view counter
view counter

“Now Everyone Wants To Manage Him”


Published: July 12, 2011 5:02 pm ET

Last Comment: July 12, 2011 9:19 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The connections of just 10 horses entered their charges to contest the eliminations for Mohawk Racetrack’s Maple Leaf Trot, which had been scheduled to take place this Saturday (July 16) at Mohawk Racetrack. Therefore, all 10 will instead go directly to the $730,000 final, which will take place Saturday, July 23 at the Campbellville, Ont. oval.

The 10 horses which have been entered to contest the Maple Leaf Trot are, in alphabetical order, Arch Madness, Define The World, Enough Talk, Four Starz Speed, Hot Shot Blue Chip, Il Villaggio, Lucky Jim, Premiere Steed, San Pail and Triumphant Caviar.

San Pail, the back-to-back Maple Leaf Trot champion, is one of the 10 that will mix it up in the anticipated dash. The two-time O’Brien Award winner as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse of the Year has been in tremendous form heading into the MLT. On July 5, San Pail triumphed in a $45,000 Open Handicap at Mohawk. After a Post 10 start, San Pail and driver Randy Waples powered to a two and a quarter-length win in a razor-sharp 1:51.4.

San Pail – Open Handicap (Mohawk Racetrack, July 5) – 1:51.4

In a recent interview with the Woodbine Entertainment Group, Waples discussed San Pail heading into the MLT. The O’Brien Award winning driver discussed the gelding’s form, how he has matured, and how his co-owning trainer, Rod Hughes, has handled the son of San Pellegrino over the past few years.

“He’s come back strong again this year, and he’s going to have to be,” Waples said. “I watched Arch Madness race (at the Meadowlands Racetrack, in the Titan Cup, which he won in 1:50.2) and he looked unbelievable, so obviously he’s going to be the biggest competition that I can see, anyway, unless horses come over from Europe, or something like that. Right now, I’d say he’d be the biggest competition, and I couldn’t be more happy with the way he (San Pail) is coming into this race.”

Waples also discussed the reasons for Hughes racing San Pail on the WEG circuit instead of traveling around North America.

“No. 1: It’s Rod’s decision,” Waples said. “He owns the horse, so whatever he decides to do, that is the way it is going to be. People don’t realize, too, that Rod runs about a 12 or 13-horse outfit. He and his dad and his wife do everything. So, if Rod were to take off for a week --- and Rod’s dad, Jerry, paddocks San Pail every time. If those two took off for a week, nothing else would get done at the farm. They’ve got a big investment in the rest of those horses, too. They own (the horses) basically themselves. They train a few for outside [owners], but mostly for themselves. (Travelling with San Pail) just doesn’t play into his plans. He likes to be close to home. The horse likes it here (on the WEG circuit). The facilities are great; the track’s good, and the purses are good. So, I guess that is just what he decides to do: that he’s going to manage him the way that he wants and try to stretch his career out as long as he can; and not ship to every race and race in every race the way it’s supposed to be done. He’s kind of looking at it along the lines of longevity of the horse, and I think he’s done a tremendous job with the horse. He was the horse that, basically, nobody wanted, and now everyone wants to manage him. I take my hat off to (Rod). I think he’s done a great job, and people can say what they want, but the horse shows up, he races, and he races [well], so, obviously, he’s doing the right thing.”

Waples also stated that Hughes may take San Pail to some stakes tilts away from the WEG circuit this year.

“He has stepped out a little bit this year. He told me that he staked him to Lexington (stakes at the Red Mile, in Kentucky), and I think he [staked him] to the Credit Winner at Vernon, too. I think he might have mentioned, too, that if he is half-good he might take him to Balmoral for the American National. So, he’s got a few more things on his plate… What people don’t understand is that horse was a really flighty animal as a three and four-year-old, and he’s basically just starting to come into his own and is getting smarter. That is what Rod is doing: he’s letting the horse come into his own and let the horse mature; and that’s the whole thing, he wasn’t a mature three-year-old or four-year-old. He just started to mature as a five-year-old.

When asked, Waples said that he believes, under the right conditions, that San Pail can trot in sub-1:50 fashion, either at the Red Mile or on the WEG circuit.

“With the right trip,” Waples said. “Honestly, I would like to see him pull the shoes off of him and race him barefoot down there (at the Red Mile) on that clay track. I think that would be an interesting scenario. But I do think the horse has the ability to trot sub-1:50, either here (WEG circuit) or there.”

Although San Pail and Arch Madness have had some great races in the MLT over the years, Waples went on the record as saying that any one of the race’s participants can get the job done.

“Anybody can win that race. We (San Pail and Arch Madness) can take each other out of it. It is what it is. I would just say, right now, on form, I think San Pail’s form is as good as Arch Madness.’ And, obviously, Arch Madness’ (form) is as good as San Pail’s. He was very overpowering the other day at the Meadowlands in [1:] 50 and change. (Driver Brian Sears) didn’t seem like he was chasing him in the least, and he’s always been a good horse. He’s won this race up here before. The first time we beat him, he came first over on us, and got by us, but my horse battled back one. If the trips are reversed, I don’t know, maybe he beats me. I’m scared of them all. When you get to that level, any one can beat you, but he’d be the one that I’d be the most concerned about.”

Seeing as there will not be eliminations for the MLT, Mohawk has carded a $50,000 Maple Leaf Trot prep race this Saturday.

The field appears below.

1 - Frenchfrysnvinegar
2 - Four Starz Speed
3 - Lucky Jim
4 - San Pail
5 - Premiere Steed
6 - Define The World
7 - Triumphant Caviar

July 12, 2011 - 9:19 pmGood interview with Randy.

Lynne Magee SAID...

Good interview with Randy. He, along with the owner and trainer, are obviously tuned in to what is best for this horse and how to manage him. When you're looking at the long range future of an animal like this, it has to be all about the horse. All the best San Pail, Randy and all of the connections to this wonderful beast.

July 12, 2011 - 8:22 pmMark Fonti I really enjoy

mark fonti SAID...

Mark Fonti
I really enjoy reading interviews with Randy. He is a straight shooter and tells it like it is. I believe at this point there is not much separating San Pail and Arch Madness, should make for a great show down in the Maple Leaf Trot. The new Hambletonian Society - Breeders Crown Top 10 poll came out today, Arch Madness ranked #2 and San Pail did not even crack the top ten. With all do respect to the horses on that top ten list, San Pail should be in the top 5 in my opinion.
Good luck to San Pail and his connections in the Maple Leaf Trot.

view counter

© 2021 Standardbred Canada. All rights reserved. Use of this site signifies your agreement and compliance with the legal disclaimer and privacy policy.

Firefox 3 Best with IE 7 Built with Drupal