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Mainstream Feature On ‘The Beach’

Published: July 25, 2016 2:19 pm ET

Last Comment: July 26, 2016 12:23 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

It has been years since the great Somebeachsomewhere last set foot on the racetrack, but his throng of supporters continue to be fascinated by the now-stallion. The National Post has stoked that interest to kick off the week, as the publication has run an almost eight-minute feature that has caught up with the pacing star.

The feature, which appears exclusively on the National Post website, contains interviews with Brent MacGrath (‘Beach’s former co-owner and trainer), Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, Hanover Shoe Farms’ farm manager and veterinarian, and breeder Dr. John Egloff.

MacGrath, a resident of Truro, discusses what it was like picking Somebeachsomewhere out at the sale, and also comments on the horse’s legendary career on the track.

“It’s a game of hope and dreams, but did I expect it? No way,” said MacGrath, who was reflecting on when he plucked The Beach from the Lexington Selected Sale in 2006. “It wasn’t, ‘Geez, I’ve bought a world champion here.’ That did not come through my head at all.”

The seasoned horseman went on to say, “I really wanted a Canadian-bred, Ontario-sired horse, which would mean that the horse (would be) eligible to race in Ontario, and when I looked at him he fit the bill on his presence.”

A bid of $40,000 ultimately landed the son of Mach Three. Fans of Standardbred racing don’t need to know how the rest turned out. Although, for the uninitiated, The Beach won 20 of his 21 career starts (all high-end stakes races), and many do say that his lone defeat was one of his very best performances. The bay, who was driven by Paul MacDonell of Guelph, Ont., earned over $3.3 million in purses, tallied multiple world records, earned harness racing’s top honours, and left extremely large ‘horseshoes’ for any pacer that wishes to supplant his legacy.

2008 Meadowlands Pace

“If you’re asking if he is the greatest horse to ever live, he’s certainly in that league,” said MacGrath. “I might be a ‘little’ bit biased, but I think if you did a survey right now in the industry, I would say that his name would probably be at the top of the list – I would say, but again, that might be my wishful thinking.”

2008 Bluegrass Stakes – 1:46.4 World Record

As MacGrath was a close witness to Somebeachsomewhere’s career on-track, Hanover Shoe Farms’ Dr. Jablonsky has seen the horse in the breeding shed. She conveyed her feelings in the National Post feature.

“He’s a nice horse. He’s very easygoing. He’s very laid back. You could tell that he was spoiled on the racetrack because he’s a very humanized horse,” Dr. Jablonsky said. “He enjoys interaction with humans. Some horses could take it or leave it, but he likes to interact with humans. So in the barn he’s one of the nicer ones.”

Dr. Jablonsky and the staff at Hanover Shoe take viewers through the collection process, and how semen is readied and sent out to breeders.

Organizers behind the feature also reached out to Standardbred breeder/owner Dr. John Egloff, who did his best to explain how a phenom like The Beach comes to be.

“Every once in a while a great horse will pop up who, you look at his pedigree and say ‘how did that happen?’” said Dr. Egloff. “Well, genetics is like shuffling a deck of cards, and every once in a while somebody catches a pair of aces.”

“I don’t know what made him so great – I’m not that smart,” said Dr. Jablonsky. “I don’t know that anyone has the answer.”

To view the feature in its entirety, click here.

(With files from the National Post)

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MacDonell Discusses The ‘Beach’ Craze

July 26, 2016 - 12:23 amAgain, I would to thank the

Jim Brown SAID...

Again, I would to thank the Hanover Shoe farms for their donation of Somebeachsomewhere's halter, and allowing me as a fan of horse racing an opportunity to purchase it. I agree one hundred percent that the 'Beach' was one special horse.

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