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Dion On Flanagan Memory's Career

Published: December 30, 2017 8:56 am ET

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One of the top Canadian trotters of the past decade, Ontario-sired and Québec-owned Flanagan Memory, has been retired.

The millionaire son of Kadabra, who turns eight next week, will stand his first season at stud in 2018 at Ontario’s Kendall Hills Farm, trainer and co-owner Rene Dion said. The fee is $4,500, reduced to $3,500 for bookings of two mares or more.

Flanagan Memory, who earned almost $1.7 million on the racetrack for Dion and co-owner Liette Flanagan of Repentigny, Québec, ended an abbreviated five-race 2017 campaign in August with a third-place finish behind Resolve and Cufflink Hanover in the $170,000 Crawford Farms Trot at Tioga Downs.

“He didn’t come out of it 100 per cent and we did some thinking,” said Dion. “He was seven; he didn’t owe us anything. We’ve always been cautious with him, because he’s an exceptional animal, and we didn’t want to race him back and hurt him. We decided it was time.”

Flanagan Memory’s 20 career victories included the Breeders Crown (over Resolve) at six, the Cashman at five and the Goodtimes and Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final at three. He won two O’Brien Awards, for top three-year-old trotter in 2013, and top older trotter last year. His fastest mile, 1:51.2, came at Mohawk as a six-year-old.

“It was tough company he faced week after week, but he was always closing. He closed in :27 or better in 15 of his roughly 70 starts,” Dion said.

The memories that will stand out for him were the Breeders Crown victory and the 2016 International Trot at Yonkers, where the son of Kadabra represented Canada and finished a gutsy third behind Resolve and Oasis Bi despite racing outside for a mile and a quarter.

Dion said the departure of Flanagan Memory, who was bred by Liette Flanagan’s late father Michel, will leave a large void in his barn.

“He’s been in my barn since he was 18 months. I picked him up from the field. He’s been a great horse for us, racing against the best, and it’s going to be strange to go into the barn and not see him.”

(A Trot Insider exclusive by Paul Delean)

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