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Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #1

Published: April 12, 2016 11:19 am ET

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"I always go to the sales and look at the foals of previous mares that we've raced. I just happened to go down and look at him, and when they pulled him out of the stall I said, 'I gotta buy this horse.' He was beautiful."

The countdown to the 2016 Pepsi North America Cup continues as Trot Magazine profiles the horses predicted to be the top contenders for Canadian harness racing's richest prize.

At 3-1, Control The Moment comes in at #1 in Trot's 2016 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book.

Honoured as Canada's Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer of the Year at the 2015 O'Brien Awards, Control The Moment (Well Said - Lifesliltreasure) boasted a nearly perfect record as a freshman. The $47,000 yearling went 8-for-9 and banked $461,457 for owners Brad Maxwell, Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold and Ben Mudry. His biggest win came in the 2015 Metro Pace, where he took his mark of 1:49.4, while also counting wins in the Nassagaweya, his Breeders Crown elim and an early season sweep of the Dream Maker. Trot Insider received an update from Maxwell.

Where did he winter?

"He wintered at Gil Crest Training Center in Florida."

When did you bring him back in to start training?

"He was two months over at Kentuckiana Farms in Kentucky, we picked him up around Christmas time and he was turned out when we got here until the beginning of the year."

Where are you at with him right now? (as of April 4)

"He's in 2:08."

Have you noticed any changes from last year to this year?

"He's a bigger horse, he's a lot bigger...I don't know how it happened, but he looks longer. He's nicer to deal with around the barn, he's mellowed."

Did you feel the horse needed to change much from two to three?

"I don't think he has to change a whole lot."

When will he qualify and what's his early schedule looking like leading up to the Pepsi North America Cup?

"I don't have a date yet for qualifying, his first start's not until the Somebeachsomewhere. I'm going to take him home on the 20th of the month and then we hope to adjust and that it stops snowing."

What is he staked to past the North America Cup?

"We staked him to everything, everything's on the page."

At what point last year did this horse show you North America Cup-level talent?

"When I brought him home, my son Ryan came over and helped on a Saturday morning -- he works full-time -- and I let him train him one day, and I was training Ellis Park. He'd been in 2:04 over the farm track, which is a decent mile for two-year-olds, but we were going to train in 2:03 and come a last quarter in :29.

"He came off the turn and sprinted with Ellis Park. And that takes a lot of horse. [Ellis Park] won in :48 last year, and [Control The Moment] sprinted with him all the way down the lane and didn't want to pull up...Ryan got off the bike and said 'holy crap, this horse can fly'."

What makes this horse such a great competitor?

"He's very easy on himself, and his turn of speed."

You trained his dam, Lifesliltreasure. What qualities did she have that made her such a strong racehorse?

"She won in :51 years ago. She was iron. I bought Pure Ivory, and the reason I bought her is because I raced [her dam] Image Control...she was iron. A tough filly that raced with issues, and so did Lifesliltreasure. If you can find one that stands good and you like the looks of them, you have to buy those [foals] from those kinds of mares because they pass that on."

While many think of Brad Maxwell as a trotting trainer, you've trained your share of pacers. Where does Control The Moment rank among pacers you've trained?

"This is the best pacer and the best horse I've ever been around....Elegantimage, Pure Ivory, Windsong Espoir, he's the best one."

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