05/21/2009 11:00PM

McCabe's talented trio rejuvenate veteran's barn


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Quint McCabe has added a bounce to his step lately. The reason? According to McCabe, having Woombroomexpress, Destiny's Home, and Victor's Magic in his shed row has picked up his spirits considerably.

McCabe, 63, feels this is the best group of horses he has had to train since he took out his license in 1980.

"It's pretty exciting," said McCabe. "They can all run, and I don't know how good the 2-year-old is going to turn out."

McCabe was referring to Victor's Magic, who was a very impressive winner of a 3 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race on May 16. Victor's Magic had impressed McCabe going into the race, and he more than lived up to his expectations. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, Victor's Magic broke sharply enough, but he was sitting second behind Macondo going into the turn. With Frank Fuentes aboard, he cruised to the front going around the turn, and then drew off to win by four lengths.

"What impressed me the most was the way he galloped out after the race," said McCabe. "He has done everything right from Day 1 and if he holds together he could turn out to be a pretty nice horse."

McCabe said Victor's Magic came out of the race in great shape, and he will keep him in light training for now.

"The first stakes for 2-year-olds isn't until July 11," said McCabe. "I could turn him out for a couple of weeks, but he likes it here, so we'll just take it easy with him until we get closer to the race."

McCabe also likes the way Woombroomexpress is coming up to his race on Sunday. Woombroomexpress figures to be a short price in the eighth race, a first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds and up. A new clause was added to the conditions of the race this year that allows British Columbia-bred horses who have won two races to run in the race. Other jurisdictions don't count wins in statebred allowance races against a horse. Because B.C.-bred allowance races rarely fill at Hastings, the added clause, "or British Columbia-breds which haven't won three races," allows two-time winners of any type of race to run.

A 4-year-old gelding, Woombroomexpress won a $20,000 nonwinners-of-two claiming race to close out his 3-year-old year. In two races at the meet he has finished third in a $25,000 optional race on April 18, and just missed in a first-level allowance race on May 9. The final time for the 6 1/2 furlongs was a very fast 1:16.75 and Woombroomexpress led most of the way before being caught at the wire by Bearrock N Roll.

"It was a good race for him," said McCabe. "I would rather see him come from slightly off of it, but there isn't a lot of speed in Sunday's race, so I'll let Frank decide how to ride him."

McCabe entered Destiny's Home for Saturday, when she was to face Brighouse Belles winner Heaven on Hold. Destiny's Home won an entry-level allowance on May 9.

McCabe, who has had two heart operations, is looking forward to training horses for the foreseeable future.

"There is nothing I would rather do," he said. "It's what keeps me going, and coming to the track is the main reason I get up in the morning."