Posts Tagged ‘Cam’s Card Shark’

Cover of Standardbreds Old Friends book

Cover of Standardbreds Old Friends book

Some months ago I saw this book advertised in Harness Update newsletter, and ordered a copy from America.

That’s not a cheap exercise when you have to pay virtually the same again to ship it out, but wow! it was worth it.

It is a beautifully produced hardback book of over 200 pages, with sensational photos by Barbara D. Livingston and stories by Ellen Harvey. The subjects of each chapter are a standardbred racing horse who is now living in happy retirement – their story and photos of their current life.

Time passes….and some have already died, the most well known being Matts Scooter who is given a wonderful write up in this book, and Cam’s Card Shark likewise.

Other well known standardbreds in retirement are also in the book – CR Kay Suzie, Jate Lobell, Lady Ashlee Ann, Lilting Laughter, Mack Lobell, Moni Maker, Three Mile Island amongst them. But there are many others less well known but good performers with a great story to tell. I haven’t read all of them yet – I’m a slow reader and to be honest I want this book to last a long time.

I am not sure if copies are still available, but if you love reading about and seeing photos of great race horses and broodmares being well looked after in older age, then it’s worth considering buying a copy or sharing one between friends.

You order it online – Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame Gift Catalogue = and all the proceeds of the sale go to help defray their day-to-day expenses.

Try to click here to get straight to the book or here to reach the overall website for the Harness Racing Museum USA.


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Bettor’s Delight – outstanding siring son of Cam’s Card shark

Just announced by Hanover Shoe Farms today – Cam’s Card Shark has been retired from stud duties.

Interesting to see what a strong sire line that has become.

Will it be continued with Bettor’s Delight leaving a great siring son? We’ll have to wait and see. I’ve blogged on that before and it is quite intriguing.

Hanover shoe Farms has also done a deal to stand at stud there:

Myron Bell, the racing manager of the outstanding pacing colt Captaintreacherous and Jim Simpson, President of Hanover Shoe Farms today announced that an agreement has been reached for the great son of Somebeachsomewhere to stand at stud at Harness Racing’s greatest breeding farm beginning with the season of 2015.

Present plans call for “The Captain” to continue racing for the duration of 2013 and through the entire racing season of 2014.



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2012 Little Brown Jug winner Michaels Power had all the racing and pedigree credentials to win the Little Brown Jug but flew a little under the radar, mainly I think because he has predominantly raced in Canada and therefore has not been in the face of the US fans (particularly the New Jersey/New York scene)  in the same way that Rocknroll Dance and Bolt The Duer were. Likewise for me it was Michaels who? and quite a bit of googling to find out more.

Taking nothing away from the horse, he made the most of great draws in both heats and used his great early speed to get and keep the lead in the final, while Rocknroll Dance, for example, was parked out (as we call it) by Sweet Lou on that 25.5 blistering first quarter, and then caught three back on the rail for much of the rest of the race. Others were forced to come wide – Bettor’s Edge showing guts to move up wide to take third. Bolt The Duer was scratched from the final.

Michaels Power was a bit of a “dark horse”, accumulating reputation and money mainly in Canada’s top age races and outside the main limelight, but proving to be consistent and very, very smart. As trainer  Casie Coleman is quoted as saying:

“Up until we won the Confederation Cup and entered the Jug, this horse got absolutely no press whatsoever,” said Coleman. “I have never seen a horse make a million dollars so quietly.”

Of most interest to me was discovering that Michaels Power’s grandam Jef’s Magic Trick is the dam of Cam’s Card Shark. What a family this is turning out to be!

Michaels Power’s dam is the Artsplace mare Michelles Jackpot who won $695,439, and is a half sister to Cam’s Card Shark. She’s a 100 per cent producer, including two other $500,000-plus winners — American-bred Michaels Marvel, who banked $810,412, and Camluck daughter Michelles Power, who earned $1.38 million in her career. So Michaels Power is not flash in the pan.

