Like father, like son? Somebeachsomewhere's Nova Scotia colt shows promise
Beach Glass was the fastest 2-year-old pacing colt in Canada last year. His 2022 season is underway
When Brent MacGrath interacts with his horse Beach Glass, he sees a lot of the horse's sire, legendary racehorse Somebeachsomewhere, in him.
"He's very engaged. He loves people, he loves kids. He loves carrots. He loves life," said MacGrath. "Very easy to get along with, wants to do what you want him to do."
MacGrath, from Truro, N.S., was Somebeachsomewhere's trainer and part owner. The horse was famously purchased for $40,000 — top horses often sell for more than $100,000 — with the cost being split six ways between its Maritime owners.
Somebeachsomewhere won 20 of 21 starts during his two-year racing career that ended in 2008.
He had more than $3.2 million in career race earnings, all while being trained out of Truro, which was considered an unorthodox move.
"As the underdog, he was never supposed to achieve the level of greatness that he was able to achieve," said Kathy Parker, the editor of Hoof Beats, the official magazine of the United States Trotting Association.
She's covered the horse racing industry for decades and said very few horses have captured the public's attention like Somebeachsomewhere, often just called Beach.
"He had a real clever name," she said. "I mean, who doesn't love a beach?"
At the time of his retirement, Somebeachsomewhere held or shared eight world records, according to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.
One of these records was the fastest race mile in history — 1:46.4 — which was set on Sept. 27, 2008, at The Red Mile in Lexington, Ky., when Somebeachsomewhere was three years old. His time matched the world record turned in by a five-year-old in 2006.
Beach Glass is one of the 1,073 horses Somebeachsomewhere sired after his hall of fame racing career wrapped up.
With Somebeachsomewhere's success on the track, he was eyed as a prized stallion. His post-racing life was spent siring horses at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania, beginning in 2009.
On Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, his coveted semen would be collected, which sold for as much as $30,000 a breeding, MacGrath said.
MacGrath said that of the 1,073 horses Somebeachsomewhere sired, 990 of them raced. Of the racehorses, 869 won events, while 487 had career earnings of $100,000 or more. Twenty-five of the horses earned a million or more.
The combined earnings of these horses is close to $180 million.
"The absolute best of the best," said MacGrath. "There's people that will say this, 'They believe [Somebeachsomewhere] to be the greatest racehorse of all time. They know he's the greatest sire.'"
Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky agrees with that sentiment, and called him the "greatest Standardbred stallion ever." The veterinarian is the executive vice president of Hanover Shoe Farms and worked closely with Somebeachsomewhere during his time there.
"He was a very easy-going horse that never caused a problem or had a mean bone in his body, just a real pleasure to work with," she said in an email.
Parker called Somebeachsomewhere "the modern-day standard for a pacing sire, a pacing stallion."
The final horse Somebeachsomewhere sired is Beach Glass, who was conceived after Somebeachsomewhere's death using frozen sperm.
MacGrath recognizes that Somebeachsomewhere was a once-in-a-lifetime horse, so he's not getting his hopes up that Beach Glass will be the Second Coming.
"I know he's got lots of ability," said MacGrath. "He has a great attitude. He has a great gait, gorgeous horse ... he seems to have the depth to step up and fight."
Beach Glass was the fastest two-year-old pacing colt in Canada last year. In his third start, he set a Canadian record for two-year-olds.
In the weeks ahead, MacGrath has a schedule plotted out for races for Beach Glass to run in. Beach Glass won his first qualifying race a week ago and runs in another one Friday night.
If all goes according to plan, a notable entry on the calendar comes June 4 with a race at Mohawk Park in Campbellville, Ont. The race is fittingly named: The Somebeachsomewhere Stakes.
Parker said there's a lot of interest in how Beach Glass performs.
"It would be a really sweet story if Brent and this horse can take the same kind of journey that Somebeachsomewhere did," she said.
MacGrath is confident in Beach Glass.
"I've seen most of the competition and I think we're in good shape," said MacGrath. "I think he's as good as any of them."
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