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Lis Mara\'s season over

October 20, 2006

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Lis Mara finished second in his last race in an Invitational at Woodbine Oct. 14, but it now appears the 4-year-old pacer’s standout season has come to an end with a victory in a roundabout way, as well as surpassing the $1 million mark in seasonal earnings.

Co-owner Mike Gulotta told harnessracing.com Thursday morning that the son of Cambest is being turned out for the year and will not compete in the upcoming Classic Series despite being supplemented to those races. The news comes shortly after it was reported Lis Mara was being elevated from second to first in the $203,000 American National held Aug. 26 at Balmoral Park when first-place finisher Holborn Hanover was disqualified after having a positive test.

“This will increase the likelihood that he will come back a dominant force in 2007,” explained Gulotta, who shares ownership of the Erv Miller trainee with Andy Willinger. “He has a little bit of a curb, it’s not major but we don’t want it to become major. We want him to rest while there is still some good grass in Kentucky.

“He’s in great shape. If it was just any other racehorse you’d go on with him, but we want him to be the best ever. Since Cambests improve with age, we expect him to be at the top of his game next year.”

Gulotta pointed out that with Lis Mara’s first-place placing in the American National, he won all four major stakes he competed in this year (the Canadian Pacing Derby, Des Smith and Breeders Crown).

Lis Mara’s delayed American National triumph gives him 11 wins in 17 starts, and the extra $52,780 his connections will now receive catapult him to $1,020,205 in 2006 earnings. Gulotta has previously donated a portion of Lis Mara’s earnings to charity, and he says he will do the same with his entire share of the extra money he will now be receiving.

“We have extra money coming, and I am going to take my piece and distribute it among three charities: the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and a third charity that cares for expectant mothers in crisis,” he said. “So, Lis Mara continues to do some good as even when he’s not racing he’s supporting these worthwhile causes.”

Gulotta added that besides striking the Classic Series off Lis Mara’s schedule, he and Willinger also had to decline an invitation to race in the Inter Dominion Series in Australia in late December and early January.

“He now has international fame, but it just doesn’t fit his schedule,” said Gulotta of the possible ship Down Under for Lis Mara.
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