One of the beautiful things about harness racing is it has something for everyone. Participants can chase million dollar purses, try for open stakes glory, race in the claiming ranks at their local racetrack, and a enjoy a host of possibilities in between.
In Saturday’s $225,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Super Final for three-year-old pacing fillies at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Goudawon will give Brenda Lane the chance to experience a new level of the game.
“When she won a (Gold division) this year, that was the largest purse we had ever raced for,” said Lane. “I thought I would be very nervous and stressed, but then I thought you know what, I can’t really do anything about it, and it was great fun. When she won it was like wow. So, it’s just really exciting.”
Goudawon enters the Super Final with a 2022 record of 5-0-7 from 19 starts and $161,410 in earnings. Her Gold score came in a $157,200 division at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 9.
On Saturday night Lane, a veteran horseperson with over 1100 training starts for just under $550,000 in career earnings, is entering unfamiliar territory as she guns for Super Final success.
“I have never had a horse like this before,” said Lane. “It has been so great. I remember the night she won her Gold; we knew she had to have a trip to win, and it just worked out in our favour, but that’s horse racing too. On the way home we were just saying I still can’t believe that she won it.”
Lane and her husband Mark bred Goudawon out of their retired Camluck racemare Keystone Samurai, and they co-own the daughter of Betterthancheddar with their son, Anthony.
Residents of Roseneath, Ont., the Lanes purchased Keystone Samurai during her nine-year-old season and campaigned her primarily at nearby Kawartha Downs until she was 12, retiring her in 2017 with 248 starts and $169,136 in earnings.
When they downsized their farm, she was the mare they decided to keep.
“She was just such a nice mare to be around,” said Lane. “When we picked one that we wanted to keep, she was just personality wise amazing, and the fact she is a Camluck mare, she was the one we kept. Then being a Camluck mare we decided to breed her.”
Goudawon is the second foal out of Keystone Samurai, after Goudawon’s full-brother Havartiwon in 2018. The Lane’s racing stable currently consists of those two siblings, and Keystone Samurai makes their broodmare band a solo act.
Lane was on the farm when Goudawon foaled out and has enjoyed every step of her OSS success. Last season, she won at the Grassroots level, and she has a Grassroots win, and a pair of Gold thirds to go along with her top-level victory this year.
“We’ve had a lot of interest in people trying to buy her from us, right from when she was two and we kind of decided no, we just want to keep her,” said Lane. “It’s unexpected, because when we breed for them, we just want a nice racehorse, and this is like something you dream of.”
Goudawon is in tough on Saturday night, as she races for the biggest purse of her career. The Murray Brethour trainee has drawn post nine in the field of ten and will face off against 2021 O’Brien Award winner Prohibition Legal, who headlines a trio of Millar Farms homebreds with five Gold division victories between them this year. Bob McClure will be in the race bike.
“If she gets the right trip, she is competitive,” said Lane. “With the right trip any of them can win the race, that’s the way I look at it. Some of the fillies can get a harder trip and win, but most of the fillies in there, I figure they are all the type of horses you don’t want to race against.”
Saturday night will be a family affair for the Lanes. The wife, husband, and son ownership partners will be joined by Lane’s daughter Amanda Riley, and her husband Tom Riley. Tom recently earned the 2022 training title at Kawartha Downs.
“I just think it’s going to be a great night,” said Lane. “You have lots of owners that come and it’s kind of what everyone strives for when you’re racing and going into stakes races. It is going to be very exciting.”