It was the perfect ending to a perfect season for Bee A Magician. The female trotter on Sunday night was named 2013 Horse of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association at the Dan Patch Awards banquet at Dover Downs. Bee A Magician, who was unbeaten in 17 races last season at age 3 and earned a divisional record $1.54 million, bested pacers Foiled Again and Captaintreacherous for the honor.
Bee A Magician became the first 3-year-old filly trotter to receive the Horse of the Year Award since Continentalvictory in 1996. She received 94 votes, followed by Foiled Again with 19 and Captaintreacherous with 16, who got the nod for Pacer of the Year.
In addition, Bee A Magician was named Trotter of the Year by a 120-vote margin over both Market Share and Royalty For Life, who received three votes apiece. Although Foiled Again received more support for Horse of the Year, Captaintreacherous got the nod for Pacer of the Year, 68-57. Captaintreacherous, who won 13 of 16 races and $2.05 million last season as a 3-year-old, became the first horse to win back-to-back Pacer of the Year honors since Jenna's Beach Boy in 1995-96. He joined Niatross as the only horses to accomplish the feat at ages 2 and 3.
Winners of divisional honors also were recognized at the banquet: Father Patrick (2-year-old male trotter), Shake It Cerry (2-year-old female trotter), He's Watching (2-year-old male pacer), Precocious Beauty (2-year-old female pacer), Royalty For Life (3-year-old male trotter), Bee A Magician (3-year-old female trotter), Captaintreacherous (3-year-old male pacer), I Luv The Nitelife (3-year-old female pacer), Market Share (older male trotter), Maven (older female trotter), Foiled Again (older male pacer) and Anndrovette (older female pacer).
Bee A Magician, Father Patrick and Maven were unanimous picks for divisional titles. Captaintreacherous, Foiled Again, Market Share, and Anndrovette were repeat winners.
Trained by Richard "Nifty” Norman and driven by Brian Sears for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee, Bee A Magician's wins included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly trotters, Hambletonian Oaks, Elegantimage Stakes, and Delvin Miller Memorial.
Her $1.54 million in purses were the most ever for a 3-year-old filly trotter, breaking the record of $1.17 million set by Continentalvictory in 1996, and her winning time of 1:51 in the Miller Memorial at Meadowlands Racetrack is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old filly trotter.
Bee A Magician joined Muscle Hill and Syrinx Hanover as the only trotters to go unbeaten at age 3 and receive divisional honors dating back to 1975.
Captaintreacherous' wins last year included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Max Hempt Memorial, Cane Pace and American-National Stakes.
Trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Tim Tetrick for the Captaintreacherous Racing ownership group, he joined Rocknroll Hanover and Gallo Blue Chip as the only horses to win the Breeders Crown, North America Cup, and Meadowlands Pace in the same season.
Father Patrick, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras for the Father Patrick Stable ownership group, won 10 of 11 races and $744,057. His victories included the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters, the William Wellwood Memorial, and the Peter Haughton Memorial. He finished the campaign with a nine-race winning streak and was unbeaten in stakes competition. He set the world record of 1:52.1 for a 2-year-old male trotter on a five-eighths-mile track in winning his Breeders Crown elimination at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
Shake It Cerry, trained by Takter and driven by Ron Pierce for the Solveig's Racing Partners ownership group, captured eight of 11 starts and earned $827,769. Her triumphs included the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly trotters, Goldsmith Maid, and Merrie Annabelle.
He's Watching was undefeated in eight starts last year, including the New York Sire Stakes championship, and equaled the world record of 1:52.2 for 2-year-old colt pacers on a half-mile track. He is owned by trainer David Menary, Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero and was driven primarily by Jim Morrill Jr.
Precocious Beauty won seven of 11 races, including the She's A Great Lady Stakes, and $446,692 for trainer Gregg McNair, driver Doug McNair and owner Jim Avritt Sr.
Hambletonian champion Royalty For Life won seven of 14 starts and $1.27 million for trainer George Ducharme, driver Brian Sears, and owners Al Ross, Ray "Chip” Campbell Jr. and Paul Fontaine. He also won the Canadian Trotting Classic.
