by Kim French
With less than 72 hours to tick off prior to her appearance in a $20,000 elimination for the Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly pace on Saturday (Oct. 22) at Meadowlands Racetrack, trainer Kevin Lare thinks owner Frank Chick may be a bit weary of his weekly training updates in regards to Roaring To Go.
“I know I sound like a broken record,” he said. “But I keep telling Frank the same thing every time she has trained all year; she only gets better each trip and she is ready. This week though I do think she is really on her “A” game and she will have to be in order, God willing, to race again next week.”
A daughter of Art Major and the Western Ideal mare Lionness Hanover, Roaring To Go has quietly compiled a record of 12-6-3-0, banked $242,636 and set a track record of 1:54 at Saratoga in New York Sire Stakes action on July 27. She also hit the line first in the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final on Sept. 24 at Yonkers Raceway, but was placed second for taking an inopportune foray inside the pylons.
Despite her sterling resume, Roaring To Go was not a name on everyone’s list to vie for divisional honors prior to Grand Circuit action at Lexington’s Red Mile. Her upset, however, of heavily favored Idyllic Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Idyllic) at that facility in a $73,000 division of the Bluegrass Stakes, illustrated this filly, who was purchased for $16,000 at the Goshen Yearling Sale, is certainly able to pace with the best.
“I thought at the beginning of the year she was a filly we would have some fun with in the New York Sire Stakes program,” Lare said. “Did I think she would go in 1:50.4 at Lexington and beat the best filly out there? No. Then she came right back and won her division of the International Stallion Stake. It was really fun to get our picture taken twice in Kentucky, but she is not getting a break here. She will have to race very well against Idyllic Beach and all these other nice fillies in the Breeders Crown now.
“I knew a bigger track would move her up, because she gets steppy on the turns on a half-mile track and has a tendency to run in. Brett Miller (her regular pilot) has done a terrific job with getting her through that and I’m hoping it is something we will no longer have to be concerned with next year.”
Roaring To Go will have the opportunity for a rematch against Idyllic Beach as the fillies commence their quest for participation in the $600,000 Breeders Crown final on Saturday (Oct. 29) in the fourth race on this Saturday’s card from post positions seven and eight, respectively. Roaring To Go will have the services of Brett Miller in the bike and Idyllic Beach will be driven by Yannick Gingras.
Only Idyllic Beach has won in a swifter time (1:50.3) than Roaring To Go among all freshman pacing fillies in North America this year.
“I have definitely been fortunate enough to train horses like Ginger And Fred, Snow White and Southwind Tempo,” Lare said. “But I have never had a horse that went :25.3 in her last quarter-mile in her first race, which this filly did. Like I said, I knew she had some speed, but that trip really grabbed my attention.”
While her immediate pedigree may not seem quite as impressive as Idyllic Beach’s, as that young lady hails from a Horse of the Year sire and O’Brien Award-winning dam, Roaring To Go’s family tree is quite solid and does not lack quality. Her dam’s two previous foals are both winners — Well Excuuuse Me (Well Said, $68,295) and Well Lets See (Well Said, $52,945) — and she is a half-sibling to Lookout Hanover (The Panderosa, $405,774), Long Fight Hanover (Allamerican Native, $162,137) and Lonewolf Currier (The Panderosa, $453,695). Roaring To Go’s granddam, Ladyking (Cam’s Card Shark) is a half-sister to Cancun Hanover (Jenna’s Beach Boy, $194,335), Cinch Hanover (Life Sign, $170,810), Runover Again (The Panderosa, $194,614), Current Hanover (Western Ideal, $380,248) and Courser Hanover (Astreos, $236,416).
Chick has been a staunch supporter of harness racing for decades and he still owns Roaring To Go’s older brother, Well Lets See. When Roaring To Go became available, he took advantage of a golden opportunity to bring her home.
“Frank definitely kind of back-doored into this filly because he did already have the experience with the other horse,” Lare said. “The first foal (Well Excuuuse Me) did sell for a decent price at Harrisburg ($30,000) but Frank bought the second one (Well Lets See) for $4,500. That one could pace, but was one of the smallest Standardbreds I’ve ever seen. He was like a pony and you could saw the seat off the jog cart to fit him.
“When Frank saw this filly had a little size to her, he jumped right in, but now like I said to him recently, if he wants to keep dipping in to this family, from now on he better be prepared to open his wallet. They won’t be selling for those kinds of prices anymore after what she has accomplished.”
Although Lare has already enjoyed a Breeders Crown triumph with Snow White, a victory by Roaring To Go would hold a special place in his heart, because it would provide Chick, with whom he has a close bond, with his first Breeders Crown trophy.
“Frank did retain a piece of Yankee Bounty (10 percent) after he was sold midway through his 2-year-old season,” Lare said. “I can’t remember how he performed in the Breeders Crown (sixth in his elimination in the 2015 3-year-old colt pace), but it would be so special for this filly to win this race with Frank. Not only to give him something he has never experienced before after all he has done with the sport, but because of all he has done for me.
“He always believed in me and when I was down he provided me with horses so I could work my way back up. Having a filly like this with and for him, is a treat. That is why it was so enjoyable to have our pictures taken in Kentucky. Frank buys maybe one or two yearlings every year and he doesn’t spend a lot of money, so he does not normally get to be in a winner’s circle somewhere like there.
“I’m so glad he did not sell this filly and we are exactly where we are right now. I told him these kind of horses don’t come along very often. If she does well in this race, she is not staked to anything else, but it’s possible we will supplement her to the Matron. It would mean so much to Frank to have her in there as Delaware is home and all, but we will see how we do here first.
“A filly like this is always special, but this does take on even more meaning because of how far back I go with Frank and everything he has done for me, as well as the sport.”
For entries for Saturday’s complete card, click here.
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