New Zealand export Shartin created history and put herself in contention for American Harness Horse Of The Year honours with a tough Breeders Crown win.
The Tintin In America mare became the first New Zealand bred pacer to win a Breeders Crown final when she produced a tough front-running performance in the open mares division of the rich series at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania on Sunday (New Zealand time).
Driver Tim Tetrick said leading off the gate was not ideal for the mare, bred by Grant Crabbe of Broadfield.
However, the gamble by the driver known as ‘The Bionic Man’ paid off in the $US270,000 mile feature.
“I don’t like leaving [the gate] with her, but I said tonight might be the night’,” he said.
“She’s just tough. She loves to race horses.
“She’s quirky, but man, she’s got a big motor. Her lungs are pretty special, and I haven’t messed her up yet.
“I felt really confident with her because she really won’t go until she sees somebody.
“The only races she’s gotten beat is either when she’s made a mistake or she couldn’t see them. I knew when nobody was flying by her, I felt pretty confident.”
Shartin paced her winning mile in 1.52.0 on the very wet Pocono track.
Shartin N $270,000 Breeders Crown Final Mare Pace with @Tetrick Racing for Trainer Jim King Jr., Owners Owners Richard Poillucci, MA – JoAnn Jim King Jr., DE at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Shartin became the seasonal money-winning pacing mare of all time!! #BCrown18 #TetrickRacing
Posted by Tetrick Racing on Saturday, 27 October 2018
The mare’s victory puts her in contention for American Horse Of The Year title.
The Kiwi mare will have to fend off tough competition to take the title from horses like Mcwicked.
Trainer Jim King Jnr said trotting filly Atlanta was the horse he was most concerned about.
“I think there’s only one thing that stands between her and being Horse of the Year and that’s Atlanta. That’s the one, I’m afraid.”
Shartin’s victory took her season’s earnings just short of $US1million.
That places her alongside the great North American racemare Enteral Camnation, who topped the one million dollar mark in 2000.
There is debate over whether Shartin may have surpassed Enternal Camnation’s record as her figures can change depending on what USA and Canadian currency conversions methods are used.
Shartin could bank more cash when she races in the TVG series at the Meadowlands next month.