Kenn Beatson, a co-owner of So Much More – the millionaire mare who has achieved so much more than expected – is preparing for another thrill on Camluck Classic Night this Friday in the $50,000 Forest City Pace at The Raceway at the Western Fair District.
“We suspect there will be a lot of our friends and family out that night,” said Beatson. “It’s only 30 minutes from our farm and we couldn’t be more excited. I grew up watching every Labatt Pace, Molson Pace and now the Camluck Classic. So, to have one racing on that night in the Forest City is really special.”
Beatson co-owns So Much More, who is stabled in nearby Granton, Ont., with his father Don Beatson, who trains the mare, and his nephew Cole England. The trio purchased her from the Standardbred Canada For Sale Board just over four years ago, and the daughter of Big Jim made her first start for the Beatson barn on Camluck Classic Night in 2019. Competing in a Grassroots division of the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS), she notched her eighth career win.
Since then, she has racked up 55 additional wins, including six this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park competing at the top level in the Preferreds and Free For Alls.
“We believe and hope that she’s top notch right now. Based on all the cues and signs that she is giving us, she is in peak form right now,” said Beatson. “She is literally as strong as she has ever been this year.”
High praise when you consider the mare is coming off a season where she notched 16 wins, hit the board 29 times in 35 starts and won her second O’Brien Award as Older Pacing Mare of the Year.
In 2023, through 13 starts, she has a record of 6-3-0 and has already banked more than $145,000. She’s just a mare who loves to race and win.
“I know all horses are different, but for her, allowing her to race throughout the year allows her to thrive,” said Beatson. “She really builds off racing regularly and not taking any breaks. She doesn’t really like the time off. She goes a little crazy in the stall. She just wants to get out there and do her job.”
Since entering the Beatson barn, So Much More has taken on all levels of competition. She won the OSS Grassroots Championship as a three-year-old and has hit the board multiple times against Grand Circuit competition, including a hard fought third in the 2022 Breeders Crown.
“She thrives off the chance to race every week, or every other week, whoever we put her up against,” said Beatson. “She doesn’t care whether it's mares, boys or Grand Circuit racing. You just put her out there and she thinks she is going to war every time you put her on the racetrack and she does her thing.”
On Friday, So Much More will face stiff competition, but should be a major factor in London, Ont. She’s drawn a favourable inside post position and has Canada’s leading driver, James MacDonald, at the reins.
“How it plays out, who knows, but the two-hole is a great post position,” said Beatson. “Hopefully, she can get a really nice start. In fact, she had the two-hole when she raced there four years ago in the OSS. It should allow her to get a nice start.”
The field of eight for the Forest City Pace also includes Gias Surreal, the 2022 Forest City champion, and Raptors Won, winner of the Ontario Sired Graduate Series at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Friday is yet another chapter in the thrill of a lifetime for the Beatsons.
“It would mean a lot to us if we could be lucky enough and the horse is on her game to win a race like this at London," said Beatson. “It would be really something for us.”
Post time on Friday is 6:30 p.m. with the Forest City Pace scheduled as the 11th race, just prior to the $150,000 Camluck Classic.
To view Friday's complete harness racing entries, click the following link: Friday Entries - The Raceway at Western Fair District.
(With files from Ontario Racing; Photo L to R of Don Beatson, breeder Doug MacPhee, Kenn Beatson and Cole England)