I Luv The Nitelife won 13 of 15 races and $1.25 million for trainer Chris Ryder, driver Tetrick and owners Richard and Joanne Young. Her victories included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly pacers, Fan Hanover Stakes and Valley Forge (in a world-record 1:48.4 mile).
Market Share, who was a 4-year-old in 2013, also took divisional honors at age 3. Last year, he won six of 14 races and earned $1.07 million for trainer Linda Toscano, driver Tetrick and owners Richard Gutnick, TLP Stables, and William Augustine. He finished the season by winning the Breeders Crown Open Trot, American-National Stakes, and TVG Free For All Series Championship.
Maven won 10 of 14 races and earned $509,220 for trainer Jonas Czernyson, driver Gingras and owner Bill Donovan. Her wins included the Breeders Crown for older female trotters, Armbro Flight Stakes, and Miss Versatility Series championship. She trotted the fastest race mile ever on a half-mile track in winning the Miss Versatility in 1:51.4 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio.
Foiled Again, who last season at age 9 became the oldest horse to ever win a Breeders Crown and the richest North American harness racing horse in history, was named the sport's best older male pacer for the third consecutive year. He joined Rambling Willie (1975-77) as the only horses to win the division's top honor three straight seasons.
Trained by Ron Burke and driven primarily by Gingras for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and JJK Stables, Foiled Again won 11 of 29 races in 2013 and earned $1.40 million. He is the oldest horse to ever have a million-dollar season.
Anndrovette also became a three-time divisional champion. She joined Eternal Camnation (2001-03) and Shady Daisy (1992-94) as the only older female pacers to accomplish the feat. Anndrovette won seven of 21 races and $558,201 for trainer P.J. Fraley, driver Tetrick and owners Bamond Racing and Joseph Davino. Her victories included the Roses Are Red Stakes.
For complete vote totals, click here.
DAN PATCH AWARD WINNERS
HORSE OF THE YEAR
TROTTER OF THE YEAR
3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER
Bee A Magician
Kadabra – Beehive – Balanced Image
Breeder: White Birch Farm.
Owners: Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, David McDuffee.
PACER OF THE YEAR
3-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER
Somebeachsomewhere – Worldly Treasure – Artsplace
Breeder: White Birch Farm.
Owner: Captaintreacherous Racing.
2-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER
Cantab Hall – Gala Dream – Enjoy Lavec
Breeder: Brittany Farms.
Owner: Father Patrick Stable.
2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER
Shake It Cerry
Donato Hanover – Solveig – Yankee Glide
Breeder: Solveig's Breeders.
Owner: Solveig's Racing Partners.
2-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER
2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER
Art Major – Precious Beauty – Jate Lobell
Breeder: James Avritt Sr.
Owner: James Avritt Sr.
Trainer: Gregg McNair. Driver: Doug McNair.
3-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER
Royalty For Life
RC Royalty – Bourbon 'N Grits – Donerail
Breeder: Al Ross.
Owners: Al Ross, Ray "Chip” Campbell Jr., Paul Fontaine.
3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER
I Luv The Nitelife
Rocknroll Hanover – Lisjune – Camluck
Breeders: MJG Racing Stables, Louis "Andy” Willinger.
Owners: Richard and Joanne Young.
OLDER MALE TROTTER
Revenue S – Classical Flirt – Yankee Glide
Breeder: Hayley Moore.
Owners: Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable, William Augustine.
OLDER FEMALE TROTTER
Glidemaster – M Stewart – American Winner
Breeder: All La Nuova Sbarra S.r.l.
Owner: Bill Donovan.
OLDER MALE PACER
Dragon Again – In A Safe Place – Artsplace
Breeder: Barbara Matthews.
Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, JJK Stables.
OLDER FEMALE PACER
Riverboat King – Easy Miss – Big Towner
Breeder: Golden Touch Stable.
Owner: Bamond Racing, Joseph Davino.
Trainer: P.J. Fraley. Driver: Tim Tetrick.
Races: 21-7-7-4. Purses: $558,201. Mark: 1:48 at Mohawk.
Top win: $313,795 Roses Are Red.
(Harness Racing Communications)