A new beach opens in Florida
December 08, 2009
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Although he's a transplant from the snow and cold in his home state of Michigan, it hasn't taken trainer Eric Beach very long to reach the conclusion that he's found a permanent setting for a home base.
"I'd only been here a few times before to race in the Florida Breeders' events but this fall I found several reasons for why I should make the move to race in Florida," the 43-year-old conditioner from Linden, Mich. says. "Like everyone here, my wife Kim and I just love the weather and the racing opportunities fit our operation really well."
He's trained the winners of 670 races lifetime for purse earnings of over $3.4 million. Last weekend, Beach Stable starters Thea's Cam and Sign Of The Moment both posed for winner's pictures. Since the current meet began on Sept. 19, he's harnessed 74 starters with a top three slate of 11-10-12 for almost $70,000 in purses.
"Sign Of The Moment is a late season surprise and he's become a really nice 3 year old," Beach says of the Life Sign-Clyde's Moment gelding. "Actually the pivotal horse in my decision to move was Nillabomb. She was an Open class mare in Michigan and Ontario and I hope she'll be at her best again soon here. As I looked forward late last summer I could foresee Florida was likely my only option to get her classified to race as opposed to shutting her down for the Winter. Plus,the border crossings from Detroit to Windsor and from Port Huron to Sarnia and London was also getting really tough. You could be five minutes or five hours clearing customs and I got tired of taking that chance though I'll tip my cap to some of the Michigan guys like Peter Wrenn and Keith Crawford for going over the border as much as they do."
Although he did amass 57 lifetime wins driving he says he's likely done with that aspect of racing for good, and in turn he calls on the likes of Wally Hennessey and Bruce Ranger to drive his starters at The Isle Pompano Park. He also makes a forceful case that classification of his entrants has been a big key to his success in his first three months permanently stabled in Florida. This week he says a price reduction is likely in order for claiming pacer Nell Fire.
"That's a horse that raced a lot of this year in Ontario for (trainer) Cal Campbell and I really like him," Beach says. "To show you how tough it is here he had to go 1:52.4 to beat the $6,000 claimers in November. He raced well against the $8,000 and $10,000 groups too but it looks like the $6,000 level is where he'll fit best," he added of the 7-year-old Grinfromeartoear-Sporting Nell gelding owned by Michigan's Rick Howles.
For the future the plan is in place to operate a stable of a maximum eight horses for Eric and Kim Beach.
"We do the work ourselves and we can keep track of everything comfortably by keeping the numbers down," he said. "Overall, my wife and I really agree this move has been great and in many ways a new lease on life. I'm at the barn by 5 a.m. to start my day and my attitude sure is a whole lot better about starting work in the morning when it's over 70 degrees outside." (Pompano)