by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent
Louisville, KY — When Shannon DePinto saw the colt in the ring at last year’s Lexington Selected Sale that her husband surmised would be too far out of their price range, she gave him a nudge. Shannon wanted her husband to know the bidding had stalled at a mere $5,000.
“I really thought he would bring $50,000 or $60,000,” said Sam ‘Cosmo’ DePinto, the conditioner of 2-year-old pacing colt Lone Survivor. “We checked on him several times while he was a baby and he was a small horse.
“When my wife brought that to my attention when were at the sale, I told her to go ahead and bid on him. She had never bid on a horse in her life, so I told her to just go out and put her hand up. All I could see was her arm and I never told her when to stop bidding. She ended up getting him for $14,000 and she had $14,000 in one of her own separate accounts.”
The son of Art Major and the first foal out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Wenditions had been raised at White Birch Farm where the DePintos were stabled. Fresh off his maiden breaking score on Aug. 10 at Tioga Downs in a $28,250 New York Sire Stake contest, Lone Survivor’s next task will be competing in the first C$40,000 Metro Pace elimination at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday (Aug. 23). The colt will leave from post position four with recent Hall of Fame inductee David Miller holding the lines.
Despite the DePintos’ 4-year-old grandson letting them know he didn’t really feel their 10-day trip to Canada was in his best interests, the DePintos are looking forward to this potentially lucrative opportunity over the border.
“My grandson told us he didn’t like us being in Canada in four days and he’s so cute your heart just melts,” DePinto said. “That’s why we no longer winter in Florida anymore and are stuck in New Jersey because we don’t want to leave him, but I just spoke with David (Miller) today. He likes our chances and so do I.
“I gave him (Lone Survivor) a week off and then trained him on Saturday in (1):55 and he was real handy. Then I trained him again yesterday and he was super. We hope we will be right there in the final.
“That horse (Artspeak) is tough, but it’s still always a horse race.”
Initially named Picture Show, Lone Survivor acquired his name after the DePintos felt the horse’s personality correlated the main character in the film of the same name they viewed shortly after his purchase. He is now owned by Shannon, the De Pintos’ son Nicholas, Howard Taylor and Kovach Stables.
Although he was small in his early days, the colt has grown into an average sized horse and his pedigree certainly is not a shabby one. His dam was a $195,000 yearling that is a half-sister to Modern Art (Artsplace, p,3,1:50.2, $1,032,249) and his great granddam Wendymae Hanover’s best foal was Western Hanover (No Nukes, p,3,1:50.4, $2,541,647.
He’s still in the early days of his career, yet Lone Survivor has amassed $44,275 in purse money from a record of 6-1-2-1. His lifetime mark of 1:52.4f was established in his last start and the colt has raced over four different ovals, ranging from a half-mile track at Yonkers to a mile circumference at the Meadowlands. Lone Survivor has also already had the services of six different pilots.
“You can do anything you want with this horse,” DePinto said. “He can cut the mile, he can come from behind. Every one that has driven him has gotten off him and really liked him because he drives like a Cadillac. He steers really well. Also, he’s never had a bad day and that’s the sign of a good horse. No driver has ever told me he’s on the left line or he’s buckling over behind. He’s always trained superbly as well.”
After Lone Survivor’s stint in Canada, DePinto has some races specifically mapped out for the colt before he receives an extended winter break.
“We are hoping to make the final, of course, and after that, he has the International (Stallion Stake), the Bluegrass and the Breeders Crown,” he said. “I think he has the Historic at Chester, too.
“I only want 10 or 12 starts in him before I shut him down. I want a 3-year-old next year and let’s face it, after December the grass isn’t green anymore. When will he have another time to go out there and just eat some grass?”
Below are the fields for the two Metro Pace eliminations, to be contested Saturday (Aug. 23) at Mohawk.
C$40,000 Metro First Elimination
1-Lyons Levi Lewis-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-4-1
2-Trading Up-Scott Zeron-Tony Alagna-6-1
3-Go Daddy Go-John Campbell-Robert McIntosh-3-1
4-Lone Survivor-David Miller-Sam DePinto-7-2
5-Dudes The Man-Ron Pierce-Howard Okusko Jr.-8-1
6-Asap Hanover-Tim Tetrick-Linda Toscano-5-1
7-Sports Bettor-Randy Waples-Mark Austin-9-2
C$40,000 Metro Second Elimination
1-The Wayfaring Man-Jack Moiseyev-Nicky Comegna-10-1
2-Pierce Hanover-Paul MacDonell-Ken Sucee-12-1
3-Amora Beach-Tim Tetrick-Dave Menary-15-1
4-Some Power-David Miller-Casie Coleman-20-1
5-Artspeak-Scott Zeron-Tony Alagna-4-5
6-Lyons Again-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-9-2
7-Traceur Hanover-Randy Waples-Normand Bardier Jr.-3-1
8-Rollin Ring Afire-Matt Kakaley-Charlie Norris-20-1
- Waples set for Metro elims with stakes winning duo (Friday, August 22, 2014)
Randy Waples is heading into this weekend’s Metro Pace eliminations in an enviable position. The 49-year-old reinsman is not just in both eliminations, he is sitting behind Nassagaweya Stakes winners.