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Are The ‘Odds’ In MacGrath’s Favour?


Published: December 14, 2011 1:41 pm ET

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The best Christmas gift, at least an early one, that owner/trainer Brent MacGrath could have asked for came true when his Weigh The Odds received a favourable post position in one of two $25,000 Valedictory Stakes eliminations set for this Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack.

MacGrath, the man who campaigned the incomparable Somebeachsomewhere to superstardom, is hoping Weigh The Odds, a three-year-old son of Bettors Delight, can rebound from an off-key performance in his last race, an eighth-place effort on December 12 at Woodbine.

Getting Post 5 for his Valedictory elim certainly increased his chances at getting back into winning form.

“Well, I think I’ve been a good boy, so a nice post was just what I was hoping for,” said MacGrath, in reference to what his three-time winner from nine starts would benefit most from. “He’s the type of horse who likes to be in the mix early. We wanted him to be prominent early in his last start and it didn’t pan out. It was a brisk opening quarter (:25.4), a horse broke stride in front of him…it just didn’t go his way.”

Things, however, have gone Weigh the Odds way in the past, despite the odd bump in the road.

The bay colt was MacGrath’s first purchase since he bought Somebeachsomewhere, a former $65,000 purchase at the Lexington Select Sale in October of 2009.

After a series of qualifiers, five to be precise, in MacGrath’s home province of Nova Scotia, Weigh The Odds headed to Ontario, where he qualified at Mohawk Racetrack in preparation for his first career start on August 1 at the Campbellville, Ont. oval.

Tenth and 13 lengths in arrears at one point, Weigh The Odds rallied to finish fifth, six and three quarter lengths behind at the wire.

One week later, as the post time favourite, he broke his maiden in 1:52.4.

A study of his racelines shows a horse that can bounce back with a big effort after a tough outing.

“He’s a nice horse, but one that likes to be in the action from the start,” said MacGrath, who has handed over the training reins to Joey Shea while Weigh The Odds is on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit. “He recently had throat surgery and we’re hoping that helps him out. He’s definitely capable. Getting him active early in the race is the key.”

Which is precisely the game plan come Saturday evening at Woodbine.

“Ideally, we’d have him in the top four once the wings close,” offered MacGrath, who’ll have regular driver and good friend Paul MacDonell in the bike again. “He’s a good, big, strong horse and he can definitely put in a strong showing. He’s had some health issues in the past, but he seems to be over that. We’d love to see him come up big this weekend.”

Which could present MacGrath and his fellow Schooner Stable owners with the ideal on-track Christmas gift.

The final of the Valedictory will take place on Boxing Day with a special first-race post time of 1:20 p.m.

To view the harness racing entries for Saturday at Woodbine, click the following link: Saturday - Woodbine Racetrack.


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