Big week for BEACH in the US

Big week for BEACH in the US

An impressive double for SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE this week, siring the winner of the $175,000 Pacing Derby at Harrah's Hoosier in THIS IS THE PLAN and also the winner of both heat and final of the iconic Little Brown Jug at Delaware, SOUTHWIND OZZI.

 

THE LITTLE BROWN JUG

 

After using a sustained first-over drive to win his elimination earlier in the day, SOUTHWIND OZZI (SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE) and driver Brian Sears came back with nearly a carbon copy effort to capture the $384,000 Little Brown Jug final for 3-year-old male pacers Thursday (Sept. 19) at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

SOUTHWIND OZZI won the final by 1-3/4 lengths over Fast N First in 1:50.1. American Mercury finished third.

The victory gave Sears his second Jug trophy. He won his first with Vegas Vacation in 2013. It was the first Jug victory for trainer Bill MacKenzie and owners Alma Iafelice, who is MacKenzie’s grandmother, and Vincent Ali Jr.

“He’s awesome; he’s outstanding,” Ali Jr. said about SOUTHWIND OZZI, who won for the ninth time in 11 races this year and upped his season’s earnings to $736,935. “Billy did a great job and Brian drives him unbelievable. They get all the credit.”

SOUTHWIND OZZI won his Jug elimination in 1:50.3, besting Air Force Hanover by 2-3/4 lengths. The colt got away third before methodically wearing down pacesetter Shake That House and cruising to victory.

In the final, SOUTHWIND OZZI was fourth in the opening quarter-mile before beginning his first-over march at the three-eighths point. He was a nose from leader Stag Party when they reached three-quarters and pulled away from there to secure the victory in the third jewel of Pacing’s Triple Crown.

“He’s a good horse and he gives me a lot of confidence when I drive him,” Sears said. “I know I’ve got a lot of options during the race. I don’t have to be stuck with one plan. He proved it today. He got around the half-mile track great and roughed first over both trips and got it done convincingly.”

SOUTHWIND OZZI's triumphs this season include the Adios and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Sears said he could not say where the colt ranked among the horses he’s driven in his Hall of Fame career.

“But I can say, you win the Adios and the Little Brown Jug, those are two of the biggest accomplishments in racing, really sought-after races,” Sears said. “He was able to get me those races and he’s got a big spot in my heart.”

Following the Jug, SOUTHWIND OZZI is staked to the Simpson Memorial at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sept. 29. He is not eligible to the Tattersalls Pace or Breeders Crown in October but could be supplemented to those events. But those are decisions for another day.

“We’ll figure that out tomorrow or the next day or so,” MacKenzie said. “That’s how I’ve been doing it, so I’m not going to change it now.”

SOUTHWIND OZZI, a son of SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE out of Southwind Solara, was purchased as a yearling for $85,000 at the 2017 Lexington Selected Sale. The Southwind Farms-bred colt was the only horse MacKenzie bought that year for his grandmother and Ali Jr.

He began this season with three wins and a second-place finish before being sidelined for nearly two months because of emergency hernia surgery. He returned in July and captured the Adios. His win in the Jug final was his fourth in a row.

“He’s just been great,” MacKenzie said. “He’s just a great horse, and that’s what they do.”

Click here to read the recap of the elimination races.

 

THE HOOSIER PARK PACING DERBY

THIS IS THE PLAN (SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE) and Yannick Gingras parlayed a perfect second-over journey behind defending Horse of the Year McWicked (Brian Sears) to score in 1:48.4 on Friday (Sept. 20) in the $176,000 Harrah’s Hoosier Park Pacing Derby.

Endeavor and FILIBUSTER HANOVER (SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE ) finished second and third in a tight finish.

Leaving from post position two, THIS IS THE PLAN got away in fifth position while Endeavor and Widger led the field of 10 through the opening quarter in :26.3. Content to remain in that position behind a first-over McWicked, THIS IS THE PLAN and Gingras tracked his every move through fractions of :54 and 1:21.4 put up by FILIBUSTER HANOVER.

As McWicked advanced to make his bid for victory, Gingras pulled THIS IS THE PLAN and the 4-year-old son of SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE exploded off cover to sail by the stallion. Despite it being a cavalry charge in the shadow of the wire, THIS IS THE PLAN appeared to have plenty in reserve.

“We are absolutely thrilled,” said Mickey Burke of the Ron Burke Stable. “This was a great race with great horses in it as you could see with how many horses were right there at the end.”

While he has been extremely competitive all season, THIS IS THE PLAN has also experienced some difficult journeys which have contributed to his six second place finishes.

“I wanted to race him from behind and maybe take back and follow behind McWicked,” Gingras said. “It could not have worked out any better.

“This horse has never put in a bad performance. He has been very sharp since the Ben Franklin and he has had some tough luck. He deserved a good trip and I tried to give him one tonight.”

Trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr, THIS IS THE PLAN collected his third win of the season and the 10th of his career. His record is now 48-10-14-7 and he has earned more than $1.38 million.