Sage advice from the late Ern Manea, a former Bunbury mayor, WATA president and successful breeder and owner, led astute trainer Kim Prentice to buying a yearling in New Zealand who has developed into a smart performer in Western Australia.
The pacer in question is six-year-old Extradite, who boosted his earnings to $94,244 when he notched his twelfth victory with an easy win in the 2130m DTS Security Fence Specialists Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The unusual twist to this story is that it was a background in trotting, not pacing, that swayed Prentice to outlay $20,000 (New Zealand dollars) to buy Extradite, who is now raced by him along with six others, including genial harness racing devotees Max Grynberg and Bill Paterson.
“I had gone to New Zealand for the 2016 yearling sales in Christchurch and was staying at Dave Butt’s place,” Prentice said. “I didn’t buy one at the sales, and Davey told me that there was a Washington VC colt in the paddock who had not been entered for the sales.
“So, I went to have a look at him and picked him because he had a real strong trotting background and was related to the former champion trotter Lyell Creek. Ernie Manea told me many moons ago that if you wanted to pick a good horse you should make sure that he’s got good trotting blood because they’re tough.
“Extradite has developed into a good pacer who is more fast than tough.” Indeed, Extradite revealed his normal brilliance on Friday night when he was driven in fine style by 20-year-old Corey Peterson.
Extradite, favourite at $1.90, was first out from the No. 1 barrier and led for the first 300m before Lindsay harper sent $20 chance Thereugo to the front. Peterson then made a snap decision to abandon the sit behind the frontrunning Thereugo and he dashed Extradite to the front 100m later.
From then on, it was a procession and Extradite gave his rivals little chance by sprinting over the final quarters in 28.6sec. and 27.9sec. He won at a 1.56.3 rate by just under two lengths from the $6.50 chance Rock Me Over, who fought on gamely after working in the breeze.
Peterson said that he was not surprised that Thereugo challenged for the lead. “I thought he would keep pressing, and that’s why I let him go,” he said. “But then I decided I would drive Extradite as the best horse and he won easily.”
Peterson has a fine record in the sulky behind Extradite, having driven the gelding ten times for five wins, three seconds and two thirds.
Extradite is the ninth foal out of Falcon Del, whose half-sister Kahlum produced the mighty trotter Lyell Creek, who earned $2,961,137 from 56 wins and 26 placings from 113 starts early this century.
Lyell Creek, who set an Australasian record of 15 group 1 victories, also raced with great success in Europe (winning in Denmark and Sweden) and in North America.
He raced ten times in Australia for nine wins and one second when at his final start in the country, at Moonee Valley on December 18, 2004, he finished a half-head second to Gold N Gold in the Group 1 Australia Trotters Grand Prix. Earlier, he had won the $500,000 Inter Dominion Trotters Championship at Moonee Valley in February 2000, and a year later won the Dullard Cup and Australian Trotters Championship at Moonee Valley.
By Ken Casellas