10/14/2013 10:18AM

Jay Bergman: Somebeachsomewhere is proving his dominance in the breeding shed

Nigel Soult
Somebeachsomewhere paced a world record 1:46 4/5 at The Red Mile.

A popular beer commercial asks us to “Find Your Beach.”

Harness racing has found its own definition of the popular slogan. As we approach this year’s 30th edition of the Breeders Crown changes in pedigrees from the beginning appear so far removed from now. At the outset the Meadow Skipper line of pacers through his son Most Happy Fella permeated the bloodlines of Breeders Crown champions on the male side.

Time and results have chipped away at the Meadow Skipper line and the dawn of a new era appears upon us now.

Harness racing has found its Beach in the name of Somebeachsomewhere.

Unlike many that have come before him oozing greatness on the racetrack, Somebeachsomewhere has actually performed to the same high standards in the breeding shed that he did on the racetrack.

Mind you, we’re not going to go unbeaten when it comes to breeding because as we all know the male side represents just 50 percent of the genetic make up of any foal, but the kind of impact this stallion has had with just two crops racing has been rather impressive, not equal to his racetrack career just yet, but well on his way to leaving a mark for more than the two years we were privileged to see his kind.

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Paul MacDonell, Somebeachsomewhere’s driver during his illustrious career, was present over the weekend at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He had a few drives but spent a lot of his time watching the elimination races.

Among the contingent of great races MacDonell observed was the awesome performance of Somenbeachsomewhere’s most famous son to date-Captaintreacherous.

Quite unlike his “sleepy” performance at the Red Mile in the Tattersalls, this version of Captaintreacherous was more than a handful with driver Tim Tetrick caught in a wrestling match with him between the quarter and three-eighths of the race. Inevitably Tetrick had to let his horse off the rail to go after and eventually surge past Vegas Vacation. The time of the race, just like the time at the Red Mile, did little to reflect just how determined Captaintreacherous is.

Like his famous daddy Captaintreacherous has made his living by beating other horses on the racetrack with regularity and purpose.

For MacDonell, who was a major player in Somebeachsomewhere’s success, the races five years ago still shine brightly in his memory.

“The race in the Messenger at Yonkers was something else,” MacDonell said about one of the colt’s last major victories. It was an epic performance that tested the mettle of a colt that could have been worn down by so many big races. Despite terrible track conditions and racing on the outside for a majority of the race Somebeachsomewhere was able to turn back Shadow Play and capture the third jewel of the Triple Crown in 1:52 1/5, a time that may seem slow by today’s standards but was unreal in 2008.

How fast would Somebeachsomewhere go if he were racing in 2013?

“I’m not sure,” said MacDonell, “I just know it would be faster.”

With 20 wins in 21 lifetime starts it’s hard not to talk with MacDonell on the subject of Somebeachsomewhere and not mention the lone defeat.

“We faced Art Official I think like six times before the Meadowlands Pace. Maybe I underestimated him,” said MacDonell.

The fact that Somebeachsomewhere had beaten Art Official soundly on those other occasions could have been the main reason that MacDonell didn’t expect to lose on Meadowlands Pace night in 2008 when he paced a mile in a record 1:47 only to lose by a neck to Art Official.

Unlike his opponent on that night Somebeachsomewhere went on to score in 1:46 4/5. He went on to a straight-heat victory in the Confederation Cup at Flamboro, eclipsing the 1:50 mark with an ungodly 1:49 2/5 effort in the Cup final pacing a :26 3/5 final quarter over a half mile track in the process.

“He had to do all of the work himself,” said MacDonell, recalling that there were no speedsters in his races that could set the table for Somebeachsomewhere to close off of.

Just like his racing career Somebeachsomewhere is well on his way to proving his dominance in the breeding shed. He followed up a sensational first year that included one Breeders Crown winner and two divisional champions with a second crop that looks every bit as good as the first.

Somestarsomewhere, a late-developing colt from the Burke stable, showed his impressive speed and determination by setting a world record 1:49 4/5 in his Breeders Crown elimination. He’s likely to be favored in Saturday’s Breeders Crown finale having landed the pole position in the field of nine.

On the filly side GallieBythe Beach looked much like her dad (and Crown winning mom Galleria) in capturing a two-year-old filly pace elimination. She took on pressure and still had enough left to gamely hold off her rivals in 1:50 3/5.

MacDonell did have enough time in between watching the races to steer Melmerby Beach to a second place finish and a trip to the final in one of three Breeders Crown eliminations for juvenile pacing colts.

“We’re very high on this colt,” MacDonell said, referring to him and trainer Brent MacGrath. It was MacGrath and MacDonell who partnered on the success of Melmerby Beach’s sire Somebeachsomewhere and you could tell speaking with MacDonell that he sees a lot from the past in the present.

“He got a little fumbly on me on the turn but he finished strongly,” said MacDonell of the second place finish. “We’re being careful with him but he’s got plenty of ability.”

Melmerby Beach enters the final with the least earnings and the least experience of the nine in the field.

“This will be his last start this year,” said MacDonell, recognizing that the colt’s potential bright future is likely to be realized in 2014 rather than this year.

We had to ask if MacDonell would compare son to the sire. Is Captaintreacherous as good as Somebeachsomewhere?

“I don’t think so,” said MacDonell, “But I’m biased.”

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