Shartin N makes Horse of the Year case
November 24, 2018
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She's done all she can do. Now, she hopes the Horse of the Year voters are in her corner.
Shartin N became the first older pacing female to earn $1 million in a single season by taking the $175,000 TVG Mares Pace in 1:50.3 in a dominant performance over a sloppy track at the Meadowlands Saturday night on the biggest night of racing on the fall calendar, as four TVG Finals as well as the Fall Final Four for 2-year-olds were contested.
The 5-year-old daughter of Tintin In America-Bagdarin was used hard into the first turn by driver Tim Tetrick, putting 2-1 second choice Caviart Ally in the pocket. Shartin N was permitted to rate the second fraction in :29.2 as Blue Moon Stride made progress racing first-over, getting within a neck of the eventual winner nearing three-quarters, which was timed in 1:23.2.
The 4-5 favorite then turned it on, sprinting clear of Caviart Ally as Blue Moon Stride faded. At the wire, Shartin N was 1¾ lengths clear of a fast-closing Apple Bottom Jeans, who was 55-1 on the tote board. Pure Country was third.
"She's been great. It's been a great trip with her," said Richard Poillucci, who owns the horse with Jo Ann Looney-King, wife of trainer Jim King Jr. "It was a little tough in the beginning with (her going off stride) when we got her here but she's just been an incredible mare."
"McWicked has been a tremendous horse," said Poillucci when the subject of Horse of the Year was brought up. "I'm just happy that she's done what she's done."
Shartin N, who won the Breeders Crown four weeks ago, paid $3.60 as the 4-5 public choice and has won 19-of-24 starts this year, good for earnings of $1,053,236.
Earlier in the evening, in the $175,000 TVG Mares Trot, Breeders Crown champion Emoticon Hanover sealed up divisional honors by holding off the late-charging Hannelore Hanover by a neck in 1:52.4. Celebrity Ruth was third.
Driver Daniel Dube hustled Emoticon Hanover to the lead in the abbreviated five-horse field with Hannelore Hanover racing right behind. Over a track rated 'good' as heavy rains fell, the moderate fractions of :28, :56.3 and 1:25.4 set the stage for a sprint to the wire.
"Everything went well with those fractions," said Dube in the winner's circle. "But I was not sure I had it won because (Hannelore Hanover) is a great horse, but my horse was good to the wire."
Emoticon Hanover trotted her final quarter in :27, and it was just enough, as Hannelore Hanover – who started the year six-for-six but is now six-for-13 – was in tight quarters in mid stretch. Nearing the wire, Ice Attraction started to flatten a bit after grinding toward the leader during the final half-mile, allowing Hannelore enough room for one final surge. But she would come up just short.
Trained by Luc Blais, Emoticon Hanover, a 5-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Emmylou Who, returned $4.00 as the even-money favorite. She has now won 22-of-53 lifetime starts and earned $1,454,576 for owners Determination of Montreal.