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Family Ties For D Gs Camme

Published: August 19, 2016 10:54 am ET

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D Gs Camme makes his second consecutive appearance in the Sobey's Gold Cup & Saucer, starting from post five in the 57th edition of the race, which will be held as the fourteenth race on Saturday, August 20 at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park.

A six-year-old gelding by Blissful Hall out of the Cams Card Shark mare Cam Me Kindly, D Gs Camme is owned by Quentin Bevan along with partners Hal Bevan, Tom Clark, and Ronnie Matheson, whose son, Jackie Matheson, is also the trainer.

Bevan is the co-operator with his father Hal of Bevan Bros. Plumbing & Heating, a business with roots dating back to the 1930s. He considers this his first "real" venture into racehorse ownership.

“A few years ago, a couple of guys who I know asked me if I’d be interested in buying a horse and so we did,” Bevan said. “It was the same group who owns D Gs Camme. We went and bought a horse but it didn’t work out. The horse never ended up racing. He was sick, which is a common issue. But I was out before I was ever in it.

“Really, Camme’s the first racehorse I’ve owned,” Bevan also said. “I wouldn’t even count that other one or even talk about the other one because it wasn’t a fun experience. We were worried about him all the time and he was just never healthy; it’s hurting me just talking about it.”

Ronnie Matheson later gave Bevan a chance to get back in on another horse he had his eye on.

“A little while later, Ronnie found a horse and he asked if we were interested again,” Bevan also said. “I was a little shy about it to be perfectly honest. The other horse we didn’t have for a long time, but I’d take the kids down to the barn to hang out, see the horse and stuff. But we got ‘Camme’ at the sale and have been going ever since and having a ball racing him. It’s a real joy to be involved with this group.”

Bevan’s roots in racing stem back to his paternal grandfather, who he never met because of his passing in the 1960s. However, he grew up seeing pictures in his family’s garage of his grandfather with racehorses.

“I still have a couple in my office of my grandfather with these racehorses,” Bevan said. “I didn’t really go around the track a lot growing up, but I would go for Old Home Week and stuff like that. My father would own horses from time to time, moreso in the last 10 years he’s always seemed to have one or two racehorses on the go.”

Bevan said he gives most of the credit for D Gs Camme’s success -- which includes track records at Northside Downs, Red Shores Summerside and Truro Raceway, winning the Governor’s Plate, and earnings of $144,720 -- to the Matheson family.

“Ronnie’s got a good eye,” Bevan said about picking D Gs Camme out as a yearling. “He’s a Blissfull Hall, and they’ve had success in Ronnie’s barn, so that’s probably got a lot to do with it. Ronnie and the whole family are just really involved with it. They know what they’re looking for and I was lucky enough that they invited me to be a part of it.

“The whole family, Ronnie, Jackie, Jodilyn, Bobby Jo, they get the horse ready and they don’t overextend him,” Bevan also said. “They have a great knack for getting horses ready for certain races.”

As a two- and three-year-old, D Gs Camme raced in Ontario but he did not demonstrate the form he shows when racing in the Maritimes.

“There are limited opportunities in the region because we have a short season, but if you have a horse that you think can compete on the Ontario circuit then you want to send them up,” Bevan said. “We haven’t had a lot of success there; no consistent success compared to what we’ve had in this region. We don’t know what the reason is, but for some reason he really thrives under Matheson’s care and with all of us around.”

Gilles Barrieau is D Gs Camme’s regular driver, and the ‘Maritime Magic Man’ is no stranger to Gold Cup & Saucer success having won this event three times -- more than any other driver in Saturday’s field.

“We’ve been so fortunate to have Gilles Barrieau as his driver,” Bevan said. “Gilles’ intentions are so pure; he wants what’s best for the horse. It’s not about thrills and it’s not about the ownership group. This is all about the horse.”

Last year, D Gs Camme raced from post seven in the Gold Cup & Saucer, finishing fifth to Take It Back Terry. He’s listed on the morning line at 6-1 (the fifth choice) against trial winners Go Daddy Go and Ys Lotus as well as Ron Burke’s starters Foiled Again and favoured Limelight Beach.

“It’s a fast field; it’s a tough field,” Bevan said. “These are some serious racehorses. We try not to get ahead of ourselves; we’ll watch the race, see how it unfolds. We don’t have any expectations. If he gets an opening or an opportunity, he has the heart of a champion and I think he can go with anybody.”

Bevan said the strategy of his ownership group is to remain humble and not get ahead of themselves.

“It’s all a thrill,” Bevan said, “but our group is good at staying grounded and not getting too far ahead of ourselves as far as making plans or thinking this was going to happen or that was going to happen. For instance, two weeks ago we hadn’t made a decision on whether we’d be in the Gold Cup.”

The other characteristic Bevan said of his ownership group is the familial connection they have with D Gs Camme.

“I hate to say this because it sounds corny, but the horse is a part of our family,” Bevan said. “There’s a huge extension of this horse with our family. Sure, Ron’s one of the owners, but his son Jackie is the trainer, Jodilyn is the groom, and we’d be nowhere without Jodilyn. Tom’s whole family is involved, his daughter Gracie works with Jodi as a groom as well. Any time he’s racing in the region we try to go.

Rio and Jace Bevan with D Gs Camme (Photo Supplied)

“My kids are young; they’re four, six, and eight, and they’re always asking about the horse,” Bevan also said. “They don’t even call him D Gs Camme. They call him ‘Big D’ because when we first got him, my oldest boy, who was three or four, couldn’t get his mind around pronouncing ‘D Gs Camme’, so he started calling him Big D and I started calling him Big D. He has about a million different nicknames now.”

As a native of Prince Edward Island, Bevan noted he would be thrilled to win this race so ingrained in the culture of Maritime harness racing.

“It was a surreal experience,” Bevan said about the 2015 Gold Cup & Saucer. “Then, right after they paraded, the skies opened up and they cancelled the race. I’m hoping for better weather this year because we were getting ready to go last year and of course they cancelled.

“I’ve been to many tracks, and Charlottetown and Old Home Week and the Gold Cup & Saucer take a backseat to nobody,” Bevan also said. “It’s a world-class presentation. The horses and trainers that come and support this race deserve a lot of credit. They really feature what harness racing is all about. It’s something you just don’t get to see. It’s a unique experience as far as harness racing goes.”

At the end of the day, win or lose, Bevan comes back to what it’s all about. Not money. Not fame. Not bragging rights.

“We’d love to win the Gold Cup, but we’d be fine if he didn’t,” Bevan also said. “We’re all about what’s best for the horse. We want him to have a good, healthy race like he did last year and come out great. Then we’ll make a plan after that.”

$60,000 Sobeys Gold Cup & Saucer
1. Go Daddy Go (Brad Forward - 3-1)
2. Paparazzi Hanover (Travis Cullen - 12-1)
3. Ys Lotus (Louis Philippe Roy - 7-2)
4. Foiled Again (Marc Campbell - 10-1)
5. DGs Camme (Gilles Barrieau - 6-1)
6. Limelight Beach (Anthony MacDonald - 5-2)
7. Alexas Jackpot (Jody Jamieson - 4-1)
8. Shades Of Bay (Corey MacPherson - 8-1)

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Ray Cotolo)

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