Newly minted world champion Beach Memories is among four three-year-olds from the first crop of 2008 Horse of the Year and Meadowlands Pace runner-up Somebeachsomewhere in Saturday’s $50,000 elimination.
Add superstar Captaintreacherous, who received a bye into the estimated $800,000 final on July 13 along with Twilight Bonfire and Wake Up Peter, and the chance of “Beach” gaining a measure of revenge gets even better.
“When Somebeachsomewhere lost to Art Official in 2008 [in a world record of 1:47] it was probably his best race,” recalled Ohio-based trainer Brian Brown, who sends out Beach Memories on Saturday.
Beach Memories is owned by Strollin Stable of Marion, Ohio, AWS Stables of Lima, Ohio, King McNamara of Naples, Florida and Country Club Acres of Findlay, Ohio. The gelding has eight wins and a second in 17 career starts and banked $158,717.
The top seven finishers will advance to the Pace Final and the connections of the elimination winner will select their post position for July 13. The draw for the Pace, along with the William Haughton Memorial and Mistletoe Shalee will be held live on Saturday at the Meadowlands.
When Brown attended the Harrisburg Sale in 2011 he had two major goals in mind.
“When we go through the catalogue we pick out as many Pennsylvania breds as possible, and then we go by the family,” he explained. “We really wanted some by Somebeachsomewhere and we wound up with five that first year.
“We actually liked that the breeding on this colt was a little bit older,” he continued. “His dam [Allamerican Memoir] is a half sister to Memphis Flash [1:50, $829,295]. He raced over ten years ago and stood here in Ohio at one time. I thought it was a pretty good family. This colt was a first foal and looked nice.”
Beach Memories initially overcame a serious physical issue as a two-year-old, and as a result, was a bit slow to develop.
“When we had him in Florida of his two-year-old season he had atrial fibrillation, stood in his stall for a month and was way behind,” Brown noted. “We took him to a clinic where they basically slowed down his heart rate with medication until it went back to normal. Generally, they flip right back with the first treatment, yet his took three doses. Then, I rushed him a little to get him to the races and that didn’t work out. He was better near the end of last year.”
Beach Memories has carried that forward momentum into a successful first half of his sophomore season.
“The colt has not really gone a bad race this year,” said Brown. “He did break in one race [on April 27 at The Meadows]. His mouth was a little sore, we changed his bit and that made him worse. When Dave Palone took a hold of him he threw his head.
“One of his best races came when he finished fourth in his elimination for the North America Cup [on June 8 at Mohawk]. We just got stuck at the back, and it was just too hard to catch them even though he came home in :26.3.
“The night of his Hempt elimination [on June 22 at Pocono Downs] he paced in 1:49.4 and finished sixth, but scoped sick. Matt Kakaley said he was also trapped in along the rail.”
Last week, in a $50,000 consolation for the Max Hempt at Pocono Downs, Beach Memories bounced back by equaling a world record of 1:48.3 for three-year-old geldings on a five-eighths mile track with Yannick Gingras driving.
“He paced a wicked :26.3 third quarter, but if you set world records there have to be fractions like that in there,” noted Brown. “It’s great to go fast, but it’s all about money. Yes, it’s nice to win a $50,000 race, but obviously we want to get into the big ones like the Meadowlands Pace.
“I’ve never had a horse like this. I jog him five miles a day with a training trip in between races of about 2:10 or 2:15. He’s just a natural athlete. I believe they just learn how to go that fast. It’s tough to go from 1:54 to 1:48 the next week.”
If Beach Memories advances to the Pace Final on July 13, Brown will be looking for a driver.
“Dave Miller will drive him in the elimination,” he said. “He’s committed to Twilight Bonfire, so if we make the final we’ll see who’s available. We have post nine on Saturday, but Dave told me it’s all about position not post position.
“I don’t know if anybody can figure out how this elimination is going to shake out. I’m sure you’re going to have ten drivers wait until the wings fold. It would certainly be a nice feather in my cap to win the Meadowlands Pace.”
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