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Locals Reach For Adios Orchids

Published: July 23, 2015 4:48 pm ET

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"For my partners, it will be like racing in the Kentucky Derby. It will be a fun week and a great experience for us all."

The 49th edition of the $525,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light includes a larger-than-usual contingent of locally-owned or -based horses reaching for the orchids in the signature event of their hometown track.

Three Adios eliminations are set for Saturday evening, with the top three in each division returning for the final on Saturday afternoon, Aug. 1.

Among the local contingent are: Chaching Hanover, owned by Karen Fread, Michael Toth and Michelle Linnert and trained by Jan Fread; Utah Beach, conditioned by Tim Twaddle, who owns with Don Tiger, Deborah Long and Michael Pribozie; Berkley, trained by Randy Bendis and owned by Bendis, Reed Broadway and Tom Pollack, and Angelo J Fra for trainer Norm Parker and co-owners Parker and Megan Rogers Racing Stables.

The quartet has been successful in overnight races but is short on stake experience and success. Nevertheless, the trainers are taking their shot. Parker has been in the hunt before, winning last year’s Adios Consolation with Bob Key’s Mattamerican. Angelo J Fra, a son of The Panderosa-Caila Fra, enters the Adios off a victory in a non-winners of 7 event at The Meadows.

“The Adios probably is a stretch for him,” Parker concedes. “If the race weren’t here at The Meadows, I wouldn’t be shipping him to it. But he went his best race last week, so if ever you’re going to do it, you do it off your best race.”

He said the wide-open feel of the race helped persuade him that his colt would fit.

“There’s no Sweet Lou or McWicked in this bunch, but you never know. Somebody could jump up," Parker continued. “He’ll need to go faster, but I feel like it’s there. He’s getting better. Obviously, he’ll need a good trip, but we think he’s capable.”

Twaddle said he studied the eligibles list before deciding to hit the beach with Utah Beach, a son of Somebeachsomewhere-Pears N Amoretto that raced as a two-year-old in Ontario for Joe Hudon.

“It’s a big reach, but when we were doing our homework, we knew the race would come up without a lot of the big, big names,” Twaddle said. “He raced a real strong race in Chicago last time out and earned a $5,400 cheque. That got us thinking, there’s his starting fee for the Adios.

"We’re probably dreaming that he’ll be a factor. On the other hand, this is home, and this is the kind of stuff dreams are made of. If you don’t have a dream, you never have a dream come true.”

Bendis, who has enjoyed considerable success at The Meadows for several decades, had a taste of Adios glory when his fine colt Georgia Pacific finished second to Timesareachanging in the 2004 Adios final.

“I looked at the eligibles list, and I knew a lot of the three-year-olds have been racing hard for the last two months,” Bendis said. “I thought that might work in our favour. But it’s a representative field. Hopefully, we can make the final and make some noise.”

Berkley (Art Major-Monterey) earned more than $118,000 at two, but Bendis knows the Adios is a stretch for the colt.

“To be honest with you, he has to step up,” Bendis said. “His race three weeks ago at Vernon probably is the biggest reason we dropped him in. He finished third for Yannick Gingras, who said he would have won with a better trip.

“He’s always had what I would consider top-level talent but maybe not the best work ethic. We’ve had to use various drivers for him, and he’s one of those horses that would be better if you could get a driver to stick with him.”

Nevertheless, it’s the Adios, the race Bendis most wants to win.

“You’d love to win the Breeders Crown, you’d love to win the Meadowlands Pace, you’d love to win the Hambletonian. But when you’ve been at The Meadows as long as I have, the Adios is at the top.”

Post time on Adios eliminations night is 6:55 p.m., with the elims set for races 4-6. For the Adios, The Meadows has chosen Junior Achievement as its charity partner. JA will offer autographs from sports stars at its trackside Legends Tent and will stage a raffle and a Chinese auction.


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