by Bob Heyden
Looking back on the year in racing.
Gimpanzee won his nine races by a combined 27 3/4 lengths — with only one photo, a half-length decision in the New York Sires Stakes. He was 9 9-0-0 $591,358
Shartin N was 24 19-1-0, $1,053,236. It was a record-setting year for a Down Under horse in North America and for a pacing mare. But she didn’t rub it in. Her 19 wins were by a combined 29 1/4 lengths, with eight of those wins by less than a full length. She won in each of the first 11 months — January (twice), February (twice), March (three times), April (once), May (twice), June (once), July (once), August (twice), September (once), October (three times) and November (once). The only time she was not favored all year was Oct. 20 at 1.20-1.
McWicked‘s 7-year-old season (19 12-3-2) was good for $1,575,365 and hiked him to $3,896,876 lifetime. This after two winless seasons:
Age 4: 10 0-3-2 $90,283
Age 5: 4 0-0-2 $18,650
What a month for Jules Siegel. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in July and four weekends later, his Crystal Fashion set the world record for a gelded sophomore trotter with a 1:50.1 Hambletonian elim win.
Two-thirds of the pacing Triple Crown went to Stay Hungry, driven by 28-year-old Doug McNair and trained by Tony Alagna. Stay Hungry was not favored in either Triple Crown-winning race. He was $9.40 in the Cane Pace and $7.60 in the Messenger.
Two-thirds of the trotting Triple Crown went to Six Pack and his 58-year-old trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt. Six Pack won the two races by a combined 9 and a half lengths.
Mets Hall was a longshot players (almost) dream on Hambletonian Day. He was third in his Hambletonian elimination at 40.50-1 and second in the final at 29.70-1.
Dorsudoro Hanover was involved in a ‘neck’ decision five times:
5/19/18 PASS — winner
6/23/18 Hempt — winner
9/20/18 Jug — runnerup
11/21/18 Progress — runnerup
11/15/18 Matron — fourth
Jimmy Freight was 20-for-21 on the board this year with a record of 11-5-4. Those 11 wins came by a combined 35 and 3/4 lengths.
American History had the fastest sophomore mile 1:47 flat — and he did it early, winning on June 29 over Hayden Hanover and Captain Deo
Quiz: Who is the ONLY Horse of the Year in the new millennium to also sire a Horse of the Year? Rocknroll Hanover (2005) sired 2010 HOY Rock N Roll Heaven.