Party Girl Hill to scratch from PASS to race in Fan Hanover elims
August 18, 2020
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Party Girl Hill has given owner Tom Hill reason to celebrate. Unraced at age 2 because of a stress fracture, the 3-year-old female pacer is 6-for-6 in 2020. Party Girl Hill was scheduled to race in a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes division on Thursday at Harrah’s Philadelphia, but she will be scratched by trainer Chris Ryder as she will instead race on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the second of two eliminations of the Fan Hanover.
“I spoke to the race office (at Harrah's Philadelphia) and told them what we were doing, and the judges were OK with it,” Ryder told harnessracing.com Tuesday afternoon. "We are in this situation because both races moved dates and if I didn't enter her in the Sires Stakes and there weren't eliminations of the Fan Hanover she would have been off three weeks (before the Fan Hanover final on Aug. 29)."
Because of the covid-19 travel restrictions, Ryder has sent Party Girl Hill to Ontario-based trainer Chantal Mitchell for the Fan Hanover. Regular driver Dexter Dunn is also not making the trip so Ryder has enlisted Doug McNair to drive.
The Ryder trainee has won all but one start by at least 1 1/4 lengths, including an 11 ¾-length romp in her debut June 12 at the Meadowlands. She won her most recent race, a sire stakes division at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:49. It was her third consecutive sub-1:50 win on a five-eighths-mile track and the fastest mile on a five-eighths oval by a 3-year-old filly pacer in four years, only two-fifths of a second off the world record.
“I don’t know how fast she can go,” Hill said. “I don’t know where the bottom is. She’s a freak.”
Hill bred Party Girl Hill, a daughter of Captaintreacherous out of Look Cheap. Party Girl Hill trained well as a 2-year-old but was injured just prior to qualifying.
“There was no surgery, we just had to give her the time to heal,” Hill said. “She was training like an absolute monster. If we didn’t have to quit with her, there’s no doubt she would have been a top-class 2-year-old.”
Hill, who lives in England and will turn 70 next month, is no stranger to good horses. He owned two-time O’Brien Award winning trotter Caprice Hill, Breeders Crown champion Racing Hill, millionaire Western Silk, and North America Cup and Breeders Crown runner-up Art Colony.
But Party Girl Hill is something different.
“She’s the best horse I’ve ever been fortunate enough to own,” Hill said. “She’s just in a different sphere. We knew last year she was a tremendously fast horse, and a good horse. If I said I knew she would be as good as she is, I’d be telling you lies, but she had blistering speed and she was intelligent. Whatever you want to do, she will do it.
“Chris says she’s easy on herself, nothing bothers her. She travels good, she sleeps good, she eats good, and after a race you wouldn’t think she had one. She can race from the front, she can do it from behind, she can get parked out; it doesn’t matter. She’s the full package. That’s what makes a champion, when you get all those things coming together.
“I’m just hoping she carries on and stays healthy,” Hill said. “When she’s on her game, I don’t think there is a 3-year-old filly that can go with her. If she stays healthy, I think she can be a big contender for Horse of the Year. She’s just a special horse. She’s a gift from God.”
For now, Ryder is tempering his sentiments about Party Girl Hill.
“It’s obvious she is very good. I’m not going to put myself out on a limb…but she just speaks for herself,” he said. “She’s done everything a horse can do. Some people are making some silly comparisons that I’m not going to get into.” (with files from Ken Weingartner/USTA)