Day At The Track

First world-wide winner for $2.8m earner

05:13 AM 09 Jun 2011 NZST
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Shark Gesture, harness racing Shark Gesture out on his own Shark Gesture
Shark Gesture coming down the stretch
Shark Gesture out on his own
Lisa Photo
Shark Gesture - pacing poetry in motion
Photo by Nigel Soult
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The former the Breeders Crown, Dan Patch, William Haughton Memorial and Canadian Pacing Derby winner - Shark Gesture - has left his first winner. The now 8-year-old son of Cams Card Shark became a winning stallion for the first time when his daughter Gesturestar won at the Penrith harness racing meeting in Australia last Thursday (June 2).

After racing at The Meadowlands on July 7, 2007 Shark Gesture, a former world champion pacer,  was transported to Australia where he served about 40 mares - 18 of which he left in foal.

Of that number four have been to the races Slick Tooth (out of Albert Albert mare The Oils; Spot The Shark (out of Armbro Operative mare Spring Carnival); and Fifi Rocks (out of Embrace Me mare Hold Tight).

But Gesturestar (out of Nero's B B mare Star Order) is the Shark Gesture foal to register a win. That victory came after a third at Cobram on May 9 and a second at Wagga on May 19.

Gesturestar paced the 1720m Mobile for 2-year-olds in 2:10.3 with a 2:01.9 mile rate. Her sectionals were 29.9, 32.7, 30 and 29. She was the $2.10 favourite.

Her Maitland (New South Wales) trainer Geoff Robson can't speak highly enough about the good looking black filly.

"I didn't driver her the other night but I knew she would go close. I put Jimmy Douglass on instead. When she ran third on debut at Cobram she was timed to go her last half in 55.8.

"Wow she has got a lot of bottom to her! I'm very excited about her future. She has been very well educated by her owner," Robson said.

The owner he was referring to was Sheldon Smith who co-owns the talented filly with his brother Brian. They also bred her.

Robson said Gesturestar had ‘racehorse' written all over her.

"She certainly knows what to do on a racecourse. She takes a long hopple and has a lot of brains for a young racehorse. She is an absolute pleasure to be around. She is like a big over-grown foal," Robson said.

He said the Smiths had done their homework on Shark Gesture and when he came to Australia they were keen to cross him with outstanding broodmare Star Order.

"She has been a wonderful broodmare herself - leaving 100 per cent winners and all under two minutes. But this Shark Gesture filly looks exceptional. She would smack the bums of any of the other horses I have in my barn," Robson said.

When Shark Gesture returned to the United States from Empire Stallions in Australia his previous New Jersey trainer Larry Remmen took over the training duties again racing him from December 13, 2008 until his retirement due to a high check ligament problem on October 9 last year.

All up he raced 78 times for 27 wins and 21 placings. His bank balanced rested at $2,890,594. George 'The Minister of Speed' Brennan did most of the driving throughout Shark Gesture's career.

Throughout his career he defeated some of the sports all-time greats in Mister Big ($4,008,257), Boulder Creek ($3,425,857), Artistic Fella ($2,604,855), Art Official ($2,082,885), Holborn Hanover ($2,070,648), Shadow Play ($1,549,881), Total Truth ($2,022,433), Vintage Master ($1,846,233), Maltese Artist ($2,322,671) and 2009 Dan Patch Aged Pacer of the Year Won The West ($3,390,204) - defeating Won The West 12 times in two seasons.

Prior to coming to stand in Australia Shark Gesture hadn't even earned $1 million in purses.

He recorded his lifetime mark of 1:48.1 on June 26 last year when winning the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational in a slick 1:48.1.

He is owned by Norm Smiley.

By Duane RANGER (editor)

Shark Gesture's first winner: - Gesturestar winning at the Penrith meeting on June 2, 2011:

Shark Gesture winning the 2010 Haughton Memorial:

Shark Gesture winning the 2009 Canadian Pacing Derby:

Shark Gesture winning the 2010 Gruduate Final at The Meadowlands:

Shark Gesture winning the 2010 Dan Patch Invitational:

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