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Somebeachsomewhere Canada\'s only unanimous winner

December 22, 2008

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Standardbred Canada Monday announced the finalists for the 2008 O\'Brien Awards, which honor Canada\'s best in harness racing over the past season, and Somebeachsomewhere has unanimously won his category as Canada’s 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year. Seventy-two voters from across Canada awarded the Mach Three colt his third O’Brien trophy.

Following a perfect freshman season in 2007 which included a world record and two O’Brien’s, one as co-winner of Canada’s Horse of the Year, \"The Beach\" gave Canadian racing fans lots to cheer about in 2008. The son of Mach Three all but rewrote the history books as he set a seasonal earnings record with more than $2.5 million(C), paced three world record miles and won all but one of his races.  He was the sport’s richest and fastest in ‘08, pacing to a 1:46.4 world record effort at The Red Mile in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes. 

Owned by the Schooner Stables, a six-member group from Bible Hill, Nova Scotia, The Beach’s stakes victories included the Burlington, North America Cup, Confederation Cup, Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final, Simcoe, Tattersalls, Messenger and Breeders Crown. Co-owner Brent MacGrath, who makes his living selling cars, took 2008 off to manage the colt’s career. 

Paul MacDonell, who has been Somebeachsomewhere’s regular reinsman for two seasons, is looking to capture his first O’Brien as Canada’s Driver of the Year and is up against defending champion, Jody Jamieson. MacDonell has driven 193 winners to date and horses to earnings in excess of $8 million(C). Jamieson has made 325 trips to the winner’s circle and driven winners of over $8.5 million(C), including O’Brien nominee Federal Flex.

Bob McIntosh, 56, will be looking for his fourth O’Brien Award as Canada’s Trainer of the Year and is up against Casie Coleman, 28, a two-time winner in this category. McIntosh led all trainers in the Ontario Sire Stakes with his stable earning over $1 million(C) in OSS events. His stable earned $3.7 million(C) in purses in ’08 and won 159 races. Coleman trained 153 winners, including O’Brien nominees Chancey Lady and Tigerama and earned over $3.6 million(C) in purses.

Two colts that exemplified consistency throughout the year earned nominations in the 2-year-old pacing colt category. Nebupanezzar, North America’s top money-winning juvenile pacing colt with over $1 million(C) to his credit, won 10 of 14 races including seven Ontario Sire Stakes events. Major In Art, a winner of six races and almost $900,000(C), won the two signature stakes events for juvenile pacers--the Woodrow Wilson and the Metro Pace.

St. Lads Popcorn and Arts Star are finalists in the 2-year-old filly pace category.  St. Lads Popcorn won 12 of 15 and over $600,000(C) for the Jack Darling Stable. The daughter of Twin B Champ dominated the Ontario Sire Stakes, winning eight events. Arts Star was also a consistent OSS winner with over $185,000(C) in earnings.

Chancey Lady, winner of the Fan Hanover, is up against OSS Super Final winner Voelz Hanover in the sophomore pacing filly category. Chancey Lady, won nine races and over $715,000(C) on the year, while Voelz Hanover won six races and $410,000(C).

Two of North America’s top-ranked mares will battle it out for top honors in the older pacing mare category. My Little Dragon, North America’s leading money-winning pacing mare with earnings of over $831,000(C), had 19 of 22 top-three finishes while Southwind Madonna hit the board 18 of 22 times for over $333,000(C) in purse money. 

Secrets Nephew and Tigerama, two of the sport’s iron horses, are up for the title of Canada’s Older Pacing Horse of the Year. Secrets Nephew dominated the open events on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit and netted over $411,000(C) for his connections, while Tigerama had two of his 11 wins in the Masters and Spring Pacing Championships to his credit for $348,000(C) in purse money.

In the juvenile trotting filly category, Elusive Desire and Windsongs Soprano are finalists for the O’Brien trophy. Ontario Sire Stakes Super Final winner Elusive Desire had over $395,000(C) in earnings, while Windsong Soprano had $345,000(C) and the Peaceful Way Stakes to her credit.

Encore Encore’s seven wins and $406,000(C) has earned him one of the nominations in the rookie trotting colt category. The homebred son of Broadway Hall is up against the Muscles Yankee colt Federal Flex, a winner of over $560,000(C) and several stakes including the Champlain and Valley Victory.

The Kadabra filly Bella Dolce, a winner of seven races and $431,000(C) in purses including the Canadian Breeders Championships and Simcoe, is up for an O’Brien as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year. The other candidate is the sport’s richest sophomore trotting filly, Lantern Kronos, a winner of 12 races, $920,000(C) and several stakes, including the Casual Breeze and Elegantimage.

Al Libfeld’s homebred Define The World is up for sophomore trotting honors against  Clerk Magistrate. Define The World won 14 races and $751,000(C) with wins in the Simcoe, Canadian Breeders and OSS Super Final. Clerk Magistrate’s victory in the Goodtimes was one of six wins in his $820,000(C) season.

Breeders Crown champion Brigham Dream and Falls For You, winner of the Armbro Flight, are the nominees for Canada’s Older Trotting Mare title. Brigham Dream netted over $222,000(C) for her connections, while Falls For You was a winner of $368,000(C).

In the Older Trotting Horse category, Arch Madness, winner of the Maple Leaf Trot and over $842,000(C), hopes to pick up his second consecutive O’Brien, this time as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse, against Armbro Chronicle, a winner of the Earl Rowe, Frank Ryan and over $510,000(C) in purse money.

Two outstanding all-around horsemen will compete for the O\'Brien Award of Horsemanship--John Kopas, 52, and Phil Pinkney, who was a finalist in this category last year. 


At age 71, Pinkney enjoyed one of his best seasons in training and driving in 2008 and is regarded as one of the best developers of young horses in the Atlantic region. To date this year Pinkney has 26 wins and $135,000(C) as a trainer. As a driver in ’08 Pinkney notched 26 wins, $138,000(C) in purses and a .591 UDR.


The 2008 season was be a career year in the earnings department for trainer John Kopas, who learned horsemanship from his father, Jack. Kopas trained winners of over $1.5 million(C) and made 34 trips to the winner’s circle.


Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Ont. and Robert Hamather of Exeter, Ont. are the finalists in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category. Glengate-bred horses started 118 times in 2008 and earned over $3.8 million(C) with average earnings of $32,994(C) per starter. The top Glengate-bred horse in 2008 was Meadowlands Pace winner Art Official, who earned $1.5 million(C).


Exeter based Robert Hamather bred horses that made 23 starts,earned $1.2 million(C) and averaged $54,082(C). Older pacer Tigerama led all starters with over $348,000(C) in earnings.


One of the 24 horse nominees will be recognized as Canada\'s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O\'Brien Awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009, at the Delta Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga, Ont. (with files from Standardbred Canada)




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