Sixteen Down, One To Go
Published: November 27, 2013 8:31 am ET
Last Comment: November 27, 2013 12:10 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
“I am feeling a bit of pressure, yeah. I wasn’t feeling any until now, because you’re so close. We’re a few days away from it being over."
Bee A Magician will try to complete a perfect season Saturday night when she faces nine foes in the $253,000 Moni Maker Stakes for three-year-old filly trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack.
Ranked No. 1 in the sport’s current Top 10 poll, Bee A Magician is 16-for-16 this year, with $1.4 million in earnings. She will start the Moni Maker from post eight for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman and driver Brian Sears.
“It’s exciting,” Norman said. “The other thing is you could be not racing. Two weeks from now when she’s not racing and she’s out in the paddock I’m going to miss her, that’s for sure.”
Bee A Magician will try to join Muscle Hill, Syrinx Hanover and A Worthy Lad as the only trotters to go undefeated at age three and earn year-end honours dating back to 1975.
Muscle Hill, a colt, won all 12 of his races in 2009 and was named Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada. Syrinx Hanover, a filly, went 12-for-12 in 2001 and was named Trotter of the Year in the U.S. (losing Horse of the Year to filly pacer Bunny Lake). A Worthy Lad, a colt, was perfect in 13 starts in 1990 and received the O’Brien Award as Canada’s best three-year-old male trotter.
“It’s just a dream,” said Mel Hartman, who owns Bee A Magician with David McDuffee and Herb Liverman. “At times she’s done it so easy it’s scary. I’ve had some great horses, but if you have a horse that’s being considered for Horse of the Year they have to be super special. I would say she’s super special. It’s been a hell of a ride.”
Bee A Magician’s wins this year include the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, in a stakes-record 1:51.4, and the $500,000 Breeders Crown, in a stakes-record 1:52.4. She also captured the Elegantimage Stakes, the Delvin Miller Memorial in a world-record 1:51, and the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final.
For her career, Bee A Magician has won 26 of 29 races and earned $2.2 million. Her earnings are the record for any filly, trotter or pacer, at ages two and three combined.
She is coming off a victory in the American-National Stakes on Nov. 9 at Balmoral Park in Chicago.
“She’s had three weeks since her last race, so she’s not right on top of her game, I wouldn’t say,” Norman said. “But we trained today (Tuesday) so she’s going to be very close.”
There is no precipitation in the forecast for Saturday, but it will be cold. The high temperature is projected at 38 degrees and the low at 32.
“I’m nervous racing this late in the year,” Hartman said. “My experience is that fillies and mares are not too crazy about racing in the cold. It seems harder on them than the (male) horses. I just hope we haven’t made a mistake.”
The Moni Maker field includes Sheenas Shadow, Handover Belle, Ma Chere Hall, Andie Sophia, Little Bitty Lies, Southwind Cocoa and Time To Kill lining up inside Bee A Magician, with Mistery Woman and Deja Vu Too to her outside on the starting gate.
“I didn’t expect anything like this,” Norman said about Bee A Magician’s campaign. “You don’t expect that from any horse. It is a long year; the horse has been in work since February and we’re almost to December. It’s 10 months of hard work and a lot of starts.
“It’s just tough for them to keep going and be good the whole time. It’s amazing that she has been, really. That’s why it’s such a big achievement, I guess.
“She’s a great horse. I hope she finishes it off.”
This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.