The seven-year-old pacing horse Shark Gesture p,6,1:48.1s ($2,890,594) has been retired from racing following his unfortunate break in stride in a Breeders Crown championship last Saturday night
at Pocono Downs.
"The high check ligament problem that prompted his retirement in the middle of his four-year-old racing season has come back," said Norman Smiley, who shares ownership of the horse with his brother, Gerald, and Tom and Louis Pontone's TLP Stable.
Smiley said the check ligament problem is now believed to be the culprit behind Shark Gesture's untimely break in stride while leading the field in the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk on September 4.
"In [the Canadian Pacing Derby] we thought there was something else going on," said Smiley. "So before the Breeders Crown, before we qualified him, we treated his knees and he qualified in 1:50.3 at Pocono. But it's a high check ligament, so they believe treating his knees helped the ligament problem some in the qualifier. Unfortunately, we never found this out until after the Breeders Crown, or we never would have raced him."
Shark Gesture has 27 wins in 77 career starts, with his victories including the Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Pace, this year's Dan Patch Invitational (when he took his lifetime mark), and this year's William Haughton Memorial Pace at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Hambletonian Day.
Shark Gesture was trained as a two-year-old by Mark Harder and was then conditioned by Erv Miller as a three-year-old. He was retired to stud and has 43 yearlings, with several being sold at major auctions.
In late 2008, Shark Gesture was put in training with brothers Ray and Larry Remmen. Under the Remmens' tutelage he finished on the board in 35 of 41 starts, with 14 wins and 10 seconds.
Smiley said the owners are in talks with a few parties about standing Shark Gesture at stud in 2011.