by Frank Carulli
November 27, 2019
Shartin N fell a nose short of becoming the first mare ever with back-to-back $1 million seasons when archrival Caviart Ally defeated her in the $175,000 TVG Mare Pace last Saturday at the Meadowlands. But Shartin N built a strong enough 2019 resume with a 15-19 record to hold the No. 1 spot in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10 poll – a major indicator for Horse of the Year – after the final major stakes race of the season.
Caviart Ally ($8.80, Andrew McCarthy) sat a pocket trip and got up in the final yards for her third recent win over Shartin N that included a Breeders Crown championship. Caviart Ally moved up to No. 7 in the poll with her ninth win of the year and a $672,215 bankroll.
In other stakes action:
· Always a Prince ($12) went wire-to-wire from post 8 in 1:48.2 to win the $350,000 TVG Open Pace, one of four winners on the night for driver Yannick Gingras. Reigning Horse of the Year McWicked finished fifth, but a retirement ceremony was held in the winners’ circle after the race for the 8-year-old gelding, who finished his career with 40 wins and $4.9 million in earnings.
· Six Pack is headed for a career at stud, but not before he trotted to a track-record 1:50 victory in the $350,000 TVG Open Trot. He defeated Manchego, the Breeders’ Crown Mare Trot champion, by ¾ of a length to go out with a 19-35 record and $1.9 million in earnings for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt.
· Emoticon Hanover ($16.40, Dan Dube) surged late in a :26.2 final quarter-mile to catch 1-to-9 favorite Atlanta in the $175,000 TVG Mare Trot in 1:51.4.
· More than $400,000 was on the line in each of four 2-year-old stakes events. El Ideal ($8, Andy Miller) seized the moment when odds-on favorite and Breeders Crown champion Amigo Volo went off stride at the break, leading throughout in the Valley Victory. Senorita Rita ($4.20, Scott Zeron) lived up to favoritism with a head victory in 1:53 in the Goldsmith Maid for filly trotters. Papi Rob Hanover (David Miller) cracked the national Top 10 with a 1:51.4 win in the Governor’s Cup for freshman pacers. JK First Lady (Yannick Gingras) paced to a track-record 1:49.2 in the Three Diamonds pace for fillies.