89YO Ducharme enjoying ride with Valley Of Sin
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Ducharme is no stranger to success with trotters. He bred, trained and co-owned 1995 Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt champion Abundance (who also won a Hambletonian heat before finishing second to Tagliabue in the final); bred, trained and owned stakes-winner High Tech (a Breeders Crown runner-up in 1999); and trained 1975 Elitlopp runner-up Quick Work and 1982 Canadian Trotting Classic runner-up Crowntron.
When Ducharme watched Valley Of Sin win a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in a track-record 1:52.3 at The Meadows in 2013, he decided to keep an eye on the horse. Unfortunately, Valley Of Sin suffered a suspensory injury and was limited to only four starts (three wins and a second) in the ensuing two years.
"I saw that (sire stakes) race and thought he was the best I'd seen in a while," Ducharme said. "I followed his career because I thought I might like to buy him, and I finally did. I was going to breed him to a few of my mares, but he seemed to be sound, so while we were waiting to breed him we decided to see how he would hold up in training. Wilbur has done a great job with him. He's showing the type of horse that he was, and is."
Said Yoder, "I like everything about him. The minute he walked in the door, he was just a nice horse. You can do whatever you want with him. He's got a lot of speed and he's got a lot of manners. He handles nice, he's quiet, he does his work, his ears are always up; he's just happy to be a racehorse."
For now, Valley Of Sin, who is a ridgling, will remain a racehorse. Ducharme has 10 mares, but wants to keep Valley Of Sin "in racing mode" as long as the horse is healthy.
"I'm an older man, so I enjoy having him race," Ducharme said, laughing. "Of course, racing horses is race to race. I think he's capable of racing at the top level and I'd like to maybe give him that opportunity (this year) on a limited basis. It's a management issue, but hope is eternal.
"We're just enjoying this," he added. "It's been a good ride." (HRC)