John Bach taking a shot with Who's Your Maddy
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John Bach has been involved in harness racing for as long as he can remember. It's a pretty good length of time considering the lifelong Goshen, N.Y., resident will turn 89 in July.
Over the years, Bach has enjoyed a number of successes owning racehorses. He hopes to add to the list with Who's Your Maddy in the Exit 16W series for 4-year-old male pacers at Meadowlands Racetrack.
Who's Your Maddy, trained in New Jersey by Kevin McDermott, drew into a tough spot in Saturday's second round of the series. Racing in the second of two $18,000 divisions, Who's Your Maddy starts from post eight with driver John Campbell, facing a field that includes first-round winners Holdingallthecards and Yo Cheyenne Rocky.
Lindwood Player, who also won an opening-round division last weekend, will compete in Saturday's first split, starting from post five with driver Corey Callahan in an 11-horse field.
Bach is hopeful that Who's Your Maddy can overcoming his outside starting position.
"He likes to come from behind anyway,” Bach said. "He's done pretty well for us, so we'll just hope for the best.”
Bach is no stranger to racing. He has worked at Historic Track in Goshen for more than 60 years, spending a number of years as clerk of the course following World War II and more recently as a timer.
His father worked for Hall of Fame trainer-driver Stanley Dancer and his brother, Fred, was a leading driver at Saratoga Raceway and Vernon Downs in the 1950s and also handled Thoroughbred prompters for time trials at Lexington's Red Mile.
"I used to jog horses and I really enjoyed that,” said Bach, who owned a title company and was a real estate broker. "Just being around horses all your life, you get attached to them.”
Among Bach's favorite memories is teaming with trainer Jim McDonald to win the 2003 Valley Victory Trotting Series with M Rene Lavec at Pompano Park. Brian Sears was the driver. Bach and McDonald have known each other for 30 years.
Bach, McDonald and Daniel MacIsaac bought Who's Your Maddy after his 2-year-old season for $37,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale's mixed sale in 2011.
Who's Your Maddy, a son of stallion Artiscape out of the mare Madison Rose, was a $32,000 yearling purchase and his family includes Grand Lady, who is the dam of several stakes-winners, including Glowing Report, Perfect Union and Must See, and the granddam of standout 2009 Pacer of the Year Well Said.
As a 2-year-old, Who's Your Maddy was winless in 10 starts, but finished second in the Historic-Goshen Cup at Vernon Downs and earned checks in divisions of the Bluegrass Stakes and New York Sires Stakes.
"He looked like a pretty good pacer for us, so we bought him,” Bach said. "We're pretty well satisfied.”
Last season, the gelding won six of 22 starts and earned $40,859. He set his mark of 1:52.2 at Pompano Park, but was race timed in 1:50 in a fifth-place finish (beaten 2-1/4 lengths by Cane Pace winner Dynamic Youth) in a sire stakes race at Tioga Downs.
So far this year, Who's Your Maddy has a second and three thirds from four starts, pushing his lifetime earnings to $94,044. He is coming off a third-place finish behind Yo Cheyenne Rocky and Papa Ray in his first Exit 16W start. No horse in the field paced a faster final quarter-mile than Who's Your Maddy (26.3 seconds).
"He'll follow speed all day long and give you everything he's got,” said McDermott, who has trained the horse for his three starts this year at the Meadowlands and planned on making a bridle change for this weekend's race. "He's a beautiful horse. He drew into a killer division (Saturday) so we'll just see what happens.” (Harness Racing Communications)