Q-Racing: The Long Road

Cruisinfourabruisin will make his first start outside Canada in the Bank of America Challenge Championship.

Q-Racing Journal

Barry and Janice Sather are pointing their Cruisinfourabruisin to the October 29, $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos.

It’s been a long road for Barry and Janice Sather’s homebred Cruisinfourabrusin to reach the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) on October 29 at Los Alamitos.

The Sathers live in Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada. For those of us who did not major in Canadian geography, Beaverlodge is up there, way up there — 800 miles north of Montana. Cruisinfourabrusin’s trip from Beaverlodge to the Paul Jones stable at Los Alamitos was more than 2,000 miles.

The toughest part of his journey will probably be the 440 yards of the Bank of America Challenge Championship. Cruisinfourabrusin will not be among the favorites. Yes, he is a stakes winner. He won the $35,000 Bank of America Grand Prairie Challenge two starts ago. He also has 11 wins and 10 seconds from 28 career starts.

“It’s extremely tough for a horse from Canada to light the board,” said Janice Sather, who trained him in Canada. “He is consistent and sound, so we sent him.”

The Sathers are 20-year breeders and are already big winners this year. They were recently named John Deere champion owner in the Bank of America Challenge program. They will receive a John Deere utility vehicle and a custom belt buckle from Montana Silversmiths. They are the first champion owners in more than 15 years to live outside of the United States.

You can bet that John Deere Gator will be able to start in the cold. The average high temperature in Beaverlodge during January is 17 degrees. The record low is minus 54 degrees, set in 1914.|

Janice Sather was shocked when she learned about the champion owner award.

“I can’t believe it,” she said. “It’s overwhelming. We’re just lunch-bucket people. That is beyond amazing. It’s taken a lifetime.” They purchased Cruisinfourabrusin’s second dam and bred his dam.

It has also taken the support of the entire family. They have passed on vacations to buy a horse. Their children have supported these decisions. Now the entire family is going to Los Alamitos for the Challenge Championships. The children are Travis, 36; Scott, 34; and Jenna Rycroft, 31.

“The kids kept telling me to go for it (Challenge Championship), so I said let’s go for it,” said Janice. “We’re taking the kids and grandkids. That’s eight adults and five grandkids.” The only grandchild who isn’t traveling to Los Alamitos is 10-months old.

It is Cruisinfourabrusin that is bringing the Sather crew to the Challenge Championships.

He’s a special horse. Sure, his past performances don’t show a graded stakes win, but he always shows up to compete and he has the right attitude.

“He not a typical racehorse,” said Janice. “He conserves his energy. He walks around the paddock like a Shetland pony while the other horses are acting up. When the gates open, he’s a different horse.”

The Sather’s seven-year-old granddaughter Rachel walks him around the shedrow and puts him in the trailer.

“I don’t doubt it,” said Paul Jones. “He’s a cool dude and a very kind horse. They (Sathers) know more about him than I do. I’ve only had him a couple of weeks. He traveled well and we breezed him the other day. He went well. We’re just going to keep him fit and happy heading up to the race.”

One thing is certain about the Sather’s trip to Los Alamitos. They will be going to Disneyland.

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