Seconds, please

by Bob Heyden

Bettors Wish is entered to go against the older boys in the TVG final Saturday. The #1 money-earner in North America has had a stellar season 18 13-5-0 for upwards of $1.5 million. With a victory Saturday, he would improve to 19 14-5-0 $1,735,620 and would surge past $2 million career $2,007,676.

In 2019, he finished second five times to four different horses:

Captain Crunch in both the Pepsi North America Cup and Cane Pace

Best In Show in the Meadowlands Pace

American Mercury in the Messenger

Dancin Lou in the Breeders Crown

More on seconds

Shartin N is all set to put a bow on her likely Horse of the Year season starting from post 1 in the Mares Pace Saturday. She has two seconds, both to Caviart Ally, in the Allerage and the Breeders Crown. It is unusual for any horse to defeat a HOY twice or more in the same season, -but that didn’t seem to bother Glidemaster in 2006. The Triple Crown winner and easy winner when it came HOY time, he was defeated four times by Majestic Son, who was named Canadian Horse of the Year. Glidemaster was 15 8-7-0 that year and never worse than second.

Shartin N, when she gets behind the gate, will become the first female with a sub-1:47 record to ever compete at the Meadowlands.

Some very famous horses have made their last start of the year at the Meadowlands a victory en route to the Horse of the Year award:
2003 — No Pan Intended 
2004 — Rainbow Blue 
2005 — Rocknroll Hanover 
2008 — Somebeachsomewhere 
2013 — Bee A Magician 
2016 — Always B Miki

Deja vu for Pelling?

Speaking of seconds….
Papi Rob Hanover was set back to second in the 2019 Breeders Crown. The outstanding freshman competes for Brett Pelling, who 21 years ago in the Governor’s Cup had another potential DQ, though this one though went his way. A 20-minute inquiry into possible interference involving The Panderosa was not allowed and he remained second to Island Fantasy, the divisional winner. The Panderosa would go on to win two million-dollar races as a sophomore — the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace.

Hannelore postscript

Postscript on Hannelore Hanover, who is being retired Saturday night: She is the rare HOY (in 2017) who had a better year (at least statistically) the year before. In 2016, her record was: 20-17-2-0 $1,119,111. When she won in 1:49.2 at the Red Mile on Oct. 7, 2017 she defeated two Hambletonian winners in that race — Marion Marauder and Pinkman (3rd).

She was foaled in 2012, six weeks after another outstanding Ron Burke trained trotting mare — Mission Brief. Hannelore was born on April 20 and Mission Brief on Feb. 29.

Arch Madness dead at 15

He won over $4.2 million, was a seven-time Breeders Crown finalist and was the last horse to defeat 2007 Horse of the Year Donato Hanover, doing so in both the elims and the final of the 2007 Breeders Crown.

Arch Madness has died at 15 years old in Maine. His trainer, Trond Smedshammer, reported the veteran’s passing.

“I was quite upset when I got the call last week. There was nothing leading up to this. He was in Maine and running around with his friend Likeabatoutahell. This was one tough and special horse. He came up and looked Donato Hanover in the eye twice at three and won the Breeders Crown. How many horses do you know who go to the Elittlopp three straight years at 5,6 and 7. He won his elimination easily at 5, then tied up and tired in the final. His best race was one year when he won the Titan Cup in 1:51. The track was soft that night and the pacers weren’t going that much. It was like a 1:49 trotting mile. It’s strange that a horse who won that many big races and that much money never won any year-end awards. There was always another horse who seemed to have a better year. He always was racing in the top class.”

Arch Madness was from the final crop of Balanced Image and was the latter’s richest and fastest (1:50.2) offspring.

“(Arch Madness) won the Allerage at age 9 and competed until midway through his 10-year-old season.”

Smedshammer also reports that Winn De Vie is retired and will be bred. She won the Breeders Crown this year — the ninth time that Smedshammer and Brian Sears combined to win a trotting Breeders Crown; the most of any trainer/driver combo in Breeders Crown history.