Posts Tagged ‘Driving The Dragon’

The circuit of Red Shores in Prince Edward Island is small – just Charlottetown and Summerside – but the history is long and the passion is deep. And it looks like a lovely place to visit, not just for the horse racing. As it says on the Red Shores website:

The Charlottetown Driving Park first opened it doors for standardbred harness racing October 2, 1889. It’s been an amazing journey that has touched every Island community over the years. Horse racing has been a major part of our island heritage. Visitors from around the world come to Prince Edward Island to experience an island tradition and visit the Kentucky of Canada.

I’ve put it on my “wish list” although I might have to sell a horse or two to get there! But looking at views of the racetracks and surrounding town and countryside, someone from Cambridge New Zealand would feel quite at home.

Here in New Zealand, I know about Red Shores thanks to one of our much loved mares, Driving The Dragon or “Sam” as we knew her – she ended up there in August this year (2016) after being exported in March the previous year and racing for trainers Carmen Auciello at Yonkers for 2 wins in the $10k race bracket, and briefly with Rene Allard and has now thrived under the care of Canadian trainer/driver Jason Hughes (“the Blue Knight stable”) to win 6 of her 7 races to date for him, 5 in a row, the other race being a third. Sure, these are low stakes races, but she also performed superbly for Hughes in the Atlantic Mares Final run at the oldest Canadian standardbred racetrack in Summerside, just week or so ago, for a stake of $15,000, and then backed up for another win at her home track in Charlottetown. In the Atlantic Mares Final she went out about 2nd favourite, from the widest post, powered around to take the lead and never gave the others a look in. Maybe a wee holiday next for the big girl?

Driving The Dragon N

Off the gate fast from a wide drawn, Driving The Dragon swooped around to lead.

Driving The Dragon

Comes home with a wet sail. Go Sam!


That was so “Sam-ish” for those of us who watched her string of 3 wins in a row down here in New Zealand – two at the tight Manawatu track and the last one at the galloping grass track in Wairarapa, which is wide and long.

So now I have found her race replays are on Red Shores website, we’ll be watching her races with a lot of pride and support – “Go Sam!” And wishing we were up close and personal to meet the Blue Knights team and give Sam a big hug. You never know. If you are reading this Jason, get in touch.

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It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride last few of weeks, starting with yet another bold win by Driving The Dragon at the country meeting at Tauherenikau, but followed  about 10 days later by her becoming very ill and having to get transported to Hamilton vet hospital. However thanks to very prompt action by trainer Geoffrey Small and the vets involved, she not only pulled through but has recovered quickly and fully, and has now been vetted and sold to America. She flies out on Friday.

We have grown very fond of “Sam”, not just because she stepped up and did us proud (6 starts this season for 5 wins and a 2nd, and that makes her lifetime stats to date 15 starts, 5 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third, $22,394) but because she is such a willing, lovely natured, beautiful mare.

As blog readers will know, we’ve had her on the market for ages at a very reasonable amount, which never changed even after she started her winning streak. But we hardly got any interest at all. And yet Driving The Dragon is one of those horses you just love to own and trainers love to train – they pay their way, give you a thrill and they always try their best. Giving horses time to mature often pays dividends. I’d like to acknowledge the role Barry Cullen played in her education and development, and of course Geoffrey Small for “clicking” so well with the mare and bringing out her potential.

We hope she will bring the same pleasure to her new owners as she has done for us.

Driving The Dragon with Kym Kearns

Driving The Dragon gets a goodbye from owner Kym Kearns – after a week of recuperating at home the 5-win mare was ready to go back to trainer Geoffrey Small and from there will fly out to America.

Read more about Driving The Dragon here from October 2014, before she started her season of winning!

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Incredibly, we still have our lovely temperament, tough, good looking, mature mare with 4 wins from just 14 starts, for sale.

And at the same price, even though we have already made that back from her last outings. (It could have been you, and it still could be…)

Driving The Dragon wins by 3 lengths at the Cambridge workouts today.

