Matt's Scooter, at one time the breed's fastest horse and the grandsire of one of the breed's modern-day legends in Somebeachsomewhere, was euthanized on Monday, June 30, at Mid-Atlantic Equine Clinic in Ringoes, N.J. He was 29 years old and had been residing at Perretti Farms in New Jersey, where he had stood at stud virtually his entire siring career.
In September 1988, Mike Lachance drove BJ Scoot to victory in the Little Brown Jug but advised anyone who would listen that he was driving to Lexington following the Jug because the next day he expected to set a new speed record with Matt's Scooter, who earlier that season had won the Meadowlands Pace. When weather was conducive for speed at The Red Mile the day following the Jug, Lachance's prophecy came true as Matt's Scooter paced in 1:48.2 in a time trial. In 1989, as a 4 year old, he was voted Horse of the Year. Matts Scooter was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1992 and the U.S. Living Hall of Fame in 1996.
In addition to winning the Meadowlands Pace--which gave owners Gordon and Illa Rumpel their second victory in the race in four years--and breaking the world record at age three, Matt's Scooter also captured the New Jersey Classic, Messenger, American National, Prix d'Ete, Confederation Cup, and Nat Christie Memorial. Trained by Harry Poulton throughout his career, he returned to the track at age four and competed in the sport's top events for older pacers, turning in the fastest mile ever in Canada when he captured the Mohawk Gold Cup and also capturing the Breeders Crown, William Haughton Memorial, Driscoll Free-For-All, Cornell Free-For-All, and legs of the U.S. Pacing Championship, George Morton Levy Memorial, and Graduate Series. He was retired from racing with 37 wins in 61 starts and purse winnings of $2,944,591 for the Rumpels and their partner, Charles Juravinski.
Matt's Scooter offered breeders some outcross blood through his sire, Direct Scooter, a son of Sampson Direct out of the Noble Victory mare Noble Claire. His dam was the Meadow Skipper daughter Ellen's Glory, who was owned by Max Gerson when she foaled Matt's Scooter.
Matt's Scooter stood his first season at stud in 1990 and bred 89 mares, and he immediately had success thanks to his daughter from the No Nukes matron No No Abby. Their daughter Freedoms Friend won the Sweetheart Pace final and was voted the 1993 Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year. Over the course of his breeding career Matt's Scooter had great success with daughters of No Nukes as three of his top six top money-winners are out of daughters of No Nukes.
"The one thing Matt's Scooter didn't show was speed as a 2 year old, so we decided to load up his book with mares by sires who threw a lot of 2 year old speed, namely No Nukes and Albatross," recalled Bob Marks, who served as Director of Marketing at Perretti Farms for the late Bill Perretti.
In his 22 years at stud—all but one standing at Perretti's flagship farm in New Jersey—Matt's Scooter sired the winners of more than $74.3 million, with four millionaires. His greatest legacy as a sire is undoubtedly his son Mach Three p,3, 1:49 ($2,170,255), who won the 2002 Meadowlands Pace and later sired the world champion Somebeachsomewhere.
Among other notable offspring are the millionaires Royal Mattjesty p, 1:48.4 ($1,652,730); 1996 Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year Mystical Maddy p,4, 1:50 ($1,436,325); His Mattjesty p,3, 1:51 ($1,038,861) and Mattaroni p,3, 1:52.3 ($744,481).
As a broodmare sire, Matt's Scooter's credentials include the million-dollar winning mares Glowing Report, Economy Terror, Yellow Diamond and Drop The Ball, plus Santanna Blue Chip, Shadow Play, Georgia Pacific and American Ideal.--harnessracing.com