Smoken Up will be retired from NSW racing this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle, the track where he and trainer/driver Lance Justice etched their names into the history of harness racing with the 1:48.5 time in the Len Smith Mile.
On that cool night in April, 2011 in showery conditions, the superstar of Australasian racing treated his rivals and the clock with absolute contempt as the beyond-reach 1:50 barrier was broken for the first time outside of North America.
The ‘mighty miler’ (winner of two past Miracle Miles) know to his legion of fans as “Trigger” made Tabcorp Park Menangle his own, winning the Len Smith Mile on no fewer than four occasions since its inception in 2008. According to his fans, Smoken Up’s name should be recorded as the winner of the first five Len Smith Miles.
Still he will long be remembered for burning his rivals off and making Lance Justice the fastest driver in the Southern Hemisphere and himself the fastest equine.
“Yes, we had a point to prove that night – for a few different reasons,” Lance said.
“And Trigger just felt so good when we went onto the track I just knew he was up for it.
“The amazing part about it is that 1:48.5 win was probably our biggest winning margin in all our races at that track.
“He’s still going nearly as well as ever and won’t disappoint any of his fans.
“And I know there are plenty in New South Wales because they follow him on Facebook.
“But the pressure’s off now – he’s not being set for any more of the Miracle Miles or Inter Dominions.
“This will give all his fans a chance to say good bye to a mighty horse.”
According to Chief Executive of the NSWHRC John Dumesny: “Smoken Up holds a very special place in harness racing and especially at Tabcorp Park Menangle.
“The Board of Directors had no hesitation in naming the $7 million world’s-best race stalls at the track in honour of Smoken Up.”
“We will be commemorating his retirement from the track and NSW with the emphasis on giving mementoes to his fans and the those who admire and acknowledge a true champion of our sport.”
Smoken Up only started at Harold Park, Newcastle and Menangle Park during his visits to New South Wales and Saturday night will mark the 12 year old pacer’s 150th race start - in the SEW Eurodrive Open Pace.
His record at a glance stands at 149 starts for 73 wins, 38 second placings and 15 third placings for prizemoney of $3,597,915, which included the 2010 and 2011 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Miles.
National Trotguide, available at newsagencies, will exclusively report on Smoken Up’s NSW visit this Thursday.
Harness Racing New South Wales