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It’s beginning to look like Ake Svanstedt’s trotter Sebastian is so superior to the competition that he’s racing only against the clock. There was a time when time was privileged over purse money in the pursuit of assessing a stallion or mare’s suitability for the breeding ranks, but those days are long gone. Bob Marks never had much use for them, although he says he did “use them occasionally to get marks on horses that could never accomplish much in actual races.” Flip through the latest edition of the Breeder’s Book and you’ll find a couple of pacers with time trial marks—Jereme’s Jet and 26-year-old Cambest—and the Indiana stallion Jailhouse Jesse on the diagonal side. How sweet it would be to see Sebastian take to the track during the Red Mile meet with a pair of t-breds or pacers behind him and a jacked-up crowd cheering him home. He’d surely rid us of the 1:50 burden as well as Enough Said and his Colonial Downs asterisk. Fifty years ago just about every premium stallion and mare was measured against the clock at some point. Rodney, Fancy Crown, Most Happy Fella, Scotland, Yankee Lass, Bullet Hanover, Bye Bye Byrd, Dancer Hanover, Cheer Honey, Dayan, Hickory Pride, Elma, Isle Of Wight, Steady Beau and Sampson Direct all carry time trial marks. Some drivers specialized in handling the time trialing horses, while others were good with the prompters. When Adios Butler knocked two ticks off Billy Direct’s 22-year-old mark, which was set the day before Greyhound’s at The Red Mile on October 4, 1960, owner Paige West drove the 4-year-old while Del Miller and trainer/driver Eddie Cobb drove the t-bred prompters. When the 4-year-old Cash Hall went after Pine Chip’s 1:54 world record at Delaware in 2006, John Campbell drove the son of Self Possessed while Dave Palone chased after him with the Real Artist mare, Valentine. Cash Hall annihilated the mark with a 1:51.1 mile. On the trotting side, Greyhound’s TT1:55 ¼ mark, set on September 29, 1938 for Sep Palin, held fast for 31 years, until Nevele Pride dropped it to TT1:54.4 for Stanley Dancer at Indianapolis on Sunday August 31, 1969. Twelve thousand enthusiastic fans were in attendance that day. Coincidentally enough, a longstanding pacing mark of 1:55 was also set at that same Lexington meet in 1938: Billy Direct time trialed free-legged in 1:55 for Vic Fleming on September 28, 1938. That mark remained untouched during the 1940s. Frank Ervin put a 1:57.1 mark on 5-year-old Adios in a time trial when he was offered $500 to break the track record, and four years later another great progenitor, Gene Abbe, time trialed in 2:00.3, also at age five. But it took a race mark of 1:55 from Adios Harry in the American Pacing Derby at Vernon Downs on July 16, 1955, with the owner’s son Luther Lyons in the bike, to match Billy Direct’s mark. Adios Butler undercut the 1:55 standard five years later in the time trial referenced above. That 1:55 barrier was finally shattered. The great Speedy Crown didn’t break any records when he time trialed in 2:01.2 as a freshman in 1970, but after winning just four of eight starts and earning a paltry $2,000, he did prove that good things were on the way. Actually the first significant time trial for trotters in the 1970s came from Arnie Almahurst, a crazy fast son of Speedy Scot, who pretty much won every start he didn’t break stride in. He had little in common with his paternal brother, Speedy Crown, who never broke stride—not ever. Arnie time trialed in 1:57.2 at The Red Mile for Joe O’Brien and became the sixth fastest trotter behind Super Bowl, Nevele Pride, Ayres, Speedy Scot and Speedy Crown. Nine years later his 3-year-old son Arndon trotted the fastest mile ever by a trotter when he hit the wire in TT1:54 for Del Miller at The Red Mile. And twelve years after that Arndon’s 4-year-old son Pine Chip became the world record holder when he time trialed in 1:51 for John Campbell at Lexington. Arndon and his dad both retired as the fastest ever. Another important trotting time trial in the ‘70s was ABC Freight’s TT1:57.1 as a 2-year-old for Joe O’Brien at Hollywood Park in 1976. The sire of Garland Lobell topped Nevele Pride’s 1:58.2 freshman mark and became the fastest 2-year-old trotter ever. ABC set his lifetime mark of 1:56.3 the following year in a time trial. The market for blockbuster trotting time trials pretty much dried up after that, although Cash Hall did crush the half-mile mark with that 1:51.1 mile for John Campbell at Delaware in 2006 that was referenced above. The time trials involving Standardbred trotters under saddle has been less prevalent, nonetheless, it has played a prominent role due to the horses and people involved. In 1940 Greyhound ended his racing career under saddle at Lexington. Frances Dodge rode him to a world record of 2:01 ¾. That mark stood for 54-years, until Preferential and Brooke Nickells broke it in 1994 with a 1:58.2 mile. And six years later the mighty Moni Maker, like Greyhound, ended her career under saddle at The Red Mile. Jockey Julie Krone, with Jimmy Takter and Wally Hennessey