Brothers enjoying fairy-tale ‘Story’

Ken Weingartner

Hightstown, NJ — Dave Clamme and his brother Paul hope this is just the beginning for Endofstory.

The brothers, who reside in Indiana, are relative newcomers to racehorse ownership, having gotten involved in harness racing only two years ago, fulfilling a bucket-list item for Dave. Endofstory, a 3-year-old male pacer, was purchased under their Lick Creek Stock Farm moniker (a homage to their grandfather) in an auction this past November. He was the fourth horse purchased by the brothers but is the only one racing now.

On Saturday, Dave and Paul will watch Endofstory compete in the $240,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old male pacers at The Meadowlands. Endofstory won both his preliminary-round races in the event and will leave from post six with Dexter Dunn in the sulky for trainer Doug Dilloian Jr.

Endofstory will compete in the $240,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old male pacers at The Meadowlands. Lisa photo.

“It’s been unbelievable,” Paul said. “It’s gone way beyond my wildest dreams. It was one of the things on my brother’s bucket list, to have a horse out at The Meadowlands. It’s turned out way better than we ever imagined. We are quite the novices, and quite lucky, I’m sure, at this point.”

Dave, who turned 78 earlier this month, was drawn to harness racing through handicapping. The first horse purchased by Lick Creek Stock Farm was a pacer named The Opener.

“I made a comment once that to have a horse was on my bucket list,” Dave said. “Well, that happened, and we had a little success there.

“We ended up buying Endofstory last year, and we got pretty lucky.”

Endofstory, a son of Lazarus N-Olivette Hanover, raced twice as a 2-year-old, posting fourth- and third-place finishes in the preliminary rounds of the New Jersey Sire Stakes. After being purchased by Dave and Paul, the brothers gave the gelding to trainer Jace Sundeen. He opened this year with a win in a conditioned race at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, then competed in a non-winners-of-2 series there before heading to New Jersey.

He won his NJSS opener in 1:51.1 from post eight, at odds of 34-1, with Todd McCarthy in the sulky. Endofstory and McCarthy were back in the winner’s circle the following week thanks to a 1:50.4 score that also was McCarthy’s 1,000th career victory in North America.

“I’m not going to say he really surprised us, but he did surprise us,” Dave said. “Our trainer here in Indiana said he was pretty aggressive, but he had a smooth gait. He said if we could just get him moving and keep him in control, we might have something.

“Jace was impressed almost the first time he put him on the track. He’s done a great job. We appreciate all that he’s done.”

Dilloian was recommended to train Endofstory in New Jersey through a mutual friend of Sundeen.

“He’s raising some eyebrows for sure, including mine,” Dilloian said. “I got him probably eight or nine days prior to the first leg. They had him going good (in Indiana) and I think he’s maturing and coming into his own at the right time. He’s a talented horse and a pleasure to be around. There’s really no magic secret with him; he’s pretty simple. You wouldn’t even know he was in the barn if you didn’t look for him.

“He’s very quick-footed. He’s showed that he’s versatile (in his two NJSS races) but I think if you race him off a helmet and feed him racetrack, it shows how explosive he is. He’s got a real quick turn of foot.”

Paul Clamme (left) joined Todd McCarthy and Endofstory in the winner’s circle after a 1:50.4 score that was McCarthy’s 1,000th career victory in North America. James Lisa photo.

Paul drove 1,300 miles roundtrip for both of Endofstory’s NJSS starts. His sister Peggy and sister-in-law Diane joined him for the first, and he went solo for the second. Another trip is in the works.

“I’ve got friends here in Indiana that said I had to go,” Paul said, referring to his initial visit to the Big M. “I hemmed and hawed about it, but I finally decided, yeah, I’ve got to go. For the second race, I went by myself. It’s a long way to drive, but he did so well the week before, I couldn’t hardly not be there.”

He said seeing Endofstory give McCarthy win No. 1,000 was a bonus.

“It was a thrill just to be involved in that,” Paul said.

McCarthy will be driving Brett Pelling-trained Arbitrage Hanover in the NJSS final. He also guided that horse to two preliminary victories in the series. Arbitrage Hanover, a son of Bettor’s Wish-Ana Hanover, is 3-for-3 overall this year. He will start Saturday from post 10.

Endofstory has three wins and a second in five races this year, with earnings of $38,125.

“The horse has a whole cool story behind him, which is always fun to root for,” Dilloian said. “I’m glad it’s paying off for them. (Endofstory) is going to train a couple trips Wednesday and he’s going into it as good as a horse could. Hopefully, we’ll get a little luck.”

Endofstory’s future following the NJSS is undetermined, but, as Paul said, “Hopefully, this is just the beginning.”

Added Dave, “We’re all having a good time. We’ve had some success; we’re not going to complain. We are quite, quite happy.”

The Meadowlands also hosts the $240,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes final for 3-year-old female pacers Saturday. Odds On Steno, who won both preliminary legs, will leave from post eight in the eight-horse field. Andy McCarthy will be in the sulky for trainer Tony Alagna.

NJSS finals for 3-year-old trotters are May 31.

Racing begins at 6:20 p.m. (EDT) at The Meadowlands. For free TrackMaster programs for the Big M, click here.

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