Balmoral Park (11/12/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
WON THE WEST LOOKS TO MAKE HISTORY IN AGED PACE
Fans could witness a bit of history on Saturday night as Won The West, the number two ranked pacer in North America, looks for an unprecedented fourth American National title in the $156,000 Aged Pace which has been carded as the seventh race on the program. The great Bret Hanover, who accomplished the feat with victories in the two-year-old, three-year-old and aged pace back in 1964, 1965 and 1966, is the only other horse in history to boast three American National titles.
|Won The West (Courtesy of Reb Photo)|
The six-year-old son of Western Hanover has become a fan favorite at the Crete plant over the past three years, reeling off impressive scores in the three-year-old colt pace in 2007 and the aged pace in 2008 and 2009.
Currently enjoying his finest season to date as the richest older pacer in the country with earnings of $1,333,768, the Ronnie Burke trainee boasts a career bankroll of $3,452,704, which puts him fifth on the all-time list and a lifetime best of 1:47 which was taken at the Meadowlands in last year’s Breeders Crown.
The classy gelding also became one of only three horses to defend the Breeders Crown Aged Horse title when he posted a thrilling victory over Foiled Again in a Breeders Crown record of 1:49.0 over the five-eighths mile strip at Pocono back on October 9. The pride of owners William Robinson, the Strollin Stables and James Koehler also boasts victories in the $748,800 Canadian Pacing Derby, The Molson Pacing Derby and the $125,000 Indiana Pacing Derby this season.
Although the rigors of facing the best pacers in the country for the last few years have taken a toll on Won The West, there are no plans to retire the late rushing bay.
“We’ve had to monitor his races and his workload a little more than we did in the past but he’s still at the top of his game as you can see by the year he’s having,” said trainer Ronnie Burke. “We’ve had him since his three-year-old season and he just continues to roll right along for us.”
The 2009 Dan Patch Award winner is finally starting to get the recognition that his conditioner feels is well deserved as well.
“There aren’t very many horses that have passed that $3 million mark in earnings,” said Burke. “He’s a great a horse but to be considered with the all-time greats you have to win all the aged stakes and he’s doing that. The best thing about him is his soundness and his willingness to give you everything he’s got. He can go every week if you want him to and he can get the job done on any size track.”