view counter
view counter

Her name says it all.

The View


SO MUCH MORE desire.


SO MUCH MORE determination.

I could list many more of the attributes displayed for the past few years by the 2020 O’Brien Award winning aged pacing mare So Much More, but I think you get the point.

I think the thing that I love the most about Standardbred racing is the emotion that it brings out at times, both in myself and in many of the sport’s other participants. Recent post-race interviews I’ve seen have had Nick Gallucci (Prohibition Legal’s win on Aug. 17) and Robert Shepherd (Gold Cup & Saucer win) on the verge of tears - I love that.

Chris Christoforou recently won an OSS Gold event with a colt owned and bred by his dad and trained by his wife, in just the colt’s second lifetime start, and it looked like he was celebrating a Stanley Cup victory in the bike just past the wire. One of my fondest memories of any Canadian Pacing Derby was the one won by Courtly Choice in 2019 simply because of how James MacDonald celebrated the victory upon hitting the wire.

I’ve been lucky enough to experience some big (to me at least) victories in our sport as an owner, trainer and a groom, and I must admit that, for me, the ones as trainer and groom have brought out more emotion in me. Maybe when your blood and sweat are more involved the tears of joy flow more easily? But there have been certain horses over the years, ones I’ve had nothing to do with, who get me pumped up almost as much as they would if they were my own.

So Much More is one of those.

Shady Hill Pride was another.

In my early 20’s my friends and I would visit Greenwood and Mohawk regularly. As long as I had a minimum of $40-$50 gambling money to spare I’d head to the track every chance that I could.

Shady Hill Pride was a high-end claimer or Jr. FFA type that could pace an 1/8th as fast as any horse I’d ever seen. He’d get away last every week, and at the half he’d usually even be gapped well off of the horse in second last. He’d catch them going to the far turn, tip three and four-wide half way around it, and pace up the Greenwood stretch like his tail was on fire. He’d pace so fast that you could just see his chest shaking left and right like a steam engine turning its wheels. I loved watching that horse charge home so much that I actually remember driving from my home in Pickering to Greenwood Racetrack (a minimum of 40 minutes no matter how recklessly we’d do it at that age) with no money in my pockets, just to watch him race. The emotion it brought out in me was priceless - gambling at that point was totally unnecessary.

There have been a few other horses over the years that pumped me up tremendously just to watch race, even though I had no other connection to them than just that. Somebeachsomewhere (didn’t he do that to us all?) Bee A Magician and Precious Bunny all come to mind, but they were all the biggest stars of the sport at the time.

Shady Hill Pride was not, and although So Much More is definitely a star in her own right, it’s not things like seven-length victories in 1:48 that make me adore her. It’s the fact that she’s fairly small, just decently-bred, and trained and owned by lesser-known participants - but when she steps on the track none of that matters to her. You’re going to have to look her in the eye and have more heart and talent than she does to beat her, and on most occasions that just doesn’t happen (she’s won 38 of 79 career starts).

So “Thank You” breeder Doug MacPhee, owner/trainer Don Beatson, driver James MacDonald, co-owners Ken Beatson and Cole England, and THANK YOU So Much More, for bringing out the emotions I love to feel when watching a horse race.

Good luck in the upcoming Roses Are Red (September 4th) and Milton Stakes (September 25th). Unlike you, some of your rivals in those events may show 1:47 and change/1:48 speed, but that doesn’t always matter. They’re still probably going to have to look you in the eye at some point, and whether or not my money is actually on you, my money is on you. I’ll be cheering for you as loud as if I owned you, and win, lose or draw in those big events, you’ll always be a winner to me.

Dan Fisher
[email protected]

view counter

© 2021 Standardbred Canada. All rights reserved. Use of this site signifies your agreement and compliance with the legal disclaimer and privacy policy.

Firefox 3 Best with IE 7 Built with Drupal