Canadian Standouts Set For Scioto Visit
So Much More is another year older, and perhaps even another year better.
Already a two-time O’Brien Award winner, the seven-year-old female pacer went the quickest mile of her career — 1:49.1 — just a month ago to win a Preferred for fillies and mares at Woodbine Mohawk Park. She has nine victories in 19 starts this season after winning 16 times in 2022, a total that tied for second most among all pacers in North America.
She has faced male rivals 10 times this year at the Preferred/FFA level at Mohawk, winning three of those races and finishing second on four occasions.
“I think she’s as good as she’s ever been right now,” said Don Beatson, an Ontario native who trains and co-owns So Much More with his son Kenn and grandson Cole England. “She’s been pretty tough. We’ve [raced the boys] on a pretty regular basis; you’ve got to go with the races you can get. But it’s been fine. She’s treated us very good.”
On Saturday, So Much More will race outside of Canada for the first time in her 144-race career when she competes in the $100,000 Cleopatra Invitational for older female pacers at Scioto Downs in Ohio. She will start from post six with driver Aaron Merriman and is 4-1 on the morning line. Grace Hill is the 3-2 favourite in the field of eight.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” said Beatson. “It will be a good race.”
So Much More was scheduled to race in the U.S. in 2021 when the Breeders Crown was hosted by The Meadowlands, but after receiving a bye to the Mare Pace final, she was scratched from the event because of sickness.
“We were all set to go, we were all keyed up for that,” said Beatson. “It was very disappointing.”
She got to compete in last year’s Breeders Crown final at Mohawk, where she finished third. So Much More also has finished third in three Roses Are Red finals during her career, including this year’s final in June. That race was won by Grace Hill.
For her career, the daughter of Big Jim-Ladysai has hit the board 113 times and earned $1.47 million in purses.
“Most of them level off, but she’s seven now and just keeps going,” said Beatson. “We’re not surprised that she can beat horses and she can go with the boys, but the fact she keeps doing what she’s doing, the way she performs week after week, is a bit surprising.
“I don’t know how she does it; I guess she’s built that way. She’s got a good heart, good lungs, she’s still sound. And she looks forward to racing. She loves to load up and go.”
The Cleopatra is part of a 16-race Scioto card that also includes the $100,000 #SendItIn Invitational for older male pacers. The event features another Canadian visitor, Linedrive Hanover, who is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line behind 5-2 favourite Charlie May.