Day At The Track

Wonders from Down Under!

06:59 PM 06 Aug 2018 NZST
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Shartin N, harness racing
Shartin N and driver Tim Tetrick winning the Lady Liberty Final at The Meadowlands
Lisa Photo

Do the best Standardbred harness racing pacers hail from down under? Well, we may have the answer to that question by the end of the week.

Given the heroics of Shartin following her purchase last year from the Victorian stables of Dean Braun, the Tintin In America mare has firmly established herself as the best and most dominant pacing mare in the world right now.

And if you require further proof, check out her replay from Saturday’s $197,400 Lady Liberty at the Meadowlands, part of Hambletonian day.

Her deeds in North America this season are sensational; she has won 13 of 17 races this year and 20 of 30 lifetime for earnings of $764,857.

Feature race victories include $373,000 Matchmaker at Yonkers, $150,000 Betsy Ross at Harrah’s Chester, $102,200 Sam ‘Chip’ Noble Memorial at Miami Valley, Ohio and the $370,000 Roses are Red at Mohawk in Canada.

Shartin is prepared by Jim King Jr and handled by ace reinsman Tim Tetrick, she is owned by Richard Poilluci and Jo Ann Looney-King.

But while the efforts have been sublime in her new conditions, her former trainer is the least bit surprised with what she’s been able to achieve on the other side of the globe.

Braun purchased the filly as an unraced commodity from the Prebbleton (near Christchurch) stables of Grant Crabbe.

Under his tutelage, Shartin displayed enormous ability which resulted in victories in both the Queensland and Tasmanian Oaks while also finishing as the runner-up in the Queensland Derby behind the Mark Purdon prepared The More The Better.

But her finest moment came when she sat parked outside subsequent Chariots of Fire winner Jilliby Kung Fu and beat him in a time of 1:52.5 at TABCORP Park, Melton.

And that victory came in the middle of winter.

“I knew how good she was and I happily told those close to me but the money at the time was too good to ignore, this is the business we’re in,” Braun said.

“I’ve been in contact with the connections since she’s been up there and I’m thrilled with her success, it’s awesome to see her doing so well.

“I sold Nike Franco before this filly and I told them this filly would do a better job and Nike has been super during her time up there also, it’s good for everyone involved.”

As it stands, Shartin is the leading money earner this season for pacers in North America.

Only Hambletonian winner Atlanta has earned more.

So, there’s no question Shartin is the leading female pacer in the world.

But who holds the title for male pacers?

That title could easily be given to Lazarus, the wonder from down under, as he prepares to make his official North American debut this coming week.

The Bettors Delight entire was sold from the stables of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen earlier this year for massive money on the basis of a racing/breeding proposition.

Now owned by Taylor Made Stallions, Lazarus has been placed in the care of legendary horseman Jimmy Takter.

Following a sharp schooling recently at the Meadowlands, the $3.68 million earner looked as good as ever when he defeated recent North American Cup winner Lather Up in an official Meadowlands trial in 1:48.3 the following week.

And that form has a chance to be franked with Lather Up headlining the nominations for the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park this Saturday night.

Lazarus will head to the $325,000 Dan Patch at Hoosier Park in Indiana later this week.

Depending on how he performs in the Dan Patch, Lazarus's next major target has been confirmed as the Canadian Pacing Derby, which has eliminations on August 25 and the final on September 1 while the Breeders Crown at Pocono is another key target.

By seasons end, the best male and female pacers could both hail from down under.

Chris Barsby | RQ Web News

$197,400 Lady Liberty at the Meadowlands

Open Series at Pocono 1:48.4

$102,200 Sam ‘Chip’ Noble Memorial at Miami Valley (Towards the second part of video)

$373,000 Matchmaker at Yonkers

$150,000 Betsy Ross at Harrah’s Chester

$370,000 Roses are Red at Mohawk

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