St Elmo Hero Bound For Canada?
"He's nominated for the Cam Fella [Stakes]. We haven't made any final decisions; everything is based on the condition of the horse.
On today's Trot Radio Norm Borg talks to owner John Barnard of Orland Park, Illinois, who took a chance on a $7,000 maiden claimer at Balmoral Park last summer by the name of St Elmo Hero. That pacer is now gunning for his 24th straight win after smashing the stakes record in The Complex Series at the Meadowlands this past Saturday with his stunning 1:49.1 performance.
The question on everyone's mind is why Barnard claimed this horse, who was at the time a four-year-old maiden with three qualifiers and only one clean line.
"A friend of mine is constantly looking at different horses...and in the past I had claimed a couple of Western Hanover sons and unfortunately there aren't going to be any more of those," stated Barnard. "He brought to my attention that there was a Western Hero son who had never raced. He knows I like to get green horses or horses that haven't had a lot of races to claim. He brought the horse up to me as a very unusual individual - a four-year-old that had never raced...He checked him out on the Internet, couldn't find anything wrong with him and said 'maybe you should take a look at this horse out before he races and he might be someone you want to claim."
In fact, Barnard attributes the late start for St Elmo Hero to registration issues, not the horse having any physical ailments. Easily the best horse Barnard has ever owned, Borg asked if the pressure is starting to get to him or trainer Charlie Eustis.
"There's a lot of people who would like to see him do well. We were treated very nicely out at the Meadowlands, we got a lot of support from local fans and some of the local media," said Barnard. "And I think that a story like this is good for harness racing. The sport has come under extreme pressure financially. You know, if this was a thoroughbred we'd be on all national networks. So the pressure isn't anywhere near what it would be on, say, a Zenyatta. But we've started picking up notoriety."
The full interview with Barnard is available below.
Episode 180 – John Barnard, owner of St Elmo Hero
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg
Please note that the opinions expressed in the following interview are those of the participant and do not necessarily reflect Rideau Carleton Raceway and/or Standardbred Canada.