Day At The Track

Ultimate Shopper seeks success in Beissinger

06:30 AM 07 Feb 2019 NZDT
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Ultimate Shopper, harness racing
Ultimate Shopper in action
Nigel Soult Photo

Anette Lorentzon shares a special connection with Ultimate Shopper, and it goes beyond winning races and money. The 6-year-old harness racing mare, who competes Friday in the Howard Beissinger Memorial Medley for trotters at Miami Valley Raceway, was one of two yearlings Lorentzon bought at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale after being diagnosed with cancer.

Lorentzon, who has overcome bone cancer and last year posted career highs for training wins and purses, purchased Ultimate Shopper for $140,000. She was familiar with the horse's family, having conditioned Ultimate Shopper's dam, Adelaide Hall, who finished third behind Possess The Magic and Pampered Princess in the 2006 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly trotters.

Adelaide Hall was injured while preparing for her 3-year-old season and never raced again. Her third foal was Ultimate Shopper, a full sister to stakes-winner All Laid Out. Ultimate Shopper has won 15 of 73 career starts and earned $351,515 for Lorentzon, who owns the mare with her family's ACL Stuteri and Kjell Johansson.

"She means quite a bit to me and my family," Lorentzon said. "When they found out I had cancer, life changed in a heartbeat. I picked (Ultimate Shopper) out when I was going through my treatments. We didn't know what was going to happen. You never know how it's going to go when you get cancer. It might be the last thing you do. Luckily it didn't turn out that way."

Lorentzon had femur replacement surgery as a result of her cancer. In December, she underwent a second operation to correct an issue with the first. She will be on crutches for a while, but is otherwise good.

"The cancer has not been back," Lorentzon said. "Coming back after (the surgery) is what drives me crazy. I have to take it easy. I'm at the barn and checking on everything, but it's kind of tough because you really want to be out there. But in this case you've got to do what you've got to do."

Lorentzon has nearly 70 horses in her stable, with 13 in New Jersey and the remainder in Kentucky. Last year, the stable produced 154 wins and earned $2.24 million. So far this season, it has 13 victories and $155,680.

"The year has started out well on the track," Lorentzon said. "We just have to hope to keep it that way."

Ultimate Shopper, who has won two of three starts this year, will try to do her part. The mare slumped after winning the Open Handicap at Northfield Park last August, but has returned refreshed after a two-month respite. She won a conditioned class by 10-1/4 lengths on Jan. 8 at Miami Valley, finished third in her next start, and after a bridle change bounced back with another victory.

"She dropped in class when she was out of form," Lorentzon said. "If she didn't drop in class I might not have tried her back; we might have just bred her. I said to the owners that I wanted to give her a break and then try her and play it by ear. We do the breeding, but it is a lot of fun to have the good horses racing. That's what you want. As long as she is racing good she will be racing."

Ultimate Shopper, who was a Grand Circuit winner at age 2, will start from post four in the first of two $12,500 opening-round divisions of the Beissinger. She will be driven by Elliott Deaton and is 7-2 on the morning line. Deweyknowigotit, with Brett Miller driving for Derek Watiker, is the 5-2 favorite.

The races in the first round of the Beissinger Memorial Medley will be contested at five-eighths of a mile. The second-round will be contested at one mile and the final at 1-1/4 miles. The same format will be used in the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley for pacers, which will have two $12,500 opening-round divisions on Saturday.

"I don't know what to think," Lorentzon said about the multiple-distances format. "I don't know how good she will be over the five-eighths (distance); I don't know how quick she is over five-eighths. I'm hoping she can be OK. She can leave the gate and all that, so that's why I'm hoping she will be OK. I think she will be better for the second week when we are racing the more normal distance.

"But this (format) is the right thing, to try something new. There is nothing wrong with that. Hopefully she is all good and tight and ready to go."

For Friday's complete Miami Valley entries, click here.

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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