Horse Shows Why Owner Was Right Not to Give Up
****This is a past article about a horse that was prominent on the RUS scene and has sense passed.
For a horse that most had given up on, Glorious Winner sure is proving he still belongs on the racetrack.
Not only is the 7-year-old gelding improving his times each outing this year in harness, but he wrapped up the RUS NY season with a “glorious” victory by setting a track record.
On September 30 he took to a sloppy track after a rain delay to finish the Monticello Raceway Invitational with trainer Jocelyn Gale aboard in a time of 2:05.4. The track record was previously set by Michelle Crawford and her mare Vassar Hall two years ago with a time of 2:08.3.
Glorious’ owner, Shawn Francis Garland of Vernon New York, said she has been in the harness racing business for more than 20 years but this win was the most special.
“He won my first ever award (a silver plate trophy) and I couldn’t be prouder of him,” she said. “I had faith in him when everyone else thought he would never race again. He showed them all.”
Garland fell in love with Glorious when taking care of him for trainer Roman Lopez. She said when his owner, Mr. Cooley, found out how much she loved the horse he sent him back from Batavia for her to have. He had broken a coffin bone from racing and nobody thought he would compete again, but after a year off he was able to go back racing, Garland explained.
“I always thought he would like riding because he loves work and attention. I am beyond thrilled and proud that he not only won his final race, but set a record. I am so happy he showed everyone what I always knew he could do,” Garland added.
According to Gale, Garland was the one to break Glorious to ride. Garland was looking for a rider for the RUS Series and that is when Gale said she got connected with the horse.
The horse is currently being trained by Gale’s husband, Truman, for harness and by Gale herself for under saddle.
“Our biggest challenges were fitness,” Gale said. “We jogged and trained many miles this summer to get and keep in shape for all the races. We still have our battles for next year, hopefully becoming more manageable, but every start he progressed this year.”
Glorious raced in both the Vernon Down’s RUS Series and the 2015 RUS NY Fair Series. Gale also shipped him to Canada to race at Hiawatha Horse Park.
“This year it worked out well that many of the fair races were on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” Gale said. “It made nice blowout miles in the middle of the week for him. He seems to race great in the bike after he is trained or raced under saddle in the middle of the week.”
Gale, who has been training and racing under saddle since 2012, describes Glorious as a “powerful, high energy horse.” His “want to do it,” is what makes him so special, according to Gale.
“He truly loves doing it,” she said.
The rider said winning the Monticello Invitational and breaking a track record felt rewarding after all the hard work that was put in all summer long. She said her only game plan going into the race was to try to be on or near the front since that seems to be where Glorious is most competitive.
“I wish the track would have been in better condition as it was the first time I've tried to race him on a half mile track (with exception of fairs) and would have liked to see just how competitive he would be. He gets worked up easily so I wish there was no delay to keep him calmer,” Gale said about the invitational.
Gale and Glorious Winner (CREDIT WINNER - FOX VALLEY FLAN - VAPORIZE) beat out Ashely Eldred and Maple Grove Emily in the invitational by two lengths. Michelle Miller rode Monticello warrior Strongbow to a distant third with Jennifer Lowrey and Striking Mystery completing the field.
Garland said Glorious has been such a great gift and he continues to show everyone why he is so worth loving.
“I have taken care of so many good race horses, including Resolve a Hambletonian horse, but it means so much more to win with Glorious. Not only because I own him, but because I never gave up on him when others did,” Garland said.
Glorious’ owner said she plans to continue racing her beloved horse under saddle.
“I feel it is a wonderful sport that needs more attention and the horses love it,” she said.
“It truly shows the many ranges of sport the standardbred can handle,” Garland continued. “It has made Glorious a happier race horse. He has grown a little calmer and it has made him happy to work. He looks forward to both the bike and saddle now. With the saddle he is changing his routine, which really makes him enjoy racing in the bike more.”