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A Groom To Equine Royalty

Published: October 10, 2015 2:35 pm ET

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Three generations, 11 horses, more than $4.1 million in earnings and one common denominator.

Nicole Pedden-MacQuarrie has groomed virtually every horse from a royal equine family produced by the Bob McIntosh Stables going back to an Ontario Sired matriarch named Los Angeles.

The latest star from that talented clan is Los Angeles’ granddaughter L A Delight, a winner of 10 of 11 races and $579,335 that will start from post six Saturday (Oct. 10) in the $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for two-year-old pacing fillies at Woodbine Racetrack. It is one of eight Super Finals on the card that serve as the de facto provincial championships (first race post time is 7:25 p.m.)

“This is three generations and (Pedden-MacQuarrie) treats them like her own. She’s done a great job,” said Al McIntosh, L A Delight’s part-owner and part-breeder, the cousin of the filly’s trainer, co-owner and co-breeder Bob McIntosh of LaSalle, ON, who also shares her with the C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH.

Eighteen years ago, Pedden-MacQuarrie graduated from high school and was supposed to return to a summer job working for trainer Jim Ainsworth before heading off to post-secondary school. She landed at the McIntosh Stables instead.

“The first year I started there I got the horses nobody wanted and I had a little homebred that made over $100,000 named McGetty,” Pedden-MacQuarrie said.

Before long she was vowing to stay just five years. Good thing she reconsidered. After looking after stars such as Woodrow Wilson winner Richess Hanover ($557,537), a Camluck filly named Los Angeles landed in her lap in year six.

“I wasn’t the first person that had her in the stall. Actually, she was in a couple of other people’s hands before I got her. Her first start I remember her making a break. It was in Elmira. She had tied up and I thought, ‘What kind of a project do we have here?’ But Bob’s got a pretty good program with tie-up fillies and he just made some changes, worked on her and she came right around.

“That mare was just the biggest sweetheart of all of them. She never gave you any kind of attitude in the barn,” Pedden-MacQuarrie said of Los Angeles, who earned $289,213 in 2003 and 2004 before being bred. So began a beautiful relationship.

Along the way, Pedden-MacQuarrie also met her husband, Mark MacQuarrie at Windsor Raceway. MacQuarrie has worked as an assistant trainer for Bob McIntosh for some eight years.

Today, all three horses Pedden-MacQuarrie looks after for McIntosh are members of Los Angeles’ prolific family, including L A Delight, a two-year-old grandson named New Talent ($64,826) and the family’s superstar, 2012 Pepsi North America Cup winner Thinking Out Loud, who has earned just shy of $2 million. Thinking Out Loud, now six and still racing, is Los Angeles’ son.

“He’s my boy,” Pedden-MacQuarrie said. “He was pretty exceptional right from day one. He had a lot of go. It’s just too bad he had a bone bruise as a two-year-old and we had to shut him down, but he did exceptionally well as a three-year-old...He’s pretty confident in himself, which is a good thing. He’s just always done everything right.”

Pedden-MacQuarrie was five months pregnant with her son, Benjamin MacQuarrie, when Randy Waples drove Thinking Out Loud to victory in the NA Cup.

“I was up on the track and I thought I was in the way of the cameras. I was screaming for him before he hit the wire. I remember jumping six feet off the ground. I don’t think I’ve ever jumped that high. That was quite the thrill,” Pedden-MacQuarrie said.

Bob has said L A Delight —- a winner of all four of her OSS events, as well as the $227,500 final of the She’s A Great Lady at Mohawk —- turned out to be a bit of a surprise. It explains why he didn’t keep her eligible to the Breeders Crown. Pedden-MacQuarrie said she knew L A Delight was special from the start.

“He was really high on a couple of other fillies and she wasn’t really strong finishing when it came time to qualifying. Bob knew she was nice and he really liked her, but she just wasn’t the standout he was looking for.”

Until she hit the track.

“When she’s at the track, she knows what she’s there for. She’s all business when she’s there. As soon as you take her in the paddock, she is a different horse. She has the desire to win,” Pedden-MacQuarrie said. “As I said to Bob, ‘It’s been an exceptionally nice family, but her desire is like no other.’”

L A Delight is a Bettors Delight filly out of Los Angeles’ daughter West Of L A, who earned $257,150 before being bred.

Pedden-MacQuarrie looked after West Of L A, as well, of course, as well as her sister You See L A ($249,339), the dam of New Talent. From that same family, the groom also has cared for L A Confidential ($6,400), See You L A ($3,160), West Coast Rocker ($34,478) and Somewhere in L A ($698,595). The only one she didn’t look after was LA Rockstar, who came along the year Pedden-MacQuarrie was on maternity leave. Is it a coincidence LA Rockstar is the only horse in the family not to earn a penny on the racetrack?

“Everyone in the family I can say has been pretty smart and they’ve all been pretty easy on themselves. It’s a good family,” Pedden-MacQuarrie said. But L A Delight might one day rival Thinking Out Loud for superstar status.

“She’s so smart, probably too smart for her own good,” said Pedden-MacQuarrie, who knows a thing or two about what makes this outstanding equine family tick.

(OHR)


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