Hi there,

Welcome to issue #20 of Insider Access.

Released every 2 weeks, Insider Access showcases insider rumors and commentary in the worldwide harness racing industry.

Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else - this week we review Cantab Hall. All previous reviews can now be viewed at www.stallionsphere.com

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Jack Darling’s "movement" needs to be developed

There was an event of sorts that took place in 2014 in North American harness racing that needed to be made everyone’s New Year Resolution for 2015.

That was the effort that respected Canadian horseman Jack Darling did for the promotion of harness racing on national television. When Darling heard that funding was short to televise harness racing’s to premier events, the Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug, he wrote in his blog on Standardbred Canada how he was able to get some of the top people in sport to "invest in our future" by donating money to pay the costs of the broadcast.

The cost was $75,000 and once the word was spread throughout the harness racing community, he soon had not only the $75,000 committed, but a total amount donated of more than $125,000.

Both races were excellently televised but we cannot stop there.

What needs to take place is that a special non-partisan group be formed to continue what Jack Darling started. This dedicated small group should be formed ASAP with the mission of developing a series of harness racing televised events (in and around the Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug) so that our sport can become more established through a series of shows.

We can only support ourselves by supporting our industry. We need better and more marketing exposure. We have the stories, the history, the great athletes and we must display them for everyone to appreciate and hopefully become interested in. Without marketing we will continue to dwindle.

Ideas such as tithing a small percentage of purse money before it is paid out on every race is excellent (Thank You Jeff Gural) and other ideas must be put on the table to raise these funds. We must think out of the box, perhaps Public Broadcasting is a way to get our race shows available in every home, but we can no longer sit still and need to act now and not later on down the road before it is too late.

If Jack Darling’s call for us to re-invest in ourselves can raise $125,000 in no time, then we, as a combined force, can do the job better, grow a major television series of our finest races and showcase them to the masses. It must be done for our industry to survive.

Starter and Steward?

A recent trend on the stewards front in New Zealand has the local Harnesslink staff a touch concerned.

It concerns the appointment of the countries leading official starter Peter Lamb as a steward on days when he is also the starter at the same meetings.

One of the aims of course is the matter of trying to keep costs down but in our view it has a potential downside which over rides any short term cost saving.

No one is suggesting anything improper but it is a very bad look when if you have an issue with any matters pertaining to the starting of a race or to the performance of the starter, you have to appeal to a group of stewards who work as a professional body with that same said starter.

Last weekends meeting at Nelson threw up one such possible problem.

On the first day in race six, Red Under Fire was drawn barrier one besides a fractious Lady Godiva and had to do a few walk arounds while the boring pole was removed from Lady Godiva prior to the start.

Red Under Fire was held by a starters assistant about 15 metres behind the starting point while the boring pole was being removed from Lady Godiva and was still being held 15 metres behind the tapes when the race was started.

Without doubt Red Under Fire was denied a fair start and under the rules should have been declared a late scratching.

But that didn't happen and the incident didn't even get a mention in the stewards report.

A lot of punters both on course and off course saw the incident and and in emails to Harnesslink have questioned the process in this case.

We have no doubt that this was genuinely missed by the stewards on the day but the perception in a lot of the emails we received was quite different. They screamed conspiracy because one of "them" had made a mistake and his mates were covering for him.

We don't accept that at all but perception quickly becomes fact in some peoples minds and has the potential to be very detrimental to the image of harness racing.

Including an employee whose performance is open to judicial scrutiny on to that same judicial body is a recipe for problems in our opinion.

Stallion Review - Cantab Hall
Cantab Hall
Cantab Hall


Cantab Hall is by Self Possessed from Canland Hall by Garland Lobell from Canne Angus by Magna Force from Kenwood Scamper by Texas


Cantab Hall's sire Self Possessed was the winner of the 1999 Hambletonian in a world record 1:51.3. Self Possessed earned $1,346,390 during his racing career in which he started 24 times winning 13 races.

