Chocolate Delight is a pleasure for the Hegdal family, whether he is on the racetrack or in the show ring.
The 4-year-old gelding trotter, who races Sunday in the second round of the Bobby Weiss Series at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, captured last year's New Jersey Futurity for trainer Oyvind Hegdal and his wife, Camilla, who owns the horse. Chocolate Delight also won numerous ribbons for the Hegdals' daughter, Victoria, in competitions.
"He's a nice horse,” Oyvind Hegdal said. "He's a very smart horse, very professional. He is very nice for (Victoria) to be around. We sold her pony and bought him the week after because she grew out of the pony. That's the reason why we bought him. They did seven or eight shows last year and they did pretty good. She won a couple classes at one of the shows and got some seconds and a third at the (Standardbred) national show.”
Chocolate Delight is a son of stallion Chocolatier out of the mare Iris. His dam is a half-sister to Meadowbranch Magic, the mother of stakes winners Wishing Stone and Make It Happen, and his third dam is Davidia Hanover, who won stakes races in the U.S. and Europe.
The horse was owned originally by Harry Landy and trained by Hegdal during the early part of his career. Chocolate Delight was winless in six starts as a 2 year old, going off stride in four of the races, and Landy sold the horse to the Hegdals in March 2013.
At the suggestion of a neighbor, Hegdal made riding part of Chocolate Delight's training routine to help alleviate some health issues. Over his final seven starts last year, the horse posted two wins--including the $27,000 New Jersey Futurity--two seconds and two thirds.
So far this season, Chocolate Delight has a third-place finish among three starts. He was fourth in his opening-round division of the Weiss Series, beaten 3 1/4 lengths by Sixteen Mikes in 1:56.3.
Chocolate Delight races in the second of two $15,000 second-round divisions Sunday. He leaves from post five with Hegdal in the sulky and is 8-1 on the morning line. Sixteen Mikes, starting from post eight for driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Gail Wrubel, is the 3-1 favorite.
Ray Hall, another first-round winner, is the 5-2 choice in the first division. He starts from post two for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Mark Harder.
Time To Quit, a Ron Burke trainee who won the remaining first-round division last week, is skipping Sunday's round to race in Saturday's $60,600 Horse & Groom Series final at the Meadowlands.
"He raced pretty good the first time, but I don't think he's going to make the finals,” Hegdal said. "He's a class under the best ones in that series. But at least he's got a couple of races now, so I'm hoping his season will get better now. But I don't see him in the final.”
The five-week Weiss Series for male trotters concludes April 22 with a $30,000 final.
Following the series, Chocolate Delight will continue his double duty for the Hegdal family.
"He's going to be in shows later on,” Hegdal said. "He can do both, so that's a good thing. He can pay a little bit of feed and hay. He's the family horse, that's for sure. He's going to be around over the years.” (HRC)