Day At The Track

Shelby County 'the Queen of Running Aces'

05:40 PM 10 Aug 2012 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Shelby County
Shelby County - Has won six of her last seven starts in the Open Trot
Pensive Photogrpahy

Her connections thought highly of her while she was training down as a baby and have been very patient with Shelby County throughout the duration of her harness racing career. Now at age five she is in the best form of her life and is the sixth winningest horse in North America this season.

"I've had her since the beginning as she is a homebred," explained Rocky Stidham, the mare's conditioner and pilot. "I always thought she had ability and I trained her down to 2:04 in May of her 2-year-old year. We staked her to everything out in Ohio, shipped her out there and she didn't take the shipping well, then came up sore. We just brought her home and waited for her 3-year-old season.

"I shipped her out to Hoosier Park early that year and we got some starts into her, but she came up sore again so we brought her home to Cal Expo," he continued. "We've always taken our time with her and this year she's really came along."

The daughter of Chip Chip Hooray and Rowdy Somolli is owned and was bred by Ben Kenney. From 80 trips to the post, she has amassed 22 victories, nine seconds and 13 thirds, a lifetime mark of 1:57.1 set on January 6 of this year at Cal Expo and placed $92,390 in the bank.

As a freshman, Shelby County was winless in four starts and made $322. The following season she reached the wire first on six instances from 26 starts with $16,111 in purse money. Last year she once again faced the starter 26 times with four wins and accumulated $28,186. This year she sports a record of 24-12-3-3 and $47,771. She's amassed more than half her lifetime earnings this season while racing primarily at Cal Expo and Running Aces, competing in Open Handicaps. Currently, the mare is on a three race win streak and has captured six of her last seven starts.

"She is very clean-gaited and versatile," Stidham said. "You can really do just about anything you want with her, but I think her biggest asset is she loves to win. Even when I drive her badly, she makes me look good. I just like to make sure I give her a good position to get there and she usually does."

Although she has definitely moved forward this year, Shelby County will remain in the same spots at the same venues.

"We will be racing from November to May at Cal Expo," Stidham said. "And then Running Aces has their meet. We have been trying to build a kind of relationship between the two tracks as their meets offset each other and they have the same class of horses there as at Cal Expo. So far it seems to be working out well and people from Running Aces have been bringing their horses out here for that meet.

"About eight years ago we developed an alliance with Iowa, Wisconsin, California, and Minnesota to build relationships for our horses to have somewhere to race at the different meets," he continued. "We have had several other states join since then, but that's what we are trying to accomplish here."

Stidham really does not have a bad word to say about his charge.

"She does everything she's supposed to do and whenever she sores up, we just bring her home and give her time," he said. "She's learned how to win and I think that's made a big difference too. She really is a very nice mare and I thought that from Day One."

by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Courtesy of the US Trotting Association's Web Newsroom

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: