Day At The Track

Stakes-bound Muscles Jared a nice bonus

10:02 AM 04 Oct 2016 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Muscles Jared
Muscles Jared

Harness racing owner Al Ross acquired Tetiana three years ago with an eye toward breeding the mare to his 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life. Muscles Jared has turned out to be a welcomed bonus as part of that purchase.

Muscles Jared, a 2-year-old male trotter born five months after Ross bought Tetiana in foal to Muscle Massive, has won four of eight races this year and earned $103,816. All four of the gelding's victories have come since trainer George Ducharme added trotting hobbles following breaks in the horse's first two starts.

On Thursday, Muscles Jared competes in the fourth of five $56,000 International Stallion Stakes divisions at Lexington's Red Mile. Muscles Jared and driver John Campbell head to the race off a second-place finish by a half-length to New Jersey Viking in a division of last week's Bluegrass Stakes.

"From the time George started breaking this horse, he said we've got a real nice horse here," said Ross, who lives in South Dartmouth, Mass., and has a farm in nearby Westport. "He's been a different horse (with the trotting hobbles). He really hasn't gone a bad race since then. He's just a nice animal.

"I expect big things from him next year; not that this season is over. This upcoming race will determine whether I go into the Breeders Crown. I'm pretty sure I will. He's got a lot of determination. I don't see why we wouldn't be going to the Breeders Crown because I expect him to race well again this week."

Tetiana, by Kadabra, is from a family that includes O'Brien and Dan Patch award-winning Armbro Keepsake as well as Dan Patch Award winners Armbro Devona and Donerail.

Ross, who bred Royalty For Life, purchased Tetiana for $8,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale after receiving input from Dean Hoffman, a former executive editor of Hoof Beats magazine and harness racing historian.

"He has an excellent memory for bloodlines, and with me being involved in the game for just 15 odd years, I felt I needed some expert advice in matching the stallion to mares," Ross said. "He gave me his opinion and I liked what I saw. I liked her very much and bought her.

"I'm just thrilled. She also has two more foals on the ground. The first was by RC Royalty and the second by Royalty For Life. They both are outstanding looking. I got lucky. I got her very cheap and I've wound up with a pretty nice producing broodmare."

Muscles Jared is named after police officer Jared White, whose wife Jackie runs the breeding operation at Ross' farm.

"Jared helps at the farm too," Ross said. "He's a very muscular type and when the baby was born I said we were going to name him Muscles Jared."

Among Muscles Jared's four wins are three victories in preliminary rounds of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, including a track-record triumph at Harrah's Philadelphia. Muscles Jared finished fourth, beaten two lengths, in the sire stakes championship on Sept. 11 and then received time off until the Bluegrass.

Ross said the respite gave Muscles Jared an opportunity to regain some weight he lost while traveling during the hot summer months.

"It did him a world of good," Ross said. "I was really happy with him last week. He got locked in a bit at the top of the stretch and didn't have a chance to get out and get in full stride. Once he did, he was picking the winner up with every stride, I thought. I think he'll be even better this week.

"I really like the way that he and Campbell get along," Ross added. "From the time we put Campbell on him, it was like a well-fitting glove. They understand each other. Whenever Campbell asks him to go, he goes. He's got a real nice burst of speed when you ask him for it and he can race either way."

Another horse Ross expects to see improve is Patton, whom he shares in ownership with Ducharme and Paul Fontaine. Patton has won three of nine races this year and earned $23,673. He races in the second International Stallion division, where the field includes Bluegrass winner Snowstorm Hanover.

Last week, Patton (Conway Hall-Penny Dream) finished third in his Bluegrass division.

"I was happier with the way Patton raced than Muscles, because we've had so many problems with Patton, whether it be post positions or having a few foot problems here and there," Ross said. "Every time George thought he had him straightened out, something else would pop up.

"If he improves off that last race, he could also be very tough this week."

The first International Stallion division features New Jersey Viking. Other Bluegrass winners returning this week are Long Tom (third International Stallion division), Dover Dan (fourth division), and Fly On and Shake It Off Lindy (fifth division).

For Thursday's complete Red Mile card, click here.

Ken Weingartner

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: