Dan Patch Pacers Unveiled
Published: December 16, 2015 12:28 pm ET
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Harness racing’s richest pacer of the year, three-year-old gelding Wiggle It Jiggleit, and fastest pacer of the year, six-year-old horse State Treasurer, were among the six pacers named divisional champions in Dan Patch Award voting announced by the U.S. Harness Writers Association on Wednesday (December 16).
Also receiving Dan Patch Award pacing honours were undefeated two-year-old female Pure Country, two-year-old male Boston Red Rocks, three-year-old female Divine Caroline, and older female Venus Delight.
Pacer of the Year, Trotter of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be announced live Thursday at approximately 1 p.m. from Monticello Raceway, following the second race. The announcement will be available on Monticello’s simulcast, advance deposit wagering sites, or via replay (at monticelloraceway.com/video-racing-results).
A total of 136 Dan Patch Award ballots were returned. Wiggle It Jiggleit received 97 per cent of the votes in the three-year-old male pacer division while Pure Country got 91 per cent for two-year-old female pacers. Divine Caroline, State Treasurer, and Venus Delight each received more than 77 per cent in their categories and Boston Red Rocks got 60 per cent. All six pacers are receiving their first Dan Patch Award honours.
Wiggle It Jiggleit won 22 of 26 races this year and finished second on three occasions on his way to $2.18 million in purses. The gelding’s victories included the Meadowlands Pace, Little Brown Jug, Battle of the Brandywine, Max C. Hempt Memorial, Carl Milstein Memorial, Hap Hansen Progress Pace, and Matron Stakes.
In addition, Wiggle It Jiggleit paced the fastest mile ever by a three-year-old on a half-mile track when he won in 1:49 at Harrington Raceway. His time of 1:48 in winning the Battle of the Brandywine set the world record for a three-year-old gelding on a five-eighths-mile oval.
Wiggle It Jiggleit is owned by George Teague Jr. Inc. and trained by Teague’s longtime assistant Clyde Francis. Teague’s son, Montrell, drove Wiggle It Jiggleit in all his starts.
Three-year-old filly Divine Caroline won five of her final six starts this year – including the Breeders Crown and Tarport Hap – and won eight of 22 races overall. She finished among the top three a total of 19 times and earned a division-leading $667,266 for trainer Joe Holloway and owners Val D’Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stables, and Michael Ouriel.
Divine Caroline’s remaining wins this season also included divisions of the Glen Garnsey and Bluegrass stakes.
State Treasurer topped all older pacers in purses with $865,807. His time of 1:47 in winning the U.S. Pacing Championship at the Meadowlands Racetrack was this year’s fastest mile by a pacer and only one-fifth of a second off the fastest race mile in harness racing history.
For the year, State Treasurer won nine of 19 races and hit the board a total of 15 times. His victories also included the Canadian Pacing Derby, Roll With Joe, Dayton Pacing Derby, and Molson Pace. His triumph in the Molson Pace made him the first three-time winner of the event.
State Treasurer, trained by Dr. Ian Moore, is owned by Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald.
Venus Delight was the richest pacing mare of the season, with $603,265 in purses for trainer Jeff Bamond Jr. and owner Bamond Racing. She won eight of 19 starts and finished among the top three on 15 occasions.
Her wins included the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series championship, the Milton Stakes, the TVG Free For All Series championship for pacing mares, and the Artiscape.
Pure Country was a perfect 10-for-10 this year and led all two-year-old pacers with $689,968 in earnings. She joins JK Shesalady (2014), See You At Peelers (2010) and My Little Dragon (2005) as the only two-year-old female pacers to win a Dan Patch Award with an undefeated season.
Trained by Jimmy Takter for owner Diamond Creek Racing, Pure Country’s wins included the Breeders Crown, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship – in a stakes and track-record 1:51 at the Meadows – and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes.
Boston Red Rocks never finished off the board in nine races this year, winning four times. His victories included the Breeders Crown for two-year-old male pacers and Governor’s Cup.
The colt, trained by Steve Elliott, is owned by Peter Blood and Rick Berks. Boston Red Rocks earned $579,205 this year, the top figure for a two-year-old male pacer.
TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER
Boston Red Rocks (82 votes)
Yearling Price: $50,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale
Breeder: Andray Farm
Owners: Peter Blood, Rick Berks
Trainer: Steve Elliott
Drivers: Tim Tetrick, John Campbell
Races: 9-4-4-1 Purses: $579,205 Mark: 1:50.3 at Meadowlands
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $413,000 Governor’s Cup
TWO-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER
Pure Country (124 votes)
Somebeachsomewhere---Western Montana---Western Hanover
Yearling Price: Homebred
Breeder: Diamond Creek Farm
Owner: Diamond Creek Racing
Trainer: Jimmy Takter Driver: Brett Miller
Races: 10-10-0-0 Purses: $689,968 Mark: 1:51 at The Meadows
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $350,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship
THREE-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER
Wiggle It Jiggleit (132 votes)
Mr Wiggles---Mozzi Hanover---Jennas Beach Boy
Sale Price: Private
Breeders: James Bernstein, Theresa Bantle, Eric Felter, Vincent Tancredi
Owner: George Teague Jr. Inc.
Trainer: Clyde Francis
Driver: Montrell Teague
Races: 26-22-3-0 Purses: $2.18 million Mark: 1:47.4 at Meadowlands
Top wins: $706,000 Meadowlands Pace; $677,000 Little Brown Jug; $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine; $500,000 Hempt Memorial
THREE-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER
Divine Caroline (113 votes)
Rock N Roll Heaven---Loving Caroline---Art Major
Yearling Price: $75,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale
Breeder: Diamond Creek Farm
Owners: Val D’Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stables, Michael Ouriel
Trainer: Joe Holloway
Driver: David Miller
Races: 22-8-5-6 Purses: $667,266 Mark: 1:49.2 at The Red Mile
Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $173,500 Tarport Hap; $117,250 Glen Garnsey division
OLDER MALE PACER
State Treasurer (108 votes)
Real Desire---Ideal Treasure---Western Ideal
Yearling Price: $6,500 at Standardbred Horse Sale
Breeder: Brittany Farms
Owners: Sally MacDonald, Paul MacDonald
Trainer: Ian Moore
Drivers: David Miller, Randy Waples, Chris Christoforou
Races: 19-9-1-5 Purses: $865,807 Mark: 1:47 at Meadowlands
Top wins: $513,750 Canadian Pacing Derby; $215,400 U.S. Pacing Championship; $150,000 Roll With Joe
OLDER FEMALE PACER
Venus Delight (105 votes)
Bettors Delight---Venus Killean---Run The Table
Sale Price: Private
Breeder: Estate of George Hempt Trust
Owner: Bamond Racing
Trainer: Jeff Bamond
Drivers: Jason Bartlett, Tim Tetrick, James MacDonald
Races: 19-8-3-4 Purses: $603,265 Mark: 1:49.4 at Vernon Downs
Top wins: $261,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker; $225,000 Milton; $200,000 TVG; $194,000 Artiscape