Beach Glass A True Treasure For The MacGraths

Beach Glass winning the Meadowlands Pace
Published: July 19, 2022 02:03 pm EDT

When it comes to spotting a treasure, Rhonda MacGrath has a pretty good eye.

Rhonda, the wife of Meadowlands Pace-winning trainer Brent MacGrath, is a collector of beach glass — fragments of discarded broken glass in an ocean or lake that have been transformed over decades into smoothed gem-like pieces by the churning of the water and eventually washed up on the shoreline. Beach glass is often used in a variety of ways, such as in jewelry, artwork or mosaics.

Not surprisingly, then, Rhonda also is the person behind naming their Meadowlands Pace-winning horse, Beach Glass. The colt, from the final crop of stallion Somebeachsomewhere, was bred by the Brent MacGrath-led Schooner II Stable of Nova Scotia. Brent also trained Somebeachsomewhere during his Hall of Fame racing career as a partner with some of the same people in the Beach Glass ownership group.

“I’m a big beach glass collector,” Rhonda said. “I love it. It’s a great pastime of mine.

“When I looked at [this horse], I just thought he’s Beach Glass. That’s who he’s going to be. He’s a real treasure, just like his name. He’s just been a treasure since we brought him home.”

Beach Glass

Beach Glass is the first foal out of the mare Im With Her, who is a daughter of the Hall of Fame broodmare Hattie. All 17 of Hattie’s living foals made money at the races. Her offspring included 2004 Meadowlands Pace winner Holborn Hanover, who two years later was the first horse in history to win with a sub-1:47 mile, as well as millionaire Hyperion Hanover and near-millionaire Hillbilly Hanover.

Brent bought Im With Her as a yearling, then named Have Faith Hanover, for $90,000 at the 2016 Standardbred Horse Sale with the idea of eventually breeding her to Somebeachsomewhere. He raced the filly at age two, then pulled her from training prior to her three-year-old season following the death of Somebeachsomewhere in 2018. She was bred using frozen semen.

“We ended up with a beautiful horse,” Rhonda said.

Beach Glass has finished no worse than second in nine of 10 career races, winning six. Like the creation of beach glass in nature, the transformation of Beach Glass the horse into a Grand Circuit-winning colt has occurred slowly as he was given time to mature.

“I don’t mind waiting on them,” Brent said. “If they’re not ready to go, then I don’t go.

“Everything about this horse has been slow developing. I’m thinking he could be a really special four-year-old. His family, the Hattie family, a lot of them didn’t kick into gear until they were four. So, what is he going to do? The difference between him [physically] this year as opposed to last is huge. I’m not much for racing four-year-olds, but I’m looking forward to him. I think he could be a monster next year. It’s exciting.”

Prior to heading to the Meadowlands Pace at The Meadowlands, Beach Glass won his North America Cup elimination and finished second in the million-dollar final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. He then won his Meadowlands Pace elimination and was the 1-5 favourite in the final, which he captured by 1-3/4 lengths over Mad Max Hanover in 1:47.2 despite a wide trip around the first turn and brisk opening half-mile.

“He was so strong [in his elimination], and he was super all week,” Brent said. “Really, I thought that if he was healthy, he would be very hard to beat.

“He was five-wide going into the first turn and he didn’t make the front until after the quarter. A half in :53.2 is not cheap and he still kicked home in :25 and a piece. What can you say? He was impressive.”

Much of the pre-race conversation around Beach Glass centered on the fact that the only race his father lost in 21 career starts was the 2008 Meadowlands Pace. But the MacGraths did not feel any anxiety or pressure in the days leading up to this year’s final.

“We were pinching ourselves all week just thinking that we had the favourite in the final of the Meadowlands Pace,” Rhonda said. “We were going to bed each night and going, ‘Really? We’re here?’ We just kind of enjoyed the week. Brent jogged him and we went down every night and fed him his grapes and fed him his apples and pampered him a bit. He’s a bit spoiled. You have one horse, you spoil them.

“He’s a great horse to be around,” she continued, adding with a laugh, “He loves all the attention and spoiling, so it gives me a lot to do.”

The connections of Beach Glass in the Meadowlands winner's circle

Of course, winning the Meadowlands Pace with a homebred son of their late champion did carry plenty of meaning and emotion.

“It’s amazing for me,” said a beaming Rhonda while clutching a bouquet of flowers in the winner’s circle. “We’re the kind of people that it is what it is. We knew he would do his best, and if it didn’t turn out this way, then we would go home happy as well. But this is just surreal. It’s just unbelievable that we won the Meadowlands Pace with Beach Glass. We’re just pleased as punch.”


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