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Stormont Tuscany Passes

Published: April 29, 2021 12:05 pm ET

Last Comment: April 30, 2021 10:39 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Trot Insider has learned that O'Brien Award-winning trotter Stormont Tuscany has passed due to old age and cardiac complications. He was 26.

Through eight seasons on the racetrack, Stormont Tuscany amassed 29 wins and over $875,000 in purses — doing so mainly in the infancy of Ontario's Slots at Racetracks Program. In his sophomore campaign, the son of Balanced Image and Pricipessa Susi reeled off a seven-race winning streak, including two Ontario Sires Stakes Gold finals, but his best effort may have been in defeat — when he fell just a nose short of Meadowbranch Mike in the Canadian Trotting Classic, which then went for $400,500, at Woodbine Racetrack.

"It was a tight photo — they took 10 minutes, and he ended up second," Kevin Benn, Stormont Tuscany's only trainer throughout his racing career, told Trot Insider. Despite his narrow defeat in Canada's premier event for three-year-old trotters, Stormont Tuscany earned top season-end honours in 1998 when he was named a divisional O'Brien Award winner. For the six seasons that followed, Stormont Tuscany continued to compete at a high level, holding court with the best trotters at tracks across Ontario and Québec and developing into a Woodbine Entertainment circuit mainstay with age.

"I took him to Montréal as a five-year-old; he just wasn't good enough for Toronto at the time," Benn related. "He won a bunch of Open Trots down there and got really brave, and then I brought him to Woodbine that winter, and he won three or four Free-For-All Trots when they were going for, like, $45,000."

It was during his six-year-old season that Stormont Tuscany earned his 1:53.3 lifetime mark, doing so at the end of a stretch in 2001 where he won six of eight races — all at either the Junior Free-For-All or Free-For-All classes at Woodbine and Mohawk.

After a suspensory injury led to his retirement from racing in 2004, Stormont Tuscany enjoyed a second career as a road horse under the care of Bob Clancey, who assumed ownership of the retired champion in 2005 and kept him until his final days.

"He was great to drive, he was great to hook, he was a great horse to be around," Clancey said. "I showed him three or four times at the Royal [Agricultural Winter Fair], and I showed him locally at the fairs. I guess I showed him five or six years."

In addition to appearing at roadster exhibitions, Stormont Tuscany had the honour of sharing the racetrack with another Canadian harness racing legend when he led the post parade for Somebeachsomewhere's 12-length OSS Super Final win in 2008.

"We were invited to go to Woodbine to post parade the horses the night that Somebeachsomewhere was in the Super Final, and we did that with Tuscany," Clancey recounted.

Althought Stormont Tuscany may not have looked the part of a champion — he "wasn't a pretty horse," according to Benn — he possessed the rare qualities of a champion ... and maybe a few quirks, too.

"He was a big horse, and he had a real big reach — he had a real big, powerful stride," Benn continued. "He was just a pleasure to be around and never really did anything wrong, other than when you went to catch him outside. He always had to be the last one in; all the other horses had to be in before him. Other than that, he never really had any bad days."

And Benn couldn't have been more grateful for the post-racing life that Clancey afforded his claim to trotting fame, either:

"Bob retired him and gave him excellent care until he died. I owe him a lot of credit for looking after him; he deserves the credit for the last 15 years."

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the connections of Stormont Tuscany.

April 30, 2021 - 10:39 pmRIP to this great horse.

RIP to this great horse.

April 30, 2021 - 7:24 amKevin and Associates, I

Kevin and Associates,

I remember him well. Sorry for the loss, there's no doubt in your circle he would have had the best care in his retirement.

Howard


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