by Bob Heyden
The sire of Victory Song, the very first Horse of the Year (1947) was Volomite who lived from 1926-1954 and banked $32,649 in his career.
Creatine is the sire of Jujubee, the likely Trotter of the Year for 2021. Creatine had just one $100,000 yearling in 2021 — Canterasprings. The colt sold at Lexington for $100,000 on the nose. Just three yearlings by the $2 million plus earning Creatine were sold for $35,000 or more of 21 total.
Always B Miki having three divisional winners in just his second crop is unprecedented — Niki Hill, Monte Miki and Perfect Sting. With a handful of days to go in 2021, ABM was #1 in earnings per start in North America.
Chapter Seven sold 29 yearlings from $25,000-$99,999 and 28 from $100,000 up. He averaged $126,372, overall.
Walner had seven yearlings sell between $25,000 and $50-000 yearlings, 22 between $50,000 and $99,999 and 38 over $100,000. Both the leading ticket yearling colt and filly were Walners, as were the #1 earning filly (Venerable) and colt (King Of The North) of 2021. Walner is the 12th richest offspring of Chapter Seven. Oh, what could have been.
Captaintreacherous sold $5,556,000 worth of yearlings colts in 2021 and $5,521,000 worth of yearling fillies — 52 colts, 37 fillies.
Downbytheseaside and Huntsville were the top two colts of 2016 on the pacing side. Both equaled the 2YOCP world record of 1:49. They were 1-2 in the Breeders Crown. They continued their battles into 2017 right there together at the wire in the Meadowlands Pace. Now, after a breakout year by “Seaside” and a Governor’s Cup-winning season by Huntsville (Early Action) they are still on the same plane it seems. Seaside had 13 six-figure yearlings in 2021 averaging $58,905, Huntsville had 11 for $100,000 and up, averaging $56,889 — 72 for Huntsville and 77 for Seaside were sold.
Million-dollar buyers’ club
Twenty-two buyers spent more than $1 million at the sales in 2021. Steve Heimbecker led the way with $4,218,000, Nancy Takter was second at $3,467,000. Newcomer Doug Overhiser was sixth at $2,309,000.
Fewest career starts for a HOY sire?
Swan For All. He had an 8-2-0 record in 11 starts in a $309,000 career. He sired the 2017 HOY Hannelore Hanover.
Like father, like son
Cattlewash will stand stud in 2022, completing the father-son 1:46.4 combo as sophomores.
One unique bio
McWicked wins the award for the most unique career bio. He earned $4,930,967, but had two winless seasons:
at 4: 10 0-3-2, $90,283
at 5: 4 0-0-2, $18,650
Three million-dollar seasons then followed at 7-8:
at 7: $1,575,364
at 8: $1,034,091
And remember, all this came after a sophomore million-dollar year of $1,472,437, against the likes of Always B Miki.
That four years in between from 3-7 is the longest ever period of time for a single horse to have from one million-dollar year to their next.
Bit Of A Legend N, now a stallion in North America, made almost $2 million racing in NA at ages 7-8-9-10. The curious part is that his 5- and 6-year-old Down Under seasons were hardly noteworthy:
at 5: 9 2-2-1, $32G
at 6: 17 1-2-3, $38G
This was on the heels of a combined 17-for-37 slate at 3 and 4 good for almost $600,000.
Bold and the beautiful
Remember Bold Eagle, the 2018 Breeders Crown winner? That was his lone start in North America in a fabulous career: 76 46-11-4, $5,701,478. How many $5.7 million winners or better never started more than 12 times in any season of their careers?
Archangel did well at 2 and 3-, did not race at 4 and came back at age 5 for 17 more starts. Despite the 2-for-17 slate, it was a good move. He won in 1:50 flat.
Big money, few wins
Which horse was the richest horse in a single year, but that horse did not reach double figure wins in his/her career? Roll With Joe did it in 2011. He was number one in earnings at $1,649,725, but his career slate was 23 8-6-3.
Close then, close now
It is rare to see two mano-mano combatants retire and stand at the same farm. Papi Rob Hanover and Tall Dark Stranger are doing just that. A head apart in the freshman Breeders Crown in 2019 and a couple of bobs away in the 2020 Meadowlands Pace, the two best sophomore pacing colts of 2020 are now at Hanover Shoe Farms. Papi Rob Hanover bred 137 mares in year one, TDS bred 140.
Oldie but a goodie
Bettors Delight will turn 24 as of Jan. 1, yet he bred more mares in 2021 than any other sire — 179.
He led all sires in earnings again in 2021.
My vote for the unluckiest Horse of the Year contender and runner-up is Lucky Jim in 2009. A 4-year-old trotter who competed for Julie/Andy Miller, he went 17-for-18-and the only loss was as a result of blatant interference in Canada. He earned $1,063,618 that year, which included a 1:50.1 score the very same day (Hambletonian Day) that Muscle Hill did the same in the Hambletonian. Muscle Hill went 12-for-12, which meant they were a combined 29-for-30 that year. The balloting was 164-5 in favor of Muscle Hill when all was said and done.