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Somebeachsomewhere Honoured In N.S.

Published: November 3, 2018 9:51 am ET

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Despite stormy weather outside, attendance was strong for the 2018 Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at the Halifax Convention Centre. The induction of its first-ever equine athlete undoubtedly enhanced attendance—Somebeachsomewhere’s posthumous honours even drew 20-plus fans from the Truro, N.S. area who travelled together by bus to be there on the inclement night.

Somebeachsomewhere posed a challenge. “We got this nomination for Somebeachsomewhere to the Hall of Fame, and we didn’t know what to do with it. So we looked for a precedent, and we found that [Thoroughbred racehorse] Northern Dancer and [show jumper] Big Ben were both members of the Ontario and the Canadian Sport Halls of Fame,” N.S. Sport Hall of Fame president and C.E.O. Bruce Rainnie told the audience. “They weren’t as good in their disciplines as Somebeachsomewhere was in his.”

Owner/trainer Brent MacGrath accepted the honours on the late stallion’s behalf, addressing questions Rainnie posed onstage about the Schooner Stable’s great pacer. “He was bigger, stronger, faster than the competition, and he stayed healthy,” said the Truro, N.S. businessman, who called Somebeachsomewhere his most successful business venture of several. MacGrath recounted turning down an offer of $750,000 for the Mach Three son after the colt’s first lifetime start at Grand River Raceway, not even fully realizing the extent of his ability: “It wasn’t really clicking with us that he was going to make $3.5-million, and $160,000 every time he went to the gate.”

Somebeachsomewhere’s lone lifetime defeat, in the Meadowlands Pace, left the horse sullen and uninterested in eating breakfast the next morning, said MacGrath: “After he got beaten that night, he bounced back and he got real serious about it then...I know he knew he lost. He’s an athlete. He knew he got beat — there’s no question.”

MacGrath replied to Rainnie’s question about why the pacer was retired to stud at the end of his sophomore season, evoking the debate about opportunities for four-year-old racehorses: “It was going to be really hard to continue making that kind of money [racing at age four], and the industry was chomping at the bit to breed to a horse like him.” His description of Somebeachsomewhere’s outcross potential generated joking from Rainnie about the stallion’s accomplishments at stud being another first for a Sport Hall of Fame inductee.

Admitting he still misses his horse “terribly”, MacGrath described him as a healthy, strong stallion with perfect bloodwork throughout his on-track career. The 13-year-old Somebeachsomewhere was euthanized on January 14, 2018, at Mid-Atlantic Veterinary Center in Ringoes, N.J., due to cancer and the debilitating effects of its treatment.

The Somebeachsomewhere exhibit will now be on display at the N.S. Sport Hall of Fame, located in downtown Halifax.

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Melissa Keith)

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