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Hughes Goes Public


Published: June 30, 2009 12:21 pm ET

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With a brand new training facility and one of Canada’s top aged trotters leading the way, longtime trainer Rod Hughes is set to open his doors to the public.

“We bought a chunk of property a year and a half ago and put in a track – a full half-mile – and we’ve got 150 acres,” says the 36-year-old resident of Dunsford, Ont. “We’ve built a brand new nine-stall barn that was just completed this month and we have an existing four-stall barn on the end of it. Everything’s brand new and ready to go.

“San Pail has helped to put me in a position where I can focus on [training],” says Hughes, a trotting specialist who is also proficient at shoeing.

San Pail currently sits atop the Canadian standings as the top money-earning aged trotter of 2009 with $233,500 banked while racing at the Open level on the WEG circuit. Owned by Hughes and Glenn Van Camp of Port Perry, Ont., the five-year-old San Pellegrino gelding has won seven times this year in 15 starts and has yet to finish out of the money.

Coming off a four-race win streak that began in early May with a 1:52.4 victory, Hughes’ stable star finished second to Gutsy Volo by a nose last night in the Open at Mohawk Racetrack.

“I thought he raced awesome last night. It was just an off track and it's tough to keep them tight when they’re off three weeks in between his last couple of starts [because the class wasn’t written], but he put in an excellent effort for the amount of time he had off. No one likes to get beat off a win streak, but if you’re going to get beat, getting beat by a nose isn’t a bad way to go down.”

“Our main focus is the Maple Leaf Trot,” adds Hughes. “That’s our goal for this year, to have him as good as we can for that.”

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