Ryder on Party Girl Hill: "She's not retired"
November 13, 2020
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Trainer Chris Ryder told harnessracing.com Friday afternoon that contrary to a quote attributed to him in a Dover Downs’ press release following Party Girl Hill’s 1:49 track-record victory in Thursday night’s $154,250 Matron, the 3-year-old filly pacer is not being retired and will return to race as a 4 year old in 2021.
Ryder said he declined an invitation to race Party Girl Hill in next Saturday’s TVG Older Mare Pace at the Meadowlands, and said after the race that the filly was done for the year—not for her career.
“I’m annoyed that I was quoted she was retiring, which is not true one bit,” said Ryder. “She’s done for the year. Contrary to popular belief, she’s not retired and will have at least a good couple months out in the field. We’re turning her out in North Carolina at Chris Coyle’s Olive Branch Farm.”
Unraced at two due to injury, Party Girl Hill was a 1:50.2 winner in a maiden race in her debut on June 12 at the Meadowlands. Driven by Dexter Dunn, Party Girl Hill then won her next 13 races to stretch her unbeaten streak to 14, including the two-heat Jugette at Delaware, Ohio, and a career-best 1:47.2 in a Tattersalls division against the boys on Oct. 11 at The Red Mile.
After capturing her Breeders Crown elimination, Party Girl Hill suffered her first and only career defeat when she finished third in the $500,000 final on Oct. 31 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. But she bounced back with her track-record score in the Matron, bringing her earnings to $880,345 for owner Tom Hill.
“She had a super year,” said Ryder of Party Girl Hill, who is a lock to be voted 3-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year and a contender for Horse of the Year honors. “She lost one race after starting out as a maiden in June. And she stepped out of her comfort zone and beat the boys.
Ryder does have one horse in his barn who is heading to retirement in 2021: Bettor’s Wish. The 2019 Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer of the Year, who won five of 11 starts this year to bring his career earnings to $2,413,033 for owners Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, Bettors Wish Partners and Ryder, has two more starts on his plate before heading to Diamond Creek Farm to stand stallion duty.
“Bettor’s Wish has two races left, the Potomac Pace Sunday at Rosecroft and then the TVG,” said Ryder. “And then he’s done and will be a stallion at Diamond Creek in Pennsylvania.”