Dan Patch trotting honorees announced
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The fastest trotter of all time and the richest Standardbred of the year were among the six trotters to receive divisional honors in Dan Patch Award voting announced Tuesday by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. The winners are Sebastian K, Classic Martine, Father Patrick, Shake It Cerry, Pinkman and Mission Brief, giving trainer Jimmy Takter three of the six trotting honorees.
Divisional honors for pacers will be revealed Wednesday, followed by the live announcements of Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Meadowlands Racetrack's Victory Sports Bar. Thursday's announcements will be streamed live on the racetrack's website, http://www.playmeadowlands.com/.
Sebastian K, an 8-year-old who won in 1:49 in June to become the fastest trotter in history, was voted harness racing's best older male trotter of 2014. Father Patrick, who earned $1.69 million this season to lead all Standardbreds, was named the sport's best 3-year-old male trotter.
Father Patrick is from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, who also conditioned Pinkman, the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, and Shake It Cerry, who was one vote shy of being the unanimous selection for best 3-year-old female trotter.
Shake It Cerry and Father Patrick also were honored last year at age 2.
Completing the list of this year's award winners were 2-year-old female trotter Mission Brief and older female trotter Classic Martine.
A total of 157 ballots were returned. Mission Brief, Pinkman, and Sebastian K joined Shake It Cerry in exceeding 89 percent of the vote in their respective divisions. Father Patrick received 60 percent and Classic Martine garnered 58 percent.
Yannick Gingras was the primary driver for three of the trotters to receive Dan Patch honors: Mission Brief, Pinkman, and Father Patrick.
Classic Martine won nine of 18 races this year and hit the board a total of 16 times to lead all older female trotters in purses with $438,912. Her victories included the Armbro Flight Stakes, Miss Versatility Series championship and the Ima Lula Series final in a then-world-record-equaling performance.
Trained by Chris Oakes and driven primarily by Tim Tetrick, Classic Martine is owned by Hauser Bros. Racing, Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich, and Edwin Gold.
No harness racing horse earned more money this year than Father Patrick, who banked $1.69 million for the Father Patrick Stable ownership group. His victories included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters, Canadian Trotting Classic, Beal Memorial, Zweig Memorial, Stanley Dancer Memorial, American-National Stakes, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship.
His 1:50.2 win in the Beal Memorial on June 28 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is the fastest mile ever by any 3-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track.
Father Patrick joins Lucky Chucky, Muscle Hill, Deweycheatumnhowe, and Donato Hanover as male trotters in the last 10 years to receive a Dan Patch Award at both ages 2 and 3.
Mission Brief trotted the fastest mile ever by any 2-year-old, stopping the clock in 1:50.3 in winning her division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 2 at The Red Mile. It was the third time Mission Brief either equaled or lowered the world record. She finished her campaign by winning the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly trotters in a stakes-record 1:51.4.
For the year, Mission Brief won nine of 13 races – she went off stride in all four losses – and earned $591,070 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. She won eight of her starts by at least three lengths and had a combined margin of victory of 65-3/4 lengths – an average of more than seven lengths per triumph.
In addition to the Breeders Crown, her wins included the Merrie Annabelle Stakes and New Jersey Sire Stakes championship.
Pinkman, who was entered in November's Standardbred Horse Sale's Mixed Sale before Takter reconsidered, won six of eight races and earned $566,960 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. Named after a character from the television series, "Breaking Bad,” the gelding's victories included the Breeders Crown, in a stakes-record-equaling 1:53.2, and Valley Victory Stakes.
Takter-trained horses have been named best 2-year-old male trotter three times in five years, with Pinkman following Father Patrick in 2013 and Pastor Stephen in 2010.
Sebastian K arrived in the U.S. this season after a record-setting career in Europe. The Swedish-born stallion trotted a world-record-equaling 1:50.1 in his debut at the Meadowlands and capped a record streak of four consecutive victories in 1:50.3 or faster with his 1:49 triumph at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
Owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc., Sebastian K was driven by trainer Ake Svanstedt and finished the year with eight wins in 13 races and $663,853 in purses. His victories included the Cashman Memorial, Crawford Farms Open Trot, and Cutler Memorial.
Shake It Cerry won 15 of 17 races this year, earning $1.23 million for the Solveig's Racing Partners ownership group and driver Ron Pierce.
The Takter-trained filly finished her season by winning the Breeders Crown in a stakes-record 1:52.2. She also won the Matron Stakes in a stakes- and track-record 1:52.4 over a "good” surface at Dover Downs, the American-National in a stakes-record 1:52.2 and equaled the stakes record of 1:52.1 in capturing the Elegantimage.
Both of Shake It Cerry's parents were Dan Patch Award winners. Donato Hanover was Horse of the Year at age 3 in 2007 and Solveig was voted best 2-year-old female trotter in 2004. Solveig also was trained by Takter, who named the filly in honor of his mother.
Shake It Cerry joins Passionate Glide and Pampered Princess, both also trained by Takter, and Check Me Out as female trotters to receive Dan Patch Awards at ages 2 and 3.
Complete vote totals for all awards will be released Thursday with the Horse of the Year announcement.
Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Yannick Gingras, Sylvain Filion.
Races: 8-6-1-0. Purses: $566,960. Mark: 1:53.2 at Meadowlands.
Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $463,690 Valley Victory.
Trainer: Ron Burke. Driver: Yannick Gingras.
Races: 13-9-0-0. Purses: $591,070. Mark: 1:50.3 at The Red Mile (world record).
Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $352,050 Merrie Annabelle
Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Yannick Gingras.
Races: 17-12-3-0. Purses: $1.69 million. Mark: 1:50.2 at Pocono Downs (world record).
Top wins: $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic; $500,000 Breeders Crown; $500,000 Beal Memorial
Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Ron Pierce
Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $368,100 Elegantimage; $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity.
Trainer: Ake Svanstedt. Driver: Ake Svanstedt
Top wins: $300,650 Cashman Memorial; $236,000 Crawford Farms Trot; $175,000 Cutler Memorial.
Trainer: Chris Oakes. Driver: Tim Tetrick
Top wins: $244,720 Armbro Flight; $121,500 Miss Versatility.