following with prompters, trotted in an incredible 1:54.1. In the pacing camp it was up to Bret Hanover to continue the assault on the longstanding 1:55 standard that his paternal brother, Adios Butler, had begun. In early September of 1966, 4-year-old Bret, who was within a few months of being retired, time trialed in 1:54 at Vernon Downs for Frank Ervin with a single prompter chasing him. Five weeks later in Lexington Ervin put the TT1:53.3 mark on the big guy that would serve as his lifetime mark. Dancer preferred to put race marks on Albatross so there are no flashy time trials on Super Bird’s resume. He did become the fastest ever in a race when he won both heats of the Tattersalls Pace at The Red Mile in 1:54.4, topping Adios Harry’s race mark, which Bret had matched. He also won in 1:55.3 at Delaware, matching Adios Butler’s time trial mark and eclipsing Bret’s 1:57 half-mile track race mark. Steady Star, a free-legged son of Steady Beau,  who was a year older than Albatross, cornered the time trial market in that era. At three he circled The Red Mile in 1:54 for Joe O’Brien and the following year, on October 1, 1971, he time trialed in a head turning 1:52. Later on, in 1976, 4-year-old Nero time trialed in 1:55.1 and the following year Warm Breeze was race timed in 1:53.1 at Golden Bear in Sacramento. Two years later Meadow Skipper’s son Falcon Almahurst became the fastest 3-year-old pacer ever with a 1:52.2 time trial at Lexington for Bill Haughton. Only Steady Star had gone faster. Then came the game changer: 3-year-old Niatross’s TT1:49.1 at The Red Mile on Oct 1, 1980. It was the sport’s first sub-1:50 mile and, while it parallels Adios Butler’s breach of the 1:50 point, it was so much more. The closest thing to it was Steady Star going 1:52, but the sleek son of Steady Beau didn’t win a single open stakes race during his career—not so for Niatross. His son Nihilator was later positioned to outdo dad in a time trial at Springfield but the weather didn’t cooperate and he was unable to lower his 1:49.3 race mark in a time trial at DuQuoin.  Matt’s Scooter went after the 1:49.1 mark at The Red Mile in 1988 and knocked four ticks off of it. His 1:48.2 time trial for Mike Lachance established a new world record. Matt’s Scooter beat Niatross’s mark but 5-year-old Cambest blew it out of the water with his 1:46.1 time trial at Springfield. The problem was that he wasn’t tested afterwards and not long after that his 1:52.1 win in the Senior Jug was disqualified due to elevated bicarbonate levels. Cambest was slated to stand at Hanover Shoe Farms but in light of the controversial final chapter of his career they passed. So stick Jimmy Takter and Bernie Noren behind a couple of fast pacers and let’s see if Ake can wheel Sebastian around The Red Mile in a time that will cause the crowd to gasp the way they did for Steady Star’s 1:52 mile and Niatross’s 1:49.1. Speed has always sold in this game; time to pump it up via the time trial. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

In our prominent harness racing stallion series we have reviewed American Ideal,  Art Major, Bettors Delight, Christian Cullen, Courage Under Fire, Mach Three, Western Terror and the trotting stallion Sundon. With the North American breeding season well underway we will continue on with some of the stallions making an impact on the breeding scene. Today we have produced an in depth review for the outstanding racehorse and stallion Somebeachsomewhere. All stats shown are as 17th March 2014. Enjoy the read. BREEDING By the champion son of Matts Scooter in Mach Three who has been in the elite handful of sires worldwide for several years. His dam is the Beach Towel mare Where’s The Beach who was unraced. She has produced ten foals and apart from Somebeachsomewhere has left six winners with Stars On The Water $141,294 (1:52f), Sun N Sand $124,050 (1:52.3s) and last season’s smart two year old in Some Major Beach $138,326 (1:53.1f) being the best of them. The grand dam is the Cam Fella mare in Where’s Sarah $19,576 (1:57f) who left seven foals for seven winners. These include Night Mystery $309,433 (1:50.4)  Ifyoucouldcwhati C $348,560 (1:50.2s) and Canvas Master $137,527 (1:53.1z).  An unraced daughter by Stand Forever in Ohio Annie has left the smart I Found My Beach $524,079 (1:50.2f). The third dam is the very good Steady Star mare The Booger Lady $34,629 (T 1:57). She has left 11 winners including the very good Cam Terrific $592,594 (1:49.3) now sire of 169 winners of just on $9 million in stakes as well as Flight Of Fire who only won $262,111 but has left a great legacy as a sire in Quebec, Canada. Flight Of Fire has sired over 560 winners with over $27 million in earnings to date. Somebeachsomewhere made $40,000 at auction which about sums up his pedigree, very handy but not exceptional. RACE RECORD  Somebeachsomewhere faced the starter six times (all in Canada) at two for six wins amassing $812,592 in stakes. His best win was in the $1 million Metro Pace taking a world record for a two-year-old at that time of 1:49.3s. This was no ordinary group. This field was possibly