TORONTO, November 11 – Two years ago, owner/trainer Larry Johnson was at his home, browsing online when he noticed www.OnGait.com, an auction site dedicated to Standardbred racehorses. While there, he came upon a yearling catalogue and spotted a few interesting prospects.
Shortly after, with the click of a mouse, Johnson spent $11,000 and was the winning bidder of two yearlings.
Johnson paid $8,000 for Island View and $3,000 on Conflict Diamond, each by sire Badlands Hanover.
Now sophomores, both horses have provided many thrills for the London resident with combined earnings of $44,222.
Conflict Diamond, a well proportioned son of Badlands Hanover, has tasted just defeat just once in his career from five starts and has $17,700 in the bank along with a 1:54.1 lifetime best taken at the Rexdale oval.
Island View, a three-year-old filly, is the richer of the two with $26,522 in earnings along with a record of 2-4-3 from 13 starts.
“She’s been very consistent all year and she’s very tough. The only bad start was her effort at Georgian Downs (August 20), but she scoped sick, so she had an excuse.”
Johnson elected not to race his youngsters as two-year-olds and the results have provided healthy dividends.
“We’re looking long term with both of them and that’s why I didn’t race them last year. I broke them and turned them out and got them ready as three-year-olds.
“Island View is a tall mare that is still filling out. She has the speed, is very tough and can take a lot of air. There’s really nothing not to like about her. It’s been a lot of fun racing both horses all summer and knowing your going to get a top effort.”
Johnson hopes that his filly will follow in her older sister's footsteps.
“She’s a half sister to Ole Miss, who won the Damsel last year and has over $300,000 in earnings,” Johnson recalls. “Hopefully she can become like her older sister.”
Island View will contest in the opening leg of the Autumn Series on Thursday evening at Woodbine. The brown filly will leave from post-position four in race five.
“She got locked in the two-hole and didn’t get out until it was too late, but she raced very well,” Johnson said, of Island View’s latest start at Western Fair. “She’s very versatile and has gone some tough trips this summer. She’s been on the outside a lot and continues to dig in and fight.
“I think she fits into this series nicely,” Johnson continued. “She paced in (1):53 earlier this year at Mohawk so I don’t think she will look out of place in here.”
The success of both Island View and Conflict Diamond has led Johnson back to the web again this year.
“I bought two more last week off OnGait.com,” he said with a laugh. “That website has been good to me."
Three divisions of the Autumn Series will commence on Thursday featuring Ontario-sired three-year-old filly pacers, who are non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2013.
The fields will line up as follows:
1) Jeremeyes Jewel
2) Parade Route
3) Miss Poppycock
4) Island View
5) Shes So Perfect
6) Raise Your Glass
7) Lutetia Semalu
8) Stonebridge Adore
9) Life Is A Lady
10) Lookers Destiny
2) Impressive Daly
3) Call It Courage
4) Embassy Seelster
5) Prynne Hanover
6) Machnbyrd Princess
7) Posey Tina
8) D Gs Pesquero
9) Stryking Dove
10) Miss Dollar Mam
1) Mach It A Par
3) Its No Secret
7) Cams Macharena
8) Hippe Chic
9) Russian Kisses
Also on Thursday evening, a pair of Autumn Series divisions will take place for sophomore filly trotters, who are non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2013.
The fields will line up as follows:
1) Ms Warkentin
2) Hiss Mistress
3) Fathers Amiga
4) Massmanian Devil
5) Magic Peach
6) Canbec Kadence
7) Alluring K
8) Samira Hanover
1) Hunter Valley
2) I Like My Kaddy
3) Be Winnin
4) Georgia Baby
7) Ocean Mist Beauty
8) I Am Special
9) Random Margin
10) Dance Hall Wendy