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Faces Of Racing: Shane Baglole

Published: August 31, 2020 9:30 am ET

Last Comment: September 2, 2020 8:19 am ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Leading up to the 2020 edition of National Caretaker Appreciation Day virtual events taking place on the weekend of September 18 - 20, Standardbred Canada will profile caretakers from across the country in our Faces of Racing series.

The series continues with a profile on Shane Baglole of Cornwall, Prince Edward Island who is employed by the Steacy Stable based at First Line Training Centre.


“As long as I can remember I was going to the barn with my dad,” said 24-year-old Shane Baglole, an Ontario-based caretaker from Cornwall, PEI, “he was always around or had horses.”

With strong family involvement in the industry, Shane’s passion for harness racing comes as no surprise. Ronota, his mother, is one of the track photographers at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park (CDP) and his father, Blaine, is a trainer-driver.

Baglole credits his family and friends with helping him cut his trade at the Maritime tracks. “He, my dad, and Ronnie Matheson were the two biggest people that helped me get my start in the business. They taught me a lot,” he told SC’s Justin Fisher. “I've looked up to my father and Gilles Barrieau, I've seen the way Gilles runs his stable back in the Maritimes, it's a top-notch, quality stable.”

Baglole had some early success with a horse who would turn out to be one of his favourites - a No Pan Intended gelding by the name of Panacotta. With his Dad handling training and driving duties, Panacotta racked up 16 victories for the father-son partnership between August 2012 and the end of 2014, racing primarily at Red Shores at CDP.

After attending Holland College for two years, Baglole relocated to Ontario in 2016. He’s learned a great deal from the different trainers he worked with and his education in the sport hasn't stopped, but only accelerated upon entering the Shawn Steacy barn where he’s been since July, 2018. “The whole Steacy family has been great to me, Mark, Shawn and Clarke, they're great horsemen who have treated me amazing and are willing to teach.”

Working under the trainees of champions such as Majestic Son, Hana Hanover and Sunshine Beach, Baglole, who is more interested in training than becoming a catch driver, is situated in an ideal location to continue his education. “Most people want to drive, but I don't have a real interest in that. I'd rather learn more about the training side. Anybody can just drive a horse, but I'm more interested in learning how to be a trainer. If I went back home I’d get my driver’s license if I had a horse to drive week-in-and-week-out, but right now I'm just trying to learn more about training every day.

“Working on your horse all week and then getting to see them race well, whether they win or not, it's nice to see all of your hard work you've put into the horse. It's a full week's worth of work for two minutes, so it's really rewarding when they race well, and it keeps the owners and your boss happy too,” stated Baglole. One such horse that fits that description and was under the care of Baglole for over a year and happened to be one of his favourite horses to work with was pacing mare Hello Love, a winner of 17 races and more than $220,000. Hello Love made and continues to make her large contingent of owners -- including fractional ownership groups LandMark 10 and LandMark 11 -- happy week in and week out with her consistent racing efforts.

After settling in Ontario and working at the Steacy barn, Baglole began to find that he truly enjoyed breaking the yearlings and getting them to the races. “The whole process of the babies coming in and [us] breaking them is my favourite part of the job,” he admitted You hope that they make it and that they do well on the track. I personally enjoy the qualifying days because that’s really when you get to sit back and see all you've done over those last few months with the babies. I’m currently looking after five horses and they are all pretty much younger horses. It’s kind of a whole year’s work when breaking the babies... it starts in the winter, training them down, then watching them qualify, and when they race it's like ‘ok, now they have finally made it.’ Those cold days in the winter when you're out jogging them and wondering if it is all worth it...when your hard work pays off it's really nice to see.”

That hard work paid off on August 25 as Moscow Moon, a two-year-old trotting colt under Baglole’s care, broke his maiden in an Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. “A win always feels good, no matter what track or how much money you’re going for! But a win with a horse that finally put everything together and figured out this racing thing is great,” he posted on his Facebook account.

When asking many in harness racing what their bucket list race is, most can’t say their horse has already crossed the wire first in it, or even raced in it, but the PEI native already crossed his off his list three years ago. “I was lucky to have looked after Shadow Place for Kyle Fellows in the Gold Cup and Saucer in 2017 when he won, and being from PEI it's probably the biggest race for me… now it would be the Little Brown Jug. I got to paddock in the Jugette last year and see how prestigious it and the Jug are, so that would be a major one to win for me,” noted Baglole.

For those newbies not sure where to start, or for a seasoned veteran, Baglole believes that in a sport like harness racing everyone can learn something new each day if you’re willing to listen and learn. “Getting up everyday and having the ability to learn something new... nobody knows everything so if you can learn something new each day you're doing well. Just be a sponge, take everything in, absorb it all, and if you can learn something new from all the different people you work for you've probably done something right. Start small, start by doing stalls and then harness one, but mostly listen and absorb the information, you can learn something from everybody.”

When asked to discuss National Caretaker Appreciation Day, Baglole had this to say, “I like the day, NCAD, it's nice as a groom to get recognized because the groom looks after the horse and is probably around the horse more than anyone. The groom is the backbone of the industry in a way.

“Once you're in, you get hooked and you're in for life.”

(Faces of Racing image courtesy John Watkins)

September 2, 2020 - 8:19 amIt is very welcoming to see

It is very welcoming to see young men and women like Shane Baglole join the harness training ranks. Good horsemen and women want to learn and be taught the correct way of doing things. A groom is the most important person in the sport. They take care of the equine athlete all the time. Most would be able to tell when something is amiss with the horse and indeed cares very much for the horse(s). Kudos to Shane for wanting to learn and be instructed on how to do it properly and with integrity. In these trying times of the the last several years it is very nice to see this man enjoy what he is doing and learn all he can about the horses and the training side of harness racing. I do remember Panacotta very well as he raced with my favorite Balanchine at Charlottetown PEI a few times. Good luck in the future.

Janelle Scherbik
USA

August 31, 2020 - 11:48 amShane; It's nice to know

Rick Karper SAID...

Shane;

It's nice to know where you ended up since I last saw you in Marcel Barrieau's barn in Montreal several years ago. I'm glad to know that you are part of the Steacy organization. You couldn't find nicer people. By the way, I own a few shares of Hello Love.


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