While many people may be hearing the term "polar vortex" for the first time because of the explanation meteorologists have been giving as to the reason for the frigid conditions blanketing much of the country, the two words have been used in harness racing.
More specificially, Standardbred racing had the pacer Polar Vortex, a 1990 gelding by Kawartha Skipper out of the Gerry's Miss mare Overtrick.
His career did not get off to a promising start. Unraced at two, he had to qualify four times before making time at Western Fair in London, Ont., 2:06.4, on Feb. 17, 1993. Entered back in a maiden a week later at Western Fair, he turned up a vet scratch, and had to requalify, getting back to the London track on April 7 and qualifying with a time of 2:06.3.
That would equal the fastest time he would ever put in during a race of his--all two of them.
His races weren't that bad for a green maiden. Last at the three-quarters over the tight Ontario oval in his pari-mutuel debut April 28, he closed to fifth, beaten only 3 1/2 lengths. The local fans must have liked what they saw, because they knocked him down to 2-1 for his second race on May 5, despite drawing post six, which is next to the outside on the seven-wide track. He wound up first-over before the half, and kept on going to be second, beaten only 1 1/4 lengths while pacing in 2:06.3 again.
And then he disappears off the radar.
All of his races in April and May of 1993 were conducted in temperatures of 50 degrees or more Fahrenheit – maybe the warm weather just didn't do for a Polar Vortex. He never raced again. Ironically, his only races came at Western Fair, a racetrack that canceled on Tuesday due to the polar vortex.