one of the best group of two-year-olds ever and included Santanna Blue Chip ($1,641,643), Shadow Play ($1,599,822), Dali ($1,436,363), Deuce Seelster ($1,149,825), and Moon Beam ($785,986). This Metro Pace field have now combined earnings of over $11 million in stakes between them. Somebeachsomewhere's other notable wins as a two-year-old was in the $300,000 Battle Of Waterloo, the $145,300 Nasagaweya stakes and the $115,884 Champlain Stakes. His great unbeaten season at two only really served as an entree for what was an unbelievable three year old season. Facing the starter 15 times, Somebeachsomewhere won on 14 occasions with a sensational second in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace at his only other start. Many astute judges in North America maintain his second in the Meadowlands Pace as the best performance of his stellar career. This writer was on track for this outstanding and unbelievable race that is now regarded as "the race of the decade." In what is perhaps the greatest race in Meadowlands history, Art Official edges Somebeachsomewhere in a world record mile. To think that a horse could be attacking the leader three wide at the half in a world record 51.3 and lead at the three-quarters in 1:19.1 and still fight to the wire against a courageous and great Art Official in that world record 1:47 mile was something unreal and unbelievable to see but true. You have to see it to believe it! To be only beaten a neck! Somebeachsomewhere's biggest stake win was in the $1.5 million Pepsi North American Cup in 1:49. He won such time honoured classics as the $650,000 Messenger Stakes, the $500,000 Breeders Crown in 1:48.3 and the $493,000 final of the Confederation Cup (half mile track) in another world record 1:49.2. He ended his racing career with a record of 21 starts for 20 wins and 1 second for $3,328,755 in stakes. His lifetime marks are p2, 1:49.3s; p3, 1:46.4m, 1:49.2h.       He took his lifetime mark of 1:46.4 in the $134,000 Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington to become the fastest three-year-old in history. In his fifteen starts at three he went under 1:50 on ten occasions. The season wasn't without its hiccups though with Somebeachsomewhere being scratched late twice due to lameness issues. But like the truly great horses do he overcame adversity to stake his claim as one of the greatest, possibly the greatest three year old harness racing has ever seen. NORTH AMERICAN STUD CAREER As you would expect for a stallion with such a great race record, Somebeachsomewhere has served large but not huge books since retiring to stud at Hanover Shoe Farm. His first crop numbered 124 foals of which 96 went through the sales ring as yearlings averaging a hefty $62,661. And they repaid the faith of those buyers by dominating North American two year old racing in 2012. Somebeachsomewhere topped the two year olds sires list in 2012 and that crop repeated the dose as three year olds in 2013 By the end of 2013 that first crop of Somebeachsomewhere had rewritten the harness racing record books. The numbers are truly amazing. Of his 124 foals, 111 have faced the starter with 96 being race winners. Twenty eight have won $100,000 while nine have gone under 1:50, and a huge 57 have gone under 1:53. Stakes won to date are a staggering $13,681,117 with an average per starter of $123,253 which is going to reach even greater record levels as most continue racing as older horses. The best performer from this crop to date is the brilliant colt, Captaintreacherous p3, 1:47.1m who in 26 starts at two and three, won 21 and was placed four times for $2 976,810 in stakes to have a record not too much inferior to his sire. Others to excel include Sunshine Beach 1:47.4f ($950,108), Somewhereovrerainbow 1:49.1m ($892,790) and Apprentice Hanover 1:49.4 ($597,474).   Somebeachsomewhere won the three-year-old sire’s premiership in 2013 by over $2,800.000 The second crop of Somebeachsomewhere were also well received by the buyers at the yearling sales with 83 being sold averaging an enormous $83,681 They carried on from the first crop by topping the two year old sires list in 2013. Of the 114 two year olds sired by Somebeachsomewhere that season, 97 raced with 58 being winners. Of the four two year olds that went under 1:50 in 2013 throughout North America Somebeachsomewhere sired three of them. He had 21 under 1:53 and a staggering 42 under 1:55 His best performer was the filly Gallie Bythe Beach 1:50.3f ($344,076) while another filly Beach Body 1:53.1f  ($290,769) was his second best performer. Others showing up are Limelight Beach 1:49.4 ($210,192), Beach Gal 1:50.3f ($142,361), Somestarsomewhere 1:49.2m and So Surreal 1:49.4m are all looking well above average. Somebeachsomewhere two-year-olds stakes total was nearly $500,000 ahead of his competition on the sires list in 2013. AUSTRALIAN SIRES RECORD Only available via frozen semen initially and served small books as a result. His oldest crop is three in the 2013/2014 season and numbers just 19 horses. Six of them have won to date with the best of them being the two-year-old Breeders Crown winner from 2013 in Whereibylong 1:56.8 ($224,228). A Breeder's Crown winner from your first crop of just 19 foals is a great achievement. The knockers are already out in Australia as with such great expectations for any horse by Somebeachsomewhere the breeders expect all his foals to be champions! Even though he only has 19 horses in that crop one could say that the results so far have been a bit short of what Somebeachsomewhere has achieved in North America which has raised the issue of the worth of "Frozen Semen" once again. His second crop in Australia numbers 49 and that should enable Somebeachsomewhere to be a major player in two-year-old racing in the 2013/2014 season. His third crop in Australia will only total 23 foals.  