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Beach Glass Steps Up In Class

Published: October 21, 2021 12:25 pm ET

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Paul MacDonell does not have a reputation for hyperbole, and the Hall of Famer has sat behind some of harness racing's most accomplished performers. Thus, saying that rookie pacing colt Beach Glass "certainly has been impressive" in his three lifetime appearances is as glowing a compliment one could expect from the mild-mannered veteran horseman.

MacDonell has the absolute best frame of reference for Beach Glass, having campaigned both his dam Im With Her and his sire, the legendary Somebeachsomewhere. A $90,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Im With Her is a Bettors Delight sister to millionaires Holborn Hanover and Hyperion Hanover as well as $980,000 earner Hillbilly Hanover and half-millionaire Haverford Hanover. She raced for MacDonell and the Schooner II Stable in 2017, amassing a 3-2-0 record from 10 starts with $58,000 earned and no starts as a sophomore.

"She was bought with the intention of breeding to 'Beach'," MacDonell recently told Trot Insider. "She comes from that Hattie family that's quite prominent. And then we didn't get to race her at three because of Beach's death. She was sent to Hanover [Shoe Farms] early in her three-year-old season and bred with leftover semen."

Beach Glass was the resulting foal, born in May 2019 and developed by his sire's trainer, Brent MacGrath in Nova Scotia.

"He was brought along cautiously by Brent, he came here fairly green. I got to train him the first week he was here at Mohawk, just by himself. You could tell he had a little bit of speed but you never know how they're going to react until they get in the race. First race, you saw what he did. It was fairly impressive pacing home as strong as he did, and then he came back and followed it up with another win. We're pumped about him."

After back-to-back miles with :26 final quarters, Beach Glass attracted more attention in his third appearance last Thursday (Oct. 14) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. After opening fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:24.1, Beach Glass turned a five-length lead turning for home into a nine-length score for MacGrath and MacDonell in 1:51.1.

"He's done what we've wanted of him so far. I asked him to pace a little bit the last eighth of a mile and he was very obliging. We can't ask for anything more than that from his third lifetime start. He's obviously going to have to step it up against better competition this week but I think he should be up to it."

Knowing both sire and dam intricately, MacDonell is the perfect person to provide insight on the influence Somebeachsomewhere had on this foal from his final crop.

"I see more of 'Beach' in him than the mare, really. He's developing. I said to Brent, when he got [to Ontario] it was like he just matured immediately. Brent was saying he was still fairly green at Truro, and he gets here and all of a sudden he realizes 'okay, we're here to race. I get it.' He's come a long way in a month or a little bit less than a month.

"He's got that sweet gait; he just moves easy, no effort to it," continued MacDonell. "I know he feels like he's got speed, he obviously has speed pacing home in 26 and a piece. So now it's going to be a question of how far can we carry that, and when he gets tested it will determine whether he's top shelf or middle shelf or somewhere in between."

The 2021 Breeders Crown freshman colt and gelding pace attracted a total of 21 horses, split into three elims. Beach Glass has drawn post two in the second elim, and will face off against the likes of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winner True Blue Lindy (PP1, Tim Tetrick) and The Boss Said (PP5, Yannick Gingras) who started his career in Canada before shifting stateside to trainer Ron Burke.

Despite his lack of stakes experience, the morning line oddsmakers have listed Beach Glass as the 9-5 favourite.

"It's a seven-horse field, a bit less pressure with top three and one fourth place. We'll see, we still have to go down there and complete the task."

This task is not one that was added as a Plan B. The modest schedule with the relatively later start is as intended by the connections, and one that could also include a return to New Jersey for Beach Glass next month to race in the 2021 Governor's Cup.

"That was kind of the game plan all along; get some bottom in him in these races here at Mohawk and get him up to speed. I think he's got the speed that he can go with the colts. There's some good ones out there and we're gearing him up so we can race them, at least.

"He's fresh and sharp and ready. He doesn't have a lot of starts in him, a lot of fast miles but that might be good in the long run...he could be short on experience. We'll have to play it out."

What he lacks in experience, Beach Glass makes up for in manners.

"He's pretty professional, really. We went to Mohawk once prior to his first start and he just walked onto the track like he'd been there every day," stated MacDonell, a winner in the Two-Year-Old Colt Pace division at The Meadowlands with Jeremes Jet in 2005. "I'm confident that he'll just walk in there and do his thing."

The top three finishers from the three elims plus the fourth-place finisher with the highest lifetime earnings will qualify for the final. The winners will draw for post positions 1-5. Here's the field for the second two-year-old colt pace Breeders Crown elim:

1. True Blue Lindy (Tim Tetrick, Jeff Cullipher, 7-2)
2. Beach Glass (Paul MacDonell, Brent MacGrath, 9-5)
3. Six Feet Apart (David Miller, Brian Brown, 6-1)
4. Birthday (Dexter Dunn, Ron Burke, 4-1)
5. The Boss Said (Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1)
6. I Did It Myway (Todd McCarthy, Tony Alagna, 10-1)
7. Nautical Hanover (Andrew McCarthy, Tony Alagna, 12-1)

To view the full entries for Friday's Breeders Crown card of harness racing at The Meadowlands, click one of the following links: EntriesProgram Pages.

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