By Ken Weingartner, USTA — Tim Twaddle saw steady improvement from Fourever Boy throughout the horse’s first two seasons of racing, and the trainer hopes that trend continues in 2023 as his 4-year-old stallion works toward facing the sport’s top older pacers later in the campaign.
Fourever Boy, a multiple Grand Circuit winner and 2022 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, has earned $842,888 in his career for owners Twaddle and Micki Rae Stables. The horse already has a big win this season, capturing the $193,880 Charles Juravinski Memorial Cup for 4-year-old male pacers May 21 at Flamboro Downs.
On Saturday, he will look to make it back-to-back victories when he meets seven foes in the first of two C$66,500 divisions of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Fourever Boy, who will have Trevor Henry in the sulky, has morning-line odds of 3-1, third choice behind Stonebridge Helios at 2-1 and Energetic Hanover at 5-2.
“At 2 and 3, he just seemed to be learning and developing with every start,” Twaddle said about Fourever Boy. “He just seemed to be getting a little better all the time. I think this year he’ll continue that trend, which he’s going to have to do because it’s going to be tough.
“It’s never easy for a 4-year-old to transition against aged horses. I wish there were more 4-year-old events, but it is what it is. He’s going to have to face some really tough company when he hits those open events. I hope he can handle himself with that group because we’d like to participate.”
Fourever Boy, a son of Sweet Lou-Macharoundtheclock, has hit the board in 18 of 39 career races. In addition to the Juravinski and PASS championship, his lifetime wins include divisions of the 2022 Simcoe Stakes and 2021 Arden Downs and an elimination of the 2022 Little Brown Jug. He finished second in the Jug final.
He also was second in the 2021 Matron Stakes and third in the 2022 Progress Pace and 2021 Metro Pace and PASS final.
“He’s a special horse to us for so many reasons,” Twaddle said. “We love him. He’s just been great to have in the barn. He’s very easy to train. He doesn’t get excited. He’s a very happy horse.”
Twaddle has seen subtle changes in Fourever Boy from age 3 to 4.
“He’s a little bit bigger version of himself and he’s a little more aggressive, I think,” Twaddle said. “He was never a great big horse, so it’s hard to say he’s really grown up, but he’s filled out. He really is a nice-looking horse. He’s a solid horse. He had a cute little baby face, but he’s more of a stallion-looking horse now. You can tell he’s not a little kid anymore.
“He doesn’t want to be bothered too much. He does his own thing. But when my daughter is around, he’s like a marshmallow with her.”
Fourever Boy, a $50,000 yearling purchase under the name Punch The Clock at the 2020 Standardbred Horse Sale, will compete against 4-year-olds until the completion of the Graduate Series. Legs two and three of the series will be held at The Meadowlands on June 16 and June 24, respectively, ahead of the final on July 8 at The Big M.
If all goes well, he then will hit the open ranks. He is eligible to many of the division’s top stakes including the William R. Haughton Memorial, Joe Gerrity, Sam McKee Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby, Jim Ewart Memorial, Dayton Pacing Derby, and Breeders Crown.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I’m excited about it,” Twaddle said.
The second division of the Graduate for pacers finds Ron Burke-trained Birthday the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a field of seven. Birthday, who will start from post five with driver David Miller, won an elimination of the Juravinski and was seventh-placed-sixth in the final.
Saturday’s Mohawk card also includes the C$99,750 Graduate Series opener for 4-year-old trotters, where millionaire mare Jiggy Jog S is the 7-5 morning-line choice. She is the only female starter in the six-horse field. Dexter Dunn will drive for trainer Ake Svanstedt, leaving from post two.
Three divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers also are on tap on the road to the upcoming Pepsi North America Cup.
Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. For free past performances, visit the track’s website here.