Self Possessed got off to a good start at stud by producing the champions Cantab Hall 1:54 ($1,524,305) and the ill-fated Forever Starlet T2, 1:55.4 (797,497) in his first crop, and in 2005 a pair of his three-year-olds, Self Professed 1:53 ($1,199,954) and Sir Perseverance 1:52.4 ($726,918) were among the best of that crop.

Self Possessed produced 6 millionaires, including Cantab Hall, the brilliant ill-fated mare Snow White, 19 starts for 14 wins - T2, 1:52.4 ($1,432.056), the geldings Armbro Chronicle 1:52.4s ($1,751,589) and Grain Of Truth 1:53.1f ($1,473,567) and the mare Possess The Magic 1:53.2 ($1,102,619).

But as was true with his sire, Victory Dream, Self Possessed had fertility problems, and in 2005 was only bred to 43 mares. He had been standing at Kentuckiana Farms in New Jersey and his stud fee was set at $20,000 for the 2006 breeding season, but was then sold to Italian owners, before that breeding season started.

Self Possessed - North American statistics

Eligible to race - 339

Winners - 172

$1,000,000+ - 6

$750,000+ - 9

$500,000+ - 14

$250,000+ - 38

$100,000+ - 72

Sub 1:53 - 11

Average earnings per starter $135,889

Average earning per eligible horse - $94,200

Total earnings to date $31,933,896


The dam of Cantab Hall is the smart daughter of Garland Lobell in Canland Hall 1:57s ($339,143). Canland Hall was the 1998 winner of the ATAQ Award for two-year-old trotting fillies and she also won an elimination of the Breeders Crown that year.

Cantab Hall is one of six winners from Canland Hall to date and she has left four who have earned over $100,000. Aside from Cantab Hall the next best is Campbell Hall 1:54.4 ($251,834) followed by Constance Hall 1:58.3 ($275,348). Constance Hall's first foal is Canbrio Hall 1:57.1 ($101,042)

The second dam of Cantab Hall is the hardy Magna Force mare Canne Angus who took a best time of 2:03.3 and earned just $36,045 in 104 lifetime starts. All that was forgotten when she went to broodmare status and produced a string of nice horses with four $100,000 winners, 6 in 1:57 and a champion to top it off. The champion was Cameron Hall who was a full sister to Canland Hall.

Cameron Hall took a mark of 1:53.4 on the track on the way to earning a huge $2,138,787 and at stud is already the dam of the brilliant Ultimate Cameron 1:53.3 ($809,899).

Another full sister to Canland Hall in Courtney Hall was sold at Tattersalls as a yearling for a massive $500,000. She was slightly disappointing on the track taking a mark of 1:55 and earning just $128,812. However as a broodmare she has proven to be worth every cent they paid for her as a yearling with her first four foals as follows: E L Rock 1:53.4 ($297,100), Appomattox 1:52.2 ($442,976), E L Rocket 1:53.1 ($235,644), and E L Titan 1:53.4 ($600,147).

The third dam of Cantab Hall is the unraced Texas mare Kenwood Scamper. What she lacked on the track has been more than made up for in the breeding barn as her daughters have changed the face of trotting worldwide.

Kenwood Scamper left ten winners but nothing that special on the racetrack with the best winner being Emile Angus 1:57.4 ($262,630). A full sister to Canne Angus in Amour Angus took a mark of 2:03.1 and earned just $21,255 on the track. As a broodmare her progeny have been nothing short of sensational with three of her sons being elite sires as the following progeny shows; Andover Hall 1:51.3 ($875,047) - Progeny to date have won $56,547,376. Angus Hall 1:54.3 - $830,654 - Progeny to date have earned $80,793,915. Conway Hall 1:53.4 - $818,884 - Progeny to date have earned $68,252,139. All three are by Garland Lobell and are therefore full brothers in blood to Canland Hall.

