Local horse 'Desperate Man' wins million dollar race at Woodbine Mohawk Park
An Arthur family says they have a “horse of a lifetime” after their three-year-old pacer took home the top prize in a million dollar race.
It was a nail biting moment earlier this month for the family of a beloved horse with the racing name Desperate Man as they watched him cross the finish line and win the top prize in the Pepsi North America Cup harness race.
“I wanted him to show them how good he was because we believed in him,” said Kathy Cecchin, Desperate Man’s owner. “In the winner’s circle, I just kept saying this is all about you big guy and he stood there like a champion.”
The three-year-old took home half of the race’s total purse money of one million dollars.
“After this past weekend, he’s won $853,000 in total,” said Cecchin.
Desperate Man was bought for $20,000 two years ago.
“You never imagine that you are going to end up where we are today. You never imagine that because it’s very rare that it would ever happen,” said Nikki Davies, Kathy’s daughter and co-owner of Desperate Man.
Nikki Davies said at the time of the horse’s purchase, she had a choice for a wedding gift from her parents.
The choices included buying into co-owning Desperate Man with her husband and parents or money towards a down payment on a house.
“It was definitely the risky move, I mean especially the way housing markets are now,” said Davies.
As a horse person, she says it wasn’t a hard decision and it paid off.
“It’s a pretty good chunk of change,” Davies said with a laugh. “Most people would say we made the right call now.”
“Especially when he was so modestly priced,” said Paul Davies, Nikki’s husband. “We would’ve been happy if he was a good grass roots stake horse and made his money back.”
Their winning cup is now on display and they are looking forward to depositing the prize money.
“It was a pretty surreal night,” said John Cecchin, Kathy’s husband. “He’s kind of a family horse and all of the stars lined up.”
An overwhelming happy moment for the group of four that never imagined this success for Desperate Man.
An accomplishment they hope sets the tone for the races ahead.