“I was lucky last year. I actually made money. And it was thanks to him. He saved us all. I’m hoping he’ll do the same this year.”
For trainer/owner Alain Martin, Atomic Million AM has been a godsend. Martin’s stable star will make his four-year-debut Sunday at Rideau Carleton Raceway.
A son of Million Dollar Cam produced by Martin’s mare Lady Rod Hustler, Atomic Million AM earned more than $110,000 in 2014, winning 11 races and hitting the board in 15 of 17 starts with a mark of 1:50.3 at Mohawk Racetrack.
He didn’t race against the best in the division, but Martin has more ambitious plans this year, nominating him for the $200,000 Prix d’Ete at Hippodrome 3R in August. The gelding won all four of his starts last year at Trois-Rivières, one of them in 1:53, “and I think he had another second in him.”
For Martin, whose who’s been involved in racing for 15 years and a trainer for 10, Atomic Million AM is the best racehorse so far.
“He’s exactly like his mother, who won the ($110,000) Prix du Quebec for me in Montreal in 2007 and who I still have. The difference is that he has none of the conformation issues that she had. They both have the desire to win. He’s a fun horse to be around because he likes his life, likes what he does. Not all of them do. And I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet.”
Martin, 54, has a four-horse stable and two broodmares, a far cry from the 50 he had before the Quebec racing industry collapsed. “I train mostly homebreds now,” he said. “I’m a horse lover; that’s my problem.”
He’s based now at Ferme Miramont near Gatineau. “I sold my house and farm near Trois-Rivières two weeks before (the Quebec Jockey Club) announced they bought it and were reopening the track.”
Martin has four starts penciled in for Atomic Million AM at Hippodrome 3R this year, including the Prix d’Eté, where Quebec-owned Duc Dorleans finished a good second last year. “He and the Duc have a similar style,” Martin said. “If they happen to meet on the track this year at Trois-Rivières, you’re going to see some serious speed.”
(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)