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Pace future looks bright for De Pinto and We Will See
Thursday, July 08, 2010 - by Amy Silver, publicity director, Meadowlands Racetrack

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East Rutherford, NJ --- When Sam De Pinto stumbled upon We Will See at the yearling sale in Harrisburg, Pa., nearly three years ago, he had no idea he had just found the horse of a lifetime.

On Saturday night, July 10, the star of the trainer's three-horse stable bids for a starting spot in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace, and the chance to give De Pinto his biggest career win. We Will See will start from post four in the sixth race, the last of three $50,000 elimination races for the Pace. The top three finishers in each elimination, plus the fastest fourth place overall, advance to the $1 million final on Saturday, July 17. Elimination winners will pick their post positions for the final at a live draw on Wednesday, July 14.

"I went there with no intentions of buying this colt," De Pinto said. "I had everything marked in my catalogue and he wasn't one of the horses. It was by accident. I was sitting down in front of the Peninsula Farms consignment. We were tired from walking around all day. I saw him standing there for a good 15 or 20 minutes. I kept looking at him and thought he was a real handsome colt. I checked my catalogue and thought he'd go for more than I could afford. I went over him anyway and loved everything about him. I told my wife I was going to try to get him and he was in our price range ($30,000)."

If We Will See advances to the Pace Final, he will be De Pinto's first starter in the track's signature event. The trainer thought he would have his first contender in 2003 with Artesian, who won both the Berry's Creek and New Jersey Classic finals, but he finished sixth in his Pace elimination.

"I thought Artesian was my once-in-a-lifetime horse, but this one is definitely better," he said. "He's got a pretty full schedule mapped out, but I'm really looking forward to this weekend."

Under De Pinto's patient handling, We Will See won four of 10 starts during his 2-year-old campaign for earnings of $69,201.

"He was very good mannered from day one, except he wasn't real anxious about his work," De Pinto said. "It took a little time for him to come around. His second start at the Meadowlands (July 30, 2009) is when he really woke up. Daniel Dube drove him, and he came back and told me to just take my time, that this was going to be a nice one. He was right, because he came around nicely.

"I took it easy with him," he continued, "but I did race him once at Lexington (finished fourth to Rock N Roll Heaven in the Bluegrass on Oct. 3, 2009). I wanted to try him with the big boys. The race before he was in the Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Eric Ledford drove him and he won in 1:53.2. Eric said he could have gone around 1:51. That's all I wanted to hear."

We Will See has picked up checks in each of his three stakes efforts this season for a 2010 bankroll of $433,746. His success comes despite battling an infection in one of his legs.

"He raced well finishing third in the Art Rooney (June 12), but a week before he got a little infection in his leg. I don't know what he did, and we couldn't do anything with it," he said. "We've been tubbing him in ice buckets and put him on some antibiotics. Dr. Patty Hogan did an ultrasound on it and isolated it to a little spot. He could've gotten a splinter or a bug bite because he's never worn bandages. We've been working on it, but we can't give him a strong antibiotic with these big races coming up. Dr. Hogan took a culture of it, and when we get a break with him, he's going to go on whatever antibiotic he needs. It doesn't hurt him. Aside from that, he's 100 percent sound and we're good for this weekend."

We Will See took a mark of 1:49 in his North America Cup elimination after angling out late and closing to catch the pacesetter Piece Of The Rock.

"He was so well driven by Brett Miller in his elimination for the North America Cup," De Pinto said. "You couldn't have mapped it out any better. We actually got a bit lucky. Brett said when he tipped the horse towards the inside, Jody Jamieson (driving Kyle Major) kind of pinched him a little and he couldn't get through right away. When he did get clearance, the colt let up on him a little at the wire. Brett said he needed to get after him, but at Mohawk you can't whip the shafts (of the sulky) the way you should, and he would've been disqualified (for doing so)."

Capitalizing on another ground saving journey, We Will See rallied to finish second in the North America Cup Final, just three-quarters of a length behind the winner Sportswriter.

"Everybody said he got perfect trips up there, and he did, but there's nothing wrong with that," De Pinto said. "Why not save your horse when you can? It's not like he needs a trip. He won all his races last year first over. He can grind on the outside and just keep coming. I kept telling people up there if he was close turning for home they were going to hear from him. We can't wait to see the best of him. He'll get better with every start, but I'm cautiously licking my chops. They're all good ones. It's that kind of year."

De Pinto, 54, is stabled at Showplace Farms in Englishtown, N.J., where he assists trainer George Berkner in addition to managing his own small roster of horses.

"George got kicked out of a jog cart with BG's Folly last year, he hurt his shoulder and needed help," De Pinto said. "He was in my barn and I pitched in."

De Pinto's wife, Shannon, co-owns We Will See with Earl Smith, Sam's friend since high school. A mason contractor from Millstone, N.J., Smith was a standout basketball player for Monmouth University. He passed along his talents to his sons, J.R., who plays guard for the Denver Nuggets, and Chris, who recently transferred from Manhattan College to play for the University of Louisville Cardinals.

All Speed Hanover regroups after small setback

After finishing last in the North America Cup Final on June 26, All Speed Hanover looks to rebound in the first of Saturday's three Meadowlands Pace eliminations.

The North America Cup was a rare blemish on All Speed Hanover's otherwise impressive record of seven wins in 12 career races. The son of Cam's Card Shark has earned $651,038 for trainer Noel Daley and owners Adam Victor & Son Stable and John Fielding.

"He wasn't sick, but he had a good excuse for getting beat (in the North America Cup)," explained his driver, Ron Pierce. "I had a hard time scoring him down. I went to take him off the gate to follow John (Campbell) with Rock N Roll Heaven, and my colt started kicking the bike. By then it was too late to leave out of there because some others had left pretty hard. I still wound up getting behind the favorite, but he was fussing and fighting with me the whole way. He didn't want to relax because he was hitting the bike, and I think he ended up choking around the last turn.

"When they hit the stirrups with their hocks, that hurts," Pierce continued. "It was making him angry. I think he just pulled the bike up underneath him when I grabbed him up behind the gate. It was the pressure I put on his mouth, and sometimes the crouper gets loose or stretches. When that happened, I knew we were in trouble. I got a good trip, they went fast fractions (fastest three-quarters in NA Cup history -- 1:20.4), and I thought at the very least we could get a big piece of it, maybe second or third. I don't know if we would have caught Sportswriter, but I was very concerned about him not relaxing. That horse is usually relaxed, happy and drives with two fingers. He had never done that before. He's got a big chance to regroup for the Meadowlands Pace."


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