It was obvious the bettors thought Jerseylicious was the best in Hollywood Dayton's Mares Open Pace on Friday night when they sent her off at prohibitive 1-9 odds. But no one except driver Tyler Smith, trainer Tim Lane and owner Bruce Trogdon (Emerald Highlands Farm) knew just how much the best.
All the 7-year-old daughter of Western Ideal did was break the track record for pacing mares with a 1:49.3 romp, the first sub-1:50 mile by a female in the four-year history of the five-eighths mile oval. Only State Treasurer (1:48.4) and Wiggle It Jiggleit (1:49.1), the last two winners of the Grand Circuit Dayton Pacing Derby, have ever traveled faster at Hollywood.
"She's a very good horse," exclaimed a jubilant Smith in an obvious understatement.
After a brief give-and-go maneuver with Stirling Euphoria at the :26.4 quarter, Jerseylicious enjoyed a three-to-four length advantage over the field through middle fractions of :54.1 and 1:21.3 before cruising home without urging in :28 to establish the new track record.
"When I saw the 1:21.3 I figured I'd give a :50 mile a shot," said Smith, "because I know Mr. Trogdon wanted that for breeding purposes. The nice part is she did it on her own, I never even considered pulling her earplugs."
Trainer Tim Lane wasn't overly surprised either.
"We always knew she had it in her," he said. "She has come close to breaking :50 a couple times and is likely headed to the first book of Fear The Dragon in the spring. An offspring from the mating of these two prized Emerald Highlands possessions should be very, very special."
Jerseylicious now sports 27 wins from 97 career starts and has earned $774,540, to go with her new 1:49.3 record.