Toronto, ON --- There might not be any National Hockey League action these days, but it hasn't stopped one 'Kessel' from scoring impressively.
With apologies to fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, it's not Phil Kessel, the team's points leader of 2011-12 in the limelight. In this instance, Standardbred trotter Thankyoukessel is the one making headlines.
|New Image Media photo|
|Thankyoukessel has banked $32,711 in 2012.|
The talented son of Ken Warkentin-Chelemark Gizmo has posted two straight wins at Woodbine, good enough for $32,711 in earnings. Trained by Joe MacIsaac, Thankyoukessel was bred and is owned by his longtime girlfriend, Carolyn Williston.
“His name is certainly appropriate,” chuckled MacIsaac, a longtime Boston Bruins supporter. “When (Phil) Kessel got traded by Boston for first-round draft pick, Tyler Seguin, and Toronto would come to Boston to play, you would often hear the (derisive) chant from the crowd, 'Thank You Kessel.' So that’s how he got his name. The chant would be so loud that you could hear it through the TV.”
Kessel, the hockey player, recorded 37 goals in 82 games last year for the Leafs. Thankyoukessel is thriving on the WEG circuit with three 'goals' and two 'assists' in eight 'games' this season.
“That’s a pretty decent record,” MacIsaac offered. “We brought him along slowly and it looks like he’s going to be a very useful horse. He’s got a terrific gait to him with tons of speed.“
Not surprisingly, the longtime horseman also wanted to talk hockey, quick to recall the latest Stanley Cup victory for the Bruins.
“That was great to see,” MacIsaac said in reference to Boston's 2011 championship. “I’ve been around a long time, even when they won in 1972. It never gets old.”
Racing fans will have to wait until next year to see Thankyoukessel back in the headlines, the same likely scenario for Phil Kessel, too.
“That’s it for this year,” said MacIsaac. “I think he’s got enough talent to be a Sires Stakes horse next season. He’s got some breeding behind him and we’re looking forward to racing him next season.”
A campaign that could have MacIsaac and Williston saying 'Thankyoukessel' more than a few times.