One of the leading contenders for 2022 Horse of the Year honours in Atlantic Canada, Therealprincess has been sold by her former Maritime connections and has landed in Ontario for her four-year-old season.
Therealprincess was just a half-length shy of a perfect sophomore campaign, boasting 15 wins and one runner-up effort in 16 starts with more than $105,000 in earnings. That six-figure bankroll while racing just in Atlantic Canada is nearly unheard of.
Lifetime, the pacing princess amassed $141,568 from 28 starts for trainer Eddy Doucette with 20 triumphs, three seconds and a third. Those achievements caught the eye of Ontario's Frank Brundle, who took note of the talented filly after seeing her photo frequently featured on the Standardbred Canada website last summer.
Brundle told Trot Insider that he touched base with the owners to express interest, but the two sides couldn't come to an agreement on a price. The Source Of Pride - Deviliciously Good filly ended up on OnGait in November, and Brundle watched on with interest. He recalled that she didn't garner a bid, so he circled back with the ownership group to let them know he was still keen on a deal. There was talk of sending the mare to Yonkers Raceway, given her evident half-mile track abilities.
"I said 'no problem, you want to do it, I’ll give you Carmen [Auciello]'s number if you want. He has a stable down there, it’d be great for you. But if you want to sell her, let me know,'" noted Brundle. "So we went back and forth, back and forth and split the difference."
Brundle has had a fair amount of recent success with horses from Atlantic Canada, most notably Woodmere Stealdeal. After running roughshod over his competition in 2020 and 2021, the son of Steelhead Hanover posted a four-year-old season with 16 top-three finishes and $116,000 competing against some of North America's top older campaigners. Now five, Woodmere Stealdeal has a Preferred win at Woodbine Mohawk Park to his credit.
While Woodmere Stealdeal made on-track appearances in Ontario at the end of his three-year-old season, Therealprincess received a royal reprieve from the racing wars before starting her training in preparation for a four-year-old campaign under Auciello's tutelage.
"So I think I got her shipped out of there around some time in late November or early December, she got shipped up to Carmen’s farm," continued Brundle. "When we bought [Woodmere Stealdeal] and Mystifying we brought them up here, kept racing, kept driving on with them...We looked at this mare and said 'okay, let's give her a break.' We gave her December off and half of January, and then started her back so she should be ready to qualify I’m guessing mid-March is kind of our plan of attack.
"When I asked Carmen what he thinks of the horse, he said 'Oh I love her, she’s gorgeous.'"