still makes him still shake his head a bit.

“It was overwhelming, really, to be honest. As a trainer, you just don’t dream of those types of seasons, but he’s just a special horse. He has drawn such an incredible fan base and it’s just unbelievable to see the passion the people have for him. The winner’s circle is getting bigger and bigger all the time. It’s great to see.”

After a season in which he walked the walk, talked the talk and silenced virtually all of his critics, San Pail is still putting in his work, albeit on a much more leisurely level.

“He still jogs every day or every other day,” Hughes said. “I don’t want to let him right down, it’s what I have done with him in the past and it has worked."

(With quotes from WEG)

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