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Sassy Sarah goes out a winner for Saindon

December 10, 2015

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Sassy Sarah will always be amazing in the eyes of Lisa Saindon.
A 14-year-old pacing mare, Sassy Sarah won on Nov. 22 at Scarborough Downs to notch her first victory of the year. It was the 64th triumph of the mare's lengthy career, and it also was her final one. With mandatory retirement at age 15 looming for Sassy Sarah, Saindon--who owns and trains the horse--decided there was no need to go to the track again.
"I was thinking about racing her, but I decided I wanted her to go out as a winner,” Saindon said. "She's not what she used to be, but she gave it her all and raced awesome that day. That's what I want her to remember.”

Saindon has owned Sassy Sarah since October 2012. From the moment the mare stepped into Saindon's barn, the two created a relationship that goes beyond racing.

"We've bonded like you wouldn't believe,” Saindon said. "She's like a friend. She's just been amazing. I've been doing this since I was 15 or 16. I've loved all my horses, but there are a few that just truly touch your heart. She's one of them. She makes me smile.”

Sassy Sarah is a daughter of stallion Village Jiffy out of the mare Intwine. For much of her career prior to the age of 10, she was owned by Ralph Kennedy and trained and driven by Wallace Watson. An ownership change saw her land in the stable of trainer Kevin Switzer for the period of time prior to Saindon buying Sassy Sarah.

In 2011, with Switzer, Sassy Sarah set the track record of 1:56.1 for a female pacer at the half-mile oval at the Topsham Fair. In 2013, she was her division's "Claimer of the Year” at Scarborough Downs.

"She was just a tough mare, and that's what I liked,” Saindon said about purchasing Sassy Sarah. "She's never done anything wrong. She's easy to handle. I have nothing negative to say about her.”

For her career, she won 64 of 321 races and earned $204,199. Her win on Nov. 22 was her first victory since Oct. 26, 2014--which happened to be Saindon's birthday. Although she went 30 races in between wins, she hit the board 12 times.

"She's always tried for me,” said Saindon, who lives in Bridgton, Maine, and trains a small stable of horses. "There have been a lot of amazing races. Just being with her is the highlight. It's just been a great experience.

"Horses sometimes come to me and they don't seem to have any personality, but all horses have a personality. It's there. You just have to bring it out. All the (horses) I've got here are all individuals. I've never had kids, but these are my kids.”

Saindon, who recently discovered Sassy Sarah has a penchant for Dunkin Donuts munchkins, is considering turning the mare into a riding horse.

"She's feeling good and I'm thinking of having a friend help me to see how she would take to it,” Saindon said. "I'm going to keep her here and I've got a lot of thinking to do about her future. But she will always be safe.” (HRC)

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