Winning is Endeavor's aim
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Tom Pollack calls Endeavor one of his favorite horses and it is not difficult to understand why. The 7-year-old male pacer possesses a tough-guy attitude and never-give-in style.
“I call him ‘The Big Boy,’” said Pollack, who owns Endeavor with trainer Jeff Cullipher. “He’s kind of a hard-hitting blue-collar lunch-pail-type horse. He’s the big, strong, grinding type. He’s had very few clunkers, he just gives his all every time.”
Endeavor has won 19 of 49 races and $409,405 in purses for Pollack and Cullipher since they purchased the son of American Ideal-Jett Diamond privately in May 2018. He rose through the conditioned ranks to compete on the Grand Circuit, winning last year’s Potomac Pace to go with a second in the Harrah’s Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and third in the Dan Patch Stakes.
On Saturday, Endeavor races in the preferred at the Meadowlands. He won his seasonal debut on Jan. 4 at the Big M after finishing an outside-trip second in his 2019 finale.
“He’s been sharp, and you hate to shut him down,” Pollack said. “We’re giving him until he tells us (to stop) and then he’ll have a month or two off before we get into the stakes season.”
Last year, Endeavor raced in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, now called the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, but is unlikely to head to Yonkers Raceway for this season’s event.
“We probably did him a disservice putting him in the Levy,” Pollack said. “He’s a bigger horse and runs in some in the turns. It’s not that he can’t get around Yonkers, he won a leg of the Levy, but that’s not really the best place for him.”
Endeavor caught Pollack’s eye two years ago when he won a preferred handicap at The Meadowlands. Four months later when the horse became available, he made the purchase. Endeavor was sent to Harrah’s Hoosier Park and worked himself up the class ladder. After a seventh-place finish in his debut for his new connections, he won six of his next seven. That included a five-race win streak in which he won each start in 1:49.2 or faster.
“Jeff did a great job with him,” Pollack said. “(Endeavor) took a liking to Hoosier Park and our program. He went on a heck of a run. That’s when we knew we were really on to something. Since then, he’s been a top-class horse. Capping the year off winning the Potomac Pace was really cool.
“We thought we were buying a nice conditioned racehorse. He just got super sharp and confident and was able to maintain that. It’s been great. You love to have horses like him. He gives it his all every time out. There’s no cheating in him, that’s for sure.”
For his career, Endeavor has won 32 of 110 races and $673,937. Pollack said he expects Endeavor to have a limited Grand Circuit schedule similar to 2019, minus the series at Yonkers.
“He’s in the class,” Pollack said. “He’s probably still a little 1A-ish, but we’re looking forward to this year. A lot of the free-for-allers retired so we’re going to give him shots, especially on the five-eighths and the mile-track races.
“We’ll see how he does this year. We know that as age creeps in it gets tougher. But based on how he’s racing now and how he raced at the end of last year he’s still got tread on the tires for sure.”
Another of the Pollack-Cullipher duo’s stakes-winners will be in action Friday at the Meadowlands. Wisdom Tree, a 5-year-old mare pacer who was a 2018 New York Sires Stakes champion, is in a conditioned race for fillies and mares. She has won 18 of 49 races and $618,181 in her career.
“We’re probably getting ready to shut her down for a little bit,” Cullipher said. “We won’t be at every (stakes) dance, but we’re going to try to hit our share.” (Ken Weingartner/USTA)