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Anndrovette Retired, Sold

Published: October 13, 2016 10:35 am ET

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Trot Insider has learned that Anndrovette, one of the toughest mares to ever look through a bridle and one of the most decorated pacers of the last decade, has been retired.

Now nine, the daughter of Riverboat King - Easy Miss retires with a summary of 45-22-27 from 144 lifetime starts, a mark of 1:48 and earnings in excess of $3.5 million. That's quite the investment from the $65,000 spent by Bamond Racing and Joe Davino to obtain the then three-year-old pacing filly from the 2010 Summer Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands. In the six seasons after that purchase, Anndrovette banked at least $350,000 in each one.


Anndrovette after winning the 2013 Roses Are Red in a Canadian record and lifetime best 1:48 (New Image Media)

"At the time I was on my way to The Meadowlands just for a regular race night and I was looking through the sale book," trainer Jeff Bamond told Trot Insider. "I saw a New York-sired horse who had been competing in the New York Sire Stakes. The thing that caught my attention was it seemed like she was willing every week. She was finishing every week, she had 27 last quarters no matter what track she raced at...she came home the same at Yonkers as she came home at Vernon. She was always making up ground, always making up lengths in the stretch and I thought 'here's a horse that can probably make some money in the Sire Stakes.'

"I'd love to pretend that I knew she would be who she'd be but if that was the case I would have retired by now."

Bamond confessed that the price he and his partners paid for Anndrovette at the time was right around the limit they were willing to dole out.

"We paid $65,000 and I don't think we were going much more. That was the best $65,000 I think anyone could have ever spent."

The list of accomplishments on Anndrovette's pedigree page backs up Bamond's statement. A mare that was named the best in North America for four consecutive years -- an unprecedented streak among older racehorses. Her success, however, started prior to her aged career with Grand Circuit-level victories in the American-National and the Lady Maud in addition to six New York Sire Stakes legs and the NYSS Final at three. As an older racehorse, Anndrovette flourished. Stakes conquests on her resume include the Artiscape, the Betsy Ross (twice), the Breeders Crown (twice), the Golden Girls, the Lady Liberty, the Overbid and three straight scores in the Roses Are Red.

"My favourite race she ever had was a Roses Are Red," noted Bamond. "She was passed in the stretch and she came back...halfway down the stretch I thought she'd raced real good and she was second, and then you could see her digging in and fighting back and could hear the crowd react like 'whoa'...that's not something you normally see."

Among a host of stakes wins, a number of Bamond's favourite on-track memories with Anndrovette came on Canadian soil.

"Her first Breeders Crown when she was four, just because it was kind of a crazy night. Luc Ouellette picked up the drive, and she opened up at the three-quarters by five. That was probably her most relaxing race because you could see she was a winner at the three-quarters."

"I remember there was one other race and Ken Middleton's call was, whoever was on the lead, I think it was Drop The Ball in that that race, 'is going to need another eighth of a mile of toughness, and they don't come much tougher.' I think I've watched that replay about ten times, because his call was so good."

Not only is Bamond proud of his pupil's accomplishments, but proud of how many top pacing mares Anndrovette competed against and defeated over her multiple award-winning older seasons.

"I've been watching, over the last couple of days, just a bunch of replays of everything and the biggest thing that stands out to me about her is when I go back and watch the replays how many different horses she raced against," remarked Bamond. "I could name all the horses and they've all since retired. Drop The Ball was a great horse, Dreamfair Eternal was a great horse...you can watch the replays and she outlasted every one of them."

She didn't just outlast them, she outshone them. Over that timeframe, year in and year out, Anndrovette was able to secure one of the top drivers in harness racing -- Tim Tetrick, who told Trot Insider that the pacing mare was "a beast, a great horse and definitely one of my favourites. I'm going to miss her."

"Seven seasons of racing with pretty much the same driver, which is a pretty rare feat these days," said Bamond. "Every year there would be a hotshot three-year-old and Timmy would be driving one of those and we'd be like 'okay, he has a decision to make' and it seemed like every year he'd be like 'no, I'm sticking with her.'

"The fact that stuck with her for that long says enough about her right there."

Anndrovette last started in the 2016 Milton Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack, one of the few stakes events that eluded her over her long and illustrious career.

