United States and Canadian Hall of Fame trainer Robert McIntosh is still celebrating Thinking Out Loud's unforgettable harness racing victory in the $1.5-million Pepsi North America Pace.
"This victory was extra special since I bred, raised and trained him myself. This means a little bit more." McIntosh also bred, raised and trained the third place finisher Dapper Dude.
Now McIntosh must think ahead to the colts' future schedule.
"I will qualify both colts in the next couple of weeks to prepare them for the Meadowlands Pace eliminations on July 7. After The Meadowlands Pace Final the Adios is next."
But, Thinking Out Loud and Dapper Dude are also eligible to the 67th Little Brown Jug which will be contested September 20 at the Delaware, OH County Fair. "The Jug is sure on my schedule. It is one of the main races I want to win. That would be extra special. I've won the Jugette twice but never the Jug." However, McIntosh has started 23 horses in the Jug and is familiar with the Delaware County Fairgrounds track.
The Canadian trainer also would like to win the Jug because his four co-owners are from Liberty Center, OH. about 30 miles from Toledo.
McIntosh says both colts were great last year, but injuries sidelined them early on. Thinking Out Loud started great and raced well in baby races. But he suffered a bruise in a leg and McIntosh quit with him after only four starts.
McIntosh, his cousin Al McIntosh and the CSX Stable partners, not only bred and co-own Thinking Out Loud but they raced his sire, the half-mile track world championp,4, 1:49, who set his record at Delaware in 2006. Thinking Out Loud's dam Los Angeles also was bred and raced in the McIntosh Stable. In two seasons, Thinking Out Loud has earned $847,638. Randy Waples is the colt's driver.
Dapper Dude also ended his freshman season early, making only five starts before being sidelined with stifle problems. "I knew he was a tremendous horse last year when he set a track record at The Meadows."
The son ofhas a bankroll of $363,404 and a mark of 1:49.3 set in his North America Cup elimination. Hall of Famer John Campbell, who has three Jug victories, is Dapper Dude's driver.
The CSX Stable, comprised of brothers Keith, Kenneth and Michael Carpenter and John Strock are all from Liberty Center. "We have been partners in owning and breeding horses since 1991," said Keith Carpenter, "and we have been with McIntosh for most of that time."
Keith said Thinking Out Loud's victory in the North America Cup will go down as a memory of a lifetime.
"The fact that we bred and raised the colt made it something special. I was a little concerned when we were racing fourth behind Sweet Lou, Dapper Dude and Time To Roll and I knew we were going to have to pass some pretty good horses to win. But Thinking Out Loud has a tremendous kick and a desire to win. So I felt real good coming around that last turn. What a tremendous feeling it was when the four of us walked to the winner's circle."
The CSX partners, who were major contributors in the building of the Jug Barn, always attend two days of racing. "We've got a filly to race in the Jugette on Wednesday so we're hoping for two good days in Delaware this fall. I think a lot will depend on Sunday's draw. What makes this field so special this year is there are so many talented horses...but that only will add to the excitement if we win."
Keith also will be keeping close watch on A Rocknroll Dance, a top colt trained by fellow Buckeye Ed Mulinix of Wauseon, OH, about 10 miles from Liberty Center. "He is an outstanding horse but racing luck just didn't work out in the North America Cup. It turned out that it was our weekend and not his."
For up to date information about the Little Brown Jug and the Delaware Grand Circuit go on our website: www.littlebrownjug.com.
by Frances WHITE
Thinking Out Loud upsetting in $1.5m North America Cup: