Kawartha Downs was the first racetrack the outstanding trotter San Pail ever stepped on and fittingly it will be his last. This Saturday, October 17, Kawartha Downs is proud to host the horse and his connections as we celebrate his career on San Pail Retirement night.
One of the greatest trotters of all time, San Pail enjoyed an enviable racing career for trainer and co-owner Rod Hughes of Dunsford, Ontario, and breeder and co-owner Glenn Van Camp of Port Perry, Ontario. In total San Pail won $3.1 million, many prestigious stakes races against the top trotters from the U.S. and Europe, numerous awards and the admiration of fans around the world.
A huge crowd, the ‘San Pail’s Posse,’ followed him from track to track and cheered on his exploits. He was named Canada’s top male trotter three years in a row and in 2011 accomplished the very rare feat of being awarded Horse of the Year honours in both Canada and the US.
One of the reasons for San Pail’s success and longevity was Hughes’ careful management of the horse and that care will continue into his retirement which was announced in late August. “He definitely took a lot of people on a lot of good rides,” said Hughes at the time.
Hughes will bring San Pail to Kawartha on Saturday where he’ll lead the post parade for the San Pail Retirement trot and then return to the winner’s circle for a retirement ceremony. Fans will have a chance to win a visit on the backstretch with the great trotter. Posters featuring San Pail will be distributed with program coupon while supplies last.
The San Pail Retirement trot is slated as race three on Saturday night’s program and Hughes has a starter in the race in recent purchase Excuse Me Please who has drawn post three.
Post time on Saturday is 7 p.m. Parking and admission are always free.