Day At The Track

Everything appears to be back in order for Shartin

05:26 PM 23 Nov 2019 NZDT
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Jim King, Jr., harness racing
Jim King, Jr.
Jennifer Weeks photo

Prior to second-place finishes in October's Allerage and Breeders Crown events for harness racing mare pacers, Shartin N had never lost consecutive starts during her North American racing career, a span of 39 races.

So, trainer Jim King Jr. breathed a little easier when Shartin N snapped that skid with a win in last week's invitational for fillies and mares at Dover Downs. The 6-year-old mare, who was slowed by sickness in September, won by 2-1/4 lengths over Kissin In The Sand in 1:49.4.

"That's for sure," King said. "It was concerning, trying to figure out what I might have done wrong or what else I could have done to have her back in shape. She certainly appeared in her last start to get back to being Shartin again. Everything appears to be back in order. That's how it appears. She'll have to let us know come Saturday night."

Shartin N races Saturday in the $175,000 TVG Mare Pace championship at The Meadowlands, where she is the 9-5 morning-line favorite in a field that includes Allerage and Breeders Crown winner Caviart Ally as well as 3-year-old standout Warrawee Ubeaut.

It will be Shartin N's final race of the season. The mare has won 15 of 18 starts, earned $940,177, and been ranked No. 1 in the sport's Top 10 poll for each of its 26 weeks so far. A win in the TVG would push her over $1 million for the second consecutive year; she was the first pacing mare to ever break that barrier in 2018.

Shartin N will start from post one with regular driver Tim Tetrick. Caviart Ally, who leaves from post seven in the nine-horse field, is 7-2 on the morning line and Warrawee Ubeaut, the first filly to enter the TVG Mare Pace, is 4-1 from post four.

"Her biggest issue is she's just a filly," King said about Warrawee Ubeaut. "I know it's late in the year, so she's almost what you would consider an aged horse, but the fact is she's still a 3-year-old and I don't remember seeing 3-year-olds doing what aged horses do. But the second half of her year has been very good. I could see why they would want to (enter).

"A lot of people wanted to see Shartin go with the boys, but I don't think that's the right way to go myself. But everybody does it their own way."

Shartin N has won 41 of 55 career races and $2.06 million. Since arriving in North America, she has won 34 of 42 starts and $1.99 million. In 2018, she started at least once in every month January through November. This year, she started at least once in every month March through November.

She will return to the races in 2020 for owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King, and Tetrick.

"We're very much looking forward to it," King said. "We've had two long seasons in a row here, but she's a pretty tough girl."

The TVG Mare Pace is part of a stakes-filled Saturday card at The Meadowlands. Following is a brief look at the remainder of the stakes action.

$175,000 TVG Mare Trot (Race 2): Atlanta is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in a five-horse field that includes retiring 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover, O'Brien Award winner Emoticon Hanover, and 3-year-old filly Beautiful Sin.

$401,850 Governor's Cup (Race 4): Papi Rob Hanover, fresh off his Matron Stakes win, is the 3-5 favorite in the race for 2-year-old male pacers. Cattlewash, the Matron runner-up, is 4-1 second choice.

$505,050 Valley Victory (Race 5): Breeders Crown champion Amigo Volo is the 8-5 favorite in the race for 2-year-old male trotters. Kindergarten Classic Series winner EL Ideal is 3-1 second pick.

$475,100 Goldsmith Maid (Race 6): Kindergarten champ Senorita Rita is the 2-1 favorite, with Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champ and Breeders Crown runner-up Sister Sledge at 5-2 in the field of eight 2-year-old filly trotters.

$350,000 TVG Open Pace (Race 8): Bettor's Wish, a 3-year-old colt facing older male foes, is the 3-1 favorite. He leads the sport with $1.56 million in purses this year and has finished no worse than second in 18 starts, with 13 wins. Retiring 2018 Horse of the Year McWicked is 7-2 and Breeders Crown champion American History is 9-2.

$411,000 Three Diamonds (Race 9): Matron Stakes winner Lyons Sentinel received a bye to the final and is the 2-1 favorite in the field of 2-year-old filly pacers. Elimination winner JK First Lady is 7-2 and Kindergarten champ Marloe Hanover is 9-2.

$350,000 TVG Open Trot (Race 10): Machego, the fastest female trotter in history and winner of six consecutive starts, is the 2-1 favorite. Three-year-old Gimpanzee, a Breeders Crown and Matron winner, is 5-2 followed by retiring Dan Patch Award winner Six Pack at 3-1 and Maple Leaf Trot champ Guardian Angel AS at 4-1.

Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EST) Saturday at The Meadowlands. For complete entries, click here.

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

 


 

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