Driving The Dragon wins by 3 lengths at the Cambridge workouts.

She is a really nice, genuine mare who has been give time to strengthen up after qualifying as a 2yo. She showed this ability early, as blogs have indicated. This is no “flash in the pan”.

She’s from a family that throws up a very, very classy individuals (think Napoleon, Christopher Vance).

Her wins to date have been at Manawatu – a tighter turning track where she has been parked wide at times – and she has coped with that type of track so well. She’s shown toughness and speed.

The asking price is NZ $15,000.

Buy her now – the price remains the same until she races again –  please contact Garrick Knight as agent or myself Bee Pears at bee.raglan@xtra.co.nz


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Today’s Ashburton race meeting was a beauty in terms of quality fields and exciting finishes.

But for Kym and me the lower level race meeting at Manawatu yesterday was just as exciting, because we had “Sam” racing again, and winning again!
There’s nothing like the thrill of seeing your horse cross that line, whatever level it is at.

For Driving The Dragon, it was a double for the Manawatu meeting, both wins quite dominating, and both as a hot favourite.
But the races were won quite differently – the one on Thursday from the front, and the one yesterday with the sweeping run wide that we are more familiar with from her workouts last season.

As a 5yo big, strong mare with only 11 runs, 2 wins and 2 places to her name, she’s got to be good value. She’s got quality about her – so if you are interested in buying her, don’t be shy!
You might as well get the wins rather than us… The price won’t stay the same if she keeps showing this sort of promise.

For those who might even look at her as a future breeding prospect, consider this: She comes from the same maternal family as yesterday’s other eye-catching winner at Manawatu, the Real Desire mare Voluntad. They both have Miranda Star as their fourth dam. She was a great broodmare, producing 7 winners from 13 foals, and one of those foals was Disco Girl, dam of the great Christopher Vance.  Driving The Dragon’s dam is a half to the very good Napoleon and the ultra consistent Alert Motoring.


Driving the Dragon with Kym Kearns

Owner Kym Kearns with “Sam” aka Driving The Dragon.

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Our nice mare “Sam” aka Driving the Dragon had a lovely first up win at Manawatu meeting just now.

So proud of her, as we have let her have heaps of time since she qualified nicely as a 2yo. As Kym says, the Sutter Hanovers will do better if not pushed.

Now she is big and strong, and Geoffrey Small has got her racing comfortably, even at the tricky Manawatu racetrack. Luckily she had a good draw, but you had the feeling she was doing it easily right from the start.

Although, as we all know, you never take anything for granted in racing!

David Butcher had her running quietly to the line.

We were not so quiet as she did so  lol

There seemed to be more in the tank.

Yes, she is on the market for sale, as we are not in the racing side of things.



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Blog followers may remember Driving The Dragon (“Sam”) from previous blogs. She is now a 5yo mare but qualified as a 2yo and has always shown a lot of potential. She has only 9 race day starts. We had her on the market in April but a deal fell through at the last moment, so we decided to change tack – put her out for a good break and then jogged her up and sent her to Geoffrey Small so we could get a real line on her.

Things look good – this morning was only her second workout, and she has won both times. This morning’s win was a very clear cut 3 lengths (see photo) and she did is easily in 2.47.7, 58.5 last half and 28.1 last quarter. Both trainer Geoff and driver David Butcher were very happy with the run and like the mare. She’s matured into a lovely strong type with a good attitude.

She is on the market again, same price $15,000. Contact me on 027 2806569 or Kym Kearns, the owner, on 07 8274925. No lease agreements please.

She’s a good sized, talented maiden mare that will pay that back quickly and go on with it.

Driving The Dragon wins by 3 lengths at the Cambridge workouts today.

Driving The Dragon wins by 3 lengths at the Cambridge workouts today.

Driving The Dragon 5yo mare at Cambridge workouts 18 October.

Driving The Dragon 5yo mare at Cambridge workouts 18 October.

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