Almost everyone knows Somebeachsomewhere, the Hall of Fame’s first equine inductee, for his speed and his wins, but he’s much more than that to Brent MacGrath and his family. The Standardbred pacer was a friend, a family member, and the realization of a dream.
MacGrath was walking through the barns, at the 2006 Lexington sale, looking for a yearling he could race in Ontario stakes, when he first saw Somebeachsomewhere. The Mach Three- Where’s the Beach colt, who had been bred by Stephanie Smith-Rothaug of Rail’s Edge Farm, West Jefferson, Ohio, was at the top of MacGrath’s list that afternoon. He was also listed as the first to enter the sales ring that evening. Because it was the day of the Kentucky Futurity filly races, not many people arrived at the auction early, which was fortunate for MacGrath, who purchased Beach for $40,000. MacGrath had purchased the horse for a group he was part of, called Schooner Stable. Other members were Pam Dean, Stu Rath, Garry Pye, Reg Pettipas and Jamie Bagnell.
MacGrath brought the horse to Truro Raceway, in Bible Hill, where he jogged and trained him himself. After qualifying at Truro Raceway, Beach headed to Ontario in 2007.
In his first race, he set a Grand River Raceway track record, of 1:54.2, for two-year-olds, and people began approaching MacGrath to see if he was willing to sell him. He wouldn’t even consider it.
With Paul MacDonell driving, Beach won all six of his starts that year, and set a two-year-old record of 1:49.3. The wins, and records (including tying the all-age world record of 1:46.4) continued during his three-year-old season.
After that, Beach retired to stud, with his new home being Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania. He was syndicated, but Schooner Stable retained majority ownership. MacGrath and his family would travel to visit him two or three times a year, always taking him carrots. Beach passed away from Cancer on January 14, 2018, at the age of 13, and was buried at Hanover Shoe Farms.
• World record for fastest mile by a three-year-old
• Fastest race mile in harness-racing history
• Defeated only once in two years
• Canadian Sportsman Horse of the Decade
• Canadian Sportsman Newsmaker of the Year
• Inductee to Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
• Considered greatest sire in harness racing history
• Sired winners of $84.6m
• World record for fastest mile by a two-year-old