It's official; I Luv The Nitelife has been retired

03:43 AM 28 Aug 2014 NZST
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I Luv The Nitelife, harness racing
I Luv The Nitelife in win circle after capturing the Jugette with owners Richard and Joanne Young (left), driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Chris Ryder
Photo by Steve Wolf
I Luv The Nitelife

It was announced yesterday by owners Richard and Joanne Young and trainer Chris Ryder that the party is over for world champion pacer I Luv The Nitelife as she has been retired from racing.

After attempting to come back from an injury sustained at the end of the 2013 season, owners Richard and Joanne Young made the decision to quit with I Luv The Nitelife on Tuesday. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover - Lisjune was winless in two starts this year after recovering from a slab knee fracture and atrial fibrillation.

"[She] has a few issues we didn't feel she deserved to race with," trainer Chris Ryder confirmed to Trot Insider. "Just a great mare, all heart. Very saddened by her retirement but it is the thing to do."

Richard Young purchased I Luv The Nitelife, a daughter of stallion Rocknroll Hanover out of the mare Lisjune, for $60,000 under the name Hard Rock Deo at the Lexington Selected Sale in 2011. Richard Young loves to name his yearlings with something unique and came up with "I Luv The Nitelife" as he has done with other top horses he and Joanne own including Put On A Show. 

Now according to the Young's, I Luv The Nitelife will go to the breeding shed next season.

"We are going to miss you racing sweet girl!," Joanne Young said, "Oh, but the babies you will make!"

As a two-year-old, 'Nitelife' put together a record reading 4-4-1 in 10 freshman starts to bank $682,574 in purses for the Youngs and trainer Chris Ryder. In addition to setting a world record of 1:50.1 in an elimination of the She's A Great Lady at Mohawk Racetrack, she also won the final along with divisions of the Eternal Camnation and Bluegrass Stakes. I Luv The Nitelife was also a runner-up in the Champlain Stake, International Stallion Stakes and Breeders Crown. The O'Brien voters gave her the nod as their choice for Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year in 2012.

The voters had no doubt who was the best three-year-old pacing filly in 2013. I Luv The Nitelife won 13 of 15 races last year and $1.25 million en route to divisional honours as Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year in Canada and capturing USHWA's Dan Patch Award in the U.S. Her sophomore triumphs included the Breeders Crown, Fan Hanover, Valley Forge, Lynch Memorial, Jugette, Mistletoe Shalee and Miss New Jersey Pacing Classic. Her 1:48.4 time in the Valley Forge is the world record for a three-year-old filly on a five-eighths-mile track.
 
For her career, the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Lisjune has won 17 of 27 races and $1.94 million. No female pacer in harness racing history has won more money at ages two and three.

"‎Very appreciative of the honors she accumulated," added Ryder. "Very special. She will be impossible to replace."

With two world records and multiple stakes under her belt, one of her losses stands out to her co-owner as the race that shows her guts and determination.

"Her last race [at three] in the American National," Richard Young told Trot Insider. "She should have lost by 10 and just got beat. One of the most memorable races of my life, and more than likely the race that ended her career."

‎"A mare like 'Nitelife' is as good as it gets, all business," continued Young. "She gave all she had in every race. She didn't wait for things to set up. She forced everyone to alter their style to race her.

"If she passes her will to compete, she will be the ultimate broodmare."

by Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com with files from Trot Insider

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