'The Beach' is sick

Doug Harkness
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Harness racing star headed to Hanover Shoe Farm

World champion Somebeachsomewhere has been scratched from Monday nights elimination heat of the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs in Delaware because he has a fever.

Trainer Brent MacGrath says the three-year-old stallion contracted a virus over the weekend.

He is really not feeling well. said MacGrath, who said he regretted he had to scratch the horse.

We had been looking forward to his last two scheduled starts in the Matron, but thats not going to happen. said MacGrath, who said it was not unusual for horses to contract the virus at the end of a long, strenuous season.

By missing the elimination heat, Somebeachsomewhere would not be eligible to race in the final.

Macgrath said Somebeachsomewhere was being treated by a veterinarian at the New York area farm of trainer Mark Ford. Plans to take the stallion to Hanover Shoe farm to prepare for a career at stud were on hold until he recovers from the illness.

The horse was reported to have had a temperature of 102 degrees.

Somebeachsomewhere had drawn Post 4 in his six-horse elimination division of the Matron Stake.

Santanna Blue Chip, co-owned and trained by Wallace, N. S. native Carl Jamieson, drew the rail in the other division.

Ironically, Somebeachsomewhere ended his sensational sophomore season like he started it, with a scratch. A bruised foot resulted in the colt being scratched from his first race at Woodbine in May.

MacGrath issued the following statement on Monday morning.

"Our decision to race Beach in the Matron was based on his strong performance at the Meadowlands, the way he finished the mile, and the way he came out of the race. He was sharp, feeling so strong, that we decided to add the Matron before shipping him to Hanover Shoe farms.

However plans change. Beach is not feeling 100% and we need to listen. It would not be in Beach's best interest to race him when he is not at his best. We were looking forward to Dover, to have Beach race on a 5/8's track, and to give his American fans one more opprotunity to see him race, but right now we are doing what is best for Beach.

Our plan is to stay on at the Mark Ford training centre untill Beach is ready for travel, hopefully in a couple of days, then Rhonda and I will head over to Hanover, deliver Beach to his new home, then on to Nova Scotia. It will be a day of mixed emotions, it will be hard to say goodbye...but it will good to get home.

Geographic location: New York, Hanover, Nova Scotia

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