The connections of the newly-turned 10-year-old Golden Receiver have announced the retirement of their star gelded pacer, whose career resume shows 63 wins, a career mark of 1:48, and earnings of $2,207,111.
Start No. 1 for Golden Receiver back in 2008 may not have been so good, and neither was start 172 in 2015, but there is just one word to describe those 170 appearances in between – wow!
"He was as gutsy a horse as I've ever been around. He is just a wonderful, wonderful animal,” co-owner Gene Kurzrok told harnessracing.com Tuesday morning (January 6) in a phone call announcing Golden Receiver's retirement. "It was just time.”
Making his career debut on July 12, 2008, at Tioga Downs, Golden Receiver finished ninth by 20 and a half lengths. In his career finale on January 3, 2015, at the Meadowlands Racetrack, Golden Receiver finished ninth by 15 and a half lengths. In between he finished one-two-three in 67.6 per cent of his starts, with his wins including his career-best 1:48 victory in the $242,500 U.S. Pacing Championship on August 4, 2012 at the Meadowlands. That victory was his second richest, behind only his 1:48.2 score in the $431,400 William Haughton Memorial final two weeks later at the ‘Big M.’
Golden Receiver – 2012 US Pacing Championship - The Meadowlands
Golden Receiver's other big victories include the Graduate final at the Meadowlands and the Spring Pacing Championship final at Woodbine in 2012, the Allerage final in 2013 at the Red Mile, and a pair of Presidential Series finals at the Meadowlands in 2012-13. Twenty-eight of his wins came at the Meadowlands, with 20 scores at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Eighteen drivers directed Golden Receiver to victories, including Andy Miller (nine times), Brian Sears (eight), Tim Tetrick (seven), Joe Pavia Jr. (seven) and Corey Callahan (five).
After receiving some time off last fall, Golden Receiver returned to the races in late November with a sparkling second-place finish, losing by just a nose in 1:49.4 in the $30,000 top-class race at the Meadowlands. Three subsequent off-the-board outings then led to the decision to retire the son of Village Jove.
"He just couldn't get around that last turn,” explained Kurzrok. "His right knee was so big, you just wouldn't believe how he could possibly race. When he was able to go to the front and he dominated, the knee was OK because he stayed away from the rail and he wouldn't be hitting the knee, but as soon as that stopped happening, we knew it was time.”
Golden Receiver was bred by Nina Simmonds, who owns Windy Hill Farm in Binghamton, N.Y. Simmonds, who trained Golden Receiver in his initial starts, soon sold majority interest to a partnership that included Kurzrok, with the horse eventually landing in the barn of trainer Mark Harder. Harder had Golden Receiver most of his career.
"Mark was most responsible for making him the horse he was,” said Kurzrok, whose partners in the Our Horse Cents Stables are Marcia Gingold, Scott Kurzrok, Stephen Springer and Richard Taylor. "We thank him.”
Golden Receiver finished his racing career while in the barn of Andy and Julie Miller. Kurzrok said the pacer is still at the Miller's stable at Gaitway Farm in New Jersey, but will soon head to Simmonds' farm.
"He will spend his golden years now at Nina's place,” said Kurzrok. "She is going to make him into a trail horse and he will enjoy it. The people at her farm are all looking forward to the golden horse coming back.”