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Danzig ready for career finale--again

December 20, 2007
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It was all set. On Thursday, Dec. 13, the veteran trotter Danzig was to make his final trip to post at Monticello Raceway, but the best-laid plans of mice and men sometimes go astray. A heavy snowstorm in the Catskill Mountains on that day forced The Mighty M to cancel its Thursday race card.

Harry Nieberg, who has owned the $405,000 career winner nearly all of  his racing career, wanted--and still does--to retire the 10-year-old Danzig so as not to cheapen the  gelding and in the process make sure he doesn’t knock around in claiming races for the rest of his racing career.

Danzig has been real good to me over the years and he has always given his best even though he wasn’t the soundest horse in the world,\" said Nieberg prior to last week\'s scheduled race. \"Now age and injuries have made him unable to compete at the level he was accustomed to and I refuse to put him in a cheap claimer. So I have decided to end his racing career.”
 
On Friday, Dec. 21, the winner of 53 career races with a lifetime record of 1:55.4 will definitely make his last trip--weather permitting--behind the mobile starting gate when  Jimmy Marohn Jr. jumps up behind Danzig and they start from post position three as third choice on the morning line in a non-winners trot.

“Last week I was traveling to Monticello from my home in Brooklyn to see his (Danzig’s) final start only to find out they had a big snowstorm there and had to cancel the races,\" Nieberg said. \"But I am definitely coming up on Friday to be with Danzig in his final race.”

This season the 10-year-old trotter has had one victory and a bankroll in excess of $14,000--and still capable of earning more--but Nieberg doesn’t want to race him in claimers and would rather end the trotter\'s career.

“Before I bought him in 2000 my trainer, J.C. Jobidon, went a trip with him and called me to say \'he wants to be a horse,\'\" Nieberg recalled. “Jobidon was so right. Danzig always  tried hard even though he wasn’t the fastest or soundest and I decided some time back that nobody else will ever get him or abuse him. There aren’t many situations when an owner can decide his horses last race and I am happy to be able to do this for him.”

Though Danzig’s race was cancelled last week the news that Nieberg was looking good home for the horse paid dividends because Nieberg got a call from David Phoenix, an owner in the Keith Kash Jr. Stable in Ohio, saying he was looking for a companion for one of his retired horses. Phoenix told Nieberg that he will give Danzig a good home and care for him the rest of his life. (Monticello)

 

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