A full sister to the three brothers is Emile Cas El who was a top racemare in her own right taking a mark of 1:57.1 and earning $454,688 in stakes. She has carried on the good work as a broodmare being the dam of the brilliant Muscle Hill three-year-old in 2014 Trixton 1:50.3 ($968,696) who won the 2014 Hambletonian and is now at stud, as well as producing the talented Impressive Kemp 1:54.3 ($501,074).

Another full brother in Adams Hall went 1:55.1 and earned $395,019 while an unraced full-sister in Amour Hall produced Amour Ami 1:54.1 ($424,914). Yet another half-sister in Angelina Hall is the dam of the smart Angelette Hanover 1:56.3 ($317,892) and another daughter of Kenwood Scamper, Kimmie Hall has also produced Aunt Mel 1:54 ($279,528).


Without doubt the most influential maternal family of the last 25 years in the trotting ranks. So many top sires from one branch of one family and it doesn't look like the production line is slowing down anytime soon with the brilliant Trixton joining his close relatives at stud this year. The three full brothers in Andover Hall, Angus Hall and Conway Hall when joined with Cantab Hall who is from a full sister in blood to the three elite sires have amassed just shy of $250,000,000 in earnings at stud to date. It is a superb record and one unlikely to be matched anytime soon.

Quote on Cantab Hall from Hanover Shoe Farms Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky

Hanover Shoe Farms manager Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky said that Cantab Hall lives in his paddock, equipped with run-in shed, unless he is being collected or there is inclement weather. He is fed a custom, complete pellet food, made for Hanover Shoe Farms by Purina.

"He's basically good, but he doesn't like vaccinations or getting twitched," said Jablonsky.

Jablonsky also said that Cantab Hall or just Cantab as they call him, is a friendly horse, but can be difficult in the breeding shed because he would rather fight with mares than be collected.

He does, however, like toys, and if an actual toy, such as a rubber ball, is unavailable, he will make a toy out of just about anything, including sticks he finds in his paddock. "He loves to pick things up in his mouth and carry them around," Jablonsky said.

Cantab Hall also enjoys sunbathing in the corner of his paddock. He likes to play, grazes often, and has a relatively quiet life, aside from his duties in the breeding shed, where he gets collected four times a week. "He's a pretty mellow, relaxed horse," said Jablonsky, "but he's kind of a different horse depending on the situation." She says that he gets upset if he has to be in his stall, as he much happier being outside. "People should have their guard up when they're around him," Jablonsky said.


Two-year-old record

Cantab Hall started his race career as a 2 year old in a $15,225 heat of the New Jersey Sires Stakes at the Meadowlands in the middle of June 2003. Cantab Hall won that race and would win nine more races at two to have a 100% record of ten starts for ten wins at that age.

Cantab Hall improved as the season progressed and was the dominant 2 year old of his year.

His major wins included the $82,150 Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington in 1:56.2, the $113,000 International Trot also at Lexington in 1:56.1, the $150,000 American National at Balmoral Park in 1:58.1 and his biggest win which was in the $420,000 final of the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands in 1:56.4

Two-year-old record - 10 starts - 10 wins - Stakes $461,337 - Best Time 1:56.1


You couldn't ask anything more of a two-year-old trotter than what Cantab Hall did in his first season on the track. Undefeated at that age on different size tracks against all comers made him an easy choice as that season's champion juvenile trotter and his standing was further enhanced when he was also named the overall trotter of the year in 2003.

Three-year-old record

Cantab Hall's three-year-old season got off to an inglorious start when he was scratched out of a heat of the New Jersey Sires Stakes by the vets. He qualified again a week later and then started his three-year-old season in the same manner he had finished his two-year-old season - winning races.

Cantab Hall won the $52,000 Dickenson Trot at the Meadowlands in 1:54 and quickly followed that with a win in a $35,000 elimination of the Stanley Dancer. That however was where the winning streak came to an end.

He finished a disappointing fifth in the $382,000 final of the Stanley Dancer to a trotter that would become his nemesis for the rest of his racing career in Windsongs Legacy 1:53 ($1,921,811).

