Day At The Track

Calchips Brute, a racing "fighter" now "lover"

01:44 PM 06 Feb 2014 NZDT
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Calchips Brute, harness racing Calchips Brute, harness racing
Calchips Brute - Now standing stud in New Jersey
Tom Berg Photo
Calchips Brute and caretaker Javier Perez

A “brute” usually brings to mind a bully, a scuffler, a fighter – and one who is quite boisterous, outspoken, while going about what he or she perceives as his or her business.

Never, then, was a harness racing horse less-aptly-named than the Credit Winner trotter Calchips Brute. He is a harness racing millionaire, but his steady march to seven-figure status has been among the quietest-such ascendancies in recent times.

And both trainer Trond Smedshammer and Jerry Giuliani, handling the stud arrangements for the horse as he now tries a stallion/racehorse double career for the 2014 racing season, say that while he is all business on the racetrack, he is a very nice horse to be around, well-mannered.

Credit Winner’s success story need not be retold; however, it can also be noted that his second dam, Grassbred, also produced Me Maggie, a $700,000+ winner. Where Calchips Brute gets his versatility, tractability, and tenacity, though, may find its key in his second dam – Petite Evander.

Petite Evander’s story is a lot like Cardigan Bay’s – a star in her native New Zealand, brought over to the United States, and able to go with the best of her peers, male or female, for several years. Where “Petite” goes “Cardy” one better, though, was that she was also invited to race in Europe, where she won the Elitlopp Consolation in 1978, a year where she also was second in Cold Comfort’s Roosevelt International win – at the age of eight. She raced until she was 11, and earned $800,000+ worldwide.

The quietest million-dollar winner may have been the quietest half-million dollar season winner too, when in 2009 Calchips Brute finished 3-3 in the Empire Breeders Classic (despite post 9 in the elim and 6 in the final), 3-3 in the Hambletonian (5 of 7 in the elim and 6 in the final), and 2-3 in the Yonkers Trot (7 in the elim and 6 in the final over the half-mile track; and the writer must defer credit to Mr. Giuliani for remembering/reliving-with-a-sigh that post rundown). With his $182,438 check for his third in the Hambo (the two in front of him that day you may have heard of: Muscle Hill and Explosive Matter) and other high stakes finishes (including a second in the Matron Final), plus six on the board (2w-2p-2s) finishes in NYSS competition, his sophomore bankroll was $552,573.

Calchips Brute has not been fazed by anything thrown at him: bouncing back from time off; outside posts over the half-mile track, which were often his starting vantage in Open handicaps at Yonkers; or track size: he took his seasonal mark at The Meadowlands twice, Yonkers twice, and Tioga once.

“He’s a good-looking, athletic horse,” states Smedshammer. “He is good-gaited, 100% safe, and has never made a break in his life. His trotting technique is very good. “Giuliani also noted that the horse has never lapsed from gait, then added, “He gives his best race 100% of the time.

“We’re going to try racing him every other week and also do some stud duty this year,” Giuliani said, “I think he’ll be an outstanding sire. I have broodmares with other partners, and some of them have commitments to other stallions this year, but every trotting broodmare I own outright I’m breeding to Calchips Brute.”

If you want to follow Jerry Giuliani’s lead and “get back in on the new ground floor of the New Jersey Sire Stakes,” Calchips Brute is standing for $3,500 ($3,000 for multiple mares) at Walnridge Farm, and Giuliani can be reached at 215-837-4629. Aside from his abilities at the post pill shake, it seems like Calchips Brute has a good chance as a stallion (a Brute as a lover – interesting), while also adding further to that $1,000,000+ bankroll.

By Jerry Connors for

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