"I sent her up for the Milton because she'd always been so good up [in Canada] and I figured maybe the change of scenery...maybe she was just getting tired of looking at me. She kind of was the same and that's when I was like maybe it didn't matter who it was, it didn't matter the driver, it didn't matter the track...that to me was the final straw.

"I thought maybe for a little bit there she was trying to tell us that maybe she'd had it," noted Bamond. "I mean, her one thing that she always had -- no matter what happened -- she always fought. I think those last couple of starts there, I've never seen her just pack it in like that and I said 'I can't keep doing this to her much longer.'"


The Bamonds with the second of Anndrovette's four consecutive O'Brien Awards as Canada's top older pacing mare (Iron Horse Photo)

Bamond co-owned Anndrovette along with his father, Jeff and Joe Davino. All three owners agreed the time had come for the pacing powerhouse to conclude her racing days.

"I had spoken to my Dad and Joe even before she went up [to Canada] and we all agreed if there was a similar outcome there we'd look to move her."

Not broodmare owners, the collective behind Anndrovette made the decision to sell. It only took one phone call to find a buyer: Al & Michelle Crawford's Crawford Farms.

"I had a horse that I owned and trained with the Crawfords earlier this year so I had been in contact with them and knew that they certainly were always in the market for a broodmare so I reached out to them," said Bamond.

"We’re so excited....I couldn’t even begin to tell you how excited we are about it," Crawford told Trot insider. "I think they had hoped to race her for the rest of the year and we were kind of in a weird spot, we were trying to get ready for the sales and I wasn’t really looking at taking on more broodmares before the sales, but when we talked, I said I think he knows what kind of a home she’s going to have."

Bamond noted that one of the key reasons he considered Crawford first and foremost was to ensure the best possible spot for Anndrovette to live out her broodmare and post-broodmare years.

"To me, that was the main thing. I cared about where she went first, where she was going to live out the rest of her life. Breeding operation, whatever it happened to be was second. From everything I've ever heard or seen online, they seem like they take great care of their horses, [Michelle] cares a lot for them. It looks like she's taking pictures with members of her family. No matter what happens breeding-wise in her second career she's got a good home."

"I think everyone’s really happy," agreed Crawford. "I think they like to come to our farm because they know what kind of care they’re going to get forever and ever. I’m excited! I can’t imagine what she’s going to pass down to her babies. If they have her heart and everything she’s done on the track, it’s going to be awesome."

Crawford confirmed that there are no plans to bring Anndrovette back to the races; she's retired and starting her broodmare career. Being a daughter of Riverboat King out of a Big Towner dam, the bloodline options are fairly wide open.

"She’s done racing. We’re retiring her from her racing career and we’re going back and forth right now on who to breed her to, but we have a little bit of time on that too," said Crawford. "I love the American Ideals, it could be Somebeachsomewhere, possibly Captaintreacherous. But I think Somebeachsomewhere or American Ideal is probably what we’ll start with. I mean, she’s a big, beautiful mare so it gives us a lot of options."

While Anndrovette will begin her breeding career at the age of 10, an age by which many mares have a few foals on the ground and often racing, Crawford has no qualms about the late start.

"Being nine years old...I have a couple that are eight and nine, but what they’ve done, it does not matter. It does not matter their age when they’ve got heart and soul. If you can breed them and get foals out of them, I think it’s just going to be the most amazing thing."

Crawford also credits her farm staff for doing "an amazing job" on the reproductive side of the operation, noting that the team has achieved a very high in-foal success rate.

"It’s just one of those things where you see a mare and you’re like ‘wow, I would love to add her to my broodmares.’ And I never ever thought I’d acquire Anndrovette, like you just say that name and it’s just untouchable."

Bamond, whose stable still boasts the likes of older pacing mares Krispy Apple and Venus Delight, bristles at lofting the expectations of Anndrovette onto any of the current stock in his barn.

"No one will ever fill her void and if I ever get one that even comes close to filling her void then I'd be doing backflips," said Bamond. "Venus Delight doesn't have the same toughness but in fairness I don't think I've seen a mare that did."

Crawford concurs, considering Anndrovette to be hands down the best older pacing mare in the last decade.

"She kept coming back and kept coming back, and you know, she’s just a real warrior and that’s what you look for," said Crawford. "Talking to Tim and he just glows when he talks about her and just really, it’s just like nothing I’ve ever seen."


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