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Almost Doesn't Count: Bert Is Back


Published: September 11, 2009 11:49 am ET

Last Comment: September 12, 2009 10:22 pm ET | 6 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Bert Smith hasn't owned a horse since Pierce Seelster raced his last North American start on November 9, 2006. But after having recently claimed Paradise Bayama and acquired another performer via private purchase, the sometimes outspoken and controversial Smith is coming back to the racing game for all the right reasons.

Frustrated by what he refers to as the politics and stresses of being one of the leading standardbred horse owners in Canada, Smith told Trot Insider that he stepped away from the game in late 2006 to pursue other interests. He opted to redirect his spare time to the important people in his life: his family, friends and the members of his son's football team, which he coaches.

"When it comes to my spare time, my family, my son's football team and my friends get priority over everything else," Smith told Trot Insider.

The 39-year-old told Trot Insider that since 2006 his gambling dollars have gone toward the action in the poker world, which is currently flying high courtesy of a monstrous resurgence during the latter half of this decade. But when it comes to the action on the racetrack, Smith's two recent acquisitions are the proof that the racing bug packs quite a wallop and possesses a lasting effect.

When Trot Insider asked Smith how long he mulled a return to the ownership ranks, he said it wasn't an instantaneous decision. He also indicated that one of the greatest pacers to ever look through a bridle played a key role in refocusing his attention from the green felt of the poker tables to the crushed limestone tracks of the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit.

"I wouldn't say it was a quick process," Smith explained, "it's not like I just jumped right back in with both feet just like that. I started watching Somebeachsomewhere and from there I slowly started getting back into racing.

"I've always loved the horses, the thrill of winning races, bringing the kids out, and jogging horses. I just thought I would give it (racing) another try."

Smith told Trot Insider that unlike the days where he was campaigning as many as 20 horses, he is looking to max out at six horses, unless his competitive spirits ask him to crank things up a notch.

On September 4 at Mohawk Racetrack, Smith's Almost Doesn't Count Stable claimed Xtreme Challenge winner Paradise Bayama after the four-year-old Aces Up gelding finished a close second and paced in 1:52. The resident of Pickering, Ont. has also acquired six-year-old Fully Loaded mare Can I Call You via a private purchase. Both charges are in to go tonight at Mohawk Racetrack for trainer David Menary and driver Randy Waples.

"I'm back in the game to have fun, put my head down, and try to make a little bit of money," said Smith, who also told Trot Insider that it was good to see the faces of Kevin McMaster, Luc Ouellette and Randy Waples, among others, upon his return to the track.

In terms of the issues which produced some of the controversy surrounding Smith in the past, the owner said that he is looking to steer clear of the drama and be back at the track for the purities of the game he loves.

"The OHHA/COSA situation, the claiming rule, and other issues are not my fight any more," he said. "I'm going to claim. I'm going to buy (horses). I'm going to be there for fun."

September 12, 2009 - 10:22 pmI am happy Bert Smith is

I am happy Bert Smith is back, and I want to wish him the best
of luck for the future.
He is a great kind guy who deserves everything he works for.
I shall be watching his Almost Doesn't Count Stable with great interest.
Go get em Bert....

September 12, 2009 - 9:04 amBERT,cream,always comes to

BERT,cream,always comes to the top.we all know who the milk out for the wolf in the sheeps clothing,all the best in your journey your pal mike. ps funny your getting in iam getting out......

September 11, 2009 - 7:24 pmWelcome Back Bert. With your

Rick Fife SAID...

Welcome Back Bert.

With your knowledge,and expertise of this game, you do not need my luck.
I,m sure you will have great success in the future.

September 11, 2009 - 5:49 pmNice to see you back Bert.

Nice to see you back Bert. Still will be scouting for you if you need another eye and yes....Somebeachsomewhere made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck so I know where you're coming from! Freddie K

September 11, 2009 - 2:01 pmGood luck Bert, way to go.

Fely de Leon SAID...

Good luck Bert, way to go. Congratulations on your win.

September 11, 2009 - 1:35 pmGlad to see Almost Doesn't

Glad to see Almost Doesn't Count Stable back on some papers. Welcome back Bert, and best of luck with the few (or many) you choose to own!

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