Pacer turned trotter, Action-Ear-To-Ear, was successful in his trotting debut in the opening race on Tuesday at Northfield Park. Action-Ear-To-Ear began from post two and led at virtually every call, posting a winning time of 2:05.3.
Action-Ear-To-Ear (Grinfromeartoear-Life With Mindy-Life Sign) began racing in Canada in 2010, winning one of five races as a freshman pacer. He was winless in six tries as a sophomore and won one of 12 races as a 4 year old. His best year to date has been 2013 when he won two races and finished second seven times in 14 starts. He has a mark of 1:55.2, paced at NorthfieldPark, and has career earnings of $27,063.
Action-Ear-To-Ear was claimed by Andrew Coblentz of Wooster, Ohio for $3,000 in August 2013. Coblentz placed him under the care of trainer John G. Wengerd. The horse looked to be a good claim, pacing in 1:53.2, finishing second in a $4,000 claiming race just two starts later.
"That 53 mile really soared him up,” said Wengerd. "So we put road shoes on him and let him pull a buggy to stay in shape until he was fully sound again.”
Pulling an Amish buggy around Wayne County, Ohio for several months did a lot of good for Action-Ear-To-Ear according to Wengerd. However, in that time it was noticed that the 6-year-old pacer never paced. He had trotted the entire time he was on the road.
"He is a really smooth gated trotter,” commented Wengerd. "He even looks like a trotter.”
When Action-Ear-To-Ear left his road duties and reentered training, Wengerd noted, "All he wanted to do was trot. So I called the owner and talked it over with him and we decided to take his hobbles off for good.”
Action-Ear-To-Ear qualified Dec. 27 atNorthfield Park on the trot. "I was a little nervous that when he saw the gate he would switch to a pace, but he didn't,” offered Wengerd. He left right up out of there like he was supposed to, got on top and won his qualifier easy.” Action-Ear-To-Ear led at every call, besting his competition by 2 ¼ lengths in 2:04.2.
Action-Ear-To-Ear's immediate future appears to be as a trotter. However, there is always a back-up plan, which may include hobbles, in the wings if his current gate does not work out. (Northfield Park)