Sin­tra siz­zles in mem­o­rable Mead­ow­lands per­for­mance

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - Hjhowe@rogers.com

Ev­ery year the rac­ing land­scape is dot­ted with a hand­ful of truly bril­liant per­for­mances, and not nec­es­sar­ily be­cause of the times of the par­tic­u­lar ef­forts.

Case in point was last Satur­day night’s ef­fort by lo­cally owned Sin­tra in the $240,000 Graduate Se­ries at the Mead­ow­lands in New Jersey. He did not just beat the best field of four-year-old horses in rac­ing but thumped them run­ning away from the field to win by nearly five lengths in a sparkling 1:47.2 time.

This per­for­mance proved that Sin­tra is one who has suc­cess­fully made the tran­si­tion from three to four years of age, an ac­com­plish­ment that not all horses make. It’s a bit like mov­ing the bar from be­ing a Na­tional Hockey League player to be­com­ing a se­ri­ous con­trib­u­tor on a Stan­ley Cup win­ning team. But it comes as no great sur­prise to Cam­bridge trainer Dave Me­nary.

“He was a very good three-year-old last sea­son but just could not beat Bet­ting Line. Bet­ting Line is re­tired to stud but this horse has taken ad­van­tage of the fact he did not have many life­time starts at two and three,” says Me­nary, from Stephen­son’s Train­ing Cen­tre at Copetown.

“He is very ver­sa­tile with all the tools to be this kind of horse. The last two years he did not lose a pound with all the tough rac­ing and look­ing like that again, knock on wood. He is a very low key horse at home and is a good do­ing horse. That means a lot.”

With that vic­tory, Sin­tra pushed his sea­sonal earn­ings to $234,000 for own­ers Brad Gray of Dun­das, Mike Guer­riero and Me­nary. Life­time, the geld­ing has $537,000 banked since be­ing pur­chased for $22,000 as a year­ling.

The jour­ney now takes Sin­tra to Saratoga next week for the $260,000 Joe Ger­rity Pace.

“It has to be a week-to-week thing with any of these horses. We hope for the Prix d’Ete in Que­bec and the Cana­dian Pac­ing Derby at Mo­hawk Race­track, but it will all de­pend on how he is. His health is per­fect and I think he will han­dle all the tough rac­ing well while we hope to put some money in the bank. But things can change.”

On top of the ex­cel­lent start to Sin­tra’s sea­son, Me­nary de­clares that he is very op­ti­mistic about the two-year-old com­po­nent to his sta­ble.

“I’ve had a big cleanout af­ter a num­ber of three-year-olds did not make the grade. And I’m ex­cited about my ba­bies. They are just ready to roll and I’m look­ing for some good things af­ter last year not turn­ing out the way I had hoped.”

But clearly Sin­tra is the chief flag bearer for Team Me­nary. There is no hon­our or award for best rac­ing per­for­mance of the year, but if there was Sin­tra’s lat­est show­ing would have to qual­ify for strong con­sid­er­a­tion.

HAROLD HOWE

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