“He can definitely sprint with the best of them,” McIntosh said. “He can lay fourth or fifth or then blast home. They got him with a last quarter in :25 flat down in Lexington as a 3-year-old and then that 1:47.2 for the mile at the Meadowlands last year in the U.S. Pacing Championship was tremendous. John (Campbell) said he felt phenomenal that day.”
Unfortunately, Thinking Out Loud, a son of Ponder and the Camluck mare Los Angeles, was not seen on a racetrack again in 2013 after pacing only five miles with a record of 1-0-1. The homebred, who is owned by Robert McIntosh Stables, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings, had a hitch behind and was scratched from the Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations.
|Jim Leary photo|
|Thinking Out Loud powered through the stretch to win the 2013 U.S. Pacing Championship for older male pacers in a career-best 1:47.2.|
“He was only about 75 percent that day at the Meadowlands, but that was when he was just getting tight,” McIntosh said. “He tends to put a little weight on when you give him time off so he’s an easy keeper that way. That’s why it takes him about four or five starts to really get into shape.
“After we got him home, he was a little lame behind and when we had him checked out, we found a little bone bruise in his bad right hind. The good news was it would heal perfectly, but the bad news was he would miss the rest of the season. We just turned him out for two-three months, then brought him back into training. He’s as sound as he’s ever been now and we are really happy with him.”
Thinking Out Loud returned to work with a third place finish on April 19 in a $25,480 non-winners contest at Woodbine and the 2012 North America Cup victor followed that up with two triumphs in $30,940 Preferred events over the same surface. His next engagement is Saturday (May 10) in a $50,000 leg of the TVG-FFA Pacing Series at the Meadowlands. The stallion will leave from post position two with Campbell again assuming the driving duties. Going off as race seven, the field in post order is Modern Legend, Thinking Out Loud, Foiled Again, Word Power, Sweet Lou, Bolt The Duer, Warrawee Needy, Dovuto Hanover, Bettor’s Edge, and Golden Receiver.
“We are going to try to keep him on the bigger tracks this year,” McIntosh said. “He had the same problem in the opposite leg when he was a 2-year-old and we think last year’s injury might have happened when we raced in Cleveland in The Battle of Lake Erie. I’ve trained him on a half at the farm and he gets over it fine, but just to be on the safe side we are only going on at least five-eighths tracks this year.”
Throughout his career, Thinking Out Loud has amassed more than $1.42 million with a record of 36-13-6-7. He was fourth in the 2012 edition of the Little Brown Jug, second in that year’s Matron Stake in addition to the Kentucky Sire Stakes final and the Progress Pace. He also captured a division of the Bluegrass Stake and ended his sophomore campaign with a third behind world record holders Bolt The Duer and Pet Rock in the Cleveland Classic.
Although the older male pacing division is loaded with talent, McIntosh expects good things from Thinking Out Loud now that his injury is behind him.
“He is fast, but he can also carry his speed,” McIntosh said. “He just loves to train and he loves his work. Like I said it takes him a couple starts to get racing fit, but we are pleased with how he is coming into this year. He has everything that makes a good horse and he is staked to everything this year. I’m very excited about him.”