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Pena Talks Horses


Published: July 15, 2010 10:20 am ET

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It can be said that no trainer in the North American standardbred racing industry has been talked about more this year than Lou Pena. At the Wednesday (July 14) post position draw for the $1 million Meadowlands Pace, it was Pena that was doing the talking.

Pena's colts Valentino (PP4, G. Brennan, 15-1) and Nova Artist (PP7, B. Sears, 15-1) will be looking to haul down the 'Pace' favourites when the three-year-olds get out and rolling at the East Rutherford, New Jersey oval this Saturday.

In an interview with Meadowlands Racetrack Statistician Bob 'Hollywood' Heyden, Pena came across as reservedly confident.

"I like my chances. I really like my chances," said Pena, whose barn has been white-hot after relocating from the United States' west coast to the Meadowlands, widely considered as the Mecca of harness racing.

From 822 starts this year, pupils performing out of Pena's barn have won 251 races, recorded 128 seconds and 112 thirds. Pena's trainer rating this year sits at a very impressive .437, and his pupils have earned more that $3.1 million to this point.

"It's been a great year. I'm still not sure if I'm really awake or not -- or if I'm going to wake up later -- but it's been a unbelievable year," Pena told Heyden. "Having two horses in the final is absolutely amazing. I don't know how to explain it. It's just an unbelievable feeling."

As Pena was keeping his optimism over his charges subtle, Valentino's co-owner, Howard Schneidler couldn't contain his feelings on the Meadowlands Pace.

When asked by Heyden what he was thinking going into his first Meadowlands Pace, Schneidler replied, "I'm thinking I'm going to take a picture Saturday night."

Schneidler went on to say, "That's really the way I feel. I think this horse is due. I think he showed last week that he's right there with the big boys and I just think he's ready. I just think he's just going to do what he has to do."

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