One of Sunshine Beach’s co-owners, 88-year-old Montreal resident Conrad Leber, has said that he cannot recall a more exciting victory in his 46 years as a standardbred owner. His comments have come in regard to Sunshine Beach’s thrilling 1:47.4 nose win over Captaintreacherous in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine this past weekend at Pocono Downs.
The purse was also a new high, both for Leber and Hudson Standardbreds.
“We caught a big one,” said Leber, who was at trackside Saturday, enthralled by what he saw. “Usually he doesn’t leave, so when he went to the front like that for Brian Sears, I thought we’ll either win or not get a cheque. It worked out super for us. My, what a race. I’m still on a high. (Trainer) Mark Steacy and his whole family run a hell of an operation.”
When The Battle of the Brandywine turned into a war, Tony Infilise, also a co-owner of Sunshine Beach, knew he was witnessing something special. “The best two-horse battle I have ever seen,” said Infilise, of Quebec-based Hudson Standardbreds.
Infilise, who also owned the good two-year-old pacer Shanghai Phil, called Saturday's race “a fabulous experience and a true high," adding that "One has to savour those moments, as not very many come your way.”
Sunshine Beach’s next scheduled stakes engagement is the Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack.
The connections of Captaintreacherous also graciously commented on the world record-equalling mile.
"The Captaintreacherous team wishes to send their congratulations to all the connections of Sunshine Beach, particularly trainer Mark Steacy, on a job well done," the Captaintreacherous Partners said via release. "Both colts fought toe to toe for five eighths of the record mile, finishing within inches of each other."
The statement went on to say, "The Battle of Brandywine was a thrilling race for those of us with a stake in the outcome, as well as the fans who came out for the races. It was one of many highlights on Saturday, proving that harness racing can still produce the kind of entertainment and excitement that attracts interest when we put our best face forward."
(A Trot Insider exclusive by Paul Delean)