And they are off is one of the common phrases heard as a track announcer starts to call the race. It is something that two more of my young horses will be hearing. Standardbred racehorse can start racing a the age of two. Thoroughbreds need longer to mature for racing , so three years of age is the youngest they can race. Even in standardbreds, not all of them are mature enough to race as a two year old early in the year. That was the case of my three New York Sire Stake horse. As the end of the year approaches and the two year olds are about to become three years of age, they are ready to race. Standardbreds have a “universal” birthday and all are considered to be born 1 January for racing purposes.
Sally De Vie
Sally De Vie has started her racing carer. She raced her qualifier on 11/30/17 at Flamboro Downs,in the third Race. Flamboro does not broadcast the qualifiers so I was not able to watch her race. However, she did well and finished third with a very respectable time of 2:00 and 2/5. A horse races a qualifier to show the judges they are safe and meet the course minimum times. The time and that they stay on gait is more important that the finished position.
Stand by race fans, there is more. On December 9th also at Flamboro downs, Sally had her first official Par-mutual race. Unfortunately she drew the 9 hole, which at Flamboro means she starts in the second tier. The second tier starts behind the horse on the starting gate. The winning percentage for post 9 is less than 5%. Considering it was her first real race and she started at the worst post position, she did well.
9 Sally De Vie 9 5/6H 5@/4H 3@/2 5/2T 5/2H 2:00.2 31.2 A Macdonald 2.25
Here is her race line. For those not familiar with the race programs here is what that means. The first 9 is her race number. The next 9 is her starting position, Most of the time these are the same. 5/6h tells so that at the 1/4 mile marker she was in 5th place and 6 and a half lengths behind the leader. In harness racing distance in relationship to the horses is “measured” by a length of a horse about 6 feet. At the half mile marker she was still 5th, however she was racing outside and 4 and a half length behind. The term outside means that there in a horse to her left alongside the rail and is sown on the lines with a @ or degree sign. At the 3/4 mile marker, she was still racing outside and she had moved up to third only two lengths behind the leader. At the head of the stretch she had dropped back to 5th but had only slightly lost ground against the leader. she finished the race in 5th just two and a half behind the winner. that is a very close race. given the poor post position and the point that she had two @ on her lines. If a horse races outside the entire race on a 1/2 mile track they will have to travel 67 feet further. Sally raced at least 1/4 mile up to 1/2 a mile outside. that means she traveled at least 18 feet further than a horse that raced along the rail the entire race. she finished less than 18 feet behind the winner. An impressive first race in my view. and she now has a little money on her earning sheet. Not much but it a start.
Gouda Hanover is another of my New York Bred 2 year olds. He qualified early in the year, however, The trainer felt he was not mature enough to race. He was given some time off and came back to train a few months ago. He qualify at 202.2 , much slower than what Sally did, but still well within the qualifying standards. He will have his first par-mutual race on the 14th at Flamboro.
Dewey Ann is close to qualifying, there a good chance she will do her qualifier next week.