JK She’salady and Sweet Lou were landslide winners in Dan Patch Award voting announced Wednesday by the U.S. Harness Writers Association, but one of the six pacing divisions resulted in a rare dead heat.
Anndrovette and Rocklamation will share the Dan Patch Award for best older female pacer after each received 51 of 157 votes. The only previous tie for a Dan Patch Award came in 1965 when Cardigan Bay and Race Time finished in a dead heat for best older pacer.
JK She’salady, who was undefeated in 12 starts, came within one vote of being the unanimous selection for best 2-year-old female pacer. Sweet Lou, who set a record with six consecutive wins in faster than 1:48, was three votes from being the undisputed top older male pacer.
Completing the list of division champions were 2-year-old male pacer Artspeak, 3-year-old male pacer McWicked, and 3-year-old female pacer Color’s A Virgin. Artspeak received 90 percent of the vote in his group while McWicked had 82 percent and Color’s A Virgin had 68 percent.
Seven-year-old Anndrovette and 5-year-old Sweet Lou are repeat winners.
Pacer of the Year, Trotter of the Year and Horse of the Year will be announced at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Meadowlands Racetrack’s Victory Sports Bar. Thursday’s announcements will be streamed live on the racetrack’s website, www.playmeadowlands.com.
Anndrovette now has received a record four Dan Patch honors in the pacing mare division, and is tied with Eternal Camnation for the most honors for any pacer in history.
Rocklamation’s trophy is the first in the division for trainer Ron Burke, who has conditioned the six most recent winners among older male pacers.
This season, Anndrovette won six of 22 races and earned a division-leading $520,352 for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer P.J. Fraley, and owners Bamond Racing and Joe Davino. Her victories included the Roses Are Red Stakes and Betsy Ross Invitational.
Rocklamation, a 6-year-old, won four of 18 races and banked $517,364. Her triumphs for driver Yannick Gingras and owners Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45, and J&T Silva Stables included the Golden Girls, Artiscape, and Lady Liberty.
Artspeak won eight of 10 races and earned $742,185, with top wins coming in the Metro Pace and Governor’s Cup. He is owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners. He is trained by Tony Alagna, who also captured this division in 2012 with Captaintreacherous, and was driven by Scott Zeron.
After losing her first three starts of the year, Color’s A Virgin rebounded to win all but one of her next 14 races, with her victories including the Jugette and Nadia Lobell. She finished the campaign with 13 wins in 18 starts and earnings of $532,622 for driver Trace Tetrick, trainer Brian Brown and owner Emerald Highlands Farm.
JK She’salady won her final nine starts by a minimum of one length and closed her campaign with a stakes-record victory in the Breeders Crown. She equaled the world record of 1:50.1 for a 2-year-old female pacer in winning the She’s A Great Lady Stakes at Mohawk and also captured the Three Diamonds Stakes.
Owned by 3 Brothers Stables, JK She’salady is trained by Nancy Johansson. The filly was driven by Tim Tetrick in the Breeders Crown and by Gingras in her previous starts.
McWicked was the richest pacer of the year, with $1.47 million in purses for owner SSG Stables and trainer Casie Coleman. The colt won 12 of 23 races and hit the board a total of 21 times. He finished the season on a three-race win streak, which included the Breeders Crown and a stakes-record triumph in the Progress Pace.
Other victories for McWicked included the Delvin Miller Adios and Max C. Hempt Memorial. His time of 1:47.3 in the Hempt at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track. He was driven primarily by David Miller, with Brian Sears in the sulky for the Breeders Crown.
A Dan Patch Award winner in 2011 at the age of 2, Sweet Lou added a second trophy this year for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura. He won 11 of 19 races for the season and earned $1.36 million.
Sweet Lou, driven by Ron Pierce, won the Ben Franklin Pace at Pocono Downs in 1:47, the fastest-ever mile on a five-eighths track, and won the Dan Patch Invitational in 1:47.2, the fastest-ever mile at Hoosier Park. Other victories for Sweet Lou included the TVG Free For All Series championship, William R. Haughton Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, and the Roll With Joe.
Complete vote totals for all awards will be released Thursday with the Horse of the Year announcement.
2-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER
Artspeak (141 of 157 votes)
Western Ideal – The Art Museum – Artsplace
Yearling Price: $100,000 at Lexington Selected Sale.
Breeders: Brittany Farms, Melvin Hartman.
Owners: Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, In The Gym Partners.
Trainer: Tony Alagna. Driver: Scott Zeron.
Races: 10-8-0-2. Purses: $742,185. Mark: 1:50.2 at Mohawk.
Top wins: $613,640 Metro Pace; $502,850 Governor’s Cup.
2-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER
JK She’salady (155 votes; one abstention)
Art Major – Presidential Lady – Presidential Ball
Yearling Price: Homebred.
Breeders: 3 Brothers Stables.
Owners: 3 Brothers Stables.
Trainer: Nancy Johansson. Drivers: Yannick Gingras, Tim Tetrick.
Races: 12-12-0-0. Purses: $883,330. Mark: 1:50.1 at Mohawk (equals world record).
Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $441,600 She’s A Great Lady; $377,360 Three Diamonds.
3-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER
McWicked (128 votes)
McArdle – Western Sahara – Western Ideal
Yearling Price: $35,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale.
Breeder: Andray Farm.
Owner: S S G Stables.
Trainer: Casie Coleman. Drivers: David Miller, Brian Sears.
Races: 23-12-5-4. Purses: $1.47 million. Mark: 1:47.3 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (world record).
Top wins: $531,250 Breeders Crown; $500,000 Hempt Memorial; $400,000 Adios.
3-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER
Color’s A Virgin (106 votes)
Always A Virgin – Full Color – Allamerican Ingot
Yearling Price: Homebred.
Breeder: Emerald Highlands Farm.
Owner: Emerald Highlands Farm.
Trainer: Brian Brown. Driver: Trace Tetrick.
Races: 18-13-2-0. Purses: $532,622. Mark: 1:51 at Meadowlands.
Top wins: $298,100 Jugette; $176,500 Nadia Lobell.
OLDER MALE PACER
Sweet Lou (154 votes)
Yankee Cruiser – Sweet Future – Falcons Future
Yearling Price: $38,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale.
Breeder: Birnam Wood Farms.
Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr, Phil Collura.
Trainer: Ron Burke. Driver: Ron Pierce.
Races: 19-11-3-1. Purses: $1.36 million. Mark: 1:47 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (world record).
Top wins: $500,000 TVG Final; $500,000 Ben Franklin; $463,300 William Haughton Memorial.
OLDER FEMALE PACER (tie)
Anndrovette (51 votes)
Riverboat King – Easy Miss – Big Towner
Yearling Price: Private sale.
Breeder: Golden Touch Stable.
Owners: Bamond Racing, Joseph Davino.
Trainer: P.J. Fraley. Driver: Tim Tetrick.
Races: 22-6-4-4. Purses: $520,352. Mark: 1:49.1 at Mohawk.
Top wins: $303,600 Roses Are Red; $250,000 Betsy Ross.
Rocklamation (51 votes)
Rocknroll Hanover – Art Sale – Artsplace
Yearling Price: $50,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale.
Breeder: Perretti Farms.
Owners: Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45, J&T Silva Stables.
Trainer: Ron Burke. Driver: Yannick Gingras.
Races: 18-4-5-2. Purses: $517,364. Mark: 1:48.3 at Meadowlands.
Top wins: $183,450 Golden Girls; $178,000 Artiscape; $177,750 Lady Liberty.
Source: United States Harness Writers Association news release