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These Three Things: Adare Castle

May 25, 2022

Get to know the equine stars of Woodbine Mohawk Park, as we go beyond the chart lines and stat sheets to deliver three fascinating facts about a horse who will look to make their mark in 2022.

This week, sophomore trotter Adare Castle, currently on a six-race win streak, is in the spotlight. Trainer and co-owner Mark Etsell offers up a trifecta of interesting traits about the bay filly.

Adare Castle

Age: 3
Sire: Muscle Mass
Dam: Pacific Edge
Record: 11 races 9-2-0
Earnings: $574,324
Trainer: Mark Etsell
Owner: Mark Etsell, Robert Newton, Graham Hopkins, Peter Porter
Breeder: Edward Lohmeyer (Cream Ridge, NJ)

Need to know: Romped to OSS Gold glory in her first start, winning by 4 ¾-lengths in the $101,400 final on July 6, 2021.

Adare Castle winning her OSS debut last July at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Adare Castle winning her OSS debut last July at Woodbine Mohawk Park. (New Image Media)

Quick thought: “She’s very special and she knows she is. I think the thing that impresses me the most is her gait. She’s not an overly big horse – she’s medium-sized – but she gets over the track so effortlessly. She has a great stride that covers a lot of ground. It’s like she doesn’t have to work at it. Some horses do, she doesn’t. She always gets me on edge because she’s not one to pick up the bit a lot. I’ve had that conversation with James [driver, MacDonald]. Last week, she went out in post parade, and he told me she was a little excited, so he didn’t want to rev her up. But she always manages to find that next gear.”


The price is right: “The easiest reason to explain it was that we were in the market for two trotting fillies, and preferably Muscle Mass because we’ve had a lot of luck with them. She was on the shortlist. It was her and a couple of other ones. I believe she was day three of the sale, so the day before, I bid on a Muscle Mass filly, but we didn’t get the horse. There was also another one we were looking at, but we didn’t get that her either. So, this horse was basically the last Muscle Mass filly available. I thought to myself, ‘I’ll go $30,000, maybe $35,000. That was the gameplan. If you’ve never had a Muscle Mass, you don’t realize the quirks that they have, so maybe there were things that other people didn’t like. I liked her and one of the things set in my mind was the family, that the fillies did better than the colts. They seem to race longer than most, so that’s a plus too. In my head, I was buying her no matter what. We were at the sale and it was a really nice day. We were outside having a couple of beverages with some friends and all the sudden – I thought I had lots of time to get in the ring – I heard her name and went running inside. I hear the bid for $8,000 and I stuck my hand up. They dropped the hammer at $10,000 and I thought, ‘Uh oh… did I buy the right horse? Was I one early or one late?’ I checked my book and it was the right one. We lucked out. The partnership group, they still wanted to come in on her. I told them they weren’t obligated too, but I really liked her. But they wanted to and I have no regrets. Now, over $500,000 later, needless to say, everyone is happy.”

Adare Castle winning last Saturday's SBOA Stakes.
Adare Castle winning last Saturday’s SBOA Stakes. (New Image Media)

Keeping it cool: “She’s pretty laid back and takes life pretty easy. She’s set in her own ways. There are things she does and doesn’t like. She doesn’t like vets and she doesn’t like needles… stuff like that. She cuts her own path that way. She jogs nice and easily, lays down a lot and likes to look out the window. She likes her paddock time. It sounds like the perfect life.”

Those eyes: “If you ever see her up-close, she has these crazy eyes. That’s what we call her. She looks like one of those dangerous types who are going to stab you in the back. Maybe that’s what scared people away from her, that they thought she was going to be crazy. But when you look at those win pictures, that right eye of hers, she has this really scary look about her. But she’s special and she knows she’s special.”

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