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Action-ear-to-ear tries for success on both gaits
Monday, January 06, 2014 - by Ayers Ratliff, Northfield Park Publicity Department

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Northfield, OH --- It is not often that a horse with four pari-mutuel wins is found competing against a group of maidens. Most horses with that many victories would not be eligible for such a race. However, Action-ear-to-ear is just a horse who fits the bill and will go to post on Tuesday (Jan. 7) in the opening race at Northfield Park.

Action-ear-to-ear (Grinfromeartoear-Life With Mindy) began racing in Canada in 2010, winning one of five races as a freshman pacer. He was winless in six tries as a sophomore and won one of 12 races as a 4-year-old. His best year to date has been 2013 when he won two races and finished second seven times in 14 starts. He has a mark of 1:55.2, paced at Northfield Park, and has career earnings of $27,063.

Action-ear-to-ear was claimed by Andrew Coblentz of Wooster, Ohio, for $3,000 in August 2013. Coblentz placed him under the care of trainer John G. Wengerd. The horse looked to be a good claim, pacing in 1:53.2, finishing second in a $4,000 claiming race just two starts later.

“That :53 mile really sored him up,” said Wengerd. “So we put road shoes on him and let him pull a buggy to stay in shape until he was fully sound again.”

Pulling an Amish buggy around Wayne County, Ohio, for several months did a lot of good for Action-ear-to-ear according to Wengerd. However, in that time it was noticed that the 6-year-old pacer never paced. He trotted the entire time he was on the road.

“He is a really smooth-gaited trotter,” commented Wengerd. “He even looks like a trotter.”

When Action-ear-to-ear left his road duties and re-entered training, Wengerd noted, “All he wanted to do was trot. So I called the owner and talked it over with him and we decided to take his hopples off for good.”

Action-ear-to-ear qualified Dec. 27 at Northfield Park on the trot.

“I was a little nervous that when he saw the gate he would switch to a pace, but he didn’t,” offered Wengerd. He left right up out of there like he was supposed to, got on top and won his qualifier easy.”

Action-ear-to-ear led at every call, besting his competition by 2-1/4 lengths in 2:04.2.

Action-ear-to-ear makes his trotting debut on Tuesday, drawing post position two and has been named the 5-2 morning line favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting Dave Bianconi.

Wengerd named himself to drive the now trotter in his initial start.

“I don’t plan on driving him like a first-time starter,” said Wengerd. “He is not a regular maiden and has a lot of experience. I know it was on the pace, but he has been in (1):53.”

Wengerd gave his thoughts on Action-ear-to-ear’s trotting debut: “I don’t think he will be a maiden too long. I like our chances.”

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