Cantab Hall then ran third in his $100,000 heat of the Hambletonian to Eilean Donon from barrier 10 in 1:54.2 before again having to bow to Windsongs Legacy in the $1,000,000 Hambletonian Final, finishing second in 1:54.2.

From there he went to the $391,200 Yonkers Trot where he again finished second to Windsongs Legacy in 1:53.2 before contesting the heat and final of the World Trotting Derby at the Du Quoin State Fair.

The heats and final are held on the same day and while beaten into second in both, Cantab Hall produced two outstanding efforts. He was timed in 1:51.1 in his heat behind Tom Ridge and finished second to the same horse in the $530,000 final in which he was timed in 1:50.4.

Next up Cantab Hall managed to beat Windsongs Legacy in his $30,000 heat of the Canadian Trotting Classic in 1:54 before normal service was resumed in the $1,155,500 Final where Windsongs Legacy prevailed once again with Cantab Hall second in 1:53.2.

Next up Cantab Hall was only fifth in his heat of the $177,000 Kentucky Futurity and was scratched from the final later in the day by the officials.

From there Cantab Hall went to Woodbine where he ran third to Yankee Glide in the $625,000 Breeders Crown final before ending his race career on a winning note by taking out the $250,000 American National at Balmoral Park in 1:55.

Three-year-old-record - Starts - 13, Wins 4, Seconds 5, Thirds 2, Stakes $1,062,968, Best time 1:54, Placed 1:50.4.


Another great season as a three-year-old but one in which he found Windsongs Legacy a tough nut to crack. Cantab Hall finished second to him in three of the biggest races of the year but still managed to crack a $1,000,000 in season earnings. Even though his best winning time was only 1:54, Cantab Hall went quicker in a lot of his races but always behind Windsongs Legacy. His placed time of 1:50.4 is more indicative of his real potential in our view.


A champion two-year-old who came back as a three-year-old and found one horse who was better than him in Windsongs Legacy. Still tried his heart out and banked over $1,000,000 as a three-year-old which says a lot about his determination to compete. It wasn't all plain sailing as a three-year-old with a couple of setbacks but the manner in which Cantab Hall came back from those and ended his career on a winning note speaks volumes about the horse's attitude and desire.


Cantab Hall is beginning his 11th season at stud in 2015 and is already fully booked out at $20,000. He has almost bred a full book every year at Hanover Shoe Farms since his first year at stud in 2005. Need we say anymore!

Cantab Hall is a prolific producer of top end racehorses colts and mares with Explosive Matter 1:52.3 ($1,528,266), from Cantab Hall's very first crop already a major siring success. With just two crops raced in 2013 and 2014 Explosive Matter finished fourth on the two-year-old sires list in 2013 and has finished a very close second on the 2014 list. He finished fifth on the three-year-old list in 2014. Such is the impact of his progeny his 2015 book of mares is already full and closed.

Others that have staked their claim as super stars from Cantab Hall's eight crops eligible to race are the sensational Father Patrick T3, 1:50.2f ($2,479,576) who is to continue racing as a four-year-old in 2015 but also breed a book of around 60 mares at a $30,000 service fee. The incredible three-year-old filly in 2014 Lifetime Pursuit T3, 1:50.4 ($1,074,358) and Uncle Peter T4, 1:50.3f ($1,294,413).

Cantab Hall's first crop of foals that were born in 2006 and are Pennsylvania bred. He bred 165 mares in 2005 that resulted in 111 live foals born, 61 colts and 50 fillies.

Heading this crop is the millionaire and now proven sire Explosive Matter 1:52.3 ($1,528,266) as detailed above. Next on this list is All Cantab 1:53.1s ($376,422), Truth In Action 1:54.4f ($342,799), Whata Hustler 1:54.3f ($335,716), Celebrity Cowboy 1:53.3f ($332,991), the mare All Star Hanover 1:55.3f ($333,328), Citation Lindy 1:54.4f ($326,584), A Crown For Lindy 1:53.3f ($314,748) and the mares Celebrity Juliet 1:55.4 ($309,596) and Musical Mystery 1:55.2 ($307,395).

