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Dreams Of Glory For Sweet Soul David

Published: July 23, 2021 1:11 pm ET

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Last year’s win in the Balanced Image Trot at Hanover Raceway was an emotional victory for Sweet Soul David and his connections. His part-owner and trainer, Pat Lang was incredibly moved by what had transpired.

“It was unbelievably special. I let Denis (St. Pierre) name the colt after his son that had passed away and I promised him that he could drive the horse one day.” It was more than just a win as there was a deeper connection at the root of the story. “Denis named him ‘Sweet Soul’ because he always said his son had the sweetest soul in the world. As it turns out, this horse is the sweetest horse in the world. He is the kindest, most gentle horse there is. In my 50 plus years of experience in horse racing, these kinds of horses don’t usually do too well. Racehorses sometimes need to be mean, nasty, and tough. However, for how gentle he is, he is just as tough and it’s really hard to beat him on the track. He’s a perfect little horse with a perfect name.”

That journey to becoming Lang’s perfect horse wasn’t easy, as he had serious obstacles right from the beginning. “He got extremely hurt as a weanling. He seriously injured his front left foot and he spent seven weeks in a stall. Once we got his foot sound, it seemed like he got used to the pain....He got hurt again in the states and he has healed completely from that.”

The two starts after his latest injury were both decisive wins in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots division — at Hiawatha on July 3 (1:56.3f) and Rideau Carleton on July 11 (lifetime best 1:55f). These are not easy races to win, let alone for a horse that took a month off before the injury.

“We’re always amazed by how he can race perfectly sound.”

Sweet Soul David competed in the OSS Gold division last year but didn’t have the same success he had in his starts at Hanover. Lang is not concerned and has no problem letting his colt race in the Grassroots level until he can prove to be an upper-tiered horse.

“Personally, I would rather make the same amount of money racing in the Grassroots because it takes less out of your horse. I raced him in the Golds last year because he’s the kind of horse that doesn’t really care about where he finishes. He doesn’t get discouraged easily. So far I’ll keep him in the Grassroots this summer to build up his confidence. He is getting better every week and if he wins the next two races, we will have to seriously consider putting him back in the Gold.”

In eight starts last year for Lang and co-owners Simon Swindells of Little Britain, Garth Bechtel of Meaford and Paul Kleinpaste of Orangeville, Ont., Sweet Soul David (Kadabra - A Sundae On Sunday) banked a solid $68,599 in earnings. His only two wins last year were in the Balanced Image elimination and Finals, and he’s already matched his win total from a year ago in three starts this season.

Plans rarely go according to the way they were drawn up, and the coronavirus pandemic forced changes to many preferred training and racing schedules in North America's harness racing industry. Lang was not immune to its impact.

“I had him ready to go in April,” admitted Lang. “He was ready to roll but then the racing stopped. My plan was to have him racing four or five times before, but it didn’t work out. I have a lot of partners that have horses with Nik Drennan, and he does a great job with his horses. It was a great plan, it just didn’t work out according to plan. He got homesick with the new track and new people.”

Unfortunately, being homesick was not the only issue that got in Sweet Soul David’s way.
“After he got over his sickness, he was going into a race at Yonkers but then we had to scratch him because of a bone bruise. He came back up to us and he was fairly lame. Good thing we didn’t have to qualify him because we just had enough time to get him ready for the Grassroots.”

After a 10-year absence from training, Lang feels extra special about this horse and what he has accomplished.

“When we had our big years, I don’t think we really appreciated it. David is not likely the best horse I have ever had but he is the most appreciated. After having 10 years off from training and to get a horse like him, I really appreciate him.

“You couldn’t ask for a nicer horse. He’s perfectly gaited and perfectly sound. He is tough but kind and gentle. That’s all you could ask for from a horse.”

Heading into this weekend’s Dream Of Glory eliminations at Hanover, Lang feels his colt has a good shot at continuing his winning ways. “We’re going into this to win both races. Highland Mowgli is a better horse, but I wouldn’t be surprised if David could beat him. If he loses that’s fine because I think Mowgli is a better horse. David is one of those horses that will only get beat by a better horse.”

Sweet Soul David will race in the second elimination, carded as the fifth race, and will start from post position five for driver Louis-Philippe Roy as the 5-2 morning line second choice. The top two finishers from each of the three $7,500 eliminations plus two third-place finishers will advance to the $56,000+ final at Hanover on July 31.

First post time at Hanover Raceway for both the Dream Of Glory card will be at 1:30 p.m. (ET).

To view the entries for the Saturday card, click the following link: Saturday Entries - Hanover Raceway.

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Trey Colbeck)


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