American Jewel Almost Sidelined By Hurricane Sandy

Published: November 10, 2012 12:00 am EST

Fresh off a scintillating victory in the $500,000 Breeders Crown three-year-old filly pace, Brittany Farms' prized filly American Jewel will try to stamp her name on divisional honours when she takes on nine other sophomore distaffers in Saturday's $145,000 American National Stake.

Checking into Balmoral after her big come from behind win in the Breeders Crown, the World Record holder (1:48.2 at Mohawk Racetrack) and number six-rated horse in all of North America was a question mark for her journey to Crete because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, according to conditioner Jimmy Takter, who was named Most Valuable Trainer of the 2012 Breeders Crown.

"I really wanted to send her to Balmoral for this event, but I wasn't sure we were going to be able to," said the 42-year-old Swedish born Takter. "The storm hit us pretty hard at our farm in East Windsor, New Jersey, which is about 80 miles north of Atlantic City where the storm came ashore, but we've managed to get our operation going again so I decided to go ahead with our original plan to bring her here."

Sporting a record of 8-4-2 in 15 starts this year with earnings of almost $1.1 million, the daughter of American Ideal has captured such prestigious events as the $642,000 Fan Hanover where she set her World Record, the $250,000 Lynch Memorial and $205,871 Simcoe Stake. Not bad for a filly that was forced to miss last year's Breeders Crown after suffering a fractured sesamoid, possibly costing her a chance at divisional honours despite winning eight of nine starts and finishing second in the other as well as setting another World Record of 1:50.2 while winning the She's A Great Lady Stake.

Handled throughout her illustrious career by driver Tim Tetrick, who is currently zeroing on an astonishing sixth straight earnings title, American Jewel definitely seems to be one of his favourites as evidenced by his joy after winning this year's Breeders Crown.

"I'm just really tickled with this filly," he said after her victory.

"She's got high, high speed. She can cut her own mile out, she can rough it, she can win first up, and she can just go really fast. She's at the top of the list of pacing fillies. The good ones don't need the trip or the track to carry around with them. They do it wherever they've got to go and track size, difficulty of the trip or the conditions don't seem to bother them."

(With files from Balmoral Park)