by Jack Futty
Ever wonder what goes on in the everyday lives of some of racing’s biggest winners? Hoof Beats stops by the barn to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of some of racing’s most successful horses. This month: THE REAL ONE
Six-year-old pacer The Real One made history on Nov. 19 when he rocketed to a 1:50 finish at Yonkers Raceway, setting an all-age track record during the $45,000 Open Handicap Pace. The gelding by Mach Three-Elle Blue Chip is owned by Helene Fillion and was bred by R Berthiaume Inc., sporting $722,993 in lifetime earnings.
The Real One’s day begins at 5:30 a.m. After breakfast, he’s prepped by his groom, Alejandro Herrera, and is turned out or jogged around 6:30. Herrera said The Real One is always turned out on Mondays because he needs some time in the field after traveling and racing all weekend.
Pat Lachance, The Real One’s trainer-driver, said they don’t turn him out very often to avoid pulled shoes.
“He’s very nice and quiet when jogging. He won’t grab or anything,” Herrera said. “He walks for about one lap and likes to go nic eand slow; he really doesn’t like to go fast while jogging.”
In the barn, The Real One is also easy-going, said Lachance.
“He’s very quiet,” Lachance said. “He doesn’t try to bite or kick. He’s a very kind horse and very nice to be around. [You] don’t even know he’s there.”
Between his standard meals of hay and Tribute horse feed, The Real One will only snack on carrots.
“He loves eating out of people’s hands,” Herrera said.
When not training or racing, Herrera said The Real One likes to stay in his stall and play with a little blue ball that he sometimes has in his stall, but the pacer’s true love is racing.
“He loves to race,” said Lachance. “He’s the most consistent horse I’ve ever been around; that’s his best quality. He’s really happy out there and loves what he does.”