Today at Rideau Carleton is the forty-seventh running of The Frank Ryand Memorial Trot. Only five trainers decided to enter the race so there is a small field of five competing; meaning everyone will be picking up a share of the $147,000 purse as long as they cross the finish line.
Short field or not, let's take a look at the race:
Rideau Carleton 12th Trot - $147,000; Frank Ryan Memorial Trot
1 - Kash Caviar (Baillargeon, 6-1) - Strong finish. One lost in last three was against Hambo Day winner. Consider.
2 - Define The World (Macdonnell, 3-1) - May win, but has not been right since return from Europe. Your pick.
3 - Armbro Chronicle (Saftic, 4-1) - Interesting to note finished behind Kash Caviar in last race together.
4 - Triumphant Caviar (B Miller, 10-1) - Jumped 3 out of last 4. One to toss.
5 - Rose Run Hooligan (Allard, 5-2) - Race lines look good but last week's Invitational was certainly not one.
A little bit of trivia. How many of you know that you don't have to be a 100% standardbred to race in a harness race? Years ago I remember a horse from Argentina which raced in the Roosevelt International and the dam was listed as 'unknown'. While looking at the rules, to suggest possible changes, I recalled you can get a standard (100% standardbred) or a non-standard registration and race in a harness race. So I wondered how many horses have been registered non-standard and have any of them won?
Well, thanks to the USTA, we know since 1990, there has been 184 horses registered non-standard. Out of those 184 horses, they have combined for a total of 525 wins. As I suspected, the number one reason for a non-standard registration is one parent is a standardbred and the other one is either a non-standardbred or not a pure standardbred; I suspect it isn't typically planned, but more of a stallion being a Lothario who decides on his own it's time for 'natural covering'.
For the record, the most recent win by a non-standard horse belongs to Albionking Espolon, an Argentinian import who won at Georgian Downs on July 12, 2011. Albionking Espolon was sired by Mumbo King a US-registered standardbred (happens to be his only foal) and the dam was Damir Pats Espata (a standardbred mix) who was sired by Pat's Brat. His last race was a eighth place finish in a nw9000cd race at Pocono Downs.
Doing a little research on my own, Albionking Espolon had twelve victories in Argentina earning a whopping $3,220 (after conversion). Since he has been racing in North America, he has acquired a North American record of 11-6-1-0 with a lifetime mark of 1:53.1 at Hoosier Park earning a total of $19,050 in North America and a combined $22,270 if you include his earnings in his native Argentina. Amongst the tracks he has won at is Hoosier Park, Tioga Downs, and the previously mentioned Georgian Downs.
Actually, according to the USTA rules, any horse may be registered as non-standard as long as the sire is a registered horse of some breed and you can provide the name of the sire and dam. (Rule 26 Section 3).
Did you know that the USTA only recognizes the stud books of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and France? A standardbred from Spain, Argentina or any other country; even if a full standardbred must be registered non-standard.