Geri Schwarz | Democrat
Three-year-old Male Pacer of the Year Heston Blue Chip and driver Tim Tetrick made an appearance at Monticello Raceway this summer, rolling to victory in a New York Sire Stakes heat.
FREEHOLD, NJ Captaintreacherous, who won eight of 10 races and earned $918,253, on Wednesday became the first 2-year-old pacer in 25 years to be named Pacer of the Year, earning the nod over 3-year-olds Michael’s Power and American Jewel and defending champion Foiled Again in a wide-open contest.
A 2-year-old male pacer, Captaintreacherous received 48 of 146 votes in Dan Patch Awards balloting by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Michael’s Power was next with 24, followed by American Jewel with 21 and Foiled Again with 20. Ten horses received at least one vote for Pacer of the Year, with seven getting at least eight.
Captaintreacherous, who also was named harness racing’s best 2-year-old male pacer, joins Camtastic (1987) and Niatross (1979) as the only 2-year-olds to be named Pacer of the Year. Niatross garnered the first of two consecutive Horse of the Year honors in 1979.
This season’s Horse of the Year will be announced at a later date.
Although Michael’s Power finished second in the Pacer of the Year voting, he failed to receive the Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old male pacer. That honor went to Heston Blue Chip, who defeated Michael’s Power, 68-50, in the voting. Heston Blue Chip received nine votes for Pacer of the Year.
Other pacers to receive Dan Patch Award divisional honors were Somwherovrarainbow (2-year-old female), American Jewel (3-year-old female), Foiled Again (older male) and Anndrovette (older female).
Captaintreacherous, trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Tim Tetrick, won the $1.01 million Metro Pace in 1:49.2, equaling the stakes record, and the $309,050 Woodrow Wilson by 10-1/4 lengths in a stakes- and track-record 1:49.3. He became the first 2-year-old pacer in history to win with three sub-1:50 miles, also capturing his Metro Pace elimination in 1:49.3.
He also won divisions of the Bluegrass, International Stallion and Nassagaweya stakes.
“I never thought I’d see the days when 2-year-olds were going those kinds of sub-1:50 miles,” said Michael Parisi, whose White Birch Farm bred Captaintreacherous and was one of the horse’s owners. “He just kept doing it and bounced back.
“The Metro was a great race, but in the Wilson when he just turned it on and went the 1:49.3 and won by (10-1/4 lengths), I wondered to myself how fast is he? He was just amazing. I’m really proud of him.”
Captaintreacherous, a son of 2008 Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere, was purchased for $250,000 as a yearling at the Lexington Selected Sale. He was the first foal out of the lightly raced stakes-winning mare Worldly Treasure, who is a full sister to two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Worldly Beauty.
Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Joe Sbrocco also share in ownership of Captaintreacherous.
“When I sold him in Kentucky, Myron Bell (Brittany Farms’ racing manager) purchased him for Tony Alagna and he wanted me to buy a small piece,” Parisi said. “Both Myron and Tony had such high hopes for this colt. They loved him from day one; from the day they saw him on the farm. I loved the colt too. He did look special.
“I wasn’t surprised when he brought the $250,000 in Lexington because he was just gorgeous. He was probably one of the best looking yearlings I’ve ever raised, and I’m not saying that because he performed the way he did. That was just a bonus. But he was very, very good looking as a yearling. I just wish my father (Joe) was here to see him. He always loved to see a good horse.”
Foiled Again and Anndrovette were repeat winners in their respective divisions.
An 8-year-old, Foiled Again earned $1.20 million this season and broke his own record for oldest pacer to have a million-dollar campaign. His win in the Canadian Pacing Derby made him the richest North American pacer in history and he finished the year with career purses of $4.62 million.
Somwherovrarainbow is a daughter of two Horse of the Year winners. Her sire, Somebeachsomewhere, was Horse of the Year in 2008 and her dam, Rainbow Blue, was the 2004 honoree. Only one other mating of Horse of the Year winners has resulted in a divisional champion, when trotters Victory Song (the first Horse of the Year in 1947) and Emily’s Pride (1958) produced Noble Victory, who was the 1964 2-year-old trotter of the year.
These champion pacers will be honored at the Dan Patch Awards banquet, Sunday, March 3, at the Westin Beach Resort and Spa in Fort Lauderdale, the climatic event of Harness Racing Congress VI that will run throughout the weekend. Information about the banquet, the Congress, and related topics can be obtained by going to the harness writers’ website, www.ushwa.org.