Day At The Track

Former USA horses flying the flag

01:30 AM 12 Sep 2019 NZST
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Noel Daley, harness racing
Noel Daley
Mark Hall/USTA photo

Passionate Sydney harness racing owner Emilio Rosati has never been afraid to think outside the box - and now he's doing that with success, with three former American horses.

While there's a veritable procession of Australian and New Zealand standardbreds being sent to the Northern Hemisphere, it's a relatively rare thing for American race-horses to be brought "Down Under".

But that's what Rosati has done and, prepared by his private trainer former North American champion mentor Noel "Oz" Daley, two of his US imports scored impressively at Menangle last Saturday night.

Rosati has been in the sport over 45 years and has used the suffix "stride" in the names of many of his horses, after one of the first horses raced with his wife in the 1970s, named Stride High who won nine races.

Seven-year-old mare Blue Moon Stride USA (Rocknroll Hanover USA-Classic Star) took out the $22,440 Mares Pace for James Rattray, while five-year-old square gaiter Lily Stride USA (Muscle Hill USA-Sterling Volo) was victorious in the $14,280 Trotters Mobile with Anthony Butt aboard.

"It was certainly very pleasing as they were off the scene for quite a while - one of them unraced for nine months - so it's taken a bit to get them up and going again," Daley said.

"Lily Stride has really hit her straps with four wins now from her six outings for us. But she does have some class on her side because back in the States she scored an upset win in the 3yo Breeders Crown Filly Trot, worth a purse of $500,000, last October," he said.

"Blue Moon Stride is a gorgeous mare who has now earnt over $1.2 million. Emilio and his wife Mary bought her as a weanling. She's beautifully bred, out of a sister to (former star racehorse and now leading sire) Bettors Delight.

"Over in the US she came up against ex-Aussie mare Shartin, who recently won at The Meadowlands in world record time of 1.46-4. (Before being sent to the Northern Hemisphere, Shartin was considered to be one of Australia's best juveniles, taking the Tasmania and Queensland Oaks while under the care of Victorian trainer Dean Braun.)

"Both Lily Stride and Blue Moon Stride were prepared by former Kiwi trainer Mark Harder, who has probably been USA-based for over 30 years. Mark did a great job with them and he also had Mooshka Stride, a trotter that's joined our barn as well."

Mooshka Stride USA (Credit Winner-Check Me Out) has had one start for the Rosati-Daley team, for a Menangle success on July 2 in 1.58-5. This took her career tally to five wins and seven placings from 21 starts for over $85,000 in earnings.

"She got kicked by another horse and is just back in training again," Daley said.

The USA trio flew out in November. They arrived in Australia after enjoying a short time in New Zealand.

"They all had a good few months off which was ideal," Daley said.

The Daley stable has 18 horses in training - a far cry from the huge numbers the skilled horseman had under his care while overseas.

"The most we got up to was probably about 125. However, over the past few years in the States when I was scaling down after deciding to make Australia home again, it was a much smaller," he said.

"At the beginning of my last season there was 25 horses, and at the end about 10 to 12."

Over three decades based in the United States, largely at New Jersey, Daley stamped himself as one of the all-time greats. He prepared 2570 winners for more than $61.1 million, which ranks sixth among all trainers in harness racing history.

by Terry Gange

 

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