Smoke Pan Mirrors a blessing for Magie family
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She's done it the hard way, never winning a race worth more than $20,000 and never competing in a claiming race. She has never won more than $72,202 in a season, or less than $33,348, and averaged nearly 40 starts a year since turning age 6. And she just keeps going.
"When we bought her at the sale that day, never would I have imagined what she's been to my family," Judy said. "You can always count on her to take care of us. It's a blessing. It's a huge blessing. She's really been a gift from God. We love her. We just treat her like family, because she is. She's just been so good to us."
Smoke Pan Mirrors is a daughter of stallion No Pan Intended out of the broodmare Sleight Of Pan. She was Sleight Of Pan's sixth foal, but first by 2003 Horse of the Year No Pan Intended.
"We noticed a lot of times that mares bred to No Pan Intended would come to life, so to speak," Brian said. "We were going mostly on conformation, and she was gorgeous. The fact the mare had a few foals, and this was the first No Pan Intended, we liked that combination. We were thrilled to get her. We loved her."
Smoke Pan Mirrors raced on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit at age 2, finishing second to future multiple-stakes-winner Dancinwiththestarz in her series debut. She also finished second in a division of the Arden Downs that season. At 3, she won twice in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Stallion Series. Two years later, she posted one of her biggest victories, winning the Fillies & Mares Open at Tioga Downs.
She might be one of the hardest-working women in harness racing. Smoke Pan Mirrors has started at least one race in 84 of the past 85 months, including the most recent 21 in a row. And if you're a driver, there's a good chance you've sat behind her. A total of 53 different drivers have been in the sulky for her races.
"She's been so durable and enjoys her job, so it's kind of hard to shut her down," Brian said. "In this day and age, with the hard racetracks and the style of racing, you don't find this durability just anywhere. I think it's just a tribute to her conformation; she was put together the way you want a horse to be put together. The drivers all love her. Nobody says she's a Cadillac anymore, but she always has been.
Smoke Pan Mirrors resides in a stall at the end of a row nearest the stable's office. In the stall next to her is 9-year-old stallion Voice Of Truth, himself a $456,177-earner in his career, bred by Judy Magie and Pine Creek Stables.
"They're like an old married couple," Judy said. "They're just as happy as can be."
Keeping Smoke Pan Mirrors happy is one of the keys to her longevity on the racetrack. She has a routine -- first out to the field in the morning and then last to jog or train, followed immediately by lunch.
"She's a bit of a diva," Judy said, laughing, "But she's just a really fun horse."
"She's set in her ways, just like most women," Brian said, also laughing. "But she's a sweetheart. My 1-year-old son (Luke) could walk in there and she wouldn't hurt him. She's good to be around. She's a pleasure. She doesn't owe us anything. We have great respect for her and what she's done over the years. We're always trying to think about what's best for her."
When the time comes for Smoke Pan Mirrors to retire from racing and focus on motherhood, she will do it right at home.
"She'll get to spend the rest of her life as a broodmare at our house. We still have Voice Of Truth's mother (Shandelle Hanover). They bought our farm, so they'll get to live out their days there.
"I'm happy to be able to do that for her."--By Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications