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Steacy Discusses Foreclosure N

Published: July 8, 2011 9:48 am ET

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Foreclosure N could provide trainer Mark Steacy with the birthday present of a lifetime if he wins the $1 million Meadowlands Pace.

Steacy will turn 50 on July 15, the eve before the track's signature event for three-year-old pacers. His top trainee will begin his 'Pace' quest from Post 2 in the first of two $50,000 eliminations on Saturday, July 9. The top five finishers from each of the elims will advance to the $1 million final on Saturday, July 16. Elim winners will pick their post positions for the final at Tuesday's draw.

Foreclosure N enters the Pace eliminations off a 1:51.1 score in the preferred class at Mohawk Racetrack, his first win in five starts this season. Prior to that, he picked up cheques in the North America Cup eliminations (deadheat for third) and final (fourth).

"He raced extremely well to beat older horses in the slop at Mohawk last week," Steacy said. "Sylvain Filion gave him an excellent drive. I wanted the colt to come out of that race real brave, and that's the way it went. When he went by those older horses he did it with authority. So, we're in pretty good shape going into Saturday. We drew a good post position, and we're definitely in the toughest elimination, so we've got to beat them twice."

The Rocknroll Hanover colt, who became a major player late in his two-year-old season, is peaking at the right time for owner R. Peter Heffering of Port Perry, Ont., a two-time winner of the Pace with Precious Bunny and Day In A Life.

"In his first start back he was just okay, but like last year, he's improved with every start," Steacy said. "We had Post 10 in the North America Cup, which is almost impossible. I think he paced his last three quarters in 1:20, and he was [really] strong going through the wire finishing fourth. I thought that was pretty impressive.

"We were pretty confident coming into this year with the way he finished his freshman season. Unfortunately, we had a few bumps in the road this year. He had one leg that blew up on him, and we missed a few weeks with that. Then, just before we got ready to qualify he had some sickness issues. So, he got knocked back a bit, and we weren't sure about the timing of the North America Cup."

Foreclosure N picked up steam in the fall of his freshman season, as he won the New Jersey Sire Stakes final at Freehold and a Breeders Crown elimination at Pocono. He earned cheques in both the Breeders Crown and Governor's Cup finals, boosting his earnings to $234,590 for the year.

"As a two-year-old, he raced well right from the start," he said. "Randy Waples drove him, and he drove him very well. Randy really liked him and taught him to come from off the pace. In his Metro elimination, he was caught first up and finished a good second in the consolation.

"Shortly after that, we took him to Freehold for New Jersey Sires Stakes, and we got Tim Tetrick to drive. Like Randy, Tim fit the horse very well, and he won both starts there, including the $100,000 final. Then, we kind of got the idea that this guy might be a little better than ordinary. He just kept getting better as the year went on.

"When he won his Breeders Crown elimination in 1:52.1 we knew he could race with the best. He was fourth, parked first over in that final, and then fourth from an impossible spot in the Governor's Cup final. He paced his mile in 1:50 and last quarter in :26.4."

While he has emerged as one of the top colts of the sophomore class, it took a while for Steacy to see the colt's potential.

"I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but I think Mr. Heffering made some deal that went stale with broodmares in New Zealand," he said. "This horse was part of the payment, and I guess that's where his name originates. When I first saw him as a yearling he was in a small paddock at Tara Hill Farm in Port Perry, Ontario. He was not the most attractive colt, yet Peter decided to have me break him and train him.

"He was an early, January foal, very small and very ordinary training down," he continued. "My policy with the US-bred horses is not to start them too early."

Steacy operates a family-run training center in Landsdowne, Ont., along with his wife, Katherine, sons Shawn and Clarke, Jr., and his father, Clarke, Sr. He won Canada's 2007 O'Brien Award for Horsemanship, and continues to be a prominent force in the Ontario Sires Stakes program with a stable that has averaged more than $1 million in earnings for the past six seasons. Steacy campaigned Majestic Son, the 2006 Canadian Horse of the Year, and Breeders Crown champions Hana Hanover and Stylish Artist.

To view the draw results for the Meadowlands Pace eliminations, click here.


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