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'Beach' Memories: Sick In The Simcoe

Published: September 7, 2018 8:48 am ET

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It was 10 years ago this year that pacing colt Somebeachsomewhere dominated harness racing's headlines throughout his nearly flawless sophomore season.

In honour of the Canadian-sired superstar many consider one of the greatest Standardbreds to ever look through a bridle, Trot Insider will post the news stories from his on-track appearances throughout the year as they happened a decade ago along with the replays from those captivating races.

Today's 'Beach Memory' comes with a bit of a twist. It was 10 years ago yesterday that Somebeachsomewhere captured his division of the Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. With the conditions optimal for a track record performance, driver Paul MacDonell buzzed 'Beach' through fractions of :25.3, :53.2 and 1:20.2 and fronted the field by some five lengths turning for home. But the powerful son of Mach Three only closed in :29.4 -- the slowest closing quarter in his 21 pari-mutuel appearances.

The day after -- 10 years ago today (September 7, 2008) -- trainer and co-owner Brent MacGrath broke the news to the harness racing world that Somebeachsomewhere had scoped sick after his Simcoe win through his blog on the Standardbred Canada website.

'The Beach' Sails In Simcoe Stakes

Despite Deweycheatumnhowe's stunning defeat earlier this evening at Mohawk Racetrack, bettors had faith in racing's pacing superstar Somebeachsomewhere, and the son of Mach Three didn't disappoint his backers, who sent him off at 1-9 in the second $132,326 division of the Simcoe Stakes.

Paul MacDonell sent 'Beach' to the front immediately from the inside post position and set absolutely blistering fractions of :25.3, :53.2, and 1:20.2 - the fastest three-quarters of a mile in Mohawk history - with only Luc Ouellette and Dali able to stay in the same county with him. The rest of the seven-horse field trailed by six lengths or more through much of the mile while Somebeachsomewhere just kept pouring it on.

As the field came down the stretch, the incendiary pace began to tell with the champion colt, and a late rush from The Mohegan Pan (Steve Condren) closed some distance, but even a :29.4 final quarter couldn't put a dent in another commanding victory for Somebeachsomewhere, who crossed the wire in 1:50.1.

The Mohegan Pan snatched the place spot, with Deuce Seelster (John Campbell) moving up for third and Dali, fourth.

It was the 15th win in 16 starts for the nearly-unassailable Somebeachsomewhere, who has tasted defeat only once, in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace. He has earned over $2.3 million for the Schooner Stables of Bible Hill, Nova Scotia.

Trainer and co-owner Brent MacGrath admitted he had discussed going for a track record tonight with MacDonell. "It would have been nice to have the track record here, but the track's a little dead tonight and it's a cold night. We took a run at it, but he hasn't raced in three weeks, and maybe he's just not quite himself. He didn't have his typical kick at the end of the mile that he should have had and he's always had. There's a lot of sickness around. We'll have a look and see what he looks like inside."

MacGrath confirmed once again that the Little Brown Jug has never been one of Somebeachsomewhere's scheduled stops. "It never was on the table. We had a plan last year and the plan's been working. The group of us have decided that we're going to continue to work our plan. When you deviate from what you originally planned, I haven't had a lot of luck when I do that. We're sticking to Plan A."

The Truro, Nova Scotia native feels confident that his colt will have time to regain top form in time for his upcoming races at The Red Mile in Lexington, and confirmed that the Messenger Pace is also part of 'Plan A'.

Brent MacGrath's Blog - Simcoe

"We scoped Beach immediately following the race, concerned about his un-characteristically slow last quarter. He scoped showing mucus in his throat and lungs, which prevented him from getting his wind on the end of the mile.

"He was feeling really good this morning, went for a big run in the paddock. He started his antibiotic treatment, and after a few days we expect him to bounce back good as new.

"It's a good thing we decided to roll him along to the three quarters where the sickness finally took a toll (as it should have after arriving there in 1:20 and change), had we not done that we may have never even noticed the sickness, luckily, it was easy to see that the Beach was not himself."

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