Two months after Mach Three was euthanized after a paddock accident in New Zealand, it was announced that the Ontario stallion will be among the 2017 class of inductees to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
by Dave Briggs
David Heffering said his first reaction upon hearing the news that late pacing stallion Mach Three was a first-ballot Canadian Hall of Famer was incredible joy for the Muscara family that owned the horse that died tragically in January.
“They’ve been in the business for a long time and have loved the horse business,” said Heffering, owner of Tara Hills Stud in Port Perry, ON where Mach Three stood for 14 straight years during the northern hemisphere breeding season. “The (late) father loved the horse business. He just ate and slept the business for all of the years that I knew Joe Muscara, Sr. So it’s nice that this will add to the legacy for the boys, for Bob and Joe, Jr.”
Mach Three — the sire of the legendary Hall of Fame racehorse and stallion Somebeachsomewhere ($3.2 million, 1:46.4 world record) — died Jan. 20 at Alabar Farms in Waiau Pa, New Zealand following a paddock accident. He had just turned 18. Mach Three suffered a broken leg in his paddock and had to be put down.
The stallion will be officially inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame on Aug. 9 in a gala banquet in Mississauga, ON.
Mach Three, a son of Matts Scooter out of All Included, has produced 1,297 offspring to date, with total progeny earnings of nearly $103 million by Standardbred Canada accounting and $97.5 million by USTA records. Standardbred Canada has Mach Three’s progeny’s average earnings per starter at $112,034 ($103,126 by USTA records). The stallion produced 298 horses that earned $100,000 or more and 105 that made more than $250,000, by SC records. He produced 437 horses than had a 1:55 mile, 274 that had a 1:53 mark and 30 that had a sub-1:50 mile.
“He’s been a big part of the Canadian breeding scene and the North American breeding scene,” Heffering said. “He made racehorses. That’s what everybody tells us. You can breed to him and you’ll get a racehorse.”
Mach Three’s six richest offspring are: Somebeachsomewhere ($3.2 million), Monkey On My Wheel ($1.7 million), Mach It So ($1.68 million), Solar Sister ($1 million) and Camaes Fellow ($985,000) and Down Under wonder Auckland Reactor N ($966,000).
The late Joe Muscara, Sr. of Huntingdon Valley, PA purchased Mach Three in May of the pacer’s sophomore season from Linda Magid of Cambridge, ON, the widow of the pacer’s breeder, Karl Magid. Karl was perhaps best known for founding the famed Lulu’s Roadhouse in Kitchener, ON in 1984. Lulu’s, which Karl owned until 1987, was a mammoth nightclub that occupied the site of a former K-Mart and once was home to the world’s longest bar. It was also a frequent stop for some of the world’s most successful music acts.
Mach Three posted a record of 7-2-0 in nine starts at two in 2001 and won the $1.1 million Metro Pace at Woodbine in 1:51.4 while under the tutelage of Brett, Shawn and Bill Robinson, along with Monte Gelrod. The Metro victory came seven months after Karl Magid died of cancer.
The following year, Mach Three won the $1 million Meadowlands Pace in a career best 1:49. At three, Mach Three had a record of 11-2-2 in 18 starts to give him a career record of 18-4-2 in 27 starts and earnings of $2,376,700. Mach Three was predominantly driven by Randy Waples at two and John Campbell at three.
Mach Three stood his entire career at Tara Hills Stud in the northern hemisphere and Alabar in the southern hemisphere. His first foals hit the ground in 2004.
“My staff is happy, too (with the Hall of Fame honor),” Heffering said. “They loved (Mach Three). We’ve had different staff members who have worked with this horse all the way through his career. And it’s great for our clientele, too. We couldn’t have done it without the great support from our clientele, too.”
Heffering said Mach Three is the fourth Hall of Fame horse tied to Tara Hills Stud, including his late father, Peter Heffering, the Tara Hills founder that was inducted as a builder in 2010. Tara Hills now has had three stallions inducted, counting Mach Three. Kadabra was enshrined in 2012 and Precious Bunny was inducted in 2004.
“We’ve had three (stallions) in our fairly short life span at Tara Hills,” Heffering said. “I’m very happy about that.”
As for having the good fortune to land Mach Three as a stallion in the first place, Heffering gives the credit to Alabar’s John Curtin.
“I think John Curtin was instrumental in getting the horse to come to Ontario and come to our place. We were pretty young when we got this horse and it was a big deal for us and a big stepping stone for us.”
A stepping stone that led to the Hall of Fame.