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Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #2

Published: April 17, 2017 10:25 am ET

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The countdown to the 2017 Pepsi North America Cup is on, with Trot Magazine profiling the horses predicted to be the top contenders for Canadian harness racing's richest prize.

At 9-2, double world record holder Downbytheseaside comes in at #2 in Trot Magazine's 2017 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book.

A son of 2008 North America Cup winner Somebeachsomewhere, Downbytheseaside concluded his rookie season with a summary of 8-3-2 from 13 starts and earnings of nearly $645,000. He took his mark of 1:49 at The Red Mile, giving him a share of the title of fastest two-year-old ever.

Before that mile in Lexington, Downbytheseaside made harness racing history with an astounding 1:50h mile at Delaware County Fair during Little Brown Jug week.

Brian Brown trains the Somebeachsomewhere-Sprig Hanover colt for Ohio owners Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo, with Diamond Creek Racing joining the ownership over the winter. Downbytheseaside is one of two pacing colts trained Brown to crack Trot's Top 10, and he provided Trot Insider with an update.

Where did he winter?

"At Spring Garden Ranch in Deleon Springs, Florida. He raced later into November so he was off until January 1st. I had him turned out across the road from the ranch. Nice place, but the horse wasn't doing well. He was at the fence all day, all night...still a stud colt. He's looking at two other horses across the fence from him and I don't think he ever relaxed and took a vacation. He was always on the go, and he was actually losing weight. So we brought him in January 1st, started with him just to get him in.

"He did the same thing to me one time: I had him turned out all day -- say six, eight hours -- there was a horse behind him. He came in that night, the next morning he didn't want to get up. He got up and ate, laid back down...went to get him ready, he wouldn't get up. Skipped him, went and got another horse, came back, had to make him get up. He stood there, didn't hardly move...and he's a very ornery horse. He played so hard that day, he just wore himself out. From then on, he only got like two hours in the paddock. And two days later he was right back to his normal self, he's just too hard on himself when he's turned out.

Where are you at with him now and when will you qualify?

"He has been a mile in 2:01 last week at Spring Garden (as of April 4). Trained on a Monday, he shipped on Friday, trained him today a mile in 2:07. I will train him this weekend, probably Saturday, probably a mile around 1:58, then train him one more week and then a week later, if I go to Miami Valley it's on a Wednesday, the 19th would possibly be his first qualifier. I'd like to have two [qualifiers].

What will his early schedule look like leading up to the Pepsi NA Cup?

"As long as he qualifies and trains good, I would try for the first leg of the [Pennsylvania] Sire Stakes. He's not eligible to the Somebeachsomewhere. Right now we're leaning toward the first start would definitely be the Sire Stakes, as long as he's ready and qualifies good. The next start we're probably leaning more toward the Sire Stakes second leg, or he could go to the Art Rooney. We don't know for sure."

What does his tentative schedule look like after the North America Cup?

"We have a decision to make, same thing [as with Fear The Dragon]. We would surely like to go to the Meadowlands Pace, so our decision will be do we skip the Hempt and go to the Adios, or go to the Hempt and the Meadowlands Pace and skip the Adios. I'm not sure yet.

"Every week, there's a decision. We're going to more or less let him tell us where to go and when to go."

What's his biggest asset/strength?

"I think it's his strength. This horse has gone some pretty big first halves, and never gave up. At Lexington, the day he won in 1:49, at the half I'm thinking 'he's going to get tired'. David [Miller] was trying to settle him in about fourth or fifth out of the gate. Around the first turn he's in, he's fighting, David had to pull him right back out, drive on, get to the front at the quarter, he's down there in :53.4 and I'm thinking he's already wrestled around the first turn, a half in :53.4, he's going to get tired. And you know, the horse never gave up. He seems to be able to take a little bit of punishment the first half and keep right on going."

At what point last year did you think this horse was North America Cup material?

"I don't know if it even came into my mind until the year was over, but early on in training. I left Florida last year I'd been around 2:20, I had three Somebeachsomewheres...I couldn't have told you which one at the time was the best one. By the time we were 2:05, maybe less he was clearly the best of those the time we were ready to qualify we really liked him."

Downbytheseaside has added ownership this year with Diamond Creek Farm purchasing an interest earlier this year.

"We couldn't have asked for a better partner, a better reputation. Right now, it's kind of the hottest farm going."

Any stablemates in the barn right now that are paid up and also looking promising?

"I have a nice Art Major colt called Major Moe. He won a NYSS last year and raced great. Won his first three starts, when he came back he wasn't quite the same. He's even taller than Downbytheseaside...I'm not sure it wasn't just two-year-olditis, he wasn't just himself. That horse has trained back really well. If I was entering today (April 4) for the North America Cup eliminations he would be entered....I have three horses I'm really excited about getting raced."

Most trainers would be thrilled to have one North America Cup eligible contender, you have three with less stock than other trainers.

"I'm actually getting more horses all the time, I don't want it to sound like I'm a small Mom & Pop, but I'm not Ronnie Burke either. Last year we had 50 yearlings...Ronnie probably had around 60-something so I had around the same number of opportunities."

Previous Profiles:

Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #10
Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #9
Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #8
Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #7
Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #6
Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #5
Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #4
Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #3

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