He’s bred his pacing stallion to a trotting mare and came up with a trotter named Ei Ei O.
by Bill Finley
The breeder, owner and trainer that bred a pacing stallion to a trotting mare and came up with one of the fastest trotters in recent times is at it again. Richard Hans, the Maryland horseman behind Googoo Gaagaa, who won 15 career starts, earned $665,339 and set a lifetime mark of 1:50:4F as a 3-year-old in the 2012 Beal Memorial at Pocono, has a new hybrid horse he thinks might be just as good as his former star.
On Wednesday night (April 18) at Rosecroft, Hans’ Ei Ei O won his second career start on the trot, defeating his overmatched rivals by 11-and-a-half lengths in 1:55. He went the final quarter in 28.1. Like Googoo Gaagaa, he is by the pacing stallion Cam’s Rocket and is out of a trotting mare. His dam is My Baby Momma, a nine-year-old pacing mare who made $50,761 on the track while winning six of 19 starts.
When asked if Ei Ei O could prove to be as good as Googoo Gaagaa, Hans, a man of few words, said: “He’s good. I hope so. He did go in 1:55 in his second lifetime start.”
Hans said Ei Ei O missed his two-year-old season after suffering a minor fracture to his left hind leg. He debuted April 5 at Rosecroft, winning a non-winners of two lifetime race worth $4,500 by three-and-a-half lengths in 1:57.
Hans said the colt’s next start will be in the April 29 Dexter Cup at Freehold. While top driver Corey Callahan eventually picked up the assignment on Googoo Gaagaa, Hans said he plans to stick with local Maryland driver Brian Burton. Ei Ei O is eligible for the Hambletonian.
“I like this horse,” Hans said. “He’s unbelievably gaited.”
Googoo Gaagaa was conceived in 2008. The Hans family owns Cam’s Rocket and was, more or less, the only ones breeding to him. They had a mare named Kora’s Trotter, who, Hans said, was lame and skinny. She didn’t get into foal that year to a trotting stallion, the name of which Hans has never disclosed. It was getting late in the breeding season and rather than let a year go to waste with Kora’s Trotter, Hans decided to breed her to Cam’s Rocket.
Despite Googoo Gaagaa’s success, Cam’s Rocket has never caught on as a commercial stallion and few outside the Hans family breed to him. Having seen what Cam’s Rocket achieved with Googoo, Hans doesn’t seem to care what type of mare — totter or pacer — he breeds to him. Cam’s Rocket has had 50 foals that have raced and nine of them are trotters.
When asked if Googoo’s success is why he has repeatedly bred Cam’s Rocket to trotting mares, Hans said: “I really don’t know. I guess. Maybe it is in the back of my mind.”
You can’t ague with the results. The Cam’s Rocket pacing-trotting cross has also yielded Speed It, who had won 18 of 24 lifetime and earned $200,682 going into Friday night’s second race at Yonkers. There’s also Hybrid Henry, a winner of nine of 10. A regular on the Maryland circuit, his only loss came when he broke stride. Still another Cam’s Rocket trotter, Rock The Game has won 12 of 34 starts and earned $151,968.
“What I’ve noticed is that these (Cam’s Rocket trotters) just look better than any other trotting colts out there,” Hans said.
Perhaps Hans should only breed Cam’s Rocket to trotting mares. The 41 pacers by the stallion that have raced are averaging $60,883 in career earnings. The nine Cam’s Rocket trotters to make it to the racetrack have average earnings of $133,859. And with his 1:50.4F career best race, Googoo Gaagaa has a faster lifetime mark than any Cam’s Rocket pacer. His fastest pacer is Rocket Rosy, whose lifetime mark is a full second slower at 1:51.4.
Cam’s Rocket is so versatile that he was named both Maryland’s leading pacing and trotting stallion in 2016.
Ei Ei O has a long way to go until he can be compared to Googoo Gaagaa or even be considered a top Hambletonian prospect. That doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen. He certainly has potential.
It might seem strange to keep breeding a pacing stallion to cheap trotting mares, with all of the foals being converted to trotters and not pacers. But it’s working, and that’s all that matters.