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Goldencents, a race horse with Manitoba roots, has a chance this year to become the Eclipse Award winner as top three-year-old male horse in thoroughbred racing.
Both his mother and grandmother were from Manitoba and both raced at the
"Golden Works (Goldencents’ mom), wasn’t that good; she ran in the lowest level of racing and won only a couple of races. But Body Works, (Goldencents’ grandma), was very talented, winning around $250,000. In Manitoba and in the mid-’90s that’s huge," said Rob MacLennan, paddock host at Assiniboia Downs.
Golden Works was owned by Philip Kives of K-Tel, the "as seen on TV" product innovator. He owns K-5 Stable, where Golden Works was raised. Leona Stahl, K-5 Stable farm manager, raised Golden Works.
"She wasn’t a race horse by any means, she was a nervous filly. She was a big mare and her son looks a lot like her, except she didn’t have the stripe down her face," Stahl said.
Kives sold Golden Works for $7,000. Her new owners bred her and she gave birth to Goldencents, who has already won over $2 million. Kives doesn’t regret the sale.
"We have talked about it before and he doesn’t regret it; breeding sometimes just comes down to luck," Stahl says. "Phil’s a very competitive man. His dream has always been to breed a million-dollar race horse."
A year ago Stahl found out about Goldencents when she read an article on him while she was in the United States.
"‘I’ll be damned’ I said; I only realized the connection because I recognized the name of the mare. I called Phil and told him to look it up. I don’t think he believed me at first," Stahl says.
MacLennan says the local horse racing community is excited to have a horse with a Manitoba connection become such a success.
"Even though he wasn’t bred in Manitoba, the fact that a Manitoba mare was able to produce such a successful foal is a sign of hope for our local industry," MacLennan said.
The Eclipse Award winners are sponsored by three racing industry groups — the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters. Winners are selected at the end of each calendar year and announced every January. Even though Goldencents isn’t ranked No. 1, Stahl is hopeful.
"There are a couple others who are just as good, but he’s got a shot," Stahl said.
Goldencents next races Jan. 18 at the Strub Stakes at Santa Anita, Calif.
Amber McGuckin is a community correspondent for Headingley.