Sintra sizzles in memorable Meadowlands performance
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.