Jef’s Magic Trick is setting up a very nice reputation:

JEFS MAGIC TRICK p, 2, 2:02f -’81 ($28,340) 2 wins, by B GS BUNNY p, 3, 1:54. From 14 foals, dam of 10 winners(3 in 1:53, 5 in 1:55, 8 in 1:57, 9 in 1:59) including-
CAMS CARD SHARK (h, Cam Fella) p, 2, 1:55.2, 3, 1:50 -’94 ($2,498,204) 20 wins.
MICHELLES JACKPOT (m, Artsplace) p, 2, 1:54.4f -’96 ($695,439) 9 wins. Winner of 1996 HTA Nova Award for Two Year Old Pacing Fillies and 1996 USHWA Dan Patch Award for Two Year Old Pacing Fillies. At 2, winner of Breeders Crown elim at Mohawk, Int’l Stallion S. div at The Red Mile, Lou Babic Memorial final at Freehold, Molly Pitcher S. div at Freehold, Three Diamonds S. elim at Garden State Park, final at Garden State Park; second in Breeders Crown final at Mohawk, Sweetheart Pace elim at The Meadowlands; third in Bluegrass S. at The Red Mile, La Paloma S. final at Yonkers, Lou Babic Memorial elim at Freehold. At 3, winner of NJSS div at Freehold, div at The Meadowlands; second in Lady Maud S. elim at Yonkers, Miss NJ S. elim at The Meadowlands, final at The Meadowlands; third in Nadia Lobell S. elim at Garden State Park, NJSS div at Freehold, final at The Meadowlands, Tarport Hap S. leg at The Meadowlands. Dam of-

  • MICHELLES POWER p, 2, 1:52.2s, 3, 1:50.1s -’07 ($1,287,400).
  • MICHAELS POWER p, 2, 1:55.2s, 3, 1:49.2s -’12 ($1,196,056).
  • MICHAELS MARVEL p, 2, 1:53.1, 3, 1:52.2, 1:49.3f -’07 ($794,068).
  • MILLIONAIRE CAM p, 2, 1:51.2s -’08 ($177,494).
  • LUCKY JACKPOT p, 2, 1:57.2s, 3, 1:55s -’04 ($146,573).
  • ROCKNROLL JACKPOT p, 3, 1:56.4h, 4, 1:54.4h -’11 ($53,524).
  • BIGTIME JACKPOT p, 2, 2:00.1f, 1:59.4f -’09 ($31,148).
  • MICHELLES PRAYER p, 2, 1:57s -’07 ($28,518).
  • MIKES JACKPOT p, 3, Q1:57.4s -’03 ($19,204).
  • MICHELLES LOVE p, 2, 2:03h, 3, 1:57.2f -’02 ($17,602).
  • Alexas Jackpot. Now 2.

CAMS MAGIC TRICK (h, Cam Fella) p, 2, 1:55f, 3, 1:52.4f -’93 ($469,899) 13 wins.
DIRECT CURRENT (h, Direct Scooter) p, 2, 1:58.1, 3, 1:57f, 1:54.2 -’90 ($378,403) 32 wins. Exported to Ireland.
BRITTS BEST (g, Troublemaker) p, 3, Q1:56.1f -’89 ($221,381) 17 wins.
CAMS TRICKSTER (h, Cam Fella) p, 2, 1:56.3, 3, 1:52.2 ($59,350) 8 wins. At 3, winner of Trendsetter II Series div at The Meadowlands.
MAGIC OF MICHELLE (m, Presidential Ball) p, 3, 1:56f -’02 ($17,514) 4 wins. As Above.
TWIST IN THE WIND (h, Storm Damage) p, 3, 2:00h, 4, 1:57.3f -’96 ($16,584) 9 wins.
Colonels Orderly (h, Direct Scooter) p, ($9,927).
ARTS CARD TRICK (h, Artsplace) p, 2, Q2:04.1h, 3, 1:56.2 -’04 ($5,657) 3 wins.
Cam Magic (m, Cam Fella) p, 2, 2:06.2h, 3, 2:04.1h ($3,639) 2 wins.
Michelles Destiny (m, Artsplace) p, ($408).
Carta Final (m, Camluck)
Feel The Wind (g, Storm Damage) p, 2, 1:54.3. At 2, second in NY Fair S. div at The Syracuse Mile; third in NYSS div at Monticello. At 3, third in NYSS div at Monticello.

In his chapter on Cam’s Card Shark, John Bradley (Modern Pacing Sire Lines, 1999) has this to say about Jef’s Magic Trick and her maternal line:

Cam’s Card Shark comes from the maternal family known as Macketta or Maud (by Trombone). This family has several major branches and they seem to be improving over time, especially in this one particular branch that includes Cam’s Card Shark. …The B.G.’s Bunny mare Jef’s Magic Trick….has been an incredible producer with six sub-1.55 performers and five $200,000 winners among her nine winners from 10 foals.

Bradley goes on to point out three of her top sons were by Cam Fella

But this mare has also proved she can do it without Cam Fella, which means, to me, that she is a very prepotent mare.

