by Bob Heyden
Counting dual-hemisphere stallion work, Bettors Delight has sired the winners of some $315 million, making him the leading stallion all-time.
Can a 7-year-old be HOY?
Can a 7-year-old such as McWicked be named Horse of the Year (HOY)? Why not, it’s happened before.
In 2011, San Pail was 7, in 1975, Savoir HOY was 7, in 1962 Su Mac Lad was 8 and in 1950 Proximity was 8. They were all trotters.
The oldest pacer to be named HOY is Good Time, who was 6 in 1952. Much like McWicked, he was also the leading money winner at 3, but Good Time was named HOY that season. Good Time is the only horse to be named HOY three years apart.
McWicked is set to become the only money leader four years apart. (2014 and 2018).
What about Shartin N?
She has broken the record for earnings in a single year by a pacing mare — $968,361 (23 18-1-0), yet no pacing mare has ever been voted HOY, which is odd especially considering that 39 times in 71 ballots a pacer has taken home the hardware.
Also, no Down Under-bred horses has been named HOY in North America and never have females gone back to back in HOY balloting. Last year, Hannelore Hanover was the HOY.
Dreamfair Eternal had held the mare earnings record until this year (2010 — $925,575).
Congrats to Richard Poillucci, JoAnn Looney King and Jimmy King, Jr for their spectacular season with Shartin N.
P.S. If McWicked and Shartin N are 1-2 in the balloting, it’s going to be a proud moment for sire McArdle — his son and granddaughter will have gone first and second.
If Atlanta is HOY
If Atlanta win the Horse of the Year, Rick Zeron will have a very unique distinction of having driven the last 3-year-old trotting filly so honored — Bee A Magician in 2013.
Atlanta beat the boys on the biggest stage and made $1 million plus for the year. Keep in mind, that no division was more power packed than the 3-year-old trotting fillies this year, with Manchego, Phaetosive and Plunge Blue Chip clearly making this the best foursome of sophomore trotting ladies in the modern era.
Congratulations to Julie and Andy Miller for sending out consecutive million-dollar colts Devious Man (2017, $1,030,444) and Mets Hall (2018, $1,011,359).
The 21st century has not seen a repeater in the Horse of the Year category, just as Major League Baseball hasn’t seen a back-to-back World Series champion.
The last HOY to repeat was Moni Maker in 1998 and 1999. The last back-to-back World Series champion was the New York Yankees in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Next week marks the 10th anniversary of the Breeders Crown from 2008 at the Meadowlands, which was the one and only time Somebeachsomewhere and Muscle Hill appeared on the same racing program. Back-to-back HOYs, both 20-for-21 lifetime, both won that night and both have been dominant sires.
A pattern here?
Brian Sears drove 2005 HOY Rocknroll Hanover, then four years later an undefeated HOY Muscle Hill, then four years later an undefeated HOY Bee A Magician, then five years… he has McWicked as one of the favorites for this year’s HOY award.
NY-breds having a big season
New York-breds won the Hambletonian and Meadowlands Pace in the same year — Atlanta and Courtly Choice, respectively.
New York-bred Woodside Charm won the Breeders Crown and New York-bred Six Pack set the world record twice for a sophomore trotting colt —1:50 then 1:49.1 taking the Kentucky Futurity.
New York-breds also swept the Trotting Triple Crown.
Remember when Shiaway St Pat won the very first Hambletonian contested in New Jersey in 1981? How big was it for Ray Remmen’s gelding? More than 85 per cent of the trotter’s seasonal earnings of $479,220 came from the Hambletonian where he earned $419,000.
Tim Tetrick’s forgotten, yet amazing, stat
Tim Tetrick turns 37 on Nov. 22. Nobody in history has been even close to saying they had banked $200 in purse earnings prior to that birthday. But remember this stat too:
In 2012, he drove $2 million-winning trotter Market Share ($2,001,405). In 2013, he drove $2 million-winning pacer Captaintreacherous ($2,055,043).
Back-to-back $2 million winners of different gaits.
Final Four facts
Only twice has a winner of any Final Four race gone on to be later named Horse Of The Year (NOT that same season).
C R Kay Suzie won the 1994 Goldsmith Maid and was the 1995 HOY (NOTE Continentalvictory was beaten a nose by her entrymate Elke Frazer in the 1995 Goldsmith Maid and was the 1996 HOY).
Artsplace won the 1990 Governors Cup and two years later had an undefeated season en route to his HOY trophy.
All four Final Four events began at Garden State Park in Cherry Hill, NJ.
1985 $1 million Governors Cup — Barberry Spur (the first of two million-dollar Governor’s Cups).
1989 $429,500 Three Diamonds — Choice Yankee the first major race won by Jim Morrill, Jr.
1990 $294,600 Goldsmith Maid — Kramer Nobless Jan Johnson.
1990 $330,300 Valley Victory — Mr Chin driven by Sonny Patterson.