By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport
SCENE & HEARD: Quietly and without much fanfare a champion was retired at Hastings Racecourse last month after multiple stakes winner Modern ran his last race on July 15 in the 58th running of the Lieutenant Governors.
True to his character over seven years of racing, Modern performed gallantly as he battled to finish second to a charging Calgary Caper.
“Modern was one of those horses that got better with age,” says Dino Condilenios, two-time leading trainer at Hastings who’s been on the scene 25 years. “He showed up every time. You had to beat him. It was as simple as that.”
Dino and his Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. ownership team that includes Mark and Naudia Mache along with Horatio and Jackie Kemeny made the decision at the conclusion of the racing season last year to start Modern a few times in 2018 and ease him into the good life he deserved after providing them with so many great memories.
While now retired jockey Frank Fuentes rode him in his early years, it was the combination of Modern and Richard Hamel that scored eight stakes victories including the George Royal three years running in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
A Kentucky-bred, Modern completed his distinguished career with $410,222 in earnings, winning 11 of his 36 starts.
Clearly a highlight for Condilenios and his owners was Modern winning the Swift Thoroughbreds Inaugural that was introduced in 2017, the year Modern was named BC Champion Sprinter and Champion Older Male (Open Division) at the annual Thoroughbreds Awards Dinner.
In typical classy fashion, the Swift Thoroughbreds group has provided Modern with comfortable retirement surroundings at Southlands Riding Club in Vancouver, a renowned urban-based equestrian community. Mark and Naudia will obviously be taking parental pride in watching daughter Chloe replacing Hamel as Modern’s favourite rider.
(With special thanks to Darlene Smith for statistical input)