By Mike Paradise
There are few out-and-out “locks” in harness racing however when it came to naming the 2022 Illinois Pacing Sire of the Year it looked to be “slam dunk” decision last month for USTA District 5 member voters.
They awarded the honor to the Fox Valley Standardbred’s sire Somestarsomewhere, producer of an outstanding first crop of state-bred freshmen including both the ICF two-year-old colt pacer of the year Fox Valley Langley (1:52.0, $57,480) and the freshman Illinois bred filly pacer of 2022 Fox Valley Kia (1:51.2, $131,052).
The Jamaica Patton trained Fox Valley Langley never missed a purse check in 11 season starts and came away with seven first place finishes including a Cardinal stake division victory and the fall’s Incredible Finale Consolation at Hawthorne, along with a pair of runner-up state-bred stake efforts.
Fox Valley Kia was no worse than second in her last nine first season starts, winning seven of 13 times going to the gate for either trainer Phil Knox or Dan Nance. The filly came up strong at the right times, taking the $185,000 Incredible Finale showdown last fall on Hawthorne’s Night of Champions. Earlier “Kia” nailed down the Springfield State Fair freshman filly pacing championship.
There was a wealth of other Illinois stake winners sired by Somestarsomewhere that came away with significant championships as well in their first season of racing.
In the ICF freshmen colt and gelding pacing category, the Midwest Division of the Erv Miller Stable’s Fox Valley Jasper, another son of Sometarsomewhere, swept both Hawthorne’s summer Incredible Finale final and Springfield’s Illinois State Fair Colt Stakes eliminations and finals with driver Atlee Bender.
Fox Valley Steeler (1:53.1), from the barn of trainer Tom Simmons, captured the second division of last summer’s Director’s Cup at Du Quoin while Simmons’ Fox Valley Cayman (1:53.4) earlier won a division of the Cardinal.
Fox Valley Landen (1:55) proved best in the summer’s Incredible Finale Consolation for conditioner Amy Husted while the Nelson Willis trained Fox Valley McKee (1:53.4) took the fall’s Incredible Finale stake elimination.
In the distaff grouping, besides Fox Valley Kia, Somestarsomewhere promising two-year-old offspring included Some Dancing Star (1:55.1) One R Andis Star (1:55.2) and Senorita Mouse (1:56.2).
Altogether, Somestarsomewhere first harvest of racehorses earned over $607,000, winning 20 races, six in 1:55 or better.
Somestarsomewhere is by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Art Major mare Lovely Assistant and stands at Fox Valley Standardbred with a $4,000 stud fee.
Somestarsomewhere was originally a $110,000 yearling buy for the Ron Burke stable at the 2011 Harrisburg Sale. He went on to become first two-year-old colt pacer to go a sub 1:50 mile when he won his Breeders Crown elimination at Pocono Downs in 1:49.4.
At the end of his three-year-old campaign the horse was bought by veteran Springfield based trainer Tom Simmons for Clinard Properties for $90,000 at the 2013 January Meadowlands Sale.
Somestarsomewhere made over $200,000 in four seasons of racing for the Simmons stable before being acquired in January of 2019 by Walker Standardbreds of Sherman, IL
When Simmons bought Somestarsomewhere he said he did so because “Dave (Clinard) wanted another good horse and hopefully he’ll have it in Somestarsomewhere.” Simmons also pointed out at the time that he thought the horse “could go on to be a good Illinois stallion.”
Simmons certainly hit the bullseye on that assertion.