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Balmoral Park

Balmoral Park (11/8/12)

Contact: Tom Kelley
(708) 672-1414


In what could be the most wide open of the eight American National Stakes carded for Saturday a very evenly matched field of 10 sophomore pacing colts will line up behind the gate to battle in the night’s richest event, the $260,000 American National 3yo colt pace.

From the inside post Hurrikane Kingcole figures to be one of the top contenders in this event for trainer John Mc Dermott. The brilliantly fast 3-year-old pacer has at times looked like a world beater. Then there were the times when he would simply beat himself.

McDermott planned out a 3-year-old season for his $10,000 bargain basement purchase with a mindset to race the colt from off the pace. With as much speed as the Cam’s Card Shark-sired colt possessed, McDermott was well aware that Hurrikane Kingcole was virtually impossible to slow down or rate once he got fired up.

The strategy led to some impressive wins like his 1:48.1 clocking in the Max Hempt elimination at Pocono but also some disappointing defeats like the one he suffered in the final of that event after a tough trip. After missing the Meadowlands Pace Final after another come-from-behind effort Hurrikane Kingcole captured the consolation, sailing by horses to win in a career best of 1:47.3.

One of the most amazing performances of the colt's up and down career came on Hambo Day when driver Yannick Gingras decided to “float” the horse to front in the $275,000 New Jersey Classic Final. After a 26.3 opening quarter Hurrikane Kingcole turned into a virtual runaway, pacing through three-quarters of a mile in 1:18.2, the fastest time ever posted in the sport’s history. Unfortunately a pocket sitting Panther Hanover wore down the pace setter in the closing yards to win in 1:47.2.

After some time off due to some troubles with his blood counts, Hurrikane Kingcole has come back strong winning at Pocono in 1:49 and finishing fourth in the Monument Circle at Indiana Downs in his most recent start.

When asked if the colt’s performances have started to take a toll on his conditioner, he was quite clear about his affinity for the winner of nearly $500,000.

“People ask me if it’s frustrating to have a horse like this,” said McDermott, “What’s frustrating is to have a horse that can’t break 2:40 no matter how hard you try to make him go. This colt is a pleasure to be around and I can’t tell you how many people came up to me in Lexington to talk about him. Carter Duer told me the only horse he’d ever seen that had a gait to match Hurrikane Kingcole’s was Jenna’s Beach Boy. That meant a lot to me.

“I really believe this horse is going to be different and better at four and five,” said McDermott. “Right now you can’t slow him down after you start him up, but I think over time he’ll learn to go fast and be able to relax.”

American National 3yo Colt Pace winners

Year Horse (Driver) Time
1985 Marauder (Dick Richardson, Jr.) 1:55.4
  Falcon Seelster (Tom Harmer) 1:55.4
1986 Incredible Finale (Tom Harmer) 1:54.4
1987 Jate Lobell (Mark O’Mara) 1:53
1988 Matt’s Scooter (Michel Lachance) 1:55.2
1989 Sandman Hanover (Bill O’Donnell) 1:54
1990 Beach Towel (Ray Remmen) 1:52.4
1991 Artsplace (John Campbell) 1:53.2
1992 Crouch (Michel Lachance) 1:54.4
  Wear My Ring (Bill Gale) 1:53.4
1993 Village Jiffy (Bill O’Donnell) 1:53.4
1994 Make A Deal (Bill Fahy) 1:53.4
1995 Hensell Hanover (Mike Saftic) 1:52.3
  Private Ritual (Tony Morgan) 1:53.4
  Special Mel (Brent Holland) 1:54.2
1996 Jet Lagg (Bill O’Donnell) 1:53
1997 Gothic Dream (John Campbell) 1:51.2
1998 Artiscape (Dave Magee) 1:50
1999 Blissfull Hall (Dale Hiteman) 1:49.2
2000 Lifes Not Fair (Sam Widger) 1:50.4
2001 Cardmaster Hanover (Sam Widger) 1:50.2
2002 Mystic Art (Dave Magee) 1:49.3
2003 Yankee Cruiser (Dean Magee) 1:50
2004 Quik Pulse Mindale (Tony Morgan) 1:51.4
2005 Gold Dust Beach (Jason Dillanger) 1:51.2
2006 Life Guard On Duty (Sam Widger) R 1:48.4
2007 Won The West (Greg Grismore) 1:51.1
2008 Shadow Play (David Miller) 1:49.3
2009 Straight Shooting (George Brennan) 1:50.1
2010 One More Laugh (Tim Tetrick) 1:49.4
2011 Betterthancheddar (George Brennan) 1:50.3

R=Designates Stakes Record Time
*Raced at Sportsman’s Park, 1959 through 1997; and at Balmoral Park 1998 to present.

For more information visit or call (708) 672-1414.

About Balmoral Park: Located in Crete, IL just 12 miles south of 80/94; Balmoral Park has been one of the nation's premier horse racing facilities since 1926. Balmoral Park features live racing every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission and parking is always free.

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