An incredible story has been developing here at Monticello Raceway over the past two months and can no longer go unnoticed. On September harness racing trainer Billy Devine's patron, Jim Schreisbeis , plunked down $5000 for Real Mystical and since then the veteran pacer has been unbeatable.
Not such a big deal, you might say. Well consider this. The first time Real Mystical started for his new connections he was victorious by five lengths in 1:56.3 for driver Jimmy Taggart, Jr. The following week Devine handed the lines to Bruce Aldrich, Jr. and Real Mystical rambled again on the front-end to score in 1:54.3 by nine lengths. On October 10, with Aldrich in the pilot’s seat, Real Mystical paced to another 1:54.3 triumph this time by six lengths in the $10,000 claiming ranks. A 1:54.2 victory followed against $12,500 claimers on October 4 for the Aldrich-Devine connection. But the story doesn’t end there, not by a longshot.
Yesterday (October 18) in the daily pacing feature, Real Mystical , as an optional claimer with a $20,000 tag , turned in his most unbelievable mile yet when , despite parked to the quarter in :27.4, Real Mystical cleared and then led the field by the halfway point in :56.2. By the time the 9-year oldgelding reached the three quarters he was four lengths in front as the timer flashed 1:24.4. With a 28:.3 final stanza Real Mystical scored an eight-length victory in 1:53:2 which just happens to be the fastest mile of the year at the Mighty M.
And there’s a very good chance that this story doesn’t end here.
In the current harness racing world where time only seems to count in jail, Real Mystical’s five consecutive victories in 1:54.3 or faster is not only an incredible feat on a half mile track but an absolute first here at Monticello Raceway. Not only is a clocking faster than 1:55 here an aberration, but for a pacer to do it five consecutive times is unbelievable especially to the local railbirds.
When Billy Devine was contacted and asked about Real Mystical’s sudden turnaround he give much of the credit to a local blacksmith.
“(blacksmith) Brett Sliwka should get most of the credit for Real Mystical’s improvement,” Devine said. “ Real Mystical had been brushing his knees because his angles(of his feet) were all bad, his toes were too long, and he was tipped wrong. We also had a (horse) dentist do his teeth which were bothering him.
“Real Mystical has been a good horse his whole life. He won in (1):53 last year and he has a lifetime record of (1):51 and just straightening out the way he goes so he comfortable and travels along without hitting himself has made a world of difference.”
Real Mystical’s efforts are not going unnoticed, at least by the local scribes. When the Monticello- Goshen Chapter USHWA holds its 53rd Annual Awards Banquet at Monticello Casino and Raceway on October 30 owner Jim Schreisbeis and trainer Billy Devine will be on hand to accept a Special Achievement Award.
“It’s probably the most special achievement ever as far as racing is concerned,” said Chris Tully, the president of the Monticello Goshen Chapter USHWA. “He’s () done something here that no other horse has ever done.”