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'Beach' Memories: Final Career Start

Published: November 29, 2018 6:00 pm ET

Last Comment: December 1, 2018 12:20 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

It was 10 years ago this year that pacing colt Somebeachsomewhere dominated harness racing's headlines throughout his nearly flawless sophomore season.

In honour of the Canadian-sired superstar many consider one of the greatest Standardbreds to ever look through a bridle, Trot Insider posted the news stories from his on-track appearances throughout the year as they happened a decade ago along with the replays from those captivating races.

It was 10 years ago today that Somebeachsomewhere last set foot on a racetrack with an impressive performance in the 2008 Breeders Crown final at The Meadowlands. The race was touted as the final career start going into the Breeders Crown, but those plans changed right after the race in the winner's circle. Trainer Brent MacGrath and the connections decided to not shut down the sport's top pacer and race in the Matron Stakes at Dover. Somebeachsomewhere was then scratched from the Matron elim and retired.

Trot Insider caught up with driver Paul MacDonell to discuss Somebeachsomewhere's final start, whether the horse should have been considered as an athlete in year-end sports voting and who would join 'Beach' on harness racing's Mt. Rushmore.

Ten years ago, the night's headlines were dominated by Somebeachsomewhere with his win in the Breeders Crown, his single-season earnings record and his 'unretirement' story all warranting mention.

‘Beach’ Blazes In Breeders Crown Win

World record holder Somebeachsomewhere romped to victory in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Pace on Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack making his sophomore season the richest season of any pacer in history.

The Maritime pacing sensation, who accepted a bye to the final, headed straight to the front of the field from Post 3 with regular pilot, Paul MacDonell, in tow. The heavy 1-5 favourite carved out fractions of :27, :54.3, 1:22 before drawing away for the win in 1:48.3 and avenging his only career loss at the Big M on July 19 in the Meadowlands Pace.

Shadow Play (Dave Miller) rode the pocket to finish second and Blueridge Western (Dave Palone) finished third.

"I had the racetrack immediately and was letting the horses getting settled early and once we made the front, the rest was history," Macdonell said in a post-race interview. "You've got to respect a horse like Shadow Play, he's a great horse in his own respect. Basically I was thinking, 'bring me home buddy, one last time.' You've got to respect the other horses in there. Respect works both ways. I would have to think he'd get a pretty serious look for Horse of the Year. He's never raced a bad race, ever."

The son of Mach Three - Wheres The Beach is trained by Brent MacGrath for the Schooner Stables of Bible Hill, N.S. The winner of 20 races in 21 starts has earned $3,328,755 in earnings. Somebeachsomewhere’s win pushed his yearly earnings over Gallo Blue Chip’s $2.4 million in 2000 for the richest season of any pacer in history.

‘The Beach’ boasts a record including wins in some of the sport’s most prestigious races. One of his most eye-catching wins came on Sept. 27 in the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile when he equaled the time of Holborn Hanover for the fastest race mile in harness racing history – 1:46.4.

Last year, Somebeachsomewhere shared honours as Canada's Horse of the Year (with Tell All) and he also won the O'Brien Award for two-year-old pacing colts.

'Beach' Breaks Earnings Record

Somebeachsomewhere will eventually retire as the highest single season money earner by virtue of his victory in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Pace on Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

'The Beach' and driver Paul MacDonell left from Post 3 and carved out fractions of :27, :54.3, 1:22 before drawing away for the win in 1:48.3.

Shadow Play (Dave Miller) rode the pocket to finish second and Blueridge Western (Dave Palone) finished third.

The win boosted Somebeachsomewhere’s seasonal bankroll to $2,516,163, which surpassed Gallo Blue Chip’s $2,428,816 in 2000 for the richest season of any pacer in history.

On average, ‘The Beach’ has earned $167,744 per start in his standout sophomore season. His biggest payday was on June 14 after winning the $1.5 million North America Cup at Mohawk. To date, the son of Mach Three has earned a total of $3,328,755 for trainer Brent MacGrath and the Schooner Stable of Bible Hill, N.S.

Somebeachsomewhere Not Retired

Although previous plans had pacing phenom Somebeachsomewhere retiring after tonight's Breeders Crown, a last minute change of plans has the photogenic colt heading to Dover Downs to compete in the Matron.

The owners met in the winner's circle after the win, with trainer/co-owner Brent MacGrath making a phone call after that discussion.

"We phoned (Hanover Shoe Farms' President) Jim Simpson and talked to him about it and, in fact, they're encouraging it," trainer Brent MacGrath told Trot Insider. "We'll take him back to Mark Ford's farm tonight and make sure everything is as good with the horse as it's been for his 21 previous starts.

"Nobody wants to take a horse of this calibre off the racetrack, and we know we have to, but it's hard to turn down a race of that stature," continued MacGrath. "Tonight he was as good as he's ever been."

Eliminations for the Matron are slated for Monday, December 8, with the final one week later on Monday, December 15. The race will mark Somebeachsomewhere's first start on a five-eighths mile oval.

December 1, 2018 - 12:20 amThe Beach is gone, but not

Jim Brown SAID...

The Beach is gone, but not forgotten. For me, Somebeachsomewhere was the greatest pacer ever.

Here are my top 5 pacers -
1. Somebeachsomewhere
2. Niatross
3. Always B Miki
4. Cam Fella
5. Foiled Again


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