JK's She'salady fulfills Johansson's dreams
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JK She'salady has won each of her most recent seven races by at least one length. Three times, she has won by four or more lengths, including the She's A Great Lady Stakes in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1 at Mohawk.
"She knows what the goal is,” Johansson said. "She knows that she's supposed to be first. I always say that's what makes great horses great – they know what this is about. She has tons of determination and grit, but she's smart too. She's not just out there running on talent. She has a lot of talent, but she's figured everything out too.
"And she's easy on herself, too. After she races, she comes home and attacks her feed tub. Nothing really bothers her. She's smart. If it's raining outside, she'll lie down and sleep. She's like, ‘Rain day!' When it stops raining, she'll get up ready to jog. In that way, she's super easy to train. I don't have to worry about all the stupid things horses can do.”
As her win total has increased, so has recognition. Last week, JK She'salady received eight of 35 first-place votes in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. She was ranked No. 3 among all horses, and first among pacers. The next poll will be released before noon on Tuesday.
The 2-year-old filly pacer with the most support in recent years was Eternal Camnation, who got 30 votes for Pacer of the Year in 1999, but was outdistanced by Triple Crown winner Blissfull Hall, with 153 votes.
"That doesn't really matter to me,” Johansson said. "I just try to make (JK She'salady) as perfect as she can be for every race. That's my job. Everything else is just extra.”
JK She'salady cruised to wins in her first three races, but really opened Johansson's eyes in her fourth start, which came in a division of – interestingly – the Eternal Camnation Stakes at Mohawk.
She was in seventh place, 9 1/4 lengths behind the leader, at the halfway point and three wide, still more than three lengths back, as she made her way around the final turn. As the field straightened for home, she was in front – and won by seven lengths with regular driver Yannick Gingras.
"That was the first moment where I was like, wow, she's the real deal,” Johansson said. "I've never seen a horse that can make a move in the turn like she can. Usually in the turn you lose a length or a half a length, but she'll come out of the turn and be on top by two. I think that's pretty amazing with her.
"She loves it. She's put away a lot of nice horses in the last turn. Those fillies are pacing hard and she just goes by them. She's just a dream come true.” (HRC)