Horsepeople talk 2021, and hopes for 2022

Horsepeople talk 2021, and hopes for 2022

December 30, 2021

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by Debbie Little

To celebrate the New Year, I’ve asked some Meadowlands horsepeople the same four questions. Hopefully, this yearly column will eventually lose the COVID-19 references.

  1. What is your best memory of the year: a) on the track, and b) off the track?
  2. Have you ever made New Year’s resolutions and did you keep them?
  3. When COVID-19 is over, what do you want to do that you couldn’t do in 2021?
  4. Do you have something you’d like to accomplish in 2022?

David Miller

1a. “I would have to say when Perfect Sting won the Breeders Crown.”

1b. “Coming to Florida and spending time with my daughters.”

  1. “I’m probably like everybody else. Sure, I’ve made them, but I could never keep them.”
  2. “It didn’t really stop me from doing anything. I got vaccinated and [COVID] didn’t really change my lifestyle in any way, because I went to the tracks. But it’s a hassle and it would be good to get things back to normal, I guess.”
  3. “I always look forward to the spring and everything starting over and I just hope I can do more. That’s what I would like to accomplish. This time next year be like, ‘Yeah, I had a great year.’ That’s the way I feel about this year. I had a great year and I hope I can do it even better next year.”

Jim King, Jr.

1a. “My best memory would be the TVG when Lyons Sentinel redeemed herself. When she did come back and give a performance that was as eye appealing as it could be. When there were some doubters, that was good for her to go out and do her thing the way she can.”

1b. “The COVID restrictions [in Canada] limited what we could do a little bit, but I got to go upstairs and [Lyons Sentinel co-owner Joseph Lyons Mound] had a beer waiting, so I had a beer with him before we took off.”

  1. “I never have. I’m a one-day-at-a-time kind of guy and there’s too many things that happen that change the course of things that are beyond our control, so I just take each and every day and try to make the best of it.”
  2. “A lot of things had to be done differently. I was sure used to the way things had been for so many years and then with COVID changing things it was a big change. I do look forward to things getting back to normal, because I do very much enjoy going [to Canada to race], because we’ve been so fortunate up there. The recognition that you get up there when you bring the caliber that you do is tremendous. To get back to that would be really good.”
  3. “I like making my wife happy. She likes winners. Just a healthy, successful season. I don’t really have any goals. I just keep reaching for the stars.”

Noel Daley

1a. “Probably on the track, it’s funny because she was beaten, but Anoka Hanover running second in the Breeders Crown. She started out the year like I absolutely thought she’d beat the boys and then I had trouble with her all year then she turned the corner and come back. That was better than winning the race for me.”

1b. “My son going back to school full-time was probably the best off the track. We had 18 months where the best we did was go to school two mornings a week.”

  1. “No.”
  2. “Visit my family because Australia’s been really locked down. And then they opened up for vaccinated Australian citizens to go back there from the beginning of December. And in my state [Queensland], that had been a real hold out, they decided to do it from the 17th of December so we booked to go home because we have a lot of family there. And then the premier from the state changed her mind and moved the goal post to the end of January, so we didn’t get to go home.”
  3. “Visit my family [in Australia].”

Mark MacDonald

1a. “My best memory of 2021 I think is definitely the Peter Haughton. The Meadowlands Pace was thrilling, obviously, where we got placed up first. It was kind of bittersweet, because I love Brett Miller, he’s a great guy. So, my best actual memory on the track would be crossing the wire in the Peter Haughton because I trained [King Of The North] all winter with Ray [Schnittker].”

1b. “Because of COVID, [my daughter] Kiara Grace wasn’t really social and she’d never been to the track. She turned 2 in September. The first time she’d ever been to the track was when I won the Haughton. She was in the winner’s circle. It actually made a special race more special.”

  1. “I have made New Year’s resolutions and I’ve always kept them and plan to keep on keeping them. Unfortunately, we can’t talk about it because it would be a HIPAA violation.”
  2. “Sneeze in Todd McCarthy’s face.”
  3. “Win the Hambletonian. I’m hoping it’s King Of The North, that’s my boy.”

Tom Pollack

1a. “Purchasing True Blue Lindy and winning a PA sire stakes final in his second start for us.”

1b. “Being able to socialize with family and friends again.”

  1. “No, I do not make them [anymore]. When made in the past, I’ve usually broken them quickly in January.”
  2. “Even though [COVID] is still here, and certainly part of daily life, being honest it really hasn’t prevented me from doing anything. It’s made things a little more difficult. I did go to Canada during the year for the Metro final and there were a lot of hoops to jump through but we were able to accomplish getting there and getting home.”
  3. “My goal for 2022 would be to continue to build upon the foundation that we built of trying to establish ourselves as players on the stage at The Meadowlands.”
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