Alberta-based trainer Kelly Hoerdt told harnessracing.com Thursday afternoon that he and his partners, Blair and Erna Corbeil, have sold one-third interest in the 3-year-old colt pacer National Debt to Jerry and Theresa Silva's J&T Silva Stables for an undisclosed sum.
A son of Allamerican Native, National Debt was four-for-four last year while competing in Western Canada, including setting a freshman track record of 1:53.3 at Alberta Downs. Hoerdt sent National Debt to New Jersey-based trainer Ron Coyne Jr. for the William "Buddy” Gilmour Series that got underway at the Meadowlands on Feb. 22.
"We're absolutely delighted to have Jerry included in our group,” said Hoerdt. "The best thing for us is that we have the opportunity to keep the horse where he is with Ron Coyne at Magical Acres Training Center.
"I really appreciate all the calls and all the offers that were made for the horse. I really appreciate the interest that fellow horsemen had in the horse.”
Making his seasonal debut, National Debt won his Gilmour division in 1:50.3, and Hoerdt said before driver Tim Tetrick could even bring the now five-for-five colt back to the winner's circle his phone was ringing from prospective buyers.
Jerry Silva told harnessracing.com he didn't even jump into the mix until Wednesday.
"The sale was all done Wednesday in 24 hours,” said Silva. "I saw the race (Gilmour) because I had a horse in that race, and National Debt was very impressive. I looked at his races in Canada and I spoke with Tim Tetrick, and he was very impressed with him. What's interesting is that he's by Allamerican Native, and I owned part of him when he raced many years ago.
"There was a competing offer and they decided they would rather have me as a partner, so we made the deal. It was not a cheap price, it was not a humongous price, it was a fair price.”
Hoerdt said he expected offers when he sent National Debt to the East Coast, especially if the colt kept winning.
"If a horse looks good enough you're going to get offers, especially down East,” said Hoerdt. "It was a great shiny mile and he looked great doing it. We had a lot of great and positive feedback from our driver. But that's just one race and we're talking about a big season ahead of him. You're always hopeful when you start a 3 year old, and we're not going to get too delusional until the time comes when the bigger races come up. Hopefully, we'll still have a nice horse at that time, knock on wood, healthy and sound.”
National Debt was a $17,000 yearling purchase at the 2012 Harrisburg Sale. He is a half brother to Grin For Money, who has career earnings of $441,651 and is still racing in Ontario. His dam, Our Inheritance, is a half sister to multiple Ontario Sires Stakes winner Cedar Shake.
National Debt is sitting out this weekend's second round of the Gilmour Series, but he will return for the final on Saturday, March 8. Although he is not fully staked, his engagements include the Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup, as well as the Breeders Crown in which he was supplemented for $10,000.
"I don't know where the future is going to take him and how he is going to be in the future, but the one thing I can tell you, is that with the experience I've had with him is that for sure he's the best horse I've ever sat behind,” concluded Hoerdt, who was just awarded Canada's 2013 O'Brien Award for Horsemanship.—by Gordon Waterstone