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Liverman: Manchego In Special Category

Published: October 29, 2017 12:09 pm ET

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Breeders Crown champion Manchego’s 12-race unbeaten streak at the age of two is one of the major stories in harness racing this year, but the Muscle Hill filly still has a way to go to set a new mark in the family history of co-owner Herb Liverman.

Back in 1973, two-year-old pacer Handle With Care won her first 17 races for Montreal owner Irving Liverman, Herb`s father and longtime partner in racing and breeding, who passed away earlier this year at age 94.

Handle With Care then won seven more races at three before finally tasting defeat, by a nose, in her 25th start, the Bronx Filly Pace at Yonkers Raceway.

She lost more than she won from that point on, and retired after her five-year-old season with 53 wins from 99 starts and $809,689 in earnings, a record at the time. She was inducted to racing halls of fame in both the U.S. and Canada.

“That’s who Manchego reminds me of,” said Herb, 71, who is now based in Miami. “And I can tell you, for having lived through both streaks, that you feel pressure until they lose. In my mind, I was telling the driver (Yannick Gingras) what to do every step of the way.”

Manchego and driver Yannick Gingras winning the $600,000 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Filly Trot on October 27 at Hoosier Park.

Manchego’s ‘Crown’ was the eighth for a horse owned or co-owned by Liverman or his father, joining a list that includes $4-million winner Bee A Magician (2013, 2014), Poof Shes Gone (2009), Wild Honey (2015), Pinkman (2014), Muscles Yankee (1998) and one pacer, Beloved Angel (2005).

She’s the only one in the group that his dad, also a member of the Canadian Horseracing Hall of Fame, never got to see race. “That’s a regret,” said Herb.

Manchego, he said, may be even better at two than Bee A Magician, who retired this year and is in foal to Muscle Hill. Bee A Magician was third in the Breeders Crown at two.

“‘Bee’ was big, Manchego is just medium, but when she goes fast her gait is huge. And I’ve never had a horse win so often by margins of two or more lengths,” he said.

All told, Breeders Crown weekend (Friday recap, Saturday recap) could not have gone much better for Liverman. After Manchego`s win Friday, he said he’d be happy to get a cheque with the two other finalists he co-owned, Pinkman and Samo Different Day. Pinkman finished fourth to Hannelore Hanover, at 82-1, in Saturday`s $526,500 Open Trot. Samo Different Day was third, just nosed out of second, at 40-1, in the $600,000 final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings which was captured by Fiftydallarbill.

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)

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