Eligible to race - 109

Winners - 57

$1,000,000+ - 1

$750,000+ - 1

$500,000+ - 1

$250,000+ - 11

$100,000+ - 31

Sub 1:53 - 1

Average earnings per starter $109,934

Average earning per eligible horse - $81,694

Total earnings to date $8,904,687

Cantab Hall's second crop of foals that were born in 2007 and are Pennsylvania bred. He bred 143 mares in 2006 that resulted in 88 live foals born, 47 colts and 41 fillies.

Heading this crop is the super mare Tamla Celeber S 1:55.2s ($1,191,397) who won the Aged Breeders Crown Final at Woodbine. Next on the list is On The Tab 1:55.2f ($711,835), Cassis T3, 1:52.4 ($575,126), Baximum 1:54f ($512,485), Hes Spooky 1:52.2f ($410,869), Coco Lindy 1:52.2s ($394,182) and the following four mares Greathallofchina 1:54.2f ($389,439), Barham Hanover T2, 1:57f ($376,011), Cantab It All 1:53 ($291,964), Fortunes Dream 1:55.1f ($282,591).

Eligible to race - 89

Winners - 53

$1,000,000+ - 1

$750,000+ - 1

$500,000+ - 4

$250,000+ - 11

$100,000+ - 23

Sub 1:53 - 4

Average earnings per starter $125,976

Average earning per eligible horse - $99,082

Total earnings to date $8,818,302

Cantab Hall's third crop of foals that were born in 2008 and are Pennsylvania bred. He bred 136 mares in 2007 that resulted in 90 live foals born, 47 colts and 43 fillies.

Heading this crop is the very good Pastor Stephen T3, 1:52.4s ($1,058,188) now standing at stud in Sweden. Pastor Stephen was the 2010 winner of the USHWA Dan Patch Award for two-year-old trotting colts. He was followed by Buffalino Hanover 1:53.2f ($296,007) and Wall Tocousins 1:54.1f ($288,255).

Eligible to race - 86

Winners - 55

$1,000,000+ - 1

$750,000+ - 1

$500,000+ - 1

$250,000+ - 3

$100,000+ - 24

Sub 1:53 - 1

Average earnings per starter $87,729

Average earning per eligible horse - $71,407

Total earnings to date $6,141,037

Cantab Hall's fourth crop of foals that were born in 2009 and are Pennsylvania bred. He bred 153 mares in 2008 that resulted in 113 live foals born, 54 colts and 59 fillies.

Heading this crop is the two-year-old Breeders Crown winner at Woodbine Uncle Peter 1:50.3f ($1,294,413) who is now at stud as is Cantab Hall's second best horse from this crop My MVP 1:52 ($879,764) who won the Kentucky Futurity Final in 2012. They are followed by Money On My Mind 1:52.2 ($709,678), the ill-fated Modern Family 1:51 ($579,065), Superstar Hanover 1:53.2f ($517,494) and Beer Summit 1:52.2s ($429,474).

Eligible to race - 112

Winners - 77

$1,000,000+ - 1

$750,000+ - 2

$500,000+ - 5

$250,000+ - 9

$100,000+ - 28

Sub 1:53 - 7

Average earnings per starter $111,505

Average earning per eligible horse - $91,594

Total earnings to date $10,258,480

Cantab Hall's fifth crop of foals that were born in 2010 and are Pennsylvania bred. He bred 131 mares in 2009 that resulted in 80 live foals born, 47 colts and 33 fillies.

Heading this crop is the 2012 O'Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winning two-year-old trotter of the year in Canada and in the US, Wheeling N Dealin 1:54.2s ($894,574). As a two-year-old Wheeling N Dealin was unbeaten and won the Breeders Crown elimination and final and the William Wellwood Memorial elimination and final. Others to impress in this crop were Dontyouforgetit 1:52.1f ($598,049), Coffeecake Hanover 1:52.4f ($405,706), High Bridge 1:54.3f ($328,274) and Lindy's Tru Grit 1:52.1 ($327,130).

