NA Cup hopeful Fourever Boy: “I know that she really loved this horse”
MILTON, June 11, 2022 - When the handsome bay pacer steps onto the track Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Tim Twaddle will sport a smile that’s both wide and wistful.
There is an unmistakable tone of excitement in the accomplished Ontario-born horseman’s voice, not only because he’s coming home, but also for an opportunity of a lifetime possibility that awaits him.
Forty years after he embarked on a driving career that would yield 1,946 wins, St. Catharines-born Twaddle, who has accumulated 863 training victories, will look to add another highlight to a standardbred life that is still pacing along at an impressive clip.
Should three-year-old Fourever Boy, a horse he co-owns with David Cohen’s Micki Rae Stables, have a successful showing in one of two Pepsi North America Cup eliminations on June 11, the colt will earn a spot behind the starter car in the $1 million final on June 18.
The $50,000 purchase, Hip No. 143 at the November 2020 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, has posted $262,653 in earnings to date.
“He flies below the radar,” said Twaddle, of Fourever Boy. “He’s at 10-1 [morning line] for his elim and that’s fine. I don’t think he’s ever going to get big-time respect just because he’s not from a flashy barn and he doesn’t have a Yannick [driver, Gingras] or [Tim] Tetrick driving him. But he’s been a nice colt for us, and we are really excited about coming up there and giving it a shot.”For all the elation that comes with the chance to be one of 10 starters in a premier horse race, there will be a notable absence when Twaddle stands railside to watch his sophomore performer chase a spot in the 39th edition of the Cup.
Robin Twaddle, Tim’s sister and one of Fourever Boy’s most ardent followers, passed away last fall. She spent most of her career in the hospitality industry, working in the dining rooms at Greenwood and Woodbine Entertainment, while championing her brother throughout his harness racing career.
On September 25, Fourever Boy contested the Metro Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park, finishing third, with Robin watching intently alongside Tim.
Less than a month later, “Robbie” died peacefully at the age of 65 after a brief illness.
“A race like this, especially if we were to get to the big show next week, she would eat that right up,” said Tim, whose other sister Cindy worked as a messenger bettor at the old Garden City Raceway in St. Catharines. “She was always one to be front and centre where I was concerned. When I would come home and get some attention, she would love it.”
It’s one reason, no doubt a big one, why winning the Cup would be even more meaningful for the man who donned his green and yellow driving colours over 16,000 times, including the 1993 Jugette with Towners Image and a Breeders Crown triumph with Hardie Hanover in 1994.
Originally named Punch the Clock, Fourever Boy is a son of Sweet Lou out of Macharoundtheclock, who Twaddle campaigned in the latter stages of her career. He also trained a pair of Macharoundtheclock’s previous foals.
“Honestly, everyone that has a good one will say, ‘I knew from day one.’ With Fourever Boy, we did. I didn’t know he was going to be great, but we were always high on him. Every week, I’d come home from training him early on in the winter and tell my wife, ‘I don’t want to say anything, but…’ She told me not to jinx myself. But I knew he was a special colt. He was a sweetheart all the way along. I’ve had those feelings before, and it can lead to disappointment. A million things can happen along the way, but we’ve been very fortunate with him.”
In 17 starts, Fourever Boy has two wins, a second and four thirds. The first win came in a division of the Arden Downs at The Meadows last July, with the most recent score coming on May 30, in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action, in what was his final start ahead of the North Cup eliminations.
With Mike Wilder in the sulky, Fourever Boy came out on top by a nose in a three-way slugfest to the wire, stopping the clock in a new mark of 1:51.1, capped off by a final quarter in :27.3.
“It was a really good effort. He’s typically one that’s looking for a trip. The last couple of outings, he’s had to grit it out the hard way. He dug deep that last start and raced well.”
While a racing-related injury in 2007, one that caused nerve damage in his hand and ultimately end his career in the race bike, Twaddle has enjoyed great success as a trainer. Last year, he tied his lifetime-best mark of 61 wins (also, in 2005) in a season and set a new standard with $887,426 in purse earnings.
The 2017 St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame inductee will look to add another coveted victory to his racing résumé with a shot at Cup glory. For now, the focus is race eight, one of two $50,000 Cup elims on Saturday evening.
Looking too far down the road simply isn’t Twaddle’s style.
“He’s coming into the race sharp and healthy. I know that a lot of people don’t think that post matters, but I’ll take the rail all day long.”
Win, lose, making the Cup cut or heading home to the Keystone State, Fourever Boy will always hold a special place in Twaddle’s heart, the same as it was for his sister.
It’s a thought that will no doubt come to mind the moment the eight-horse field is sent on their way under the Mohawk lights just before 10 p.m.
“Robin was there close to every step of the way with my career. When she was working in the dining rooms for those years, she had a bird’s-eye view of my growth in the sport. She was a big cheerleader for me, a wonderful person, and a great sister. I know that she really loved this horse.”