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Angel was a modest $26,000 yearling purchase in the fall of 2017. He banked $84,000 during a nine-day span earlier this month. If racehorse ownership were just that easy, right? Trainer Shane Arsenault knows that there are peaks and valleys in the game, and Knight Angel has surely shown him both.

The Ontario-sired son of Archangel has been a joy for his connections this summer. The brown gelding has won five of his 11 seasonal starts, which includes victories in Hanover Raceway’s $64,100 Dream Of Glory Trot and a $105,600 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Arsenault, of Freelton, Ont., co-owns Knight Angel along with Justin Fisher (Cambridge, Ont.), Gary Leeming (Simcoe, Ont.) and Giuseppe Mascia (Mississauga, Ont.). The ownership quartet has felt the rush of winning this summer and is hoping that the stakes success continues into the fall.

While in discussion with the Hamilton Spectator, Arsenault explained that he has experienced bumps in road when it comes to the Knight Angel ride. The gelding has proven to be a joy on the track – a horse that anyone would like in their barn – but a pair of Knight Angel’s hooves changed things for Arsenault early on in their relationship.

Just days after having been acquired, Knight Angel got a bit spooked, kicked out his back hooves, and caught Arsenault. A trip to local hospital ensued, followed by a diagnosis of a fractured pelvis for the horseman, who was on the cusp of heading down south to winter in Florida. The incident, which happened in a flash, changed the course of Arsenault and Knight Angel’s relationship. If August of 2019 has been a peak in the Knight Angel ride, October of 2017 was definitely a valley.

"He let both back feet fly and caught my right leg and pelvis area,” said Arsenault, who went on to state that it was the first time he had ever been knocked down by a horse. "While lying in hospital I didn't think too much of him,” Arsenault added, “but it's a different story today. You have to be lucky in this game and that is what he has turned out to be."Maybe it’s those lows that have made the Knight Angel ride that much sweeter for all involved. It surely has for Arsenault, and the turn of events has not been lost on Fisher, Leeming and Mascia. "I know everyone involved knows the score on him and are enjoying these four wins in the last five starts,” said Arsenault. “This is a blue collar group [which is aware that] no one is going to get rich, but that does not mean it cannot be enjoyed." If nothing else, the sires stakes ride is eventful for those that shepard a two- or three-year-old through their formative years in racing. just ask the Knight Angel crew.

The ride isn’t over yet. Knight Angel still has a few significant racing opportunities on the horizon this year. It’s not like the ownership is facing a fork in the road or anything, but they will have to make a decision in terms of stakes direction in the near future.

"It's pretty much the Ontario Sires Stakes and Super Final and he is eligible for the Canadian Trotting Classic, but that will be a big ask,” said Arsenault. “[The Canadian Trotting Classic carries] a steep starting fee and we'd have to feel we had a good chance to get money to go in."