By Ken Weingartner, USTA Media
Tim Twaddle won a Breeders Crown as a driver in 1994 with Hardie Hanover and will try to pick up a trophy this year as a trainer and owner, sending out Fourever Boy in the event for 2-year-old male pacers. Eliminations for the group are Friday at The Meadowlands.
But no matter what happens in the future with Fourever Boy, the colt will forever be in Twaddle’s heart.
On Sept. 25, Fourever Boy raced in the Metro Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park, providing Ontario native Twaddle, who moved to Pennsylvania in the late 1990s, the opportunity to return home for the first time in three years. During his trip, he visited family and enjoyed having his sister Robin watch Fourever Boy in the Metro, where the colt finished third.
Last week, Robin passed away after a sudden and brief illness. She was 65.
“Not that (Fourever Boy) is a world champion, but I haven’t had the opportunity to race on the Grand Circuit since I can’t remember,” Twaddle said. “This horse gave me the opportunity to race in the Metro. While I was up there, I had a wonderful night with my sister Robin. It was just a special night. She came out to watch the race and she’s always been my biggest fan.
“After we went home, she got very sick, and she passed away this past Friday. It’s a sad story, but a happy one when I think that if it wasn’t for this horse getting me up there, I would be absolutely devastated not having seen her before she went. So, he’s a very special horse to me for a lot of reasons.”
Twaddle grew up in St. Catharines, where from an early age he attended the races at Garden City Raceway. His sister Cindy worked as a messenger bettor and was instrumental in getting Twaddle started in the sport. Robin worked for years in food and beverage, running the dining rooms at Greenwood and Woodbine Entertainment.
“They were both connected,” Twaddle said. “My older sister Cindy got me involved early on. It was through her that I got to hang around the track and meet people.”
Twaddle started his career as a driver in 1982. He won 1,946 races in the sulky, counting the 1993 Jugette with Towner’s Image among his triumphs, as well as the 1994 Breeders Crown with Hardie Hanover in the 3-year-old filly pace.
A racing injury caused nerve damage in his hand, which curtailed his driving career, but he has accumulated more than 800 wins as a trainer. In 2017, Twaddle was inducted into the St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame.
Twaddle owns Fourever Boy with David Cohen’s Micki Rae Stables. The colt is a son of Sweet Lou out of Macharoundtheclock, who Twaddle trained in the later stages of her career, including a $116,286 season at age 5 in 2015. He trained two of Macharoundtheclock’s previous foals before purchasing Fourever Boy under the name Punch The Clock for $50,000 at the 2020 Standardbred Horse Sale.
“I had his mother, and she took good care of me,” Twaddle said. “I always thought she was going to do something special for me.
“We’re thrilled to have a colt that’s good enough to be involved in these kinds of races. He’s done well, but he really hasn’t broken through yet. I just feel like he’s a late-bloomer and he seems to be very fresh, very sharp. He’s shown that he’s good enough to keep up and go with the top bunch. I think he’s getting better and better and he’s going to have his moment before the end of the year.”
Fourever Boy has won one of 10 races, earning his victory in a division of the Arden Downs at The Meadows on July 31. In his past four races, he has three third-place finishes, with the Metro being joined by the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and a division of the International Stallion Stakes. In his start prior to the International Stallion, he was seventh in a Bluegrass division despite a :25.4 last quarter.
“It was just one of those races where he couldn’t gain ground,” Twaddle said. “The next week he was on the front end and the front end was horrible that day. I thought he was strong that day to hold his ground and be third.
“He was unfortunate not to get the sire stakes final. He got out late and was coming as fast as could be. It was just one of those things. If, if, if. But that’s horseracing.”
Fourever Boy will start his Breeders Crown elimination, the first of three for the 2-year-old male pacers, from post seven in a seven-horse field. Regular driver Mike Wilder will be in the sulky. Fourever Boy is 8-1 on the morning line. The top-three finishers from each elimination plus the fourth-place finisher with the highest earnings will advance to the $600,000 final on Oct. 29.
“He’s just a true professional, a real gentleman,” Twaddle said. “He knows his job. He sits nice and quiet in a hole or on the lead and doesn’t get excited until you call on him. A lot of horses can be hard on themselves but he’s the complete opposite. He just waits for you to tell him what to do.
“I love the horse. I just love him.”
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The fastest freshman in Harrah’s Hoosier Park history, Fulfullnmydestiny, is among the seven horses in Friday’s third Breeders Crown elim for 2-year-old male pacers. The gelding won a leg of the Indiana Sire Stakes on Sept. 10 in 1:49.2, the first ever sub-1:50 mile by a 2-year-old at Hoosier. The triumph followed a track-record 1:50 score in his prior start.
“Early on, we knew he had speed, but we obviously didn’t know he was going to win in (1):49 and pace (1):50 a bunch of times at Hoosier as a 2-year-old,” said James Yoder, who trains and drives the Brett Boyd Racing-owned homebred son of Tellitlikeitis-Driven By Destiny. “But early on, he did everything right. He’s just so quiet and professional about everything he does.
“He jogs easy, he doesn’t have any quirks. He’s easy on himself, easy to maintain. He’s classy about everything. Honestly, he makes my job a lot easier.”
Fulfullnmydestiny has won five of nine races and finished second twice, earning $196,190. He enters the Breeders Crown off a sixth-place finish in the Indiana Sire Stakes Super Final, which came after missing a start because of sickness. Fulfullnmydestiny was a parked-out leader at the half but unable to hold on in the stretch.
“He was just a little short,” Yoder said. “Hopefully, he will be ready to go this week. It will be a tough race. Everyone in the Breeders Crown has made their way in there, there are no slouches. I would have rather drawn the inside a little bit, but we’ll take our shot and hopefully make the final. There are some really nice horses.”
Fulfullnmydestiny is 6-1 on the morning line from post seven. Pebble Beach, whose wins include a Grand Circuit score and the Kentucky Championship Series final, is the 9-5 favorite.
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There also is a 9-5 morning-line favorite in Friday’s second Breeders Crown elimination for male pacers, Beach Glass, who is unbeaten in three starts. The Crown will mark the colt’s first stakes engagement, but he heads into his elimination off a 9-1/4 length triumph over older horses in 1:51.1 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Beach Glass is from the final crop of the late Hall of Fame stallion Somebeachsomewhere, who concluded his career with a victory in the 2008 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers at The Meadowlands. He was the 2008 Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada. Somebeachsomewhere was trained by Brent MacGrath and driven by Paul MacDonell, who also team up with Beach Glass.
The colt was bred by owner Schooner II Stable, which owns Beach Glass’ dam Im With Her. The MacGrath-led group includes some of the same owners of Somebeachsomewhere.
“He’s a very nice horse and it’s all about now how deep he is and how healthy he can stay,” MacGrath said about Beach Glass in a Harness Racing Update story written by Dave Briggs. “I think he’s got the talent. I think he’s got as much talent as any of the 2-year-olds. He’s not as seasoned as some of them, but that might be a good thing right now.
“I just hope it’s going to be a good story, like Beach.”
Racing begins at 6:20 p.m. Friday at The Meadowlands. The card also includes Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old male and female trotters and a single elimination for 2-year-old female pacers. For complete entries, click here.