National Debt took the harness racing world by storm impressively winning one of the first legs of the Buddy Gilmour Series last Friday at the Meadowlands. But this week he will be getting a well deserved rest from racing. Thus no second leg for National Debt.
It was one of the Meadowland's most exciting debuts in their long history of racing. The three-year-old colt covered the mile in 1:50.3, storming home the last quarter in 26.3 with what looked liked having plenty left in the tank. The Buddy Gilmour Series (formerly known as the Jr. Trendsetter) has served as a springboard to a summer stakes campaign for many horses. It looks like this may be the start of a successful stake season for National Debt, who is staked to all the big races this summer including the Meadowlands Pace, North America Cup, Breeders Crown, Cane Pace, and Messenger.
National Debt has had four previous winning starts in Alberta Canada. Kelly Hoerdt has trained and drove him in those previous starts. Kelly shares ownership of the son of Allamerican Native-Our Inheritance with Blair & Erna Corbeil of Beaumont, Alberta. National Debt had been recently named Two-Year-Old Colt of the Year In Alberta Canada. The horse was entrusted into the care of trainer Ron Coyne at the Meadowlands.
"He has been going non-stop since he landed in New Jersey, so we are going to take a week off with him," Hoerdt explained. "His schedule has been very rigorous, especially with what the weather has been out in Jersey. I am not crazy with going four starts in a row with him. He had the two qualifying races and the first leg. This would be a fourth week. If he raced this week, next week's final would be five starts in a row. He is on his way to the final, so why not give him a week off.
"I just talked to Ron Coyne, Jr. in New Jersey," Hoerdt said."Ronnie says the horse looks great and is bouncing off the walls. He is eating everything you put in front of him. It is all great signs.
"Timmy Tetrick sent me a facebook message the other day telling me how awesome the colt was to drive," Hoerdt stated. "He thanked me for the drive. This is Tim Tetrick you are talking about!
"I was worried before the race that the horse wasn't as good as I thought he was." Hoerdt said. "If he had got a check in that race we would have been ecstatic. We would have not looked silly sending him out there. Racing the way he did was a bonus. It was a reaffirmation that I was right. The decision to send him to the Meadowlands was all mine.
"A lot of credit for this horse has to go to Blair Corbeil," Hoerdt exclaimed. "He picked this horse out of the Harrisburg Sale for $17,000 all my himself. What a bargain. Blair was on a plane from Mexico when the race went off. He got off the plane after the race was over. He called me and said I got all these text messages, so I guess we did pretty good.
"The horse raced terrific the other night," Ron Coyne, Jr. said. "He just scooted away at the end. It is a long year. He's raced three weeks in a row and we would like to space it out a bit. He came out of the race great. We jogged him today and he's eating everything we throw at him.
"Timmy said his manners were excellent," Coyne added."Timmy said he moved with a quick burst to the lead. He relaxed like an old pro. When he called on him again, he had plenty to give. He was happy he finished it off in twenty six and change."
Hopefully with a win in the Gilmour final on March 8th, National Debt will kick off a successful stakes season for the Alberta clan, and Western Canadian Racing will get some credit for the great product they developed in harness racing.
by Brian McEvoy, for Harnesslink.com