Eligible to race - 79

Winners - 54

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 1

$500,000+ - 2

$250,000+ - 6

$100,000+ - 19

Sub 1:53 - 4

Average earnings per starter $95,973

Average earning per eligible horse - $76,536

Total earnings to date $6,046,314

Cantab Hall's sixth crop of foals that were born in 2011 and are Pennsylvania bred. He bred 125 mares in 2010 that resulted in 70 live foals born, 34 colts and 36 fillies.

Heading this sensational crop is the superstar colt Father Patrick 1:50.2f ($2,479,576) and the superstar filly Lifetime Pursuit 1:50.4 ($1,074,358). Father Patrick has won 22 of 28 starts and is to breed and race in 2015. His stud fee has been set at $30,000 and a maximum of 60 mares will be bred. Lifetime Pursuit has won 14 of 29 starts to date. Both these two horses have broken world records in there careers to date.

Eligible to race - 69

Winners - 44

$1,000,000+ - 2

$750,000+ - 2

$500,000+ - 2

$250,000+ - 3

$100,000+ - 11

Sub 1:53 - 2

Average earnings per starter $112,739

Average earning per eligible horse - $93,132

Total earnings to date $6,426,137

Cantab Hall's seventh crop of foals that were born in 2012 and are Pennsylvania bred. He bred 106 mares in 2011 that resulted in 71 live foals born, 38 colts and 33 fillies.

Heading this crop of two-year-olds that raced in 2014 was the very good filly Wild Honey 1:54.2f ($439,703). Wild Honey had the 12 starts for 10 wins and a second to date. Next on the list was the colt Billy Flynn 1:55.2f ($334,108). A light crop for Cantab Hall but back to serving full books over the last three seasons 2012, 2013 and 2014 Cantab Hall will be expected to produce more exceptional colts and fillies in the future.


Eligible to race - 708

Winners - 359

$1,000,000+ - 6

$750,000+ - 8

$500,000+ - 15

$250,000+ - 45

$100,000+ - 139

Sub 1:53 - 19

Average earnings per starter $101,055

Average earning per eligible horse - $68,084

Total earnings to date $48,203,212


What can you say except that this is one great sire. Right from his first crop Cantab Hall has shown that ability to leave that special horse which every breeder is aiming for. With six millionaires from his first six crops Cantab Hall is on track to establish new marks in the stallion barn. The only slight blemish one could have with his statistics to date is his live foal percentage which sits at 64% but this could be more due to the vagaries of the North American stud scene than any issue with his fertility. The fact that his book is full and closed at the $20,000 service fee before the season starts says it all.


Cantab Hall can do what all breeders want and that is to leave that elite level champion. The fact he does so with a great regularity makes Cantab Hall one of today's great sires. His overall percentages are really good with his first six crops producing an average per starter over $100,000 and that average will only get bigger as these crops get older. Cantab Hall has also shown the ability to throw great fillies as well as great colts with two of his six millionaires being of the fairer sex and in our view that is a trait which separates the great stallions from the good ones.


The only possible knock on Cantab Hall looking in from the outside is his overall fertility percentage of 64% but we are well aware of the vagaries of the North American breeding scene where until the account is paid, you cannot register the resulting progeny and this could account in our view for some of the low fertility percentage.


Just a great sire of both elite level colts and fillies that continues to churn those quality racehorses. Already a sire of sires with his great son Explosive Matter fully booked at $7,500 after his stock had a stellar year in 2014. One disappointing aspect for Southern hemisphere breeders to date is the complete lack of access to either Cantab Hall or any of his well performed sons. With the outstanding run of success being enjoyed by the first crop of Angus Hall in Australasia, an injection of Cantab Hall blood would be very well received down under.


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