Day At The Track

Lawrencetown Beach ready for a big effort

03:00 PM 09 Jun 2017 NZST
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Lawrencetown Beach
Lawrencetown Beach winning on May 18 at Mohawk

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 8 - Nine years after coming together to win the Pepsi North America Cup with the great Somebeachsomewhere, the Schooner Stables and harness racing driver Paul MacDonell team up again with Lawrencetown Beach, a lightly raced son Somebeachsomewhere, in Saturday's (June 10) Cup eliminations.

Unraced at two, Lawrencetown Beach qualified for the first-time back in February and made his pari-mutuel debut in March with eyes set on a solid three-year-old season and potential North America Cup appearance. Over the course of four-months, the bay gelding has competed mainly in overnight events at Woodbine and Mohawk, picking up two victories and $39,040 earned over eight starts.

"He had some chips that were bothering him as a two-year-old," trainer-driver Paul MacDonell said. "Originally, the vets thought that he would be fine with them still in, but they just plagued him through the season. It got to a point where he couldn't go with them so we laid him off and they were removed.

Missing his entire two-year-old season came with pros and cons for Lawrencetown Beach.

"He might be a bit fresher than most of the others, but he's not as experienced," MacDonell said. "The two-year-olds that raced definitely have a touch of experience over him, but there are advantages both ways I suppose. It kind of evens itself out--would you want a horse entering fresh or a horse with experience? It's six of one, half a dozen of the other; really depends on the horse."

Lawrencetown Beach scored the first win of his career in his fifth outing, beating maiden company at Mohawk in 1:53.1. He followed that effort with a nine-length romp against non-winners of two in a lifetime-best mile of 1:52.2.

"When the owners made a payment on the North America Cup, I thought that was an extreme long shot," MacDonell said. "But here we are--he has just improved week after week; every time he raced he seemed to be better. Confidence seems to be coming to him, too. He's right on schedule. He grew to be a muscular colt and he has all the tools he needs."

Competing in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes a week ago, Lawrencetown Beach rallied to finish second after being caught first over for most of the mile.

"I knew he was coming up to a big race, and I still think he's coming up to some big races," MacDonell noted. "The colt has shown me progression or else we wouldn't be where we are. He's been drawing really well--there're a lot of things going his way right now. He has some kind of touch that's been helping him along as he goes."

LawrencetownBeach will start from post one in the first of three $50,000 eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup, drawing in against world-champion Downbytheseaside.

"He definitely has the potential to make the final," MacDonell said. "There are probably three or four horses that are probably above everybody else [in the division]. And then there's the next group of colts, which he probably fits into.

"I think you're going to see Huntsville and [Downbythe]seaside and Fear The Dragon and maybe another one that are just a touch better than the rest. But he's definitely in the mix.

While reaching his full potential in time for the Pepsi North America Cup might be a stretch, MacDonell thinks the future is very bright for Lawrencetown Beach.

"I think you'll see a nicer horse later on," MacDonell said. "By this time next year, he should be an even stronger colt. He may not be right at his peak yet, but when he is, he'll be a top horse I believe."

Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications

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