If it seems unusual to see Paula Wellwood working with a pacer, it is.
In fact, it’s been nearly 20 years since the trainer welcomed anything other than a trotter into her stable.
But that changed when Wellwood and her family’s Dreamville Stable purchased Wolftrax for $40,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Sale. The colt is Wellwood’s first pacer since soon after her father William, a Hall of Famer in the U.S. and Canada, passed away in 2003.
Wolftrax, by Betting Line out of Cathedra Dot Com, is a half-brother to millionaire Simply Business. He was Cathedra Dot Com’s 10th foal, and Wellwood hoped to rekindle the magic her stable enjoyed with multiple Dan Patch Award-winning trotter Marion Marauder, who was his dam’s 11th foal.
As a racehorse, Cathedra Dot Com was an O’Brien Award-winning millionaire while Marion Marauder’s mom, Spellbound Hanover, was a Nova Award winner and nearly banked a million herself.
“On a whim, we decided to try a pacer,” Wellwood said. “We kind of like Betting Line and she was a really great mare, his mother. We’ve bought horses like that before, a trotter, that was a later foal, so we thought we might try it again.
“I had gotten rid of every bit of pacing equipment. We didn’t even own a set of hobbles. We owned nothing. It’s been a long time. We had a couple nice pacers when my father passed away. Then we went solely into trotters.”
On Wednesday (June 16) at Magical Acres, Wolftrax won a qualifier in 1:59.3 with Scott Zeron driving. The colt finished second in his debut on June 9 at Magical Acres, timed in 1:55.3.
“For the first seven weeks, he was a holy terror, but he has turned the corner,” Wellwood said. “Now, he’s a nice horse; he hasn’t done a thing wrong. He’s lightly staked this year. We staked him pretty good for (age) three, but we didn’t stake him very much for two.”
Wolftrax was bred by Steve Stewart, T L P Stable, James Daut and D’Elegance Stable IX.
Wellwood went 2-for-2 in qualifiers on Wednesday, with filly trotter Lady Montague (Cantab Hall-Traviata) winning in 2:00.2 with Zeron. The filly won in 2:00.4 on June 9 at Magical Acres. She was purchased for $40,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Harbor Racing Stable. She was bred by Steve Organ, Ann Karin Larsen, Tor Jan Larsen and Stig Westrum.
“They both went very well,” Wellwood said. “They had a good week last week and they had a good week this week. Both were a little more professional and went about their business very well. I have no complaints. We had a few minor adjustments from last week and it worked out.
“They’re nice horses. Where they stack up, you never know.”
Following are the results of Wednesday’s remaining 10 qualifiers for two-year-olds at Magical Acres.
Onecrookedleg (Sweet Lou-Rock My Girl) won in 1:57.2 with Andy McCarthy driving for trainer Brett Bittle. She was a 1:59.4 winner June 5 at The Meadowlands. The filly was purchased for $9,000 under the name Alpine Lace at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Bittle. She was bred by Black Horse Breeding.
Sweet Omen (Sweet Lou-Omen Hanover) won in 1:56.3 with McCarthy driving for Bittle. The filly was fifth in 1:55.4 on June 5 at The Meadowlands. She was purchased for $185,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Yankeeland Partners and Mark Mullen. She was bred by Nick Surick Stable and J L Benson Stables. She is a half-sister to Breeders Crown champ Someomensomewhere.
Reenactment (Huntsville-Living History) won in 1:58.3 with Zeron driving for trainer Linda Toscano. The filly was purchased for $35,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Let It Ride Stables, Maurice Chodash, and Barry Cohen. She was bred by Frederick Hertrich III.
Arsonist (Captaintreacherous-Candlelight Dinner) won in 1:57.3 with Dexter Dunn driving for trainer Chris Ryder. The colt is owned by Let It Ride Stables, Mac Nichol, Howard Taylor, and Robert Cooper Stables. He was bred by Let It Ride Stables, Nichol, and Taylor.
Layton Hanover (Captaintreacherous-Livin Life) won in 1:57.2 with McCarthy driving for Ryder. The colt was purchased for $67,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Ken Jacobs. He was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms.
Venerable (Walner-Jolene Jolene) won in 2:02 with David Miller driving for trainer Nifty Norman. The filly was purchased for $210,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by David McDuffee, Mel Hartman, Paul Bordogna, and Steven Arnold. She was bred by Maumee River Stables, Black Creek Farm, Martin Schmucker, and Steve Stewart. Her two half-sisters, Crucial and Ineffable, are Grand Circuit winners.
Seveyond (Chapter Seven-Beyond Blue) won in 2:00.1 with trainer Trond Smedshammer driving the filly. She finished third in 1:57.4 on June 7 at Gaitway Farm. She was purchased for $60,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Purple Haze Stables. She was bred by Order By Stable.
Chulo (What The Hill-Chula) won in 1:59.4 with Yannick Gingras driving for Per Engblom. The colt finished second in 1:58.4 on June 5 at The Meadowlands. He is owned by Crawford Farms, with Buckstone Land Livestock as lessee, and was bred by Renee Spahr.
Castle House (Conway Hall-Winning Missbrenda) won in 2:02.2 with Gingras driving for Engblom. The colt finished third in 2:01 on June 9 at Magical Acres. He is owned by Winning Key Inc. and was bred by Bob Key.
Grand Spa (E L Titan-Day At The Spa) won in 2:00.2 with Zeron driving for Toscano. The colt was fourth in 2:02 on June 9 at Magical Acres. He was purchased for $28,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by breeder Winbak Farm.
Replays of the first seven qualifiers appear below.