The reigning Horse of the Year in both Canada and the U.S., who is trained and co-owned by Rod Hughes, hasn’t lost a race since capturing the 2011 edition of the Maple Leaf Trot on July 23.
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|San Pail, the reigning Horse of the Year on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border, will make his return in this Saturday's Glorys Comet Series|
“I am very excited because we’ve just been thrilled by the way he has been racing the last few years,” the Port Perry, Ont. resident said. “We are looking forward to it. I couldn’t help but be a little more excited when you end up winning Horse of the Year. That’s quite an honor in itself.”
Even though the 8-year-old only was able to get one qualifier under him, instead of the planned two, the 77-year-old isn’t worried.
“I was quite pleased with it,” Van Camp said about the gelding’s March 15 qualifier, which he won in 1:55.3 at Mohawk. “All you have to do is get a good tightener in and that’s basically what he did. He used a little bit of his old methods; he wasn’t going to let anyone go by him in the stretch. There is nothing wrong with that.
“He may not be quite as tight as he would be if he got another qualifier, but that’s the way things go,” he continued. “The weather was bad that one day and there was no advantage in doing that. When you make those decisions, you have to stick with them.”
In the lone C$50,000 division of the Glorys Comet, for trotters four years old and older, San Pail will leave post five with regular driver Randy Waples in the sulky.
But it is the Ontario Sire Stakes Super Final winner Mister Herbie that San Pail will have to keep his eye on.
“I know Mister Herbie has been an excellent horse,” Van Camp said about the Jeff Gillis trainee, who is riding an eight-race win streak. “As they say, it’s a horse race and anything can happen. I know that San Pail will do his best.”
Between 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., eastern the I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club will be hosting San Pail’s “Season Kick-Off” reception in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame at Woodbine, where fans will get the chance to meet and greet the trotter’s connections.
Also on Saturday’s program, four year old and older pacers will duke it out in two C$50,000 divisions of the first leg of the Spring Pacing Championship Series.
Mystician will headline the second division from post four for the O’Brien Award-winning trainer-driver duo, Jeff Gillis and Jody Jamieson, respectively.
The son of Camluck--Mystic Mistress sports a record of 11-14-4 in 39 lifetime starts with $1,589657 in career earnings and will look to notch his fourth victory of his 4-year-old campaign this weekend.
The 2010 Metro Pace winner is owned by Gillis, Ken Henwood, Mac Nichol and Gerald Stay.
The C$60,000 second legs of the Glorys Comet and Spring Pacing Championship Series are slated for Saturday, Mar. 31, with the C$125,000 finals scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 7.