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Picking Out An O'Brien Finalist

Published: December 23, 2015 8:53 pm ET

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"I don't buy pacers, generally, but I always look up mares that I like...When I saw the colt when they brought him out, he was stunning. He was a beautiful looking horse."

Control The Moment, now an O'Brien Award finalist as one of Canada's top two-year-old male pacers, is the colt that caught trainer Brad Maxwell's eye in the sales ring at the 2014 Lexington Select Yearling Sale.

In a Guelph Mercury article written by Dave Briggs, Maxwell discussed how the 2015 Metro Pace champion's good looks and pedigree proved to be a perfect match for him and his ownership group that included Pennsylvania lawyer Howard Taylor, one of Maxwell's former partners on 2012 Ontario Sires Stakes champion Creampuff Macdaddy.

"When they put him back in the stall, I got right on the phone and called Howard [Taylor] because I knew he liked Well Saids. I said, 'I'll try a pacer because it's out of a good mare' and we put together a group and bought him," explained Maxwell.

Control The Moment is out of a mare that Maxwell campaigned a decade ago named Lifesliltreasure when she raced in Ontario for Dr. Fred Kruszelnicki of Brooks, Alta.

"She raced in the highest class you could race her," recalled Maxwell. "She won in 1:51 at Mohawk, which was a heck of a mile back then. She made $400,000 and she was a really, really good mare. She was tough and so is [Control The Moment]."

Maxwell and his partners, including Taylor, Edwin Gold and Ben Mudry, ended up purchasing Control The Moment for $47,000 and, during his award-worthy two-year-old season, Control The Moment earned eight wins from nine starts and over $461,000 in purses. His biggest victory was a career-best 1:49.4 effort in the $685,000 Metro Pace on Sept. 5 at Mohawk Racetrack.

This past Monday, Dec. 21, Control The Moment was named an O'Brien Award finalist in his division along with Betting Line. His regular driver, Randy Waples, is also a finalist for Driver of the Year along with Sylvain Filion.

Maxwell also discussed the colt's near-perfect freshman campaign in the Guelph Mercury article and how he carefully managed the young talent throughout his rookie season with a few minor obstacles along the way, including a brief illness that caused him to miss the Champlain Stakes.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

(With files from Guelph Mercury)

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