Day At The Track

Somebeachsomewhere continues to shine

07:14 PM 09 Nov 2012 NZDT
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Brent MacGrath Stephanie Smith-Rothaug World champion Somebeachsomewhere
Brent MacGrath - The trainer and co-owner of Somebeachsomewhere
Stephanie Smith-Rothaug - was the breeder of 'The Beach.'
World champion Somebeachsomewhere - Horse of the Year
Nigel Soult Photo

The 'Beach' party continues for Brent MacGrath and Stephanie Smith-Rothaug. After watching pacer Somebeachsomewhere dazzle on the racetrack, winning 20 of 21 career races, earn $3.22 million and receive the 2008 Horse of the Year Award in the U.S. (not to mention two Horse of the Year honors in Canada), harness racing's co-owner/trainer MacGrath and breeder Smith-Rothaug are enjoying the horse's second career as a sire.

Somebeachsomewhere's first crop has earned a record $4.59 million for 2-year-olds this season and his progeny sold for an average of more than $84,000 at this year's Lexington Selected and Standardbred Horse sales.

"He was a monster on the track and now he's a monster as a sire," Smith-Rothaug said at this week's Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Pa., where 57 Somebeachsomewhere-sired yearlings sold for an average of $84,465, with a high of $350,000 for Blister Hanover.

"It's just amazing. You think when they're that kind of a racehorse, they'll be that kind of a stallion, but you never know. It doesn't always work that way. I hope he keeps doing it."

Somebeachsomewhere won 14 of 15 races in 2008 and set a single-season record with $2.44 million in purses on his way to Dan Patch Award trophies for Horse of the Year, Pacer of the Year and 3-year-old colt pacer of the year.

His wins included the North America Cup, the Breeders Crown, the Messenger Stakes, and the Confederation Cup. He was the 2-year-old division champ in 2007 and only a loss to Art Official by a neck in the Meadowlands Pace, in a then-world-record 1:47 mile, separated "The Beach" from perfection.

In September 2008, he equaled the fastest race mile in history with a 1:46.4 victory at Lexington's Red Mile and also set the world record for 3-year-old pacers on a half-mile track. He was trained by MacGrath, who co-owned the horse as part of the Schooner Stables, based in Nova Scotia, and driven by Paul MacDonell.

As a sire, his first-year standouts this season include Metro Pace winner Captaintreacherous, Breeders Crown winner Somwherovrarainbow and Champlain Stakes winner L Dees Lioness.

"For me, and this is just a personal opinion, this crop (of yearlings) is far superior than last year's, and that's scary when you think about it given that his first crop set a record for earnings," MacGrath said. "But I'm not the only one that thinks this is a superior crop. What that translates to on the racetrack, who knows. But it's been unbelievable."

MacGrath and Smith-Rothaug follow Somebeachsomewhere's offspring closely and the successes enjoyed by his sons and daughters are nearly as thrilling as watching "The Beach" himself.

"I don't cry as much watching them race as I did when (Somebeachsomewhere) raced, but it makes you feel so proud," Smith-Rothaug said. "It brings back all the memories when he was racing.

"Now he's got these superstars out there and you're just a proud parent seeing all the kids and how fast they go. I try to watch his kids race as much as I can. I can get emotional, especially when they have the same head set as he did and the same kind of stride and spring. It gives you goose bumps."

Somebeachsomewhere's story -- from his roots as one of just five foals born in 2005 on the farm of Smith-Rothaug in central Ohio, to his development for the one-horse stable of Nova Scotia car dealer/trainer MacGrath -- captured the attention of fans across North America.

"There are so many people that I've talked to (at the Standardbred Horse Sale) that I wouldn't know if it wasn't for Beach," MacGrath said. "I'd just be another Maritimer at a big sale in Harrisburg. He's brought us so much pleasure. He was part of our family for two years, and still is."

by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Courtesy of the United States Trotting Association Web Newsroom


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