“Who would have thought nine years ago when we were in the winner’s circle here after San Pail’s OSS win that we’d be back tonight talking about him being inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame,” said Rod Hughes at his home track of Kawartha Downs on Saturday night.
“I remember when I got off the race bike that night saying I thought I had something special. I had no idea at the time how truly special he was.” Rod was referring to a race very early in San Pail’s career, and only his second stake race of his career, on June 26, 2007 when the then three-year-old captured an OSS Gold elimination in 1:54.4, to set a new track record, a mark which still stands. It was the first of a plethora of stakes wins for the extremely talented trotter who set many more records during his illustrious career.
Tonight Kawartha Downs recognized San Pail’s incredible Hall of Fame achievement and spoke to Rod about the induction ceremony this past Wednesday for San Pail, who was officially retired at Kawartha last October after winning 52 races and more than $3 million.
“It was a huge honour. We were thrilled to have him voted in the first year he was eligible. It was an wonderful ride, and we were all privileged to be part of such an incredible horse,” noted Rod who reported that San Pail is thoroughly enjoying life away from the racetrack but that the 12 year-old gelding still has a lot of energy. Rod trained and co-owned San Pail with his breeder Glenn Van Camp.
On the racetrack tonight Lock N Reload scored his third straight win for Reg Gassien and trainer Dave Gibson who co-owns the three-year-old Bettors Delight gelding with Glenn Tarver.
Racing returns to Kawartha next Saturday when the Fraserville oval hosts its only Ontario Sires Stakes card of the season. The three-year-old pacing colts will be on hand for the richest program of 2016 at KD. Post time is 7 p.m.