Somebeachsomewhere: Racehorse of the Decade

Credit: Dave Landry

We are pleased to present the winners of our third annual Readers’ Choice Awards, honouring remarkable horses and horse people for their achievements and contributions to Canada’s horse industry.

Our sincere appreciation goes our generous Readers’ Choice Awards sponsor, Bucas, who graciously donated fabulous prizes to our winners. Thank you to everyone who nominated and helped make our Readers’ Choice Awards a success again this year.

Congratulations to our deserving winners.

The 2012 Readers' Choice Awards Winners Are (please read more at each link):
Grated Coconut: Born to Buck
Duane Latimer: Canada's Reining Royalty
Pippa Hodge: A driving force behind therapeutic riding in Canada
Karen Brain: Anything is possible
Hickstead: “He was the best horse in the world”
Eve Mainwaring: "A tremendous horsewoman"
Dianne Tidball: Matriarch of Thunderbird Show Park
Somebeachsomewhere: Racehorse of the Decade
Orion: A Remarkable Therapist
Bill desBarres: "A lifetime in the service of the horse"

The word “Remarkable” nicely sums up Somebeachsomehwere, a whirlwind dynamo who took the Canadian harness racing world by storm in 2007 and 2008, and who now looks to pass on his talent to the next generation of Standardbreds. Trainer and part-owner, Brent MacGrath, of Truro, Nova Scotia, calls him simply “the horse of a lifetime.”

In October 2006, MacGrath traveled to the auction in Lexington, Kentucky, with the aim of purchasing an Ontario-bred for Schooner Stable, owned by MacGrath and five partners. It was there that the well-built yearling by Mach Three out of Wheres The Beach, foaled May 25, 2005, caught his eye.

“I said, ‘if he goes for $40,000, I own him’,” remembered MacGrath, who was committed to a strict budget. As luck would have it, the bidding stopped exactly at $40,000, and MacGrath packed up his new colt and headed home to Nova Scotia.

“The Beach,” as Somebeachsomewhere is affectionately called, made his impressive debut in 2007. He won 20 out of the 21 starts in his career and set four world records, including the fastest mile in the history of harness racing with a time of 1:46.4 minutes in the 2008 Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile.

During his short racing career, Somebeachsomewhere netted over $3.2 million, setting a new record as a three-year-old for single-season earnings, at $2,448,003.

In 2008, The Beach was unanimously voted Horse of the Year in Canada. The following year, just nine months after being retired from the track, he was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, an honour that speaks volumes as to the horse’s incredible talent. In January 2010, the spectacular pacer was selected as Harness Racing’s Racehorse of the Decade (2000 through 2009).

“He’s got strength, he’s got the gait – which is flawless – and he’s got the will,” said Somebeachsomewhere’s driver, Paul MacDonell, of the Standardbred stallion. “A lot of horses will have one of them. He’s got them all.”

After winning his last race on November 28, 2008, The Beach retired to stud at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania, where his success as a sire looks to rival his success in harness. His first crop was eagerly awaited at the 2011 sale in Lexington, with one yearling selling for $450,000, another for $250,000, and sixteen others for over $100,000. His yearling sale average of $63,194 surpassed that of all stallions in 2011. His first crop races in 2012 and only time will tell if one of them is another Somebeachsomewhere in the making.

With files from www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com and www.hanoverpa.com.

Main article photo: Dave Landry Photography - Somebeachsomewhere won 20 out of the 21 starts of his career and set four world records, including the fastest mile in the history of the sport.

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