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Mitchell Reflects On Dream Season

Published: January 22, 2020 11:29 am ET

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Could the best still be to come for 2019 O'Brien Award finalist Alicorn? If her family tree is any indication, Alicorn's rookie season is just the tip of the iceberg.

A daughter of Bettors Delight - Mythical, Alicorn concluded her two-year-old season with a summary of 7-4-0 in 13 starts with $536,907 in earnings for trainer Chantal Mitchell and owners Windermere Stable LLC of New York, N.Y. and Robert Muscara of Ivyland, Penn.

That sensational resume is much more accomplished at this point than her older full siblings -- millionaire pacing mare Medusa (1:49 - $1,004,178) and Eighthunrdolarbill (1:50.3 - $363,989).

Alicorn's seasonal exploits have landed her in contention as a O'Brien finalist in the two-year-old pacing filly category 2019 O'Brien Awards along with Breeders Crown winner Reflect With Me. The nomination is the first for Mitchell, who waxed poetic over her stable star in discussing the honour.

"Having Alicorn this year was an absolute dream," trainer Chantal Mitchell told Trot Insider. "She put 100 percent of herself out on the track every time she went behind the gate and never ceased to amaze me! I’m so grateful for all of the special moments she shared with us this year."

Those special moments were plentiful as Alicorn boasted 11 top-three finishes in her 13-race campaign which included four Ontario Sires Stakes victories. Her richest victory was in the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final, but the race that stands out most to Mitchell was one Alicorn didn't win.

"A big highlight for me was winning The Eternal Camnation, as it was my first Grand Circuit win," noted Mitchell. "However I think one race that stands out would be the She’s a Great Lady final where Alicorn carved out all the fractions for a stakes record 1:49.3 and was just beat by half a length. That race was truly amazing."

After some rest and relaxation at Chris Coyle's Olive Branch Farm following the 2019 Breeders Crown Final, Alicorn is now back in training at Pinehurst Training Center with her developer, Roland 'Polie' Mallar.

Looking forward to what 2020 has in store, Mitchell was quick to credit those around her for Alicorn's successful season.

"I must credit Alicorn herself...She did everything ever asked of her and then some all year," said Mitchell. "And also her owners for always going above and beyond to let me do whatever I felt best to keep her in tip-top shape all year."

The road to the O'Briens hasn't been an easy one for the 32-year-old Hamilton, Ont. resident. It was just over four years ago that Mitchell and boyfriend Kris DeCenzo returned from a night of racing at Woodbine Racetrack to the horrific Classy Lane Stable barn fire that claimed the lives of more than 40 racehorses. Mitchell lost four Standardbreds and three miniature horses that night, but has persevered to post career-best numbers in 2018 and again in 2019. The O'Brien Award nomination was the cherry on top.

"I was extremely proud when I saw the O’Brien announcement. It was a tough group of fillies this year and it is a huge compliment to be recognized for her accomplishments this past year. Just to know that she is one of the top two fillies in Canada is a great honour."

Mitchell will be in attendance on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Hilton Meadowvale / Mississauga to take in her first O'Brien Awards black tie gala and the anticipation for the event is building.

"As someone who has never been before I'm starting to get excited to see everyone all dressed up outside of the racetrack. Also it should be a great evening celebrating all of the best horses and horse people in Canadian harness racing and I look forward to sharing that with everyone."

Today -- Wednesday, January 22 -- is the deadline to purchase tickets for the 2019 O’Brien Awards. Tickets are $200, and can be purchased by contacting SC’s Member & Stakeholder Relations Department:

◈ Kathy Wade Vlaar at [email protected] or 905-858-3060 (Ext. 207).

◈ Hailey Saunders at [email protected] or 905-858-3060 (Ext. 243).

Standardbred Canada has partnered with FitzRoy Dress Rental and Moores for discounts for O’Brien Awards guests.

FitzRoy Dress Rental Discount – Women can rent their dresses from FitzRoy Dress Rentals online or in-store and receive a 15 per cent discount with the promo code OBRIEN15. For an additional fee you can request to have the dress dropped off and picked up at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale Hotel. For complete information, click here.

Moores Tuxedo DiscountClick here for info and flyer.

Keep up to date on the O’Brien Awards and follow the 2019 O’Brien Awards Facebook Page.

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