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Illusionist (horse)

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Illusionist (2001-present)[edit]

A Standardbred mare, she raced mainly in Ontario, Canada, but also paced her way around the big oval in New York State.[1] and Pennsylvania. In 2008, she broke through with career earnings that topped one million dollars.


She was sired by the great Camluck, out of Mollie Hanover, a Big Towner mare. Born and bred in Ontario, Illusionist performed well for her breeder/owner Fred Drouillard[2].

2 Year Old[edit]

Image taken by Norm Files
Illusionist and Renata Lumsden

As a two-year-old, Illusionist earned enough on the harness racing circuit to make her attractive to other horsemen. When she turned three, she was sold to a trio of owners.

3 Year Old[edit]

In 2004, two of three owners sold their share of Illusionist, Dave Lumsden and John Dragojevic became her owners.[3] Later that year, Lumsden jumped at the opportunity to own the classy mare outright, and has owned her ever since.[4]

As a three-year-old, Illusionist won the Grassroots Championship at Georgian Downs in Barrie, Ontario. That same year, she came third in a Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Final at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville.

4 Year Old[edit]

As a four-year-old, Illusionist went in 1:52.3 seconds at Flamboro Downs in Flamborough, Ontario, which was a Canadian record on a half-mile track. Over her racing career from 2003-2009, she had 140 starts and held many pacing-mare track records throughout Ontario including Flamboro,[5] Woodstock, Clinton, Hiawatha, and Hanover[6]. She came in first, second, or third in more than two-thirds of her races. Illusionist won from every post position and with every driver she ever had, and there were many.

Breed Standardbred
Sire Camluck
Grandsire Cam Fella
Dam Mollie Hanover
Damsire Big Towner
Sex Mare
Foaled 09 Feb 2001
Country Canada
Colour Bay
Owner David M Lumsden
Trainer Phil Coleman
Racing Starts 140
Track Records Flamboro,Woodstock,Clinton,Hiawatha,Hanover,Monticello
Earnings $1,023.047
Money Events
Winner in the Grassroots (2008)
Second in the Roses are Red Pace (2008)
Third in the Milton Stakes (2007)
Second in the Trillium (2003)
Lido Magic (2010)
Mach Magic (2012)
Magical Albert (2014)

Illusionist retired in January 2009, at the age of eight, and she began a new chapter as a broodmare. In 2010, she had her first foal. Sired by the champion Somebeachsomewhere, the filly was called Lido Magic.[7] In 2012, Illusionist's second foal was born. A new sire was chosen in Mach Three[8], the filly was called Mach Magic. It wasn't until Illusionist's third pregnancy that she faced her biggest challenge. The fetus challenged the proportions of Illusionist's insides, the large foal was tearing her up from the inside. Illusionist was rushed from her home at Hillsborough Stables in Millgrove, Ontario, to the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph. Lumsden was faced with a horrible dilemma when the vets asked if he would like them to save the mare or the foal.[9] Lumsden opted for a risky procedure, and Illusionist underwent a Caesarean section, ahead of the foaling process.[10]

Illusionists odds of survival hovered at no better than a coin toss, and for the foal's survival the odds dropped to a meager five percent.[11] Illusionist's third foal was born in 2014. Sired by Mach Three, the colt was named Magical Albert. Born two week premature[12], Albert struggled from the time he entered the world. Rather than give up on the foal, Lumsden told the vets to do whatever it takes. After one month of hospital intervention, mare and foal went home to Hillsborough Stables. Albert and Illusionist's uplifting story made front page news in the Toronto Star newspaper[13]

Reference List[edit]

  1. Manzi, John (July 9, 2007). "2007 Silk Stockings Elims". www.harnesslink.com. Retrieved February 1, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. "Pull The Pocket's Wednesday Wrap". www.pullthepocket.blogspot.com. Jan 10, 2008. Retrieved February 1, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. "ILLUSIONIST SHARES PURCHASED". www.standardbredcanada.ca. Oct 27, 2004. Retrieved February 1, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. Rinker, Kim (August 28, 2008). "Coleman sees magic in Illusionist". www.harnesslink,com. Retrieved February 1, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. "Illusionist Resting In Retirement". www.standardbredcanada.ca. Jan 3, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2010. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. "A record setting night at Hanover Raceway". www.harnesslink.com. June 10, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. "Illusionist's First Foal Born". www.standardbredcanada.ca. Feb 24, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. "Mach Three". www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com. Retrieved February 1, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  9. Coyle, Jim (April 12, 2014). "Racehorse owner had to choose between mare and foal". thestar.com. Retrieved 2020-02-01. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. McCalmont, Keith (March 22, 2014). "Survival:The Fight of a Lifetime". Trot Magazine. Retrieved February 1, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  11. Brown, Liz (November 8, 2017). "Magical Albert - Will an injured mare and her premature foal beat the odds?". Horse Canada Magazine. Retrieved February 1, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  12. "Canadians Nab International Awards". www.standardbredcanada.ca. March 5, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  13. Lumsden, Renata (2017). The Bounty of Illusionist. Victoria, BC: FriesenPress. pp. 17, 47. ISBN 978-1-5255-0126-5. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png

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