His fourth crop is his first fresh semen crop with the horse standing in Australia at Empire Stallions. He bred 166 mares in Australia for 106 registered foals to date with 10 returns still to be filed, and 75 in New Zealand via fresh semen as well. That makes a total of 241 mares bred in his fourth season at stud down under. These resultant foals will give us all a much better assessment of just how great a stallion Somebeachsomewhere will be in Australia and New Zealand. NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD  Has a minute crop of three-year-olds which numbers just four. Two of those have won including the very smart Someardensomewhere 1:58.2 ($28,472) who has been racing at the elite three year old level in New Zealand. Only has eight two year olds this season for two qualifiers to date so impossible to draw any conclusions with such small numbers. Did serve 75 mares in his fourth season via fresh semen so we may have to wait for that crop to race to reach any valid conclusions about his record in New Zealand. POSITIVES The numbers say it all. This is that once in a generation stallion who has raised the bar on performance in harness racing. From every angle his numbers are better than what was thought to be achievable. He has not just made an incremental step forward for standardbreds but a giant leap. In my view without doubt the most influential sire since Albatross and his rewriting of the record books has only just started. NEGATIVES Probably the only one for most breeders is the service fee but when you are book full and closed three months before the breeding season at a fee of $30,000 then that is obviously not too expensive. It seems with his success in the Northern Hemisphere and his value having sky rocketed, the owners do not want him to shuttle again so he will more than likely not shuttle to the Southern Hemisphere and will only be available via frozen semen, which does work for some stallions and not for others. Results from his first crop in Australia suggests Somebeachsomewhere may fall into the second category.  OVERVIEW Somebeachsomewhere is that once in a generation sire who lifts the whole standardbred breed to the next level. Book full and closed at $30,000 in North America says it all. The best sire in North America by a large margin but yet to have any impact in Australia due in part to small numbers. Does have 49 two year olds in Australia in 2013/2014 so that should be ample for Somebeachsomewhere to produce the outstanding juveniles he is renowned for in North America. If he doesn't then the focus on frozen semen will only grow. OVERALL RATING:    10 out 10 JC The Story of Somebeachsomewhere Part 1 The Story of Somebeachsomewhere Part 2 The story of Somebeachsomewhere Part 3 News maker of the year - Somebeachsomewhere Somebeachsomewhere - The Bluegrass Stakes - World Record 1:46.4 Somebeachsomewhere - Confederation Cup Somebeachsomewhere winning The Breeders Crown Somebeachsomewhere - North American Cup Final Somebeachsomewhere - 2007 Metro Pace   Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we are running a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. The above PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them.  (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia)  A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major A Stallion review - Bettors Delight A Stallion review - Christian Cullen A Stallion review - Courage Under Fire A Stallion review - Mach Three A Stallion review - Sundon A Stallion review - Western Terror And here is "The forgotten sire’s series" This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink have already completed with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten” sires in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever Santanna Blue Chip - On the up and up! Major In Art - Big and fast Mr Feelgood - Dual hemisphere champion Pay Me Christian - Blistering speed Monkey Bones - All class Tinted Cloud - Still going strong Real Desire - The real deal Washington VC - Continuing excellence Western Ideal - A superstar sire Bacardy Lindy - Blue blood Monarchy - Out of Sundons shadow Artiscape - Frozen semen blues? Dream Vacation - Frozen semen superstar Badlands Hanover - Great value Lis Mara - The quiet achiever Brylin Boyz - Potential fulfilled

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