Fresh Off Honours, Moore And 'Stockade' Set To Begin Again

Stockade Seelster winning the Metro Pace
Published: May 2, 2024 05:13 pm EDT

After being named Canada’s Trainer of the Year in February and a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Class of 2024 a week ago, Dr. Ian Moore is set to kick off a new season this weekend with a slate of races that include millionaire Stockade Seelster visiting Miami Valley Raceway for the $136,986 Pacey “The Wizard” Mindlin Memorial on Saturday, May 4.

Stockade Seelster, a two-time O’Brien Award winner, will face seven rivals in the Mindlin Memorial as he makes his four-year-old debut. Moore changed some of the stallion’s equipment in preparation for this season and has been pleased with the results so far. Stockade Seelster qualified twice at Southern Oaks Training Center in Florida, scoring in 1:50.1 with a :27.3 last quarter in the most recent on April 19.

“He’s been real good,” said Moore. “We’ve got him rigged up a little differently this year. I’m actually using a riding horse bit on him and no head check, and he seems to like that. So far, we’ve been able to sit him in during training. He hasn’t been pulling or fighting us. I’m interested to see how he’s going to fare in the race, but so far so good.

“If he works with us instead of going against us like he has the last couple years, he’s going to be a better horse, that’s for sure. Sometimes, you just couldn’t do with him what you wanted to do. I think we’re in good shape now and looking forward to it.”

Stockade Seelster won seven of 19 races last year and hit the board an additional eight times. The son of State Treasurer-Soiree Seelster earned $677,688 for owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald. His victories included a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, the consolation division of the North America Cup and three preliminary Gold divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes. He finished second to Confederate in the Breeders Crown and Max C. Hempt Memorial.

“It was up and down a little bit, but for the most part it wasn’t too bad at all,” Moore said about Stockade Seelster’s season. “He finished strong.”

For his career, Stockade Seelster has hit the board in 25 of 30 races, winning 15 and earning $1.59 million. In addition to his O’Brien honours, he received a Dan Patch Award as a two-year-old.

Stockade Seelster was one of two O’Brien Award winners for Moore in 2023, along with older male pacer Tattoo Artist. Moore also conditioned Ontario Sires Stakes two-year-old pacing colt champion Storm Shadow and Ohio Sire Stakes two-year-old pacing colt champion Clever Cody as his stable surpassed $3 million in purses for the first time. Storm Shadow and Clever Cody also make their seasonal debuts Saturday, in an SBOA Stakes elimination at Woodbine Mohawk Park and a division of the Ohio Sire Stakes at Miami Valley, respectively.

For his career, Moore has won more than 700 races and $23 million in purses while averaging a stable size of only 10 to 15 horses. He has received 15 O’Brien Awards, including two for Horsemanship, and trained seven millionaires. In addition to Tattoo Artist and Stockade Seelster, his stars have included 2022 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Shadow Play, 2015 Canadian Horse of the Year State Treasurer,  2020 Canadian Horse of the Year Century Farroh, and Percy Bluechip. 

“It’s hard to believe really,” Moore said about his Hall of Fame recognition. “I’ve only been a small-time guy, never had large numbers. There are a lot of people better than me, that’s for sure, that might be more deserving as well. I’m very humbled and honoured.”

In the Mindlin Memorial, Stockade Seelster will start from post two with Aaron Merriman in the sulky. He is 5-1 on the morning line.

Hellabalou, who won the MGM Borgata Pacing Series final on April 22 at MGM Yonkers Raceway, is the 5-2 favourite. Little Rocket Man, who won last year’s inaugural Mindlin Memorial, is the 7-2 second choice followed by Taurasi, who brings a nine-race win streak to the event, at 9-2.

Chris Page will drive Hellabalou for trainer Ron Burke and leaves from post three. Little Rocket Man will leave from post five with driver John DeLong while Taurasi starts from post six with Trace Tetrick.

Pacey Mindlin passed away in March 2023 at the age of 81. He was a mainstay for several decades at Lebanon Raceway and later Miami Valley, where he was the on-air handicapper. He also was a prominent owner and pedigree expert.

In addition to the Mindlin Memorial, Miami Valley on Saturday hosts five divisions of Ohio Sire Stakes action for three-year-olds. Clever Cody is one of two returning champs competing, along with filly pacer Daisys Star. 


Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.