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Elliott On 'Pace' Prospects

Published: July 17, 2009 8:07 pm ET

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Well Said, well-bred at Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge, New Jersey, heads into Saturday night’s $1 million Meadowlands Pace as the 6-5 morning line favourite.

The colt is attempting to become only the eighth three-year-old pacer to win both million-dollar events – the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace.

When Well Said won the North America Cup on June 27 at Mohawk Racetrack, he set a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:48.1.

“He’s done more than we would have expected this early,” trainer Steve Elliott said of Well Said. “He’s not a front end horse but, he can race there. It’s not his best game. He needs a target to run down. He can be first over. He never gets tired.

“He’s a real good horse,” noted Elliott, who also won the 2006 Meadowlands Pace with Artistic Fella. “I’d rather be the one to beat than the other way around.

“I’ve had a good run all of my life,” noted Elliott, who trained 2007 Horse of the Year Donato Hanover. “It’s luck. Good horses are born, not made. They fall into your hands.”

Much was expected of Well Said, but he would not have been the first high-priced youngster to fail if he had not panned out.

Instead, the $240,000 yearling purchase was a success almost from the start. At two, he posted four wins, four seconds and one third from 12 starts, banking $601,127 for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York City and Susan Grange’s Lothlorien of Cheltenham, Ontario. His freshman victories included the $700,000 Breeders Crown Final at the Meadowlands.

This year Well Said has four wins in five starts and earned $712,120 to lift his career total to $1,298,808.

Snyder will be seeking his third Meadowlands Pace trophy. He won in 1994 with Cams Card Shark and in 2005 with Rocknroll Hanover [in partnership with Lothlorien]. Both of those colts went on to Horse of the Year honours and currently stand at stud in New Jersey.

Well Said is the product of New Jersey-based Must See, a daughter of Artsplace, and Western Hanover.

“Fair Winds Farm owns the dam Must See together with [breeder] Steve Jones,” noted Mark Mullen, president of Fair Winds and a director of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. “She stays at Fair Winds and her foals have been raised and sold in our farm consignment at Harrisburg.

“Well Said is without question the finest horse we have raised,” said Mullen, whose farm is located in Cream Ridge, New Jersey. “The family of Grand Lady (the grand dam) has been very prolific. It is a horse breeder’s dream to have such quality in the broodmare ranks.”

Must See, who banked $487,122 on the track, did not have a baby this year but is in foal to 2008 Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere. Her Rocknroll Hanover daughter is scheduled to sell this fall at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Well Said, who carries a three-race winning streak, will leave from Post 3 with Ron Pierce driving.

Trainer Elliott will also harness another finalist, Pair A Dice, who will leave from Post 10 with Mike Lachance driving and morning line odds of 20-1.

Pair A Dice, who is by Cams Card Shark, is one of four New Jersey-sired hopefuls in the Pace final along with Ideal Danny and Vintage Master, both by Western Ideal, and Art Colony, who is by Artsplace.

“He’s a bit far-fetched,” Elliott conceded. “He’s a few notches below, but he’s a nice, honest horse. I think he’ll be better as a four-year-old.”

While his stablemate was expensive to buy, Pair A Dice was a $2,000 yearling bred by Lynn-Marie Plouffe of Saco, Maine. Trainer Don Queen acquired him at the New Jersey Classic Sale.

Elliott, in partnership with Paul Bordogna of Fair Lawn and Angelo Frassetto of Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, purchased Pair A Dice privately on July 3, 2008 after he had picked up his first win and first check – for $3,250.

“It was after his race at Pocono Downs [a six and a quarter length victory in 1:56.1],” said Elliott of when he bought the horse. “I’d rather not say how much just that it was a good sell and a good buy.”

Pair A Dice has banked $57,930 with five wins, two seconds and one third from 13 lifetime starts.

To view Saturday's harness racing entries, click here.


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