Day At The Track

December's Horse of the Month - JJ Shark

08:12 PM 04 Jan 2013 NZDT
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JJ Shark
JJ Shark
New Image Media Photo

Joseph Hemingway, Valarie Sutton and Sandbur Farms' JJ Shark was an apparent late-bloomer, but hit his stride in an undefeated December to earn harness racing 'Horse of the Month' honors from the U.S. Trotting Association.

The son of Cam's Card Shark-Give Me Life swept two preliminary legs and the $60,600 final of the Valedictory Series at Woodbine during the month just ended.

Before December JJ Shark's best performance was in a leg of the Summertime Series, but he didn't seem to advance after that and went off at a ripe 21-1 in the Valedictory Series opener with Randy Waples in the sulky. Waples found a spot in fourth and then steered JJ Shark through a furious drive home in 1:52.1.

In the second leg the pair were parked every step of the way but came clear to win in identical time -- but this time as the $1.85-to-a-dollar favorites.

In the final at Woodbine, raced on Boxing Day, the Peter Hamilton trainee was parked early, in eighth, and came three-wide in the middle stages and won going away in 1:52 as the odds-on betting choice.

"I didn't really know the horse," Waples said in the winner's circle following the Dec. 8 Valedictory opener. "He raced up here in the summer and did well. He won a leg of the Summertime Series at Mohawk and that's a pretty good series, so he's certainly got some speed to him. Some of his lines look very good and he's just a beautiful horse to drive."

Waples' remarks didn't seem like much a valedictory (a parting statement) for JJ Shark, but rather it sounded like "look out, I've arrived!"

John Pawlak, the U.S. Trotting Association

Courtesy of the United States Trotting Association Web Newsroom

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