“They brought him out around Christmas time,” he explained. “There’s not much trickery to him. He goes to work every day and is happy to do his work. He’s a nice horse and I really like him. I think he’s up to the task.”
A son of Cam's Card Shark and the Jate Lobell mare Ivory Tower, Holdingallthecards is a newly turned 4-year-old owned by William McIntyre. The gelding is the eighth and final foal out of his very productive dam. All of the unraced Ivory Tower’s offspring made it to the gate and only one failed to win a race. Currently, the 7-year-old PW Ivory Grin (Grinfromeartoear, p,5,I:51.2f, $152,903) is her top earner and another half-sister, Mid West Hottie (The Big Dog, p,5,1:53.2, $87,664) has amassed 28 wins in her career.
|Holdingallthecards was a 1:52 winner on a sloppy track in the opening round of the Clyde Hirt Series.|
Holdingallthecards did not make it to the races in his first year of eligibility and made his debut under the care of former conditioner Robert Phillips at Balmoral Park on June 13, 2012. While competing only at Balmoral the gelding compiled a 21-12-5-0 record, collected $61,335 and set his lifetime mark of 1:50.4 on Oct. 27.
The horse performed solely in non-winners contests until Nov. 10 when he was fifth in his first Invitational. He won a $17,000 Invitational on Dec. 8, before finishing second at the same level behind St Elmo Hero on Dec. 15. Shortly after that placing, Holdingallthecards took up residence in Di Domenico’s shedrow.
He didn’t need much time to transition to his new surroundings as the gelding’s first appearance for his new trainer on Jan. 5 in a $14,000 conditioned race at the Meadowlands was a victory and his next engagement was another triumph on Jan. 11 in a $16,000 first leg division of the Clyde Hirt Series.
He is in to go for a second $16,000 leg this Friday (Jan. 18). Holdingallthecards will leave from post position seven and is 7-5 on the morning line.
“I was a little worried when he was going into that first race at the Meadowlands, but he had been off for three weeks and went in (1):51(.3),” Di Domenico, who is a native of Skokie, Ill., said. “He came back from that great and then he went 1:52 well in hand the other day (in the Clyde Hirt Series). With a good trip, racing luck and all that I think he’s up to the test.
“Sometimes those Midwest horses look a little bit better than they are, but this one seems like he is going to handle his business,” he continued. “A couple of my friends from home recommended me to his owner so he called. We were the lucky ones to get him. He’s raced against St Elmo Hero back there and a couple other nice horses, so he proved he deserved a shot out here. He’s met all his challenges and luckily we were the ones that got him.”
Holdingallthecards will continue his involvement in the Clyde Hirt Series and after another series next month Di Domenico is not exactly sure what the future holds for the gelding.
“As far as I know it’s the Clyde Hirt this month, the Exit 16W next month and from there we’ll just see what things look like,” he said. “He is four so there are no major stakes with him. If he looks good and is doing well with the Pennsylvania tracks getting ready to open around March and the Meadowlands and Yonkers as well, there is definitely a lot more money to be made out on the East coast than the Midwest. It’s tough there right now, but I think this horse is really going to be more than just okay.”