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MacGrath: “The Burlington Was A Pivotal Race”

Published: June 4, 2011 7:31 pm ET

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While some of this year’s top sophomore pacing colts are making last minute preparations for tonight’s first edition of Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, formerly the Burlington Stakes, trainer Brent MacGrath has reflected on the importance of the North America Cup prep race for the great Somebeachsomewhere.

In an article in The Hamilton Spectator, MacGrath commented on Somebeachsomewhere’s status heading into what was called the Burlington Stakes in 2008 – renamed this year to honour his great pacer.

“Maybe the intimidation factor for ‘Beach’ was a little stronger at this time of his three-year-old season,” said MacGrath in comparison to this year’s favourite Big Jim, “but you should remember that was when he was battling a foot issue. We did not race him in the Ontario Sires Stake before the Burlington, and there was some question about his health going into the race.

“Santana Blue Chip was one of his main rivals at that point, and his driver Jody Jamieson knew what the score was. But a number of the Americans maybe were not just clear on what they were dealing with. He was just an Ontario-sired horse, was not an expensive yearling, and trained by a no-name guy out of Nova Scotia. They wanted a piece of him.”

MacGrath noted that the Burlington was an important race in Somebeachsomewhere’s career and is honoured that the race was renamed for the pacer.

“I was very pleased when the Woodbine group renamed the Burlington in respect to what Somebeachsomewhere did. That was an important race for us three years ago. People didn’t know it, but because of that foot problem he had no training for close to a month. All I could do was get the job miles into him on that soft track at Baycairn Training Centre. Truthfully, I was getting desperate to get that Burlington race into him, because he needed it to be ready for the Cup. So from my perspective, the Burlington was a pivotal race.”

The Somebeachsomewhere Stakes will feature three $100,000 divisions tonight at Mohawk Racetrack, with Big Jim headlining the first (Race 3).

(With files from The Hamilton Spectator)

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