Day At The Track

World Champion Shartin N retired and sold

04:30 AM 22 Dec 2020 NZDT
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Shartin N, harness racing
Shartin N and driver Tim Tetrick
Mark Hall USTA photo

It has been announced by the owners of Shartin N, the 2019 USA Dan Patch Harness Horse of the Year and the fastest pacing mare in history, has been retired from racing and has been sold.

In a glittering harness racing career, the world champion mare won 46 of her 68 lifetime starts and $2,667,563 in purses- an average of $39,228 per start - and took a world record lifetime mark of 1:46.4.

She clocked an amazing 20 winning miles in 1:50 or better.

Bred in New Zealand, Shartin N did not race at age two and commenced her career in Australia as a three-year-old, winning seven races and $105,718 in purses including the Queensland and Tasmanian Oaks.

Following her defeating Victorian Horse of the Year, Jilliby Kung Fu 1:48.4 ($529,710), at Melton in 2017, when Shartin N sat parked out the entire trip and won in a class record 1:52.5 mile rate over 1720 meters, Shartin N was bought by leading New Zealand bloodstock agent John Curtin on behalf of USA owner Richard Poillucci of South Easton, MA.

Poillucci would then take on partners JoAnn Looney King of Delaware and later down the road, driver Tim Tetrick of Delaware.

"In my wildest dreams I never thought I would have a mare like Shartin," said owner Richard Poillucci. "It does not happen very often in our industry or in a lifetime for an owner.

"It was a hard decision to be made," Poillucci added. "We talked about it for the past few months and decided it would be in her best interest to become a broodmare.

"It has been so surreal having Shartin these past few years. Poillucci said. "If you are into harness racing there is no greater feeling than owning a world champion like her. When she was good no one could beat her and when she was not good, she was still great."

"She would not have been possible for her to do all that she did if it wasn't for trainer Jim King, Jr.'s tutelage and driver Tim Tetrick's patience," Poillucci said. "They, along with my co-owner JoAnn King, did such a superb job with her. When she first came into their barn, she was not a well-mannered mare and they made her the world champion she is today.

"I can't thank my agent and friend John Curtin enough," Poillucci added. "He did not just find and purchase this mare for us, but he has been one of her biggest fans too, following every start she has made in North America. He does that with every horse I get with him."

Shartin N took the North American racing scene by storm in 2018 for trainer Jim King, Jr., winning 19 of her 24 appearances and earning $1,053,236 - the highest total by a pacing mare ever in one season. She was named the Dan Patch Pacer of the Year and was second in the balloting for Harness Horse of the Year.

She completed almost a clean sweep of the major races for mares in 2018, including the $373,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Final, $370,000 Roses Are Red, $270,000 Breeders Crown, $197,400 Lady Liberty, $175,000 TVG Free-for-all, $161,000 Artiscape Pace, $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitation, $102,200 Chip Noble Memorial and the $98,500 Allerage Farm Pace in a season's record 1:48.2.

Shartin N put an exclamation mark on her 2019 career in August last year when she produced a jaw-dropping world record performance to win the $183,500 Lady Liberty at The Meadowlands, carving out the mile in 1:46.4 - 0.6 faster than the prior world mark. She also became the fastest Standardbred horse ever bred in New Zealand.

 

A month later Shartin N set another world record for mares on a five-eighths track when she was clocked in 1:48 at Harrah's Philadelphia in a $30,000 Open Pace.

She continued her dominance of the distaff pacing ranks throughout the year, winning the $402,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker, $330,000 Roses Are Red, $179,550 Golden Girls, $137,000 Artiscape, $100,000 Clara Barton, $100,000 Betsy Ross and the $100,000 Chip Noble and finishing second in the Breeders Crown.

Shartin N won 15 of her 19 outings in 2019 for $982,177 in stakes - a season's high for her gait and sex.

As the result of a remarkable season, Shartin N was named 2019 Dan Patch Harness Horse of the Year and became only the fifth female pacer and the first horse bred outside of North America to pick up the prestigious award.

In the voting she defeated the champion three-year-old's Bettor's Wish 1:47.3 ($2,781,240) and Warrawee Ubeaut 1:48.3 ($1,948,175), the top Free-For-Aller and world record holder Lather Up 1:46 ($1,917,935) and McWicked 1:46.2 ($5,103,271) and world record holders and leading trotters in Manchego 1:49 ($2,857,315) and Atlanta 1:49.1 ($2,859,610) in the end-of-year balloting.

Shartin N returned to the track as a seven-year-old this year, winning an additional five races including the $177,100 Lady Liberty and $129,000 Artiscape for the third time each and notching consecutive wins in the $100,000 Clara Barton.

"The barn will not be the same without her for sure," Said trainer Jim King, Jr. "Hard to imagine this barn without her and looking forward to her next race. "It's been the driving force for me these past three years. "We knew this day would come so ...it's tough."

On the score of bloodlines, Shartin N has a great deal in her favor. Apart from being sired by the champion NZ pacer Tintin In America, a $906,422 winning son of McArdle, she is out of a mare by the Governor's Cup winner Live Or Die, a leading sire in NZ for many years, while her grand-dam, is a daughter of the Bret Hanover foal, Save Fuel, a brother to the glamour American filly of the 1970's, Guiding Beam.

The family has produced a host of 'black type' performers including Italian Delight (1:50.2), Donegal Delight (NZ North Island Breeders Stakes), Im Bella Jay (WA Wesbred 2YO Classic) and Kanturk (NZ Celebrity Stakes).

"I can't hardly tell you what it's been like to have owned and raced a world champion like Shartin," said co-owner JoAnn Looney King. "She's the dream horse I longed for since I was a young girl in the horse business. She's the dream horse everyone longs for. Imagine owning a horse that North America knows by name seems unreal but it happened and to me and our team I also want people to know that the experience of meeting so many nice people and well-wishers on the road traveling has been one of the high points of owning a horse like Shartin.

"People have been so nice everywhere we travelled," King add. "We met so many nice people that I still stay in touch with and I'm so appreciative of their kindness.

"For the past few days now that she has been sold," King explained. "When I walk by her stall and speak to her I have some sadness but I know it's best for her and for the team, but damn it's going to be hard to watch her walk out of that barn the final time. "It will be emotional for me, real emotional. It's really been the best three years imaginable. A dream come true and I thank God every day."

Bloodstock agent John Curtin also confirmed the sale of Shartin N for an undisclosed sum to Ola Yoder, owner of Kountry Lane Standardbreds, LLC of Indiana.

Ola Yoder stunned the harness racing world with a significant investment in buying five sensational broodmares at the 2019 White Birch Farm dispersal sale held at Harrisburg. Since then, he has purchased the Breeders Crown winner Winndevie 1:53 ($863,257) and now Shartin N.

Shartin N is scheduled to be bred to Captaintreacherous in 2021 and then Lazarus N in 2022.

Plans for a special retirement ceremony will be announced soon.

By Steve Wolf

 
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