Bradley notes that

The stallion Overtrick may be playing a significant part in the success of this cross [with Cam Fella]. His daughters proved to be outstanding broodmares and were particularly effective when bred to Albatross. Jef’s Magic Trick is the result of a son of Albatross [B.G.’s Bunny] being crossed with an Overtrick mare. Another interesting example of crossing Cam Fella with mares carrying Overtrick blood is the fastest Standardbred ever, Cambest… whose third dam is by Overtrick.

Michaels Power is a son of Camluck, so the family’s successful link with the Cam Fella line continues. Camluck (a Canadian based sire) also brings to the match a very strong  maternal line, with a dam who was a very tough fast race mare and a forgotten grandamsire Truluck who was a very successful 2yo star himself.

For those readers who have kept with me on this rather long analysis of this Little Brown Jug winner, you may well be thinking – ah yes, but what about the failure at stud of Cam’s Card Shark’s brother, Cam’s Trickster, who stood at stud in New Zealand from 1993 to 2000 for the final tally of 164 winners from over 600 foals as a sire, (but perhaps a little more impressively can claim 77 winners to date as a damsire, seeing many owners would not have kept or bred his mares to top stallions).

Yes, it is another example of excellent families with brothers or half brothers that perform so well on the track but where perhaps only one can make the transition as a successful sire in his own right. Check out the articles Ray Chaplin and I wrote about Rich N Elegant’s famous sons at stud as another example. The transition depends on many factors, including the broodmare gene pool the stud can access – and maybe in the era that Cam’s Trickster stood here he did not have access to the number of quality mares that his brother (in fact brothers) did in North America. Looking at the list of broodmare sires of Cam Trickster’s progeny, we may still have been putting our tough, heavier built mares to him when, as I have said previously Cam Fella line sires need constant injection of speed genes.  But more likely, it is also a fact that a prepotent sire is a rare beast, and full brothers do not share identical genetic, temperamental or physical attributes – they are not clones.

So Cam’s Trickster’s failure at stud is neither exceptional nor unexpected (in hindsight).  And it appears some of his mares are proving reasonable broodmares when given a chance with quality compatible sires.

However Cam’s Trickster’s full brother Cam’s Card Shark is, of course, a different story. His success as a sire of racehorses and in future as a sire of sires is gathering momentum.

Check out his impressive list of $1million plus progeny: (currently)

SHARK GESTURE $2,818,021
ROLL WITH JOE $1,805,102
VILLAGE JOLT $1,634,220
SHARKY SPUR $1,004,618

Some are already making it as sires. Shark Gesture was available in New Zealand last season (2012) at Wai Eyre Farm and served 57 mares but isn’t back again this year – his early crops are showing signs of success. Four Starzzz Shark has been available here as frozen semen for a few years but only had a very small number of foals and is doing ok in the US but also with small numbers; Riverboat King stood here for some years and is a sire that probably was oversold on the speed he had himself and therefore may have fallen into the same trap as other sires who attracted mares who were not contributing much in that department themselves – he is now standing in Australia and has produced some very nice performers, and in the US where his foals include the $1.8million mare Anndrovette.

But really the star for Cam’s Card Shark is Bettor’s Delight – an exceptional sire. Roll With Joe and Classic Card Shark ( classy racehorses and BD’s full brothers) are being given the opportunity to prove they can match the family credentials as sires.

Michaels Power, however, won’t have the opportunity at stud that his ‘uncle’ Cam’s Card Shark has had – because Michaels Power is a gelding.

Cam’s Card Shark himself is in his early 20’s now and in the 2012 breeding season was withdrawn from service:

“Cams Card Shark suffered a scrotal hernia. He had surgery last Tuesday (April 17) and had his right testicle and several feet of small intestine removed,” Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky explained. “He is recovering well, back to eating his full feed and we hope to bring him home to Hanover Shoe Farms tomorrow (Thursday, April 26) if he has a good night tonight.” Trot Insider has learned that Cams Card Shark will not be collected again this season, but his connections are hoping that the stud recovers completely and is able to breed in 2013.

Cam’s Card Shark is already turning up as a damsire of very good horses, including the Little Brown Jug third placegetter to Mr Feelgood, Armbro Deuce, in 2006 – now at stud.

And talking of damsires, if anyone was particularly interested in the reference to Overtrick in this blog, I am hoping to persuade New Zealand breeder Tony Dickinson to give me some of his views about this underrated damsire in a future blog.

All comments, always, welcome.

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