National Debt has been an early three-year-old sensation in harness racing this season.
He was a relatively unknown horse going undefeated in winning all four lifetime starts in Alberta Canada until winning the $60,500 Buddy Gilmour Memorial at the Meadowlands in 1:50.3 more than a month ago. The Buddy Gilmour Memorial was the first major test for the three-year-old pacing colts in 2014. National Debt brings a resume of being the fastest pacing colt in Alberta Downs history, in 153.3.
National Debt now shows six lifetime starts on his program. But, National Debt's last race will be 49 days ago when he puts his nose on the starting gate this Saturday in the first leg of the Diplomat Series at Woodbine. Does the betting public know how fit and ready National Debt is to race? Is he ready to win the race?
National Debt recently shipped north to Canada from the USA. and into the care of Bob Young. He had been trained in United States by Ron Coyne. He has been trained by Bob Young for the last month in Canada.
"We were going to qualify him but we were told that he is still eligible by date," Coyne said. "We schooled him twice. It was better than a qualifier. The qualifier he would have been in went in 1:55 and a piece. We went a lot faster than that. They called us and told us that he was still eligible by date, whatever it is, forty five or forty six days between starts. We didn't need to qualify. We are fine. We didn't need to put a line on there. Sylvain Filion went with him and everything is good.
"The Diplomat is really a prep race," Coyne said. " He continues to get his legs under him and more seasoning. There are two legs and a final. This is a springboard toward the major races he has coming up. He has the Somebeachsomewhere and the North America Cup in Canada, and then he comes back to the states for the Meadowlands Pace."
"I have had National Debt for about a month," Young said. "After the Gilmour he was turned out for a week with Ron Coyne. Ron trained him a couple times before he came to me. Ron and myself talk a couple times a week. We put a schedule together for him that would suit the Diplomat. The horse is healthy, he ate well, and his blood had come back perfect.
"He trained and we schooled him once at Woodbine." Young stated. "He schooled last Friday at Mohawk. He has been very good. We are very happy with him. There is no doubt in my mind, I don't think the horse is short at all. I am sure he is ready. I've trained horses here in Canada for a lot of years. When my horses go to the races they are ready to race!
"When we schooled him last, I told the driver to go in 1:55 with him." Young said. " The driver said he went a little faster with him. He said you can fire me Bob. He showed me his watch. He said he went strong. He was well within himself and when he came back to the paddock he wouldn't blow out a match. Sylvain Filion has been on him for the schooling. He's been on him three times already."
What will the betting public see when they look at the program on Saturday? The public will see a last race line of 49 days ago. What has the horse done for the last 49 days? It is evident that the trainers did the right thing with getting National Debt ready for the Diplomat. But did the officials do the right thing?
The public will not have access to all this information unless they read this article. They will only see a gap of forty nine days between races. They will have to wonder if National Debt is ready to win and should we put our hard earned money down on him? It would have been really nice if the race officials had demanded an official workout that would be shown in the race program for the betting public.
By Brian McEvoy, for Harnesslink.com