The buzz at Assiniboia Downs these days is that Theglow, a Chad Torevell-trained chestnut colt, just might be the local three-year-old to capture the $75,000 one-and-one-eighth mile Manitoba Lotteries Derby on Aug. 3.
Of course, there are all those out-of-town horses which have yet to be named, and his major competition Secret Officer, trained by Don Schnell, may have something to say about that too.
On Tuesday, Secret Officer and jockey Mike Iammarino came into the race off a heated battle with Theglow in the Golden Boy Stakes, where he finished second. This time Secret Officer was unpressured throughout and opened up seven lengths at the wire.
Theglow's bandwagon may be getting full, but Torevell and owners Mandy McDonald and Barry Arnason are playing everything very close to the vest. "One thing I've learned in this game is if you get too optimistic, there are so many things that can go wrong," said Arnason Thursday. "I don't want to say what can happen because then it will happen, but so far everything has worked out beautifully."
Rohan Singh was on Theglow when he won the Golden Boy Stakes on June 3. He was in the saddle again on June 19 when he ran away from the field over seven-and-a-half furlongs, to finish seven lengths ahead of Star Power.
"He's an easy horse to ride," said Singh. "He pretty much does what he's asked to, but it is still a learning process with him. Locally, yes, it looks like he's the boss around here but that race is still two months away and in horse racing that's a long time. That's forever."
Before they start counting their chickens, Torevell, McDonald and Arnason want to see if all their eggs are going to hatch, which means waiting to see how Theglow does over one-and-1/16 miles in the $30,000 Harry Jeffrey Memorial on July 11. "I'm going to take it one race at a time," said Torevell. "We're going see how he comes out of that race. He is preparing well for it, and if he continues on that path then (the Manitoba Derby) is a possibility. You always hope to have a horse that can compete in the Derby and as of right now, he's my best chance."
"Not enough, obviously," said McDonald when asked what she paid for Theglow, out of Five Star Day-Just for the Money by Mystery Storm. "I just think we got lucky, and the horse turned into an athlete. You're always taking a chance when you buy babies (two-year-olds). You never know how they are going to turn out, but he surprised us all."
"Chad has got him in great shape right now," said Arnason, adding that he was lucky to buy into McDonald's investment. "Hopefully he will continue to improve, because each trip this horse is getting better."
"Oh definitely," added McDonald. "He's prospered by being in Chad's barn. They've done a lot of work with this horse, so we're very happy."
"I train each one of my horses different," explained Torevell. "With him, we go really slow and longer in his gallops because when I do breeze him he breezes quite fast."
'It looks like he's the boss around here, but that race is still two months away and in horse racing that's a long time. That's forever'
-- jockey Rohan Singh on Theglow