It’s a Sweet Lou – Harnesslink
The 13 co-owners of exciting young pacer Never Ending owe a debt of gratitude to Boyanup harness racing trainer Justin Prentice, who was so captivated by the beauty of the Sweet Lou colt at the 2021 APG Perth Yearling Sale that he paid $75,000 to buy him.
Never Ending is undefeated after four starts and looks certain to become a standout performer. He increased his winnings to $79,985 when he took a stunning victory in the $100,000 Group 1 Hoist Torque Australia Pearl Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night (August 26).
“He was a beautiful horse and he was my favorite colt at sales,” Prentice said after Gary Hall Jnr rode $1.30 favorite Never Ending to an impressive victory over his stablemate and a second $4 Valedictorian to give Prentice a quinella result. after his quinella in the Pearl Classic 2019 with Manning and Aristocratic Star.
valedictorian (Art major) was bought by Prentice for $40,000 at 2021 sales, and he’s now had seven starts for four wins and two second-place finishes at stakes of $122,928 for the No. 20 Trotsynd syndicate.
“I had never had a horse from the American stallion Sweet Lou, but he was such a beautiful colt that I decided to buy him,” Prentice said. “And I also had success with other stimulators bred by Steve Johnson who were closely tied to Never Ending – Know When To Run (27 starts for ten wins, 12 rankings and $118,678) and Major Martini (20 starts for ten wins, seven placings and $322,483).
“Tonight was really easy for Never Ending, as it probably should be when you have a chance of $1.20. It was more of a relief than anything. I’m obviously thrilled to have the result, and so was the quinella. And the other rider in the stable, Rolling Fire, was an unlucky fifth. He didn’t get a clear course and raced over the line.
“The valedictorian run has been massive, sitting in the breeze and going those times. He and Never Ending will both be set for the Westbred Classic at $225,000 on September 16, while Rolling Fire will target the Golden Slipper at $150,000 on September 30.
“Never Ending is an exciting horse that is still learning what it’s all about.”
Never Ending is the eighth foal of Endless Journey, who had nine starts at two and three in 2006 and 2007 for two placings. Endless Journey also has the distinction of being the dam of Isaiah Artois, winner of the Pearl of the two-year-old in June 2014 before being abandoned with a record of 26 starts for nine wins, six places and stakes of $117,351. .
Another of the Endless Journey colts, Mandy Joan won the Group 3 Daintys Daughter Classic at Pinjarra in July 2019, and she earned $168,564 from 13 wins and 15 placings from 59 starts. It’s also worth noting that Endless Journey’s great-grandmother Stormy Port produced Albuqerque, winners of the South Australian and Tasmanian Derbys in 1994 before being retired with a record 35 starts for 15 wins, ten placings and $322,630.
Friday night’s win gave Hall her fourth Pearl Classic success, following victories with Itsallabout Nicole (2009), Go West U Terror (2010) and Swagga (2013).
Never Ending started from barrier three on Friday night and was unwavered by Hall as Crowd Control (Kim Prentice) won the start but couldn’t get past polesitter Lucapelo, who led for the first 400 yards before Hall sent Never Ending up front, with Valedictorian, three wide early, moving on the breeze.
After a modest delay of 38sec. and opening quarters of 30.2sec. and 29.5 sec. Never Ending sprinted the final 400m sections in 28.4 seconds. and 27.9 sec. to win by a length and a half at a rate of 1.56.3. Valedictorian battled for second, a lead ahead of Crowd Control, who finished strong after taking advantage of the track one out and one back all the way.
FOOTNOTE: Sweet Lou had 115 starters in Australia for 72 winners according to Harness Racing Australia records, with his offspring earning over $2.4 million.
For full race results, Click here.
by Ken Casellas for Gloucester Park