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Monkey On My Wheel Retired

Published: December 2, 2015 9:19 am ET

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Trot Insider has learned that open class pacing mare Monkey On My Wheel has been retired at the age of seven.

The Breeders Crown and O'Brien Award winning millionaire was bred and owned by Mac Nichol, who noted that the Ontario Sires Stakes graduate is still competitive but has just lost enough of a step that he feels it's time for her to move onto her second career and produce some future champions.

"She's seven years old and she's slowing down a bit and getting tired so I figured if I'm turning her out I'll just retire her," Nichol told Trot Insider. "She's a very special mare and he did great things for me. It was a great thrill."

Nichol is more known for his involvement as a racehorse owner, and not a broodmare owner. This is only one of three broodmares that he owns, a testament to how much Monkey On My Wheel means to him as an owner.

"It's extra special when you bred and own the mare."

A wise $5,500 buyback as a yearling, Nichol noted that Monkey On My Wheel did have some decent siblings while he was stationed in Alberta. Her dam Legislation foaled some horses that a pedigree page didn't quite do justice. With years of breeding Legislation to Freedoms Pass, he felt that Mach Three would be a better cross. That couldn't have been more accurate.

"I had one filly that didn't have the best of conformation and she still made $200,000 in Alberta, and there was another one that looked to have real big potential too but ended up getting hurt after her first start."

The final foal from Legislation, Monkey On My Wheel was certainly worth keeping. A career summary reads 36 wins from 122 starts and more than $1.7 million in purse earnings. The biggest win of her career came in 2012 when she defeated the likes of millionaires Drop The Ball, Krispy Apple and Rocklamation in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack.

As an older competitor, Monkey On My Wheel knocked heads with the best in the division for four straight seasons and pocketed numerous Open and Preferred events at The Meadowlands, WEG and Yonkers. After being developed, campaigned and partially owned by Travis Umphrey, Nichol obtained sole ownership and moved his mare to trainer Casie Coleman to race stateside.

"She was a good horse when I got her, Travis did everything with her as a baby and early on," said Coleman. "I raced her a little bit at WEG and went back and forth [to Yonkers]. She was an open calibre mare basically her whole life, and she's retiring sound and healthy."

Coleman was a bit skeptical at first on Nichol's idea to race such a statuesque horse predominantly on a half-mile track.

"When I first got her and Mac said he wanted to race her at Yonkers, I was a little bit concerned about it at first. She's huge, but very good-gaited and doesn't wear any boots," stated Coleman. "She got around there great and went some huge miles over that track, and it was really surprising how well she got over it.

"When she was on her game, it really didn't matter what kind of trip she got."

Nichol is hopeful that Monkey On My Wheel can pass that versatility and gait along to her offspring.

"From what she's done, she's a big mare and she's shown that she can handle any size of track. Yonkers isn't an easy track for a big mare like her and she's done quite well there in the last couple of years."

When the 2016 breeding season starts, Nichol will take Monkey On My Wheel to the court of one of two stallions -- American Ideal or Sportswriter -- and that foal will have some new owners before it even hits the ground. Crawford Farms have bought into Monkey On My Wheel and she'll be staying at their New York farm.


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