Putnams Storm the perfect mix of manners and heart
Putnams Storm has been near the top of the Atlantic Sires Stakes standings for three-year-old pacing colts all season as he pursues one of eight spots up for grabs for the Atlantic Breeders Crown final Oct. 6 and 7 in Charlottetown. Putnams Storm will take to Truro Raceway in Race 9 of Saturday's 12-dash card, which includes the Exhibition Cup, the premier race of Atlantic Grand Circuit Week. Matt Veno - Truro Daily News
BIBLE HILL - Over 40 years in harness racing, Wes Patriquin has owned plenty of good steeds.
But the 70-year-old Wentworth resident has a hard time thinking of any better than Putnams Storm.
"He's the kind of horse everyone wants," Patriquin said. "He's kind, he tries hard and he gives it his all. Because he's that way he needs to be at the top (of my list). He may not be quite as fast as others but the others didn't have attitudes that were quite as good."
Putnams Storm is also near the top of another list this season as he's in the thick of a battle for the points title in the Atlantic Sires Stakes A Division for three-year-old pacing colts. Storm, bred by Shawn Putnam of Masstown, sits third in the standings with 15 points, just three behind leader Junebugs Baby and two back of Mr Thompson, in second.
The top eight at the end of the season qualify for the Atlantic Breeders Crown championship Oct. 6 and 7 in Charlottetown.
The three-year-olds will do battle Saturday at Truro Raceway as part of a 12-dash card during Atlantic Grand Circuit Week. Putnams Storm and driver Todd Trites will go up against Junebugs Baby in Race 9. The $9,380 event is the second-to-last of the season for the three-year-olds, with the final qualifier coming Aug. 13 in Charlottetown.
"We're shooting to get into the final," Patriquin said.
Putnams Storm opened the season on May 27 at Inverness with a 2:01.3 victory and followed up with a pair of second-place finishes on June 2 in Fredericton and July 7 in North Sydney before crossing the line fifth July 14 in Summerside during Lobster Carnival Week festivities.
"I think he's raced really well," Patriquin said of the season thus far. "It's a very good group of three-year-olds this year. It's tough going but what he lacks in size he makes up for with heart."
The horse is certainly big in that department. He soaks up attention whenever he can - he has a tendency to stomp his foot when looking for a hand to pat him - and is gentle in demeanour with both people and other animals.
That calm and serene attitude is a big reason for his success, Patriquin said, comparing him to an athlete who only pushes when it's time to do so.
"He's very easy on himself," Patriquin said. "He doesn't abuse himself in the paddock or when you're jogging or warming him up. But when he goes behind the gate he knows why he's there and he puts his heart and soul into it. He just saves his energy for the race."
Putnams Storm ran a limited schedule as a two-year-old in 2011, but still managed to claim the Nova Scotia Stake last fall at Truro Raceway.
Although his horse is a skilled racer, Patriquin said harness racing is a luck-of-the-draw sport and even good horses need things to go their way to be successful.
"You need a lot of luck," he said. "A lot depends on the health of the horse at the time of the race and on a half-mile track, the draw is very significant."