Three-year-old colt Perfect Sting was a repeat winner and four-year-old mare Lyons Sentinel also earned a second trophy as 2021 Dan Patch Award division champions for pacers were announced on Monday, Dec. 20 by the U.S. Harness Writers Association.
The remaining pacers to receive division honours were two-year-old colt Monte Miki, two-year-old filly Niki Hill, three-year-old filly Test Of Faith, and four-year-old gelding Allywag Hanover. Division winners for trotters will be announced Tuesday at noon during a broadcast hosted by Harrah’s Hoosier Park’s Emily Gaskin on Facebook and YouTube.
Pacer of the Year, Trotter of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be revealed at the Dan Patch Awards banquet on February 20 at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida.
All the pacing winners were named on at least 86 per cent of the 146 returned ballots. Complete results and vote totals will be included with the announcement of Pacer, Trotter, and Horse of the Year following February’s Dan Patch Awards banquet.
Perfect Sting, trained by Joe Holloway and driven by David Miller, was harness racing’s top money-winner in 2021, banking $1,327,147. The colt hit the board in all 16 of his starts, winning seven and finishing second on eight occasions.
Among his wins was the Breeders Crown for three-year-old male pacers. He was second in six races worth more than $275,000 – the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Tattersalls Pace, Little Brown Jug, Max C. Hempt Memorial and Cane Pace. Two of the setbacks were by a nose, one by a neck, and none were by more than three-quarters of a length.
Perfect Sting joins Tall Dark Stranger, Captaintreacherous and Somebeachsomewhere as male pacers in the past 20 years to receive Dan Patch honours at ages two and three. The colt, by Always B Miki out of Shebestingin, is owned by breeders Brittany Farms and Val D’Or Farms.
Lyons Sentinel was a Dan Patch Award recipient at age two in 2019 and picked up her second honour this year at age four after earning a division-best $827,708 for trainer Jim King Jr. and driver Tim Tetrick. She won 10 of 19 races and hit the board a total of 16 times.
Her triumphs included the Roses Are Red, Lady Liberty, Milton, TVG Series Mare Pace final, Dayton Distaff Derby, Artiscape and Clara Barton.
By Captaintreacherous out of Tutu Hanover, Lyons Sentinel is owned by Threelyonsracing and was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms.
The remaining four pacers to receive honours also led their respective divisions in purses.
Test Of Faith, who won 14 of 16 starts and finished second in her other two races, made $1,069,739.
Her victories for trainer Brett Pelling and driver David Miller included the Breeders Crown, Empire Breeders Classic, Glen Garnsey Memorial, New York Sire Stakes final, Park MGM Pace, Bluegrass, Matron and Courageous Lady.
She is owned by Melvin Segal, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eddie Gran. The filly, by Art Major out of Cannae Cammie, was bred by Frederick Hertrich III.
Allywag Hanover, who earned $1,011,500 this season, also was trained by Pelling. He won 10 of 19 races, including the Canadian Pacing Derby, TVG Series Open Pace final, divisions of the William R. Haughton and Sam McKee Memorials and Allerage Open Pace.
His 1:46.4 triumph in the Allerage equalled the world record for a gelding pacer. He also equalled the world record for a gelding pacer on a five-eighths track with a 1:47.2 score in the Always B Miki Invitational at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Todd McCarthy, who drove Allywag Hanover for the second half of the campaign, was in the sulky for all his top stakes victories. By Captaintreacherous out of Anderosa Hanover, Allywag Hanover is owned by Allywag Stable and was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms.
Niki Hill, trained by Chris Ryder and driven by Dexter Dunn, was the top money-earner among two-year-old pacers, with $960,784. She won nine of 10 races and finished second in her remaining start.
Her victories included the Breeders Crown for two-year-old filly pacers, She’s A Great Lady, Three Diamonds, Kindergarten Classic Series final and a division of the International Stallion Stakes.
The filly, by Always B Miki out of Road Bet, is owned by Tom Hill and was bred by Stephen Dey III.
Monte Miki won six of seven races, finished third in his remaining start and earned $751,796 for breeder/owner Velocity Standardbreds. The colt, by Always B Miki out of Montenegro, counted the Metro Pace and Breeders Crown for two-year-old male pacers among his triumphs.
Scott Zeron drove the Mark Evers-trained Monte Miki on the Grand Circuit following three earlier starts with Josh Sutton in the sulky.
TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER
MONTE MIKI, colt
Always B Miki – Montenegro – Camluck
Breeder: Velocity Standardbreds.
Owner: Velocity Standardbreds.
Trainer: Mark Evers. Drivers: Scott Zeron, Josh Sutton.
Races: 7-6-0-1. Purses: $751,796. Mark: 1:50.4 at Meadowlands.
Top wins: $824,000 Metro; $600,000 Breeders Crown.
TWO-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER
Always B Miki – Road Bet – Bettors Delight
Breeder: Stephen Dey III.
Owner: Tom Hill.
Trainer: Chris Ryder. Driver: Dexter Dunn.
Races: 10-9-1-0. Purses: $960,784. Mark: 1:50.2 at Woodbine Mohawk.
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $500,500 Shes A Great Lady; $359,450 Three Diamonds; $222,111 Kindergarten Classic.
THREE-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER
PERFECT STING, colt
Always B Miki – Shebestingin – Bettors Delight
Breeders: Brittany Farms, Val D’Or Farms.
Owners: Brittany Farms, Val D’Or Farms.
Trainer: Joe Holloway. Driver: David Miller.
Races: 16-7-8-1. Purses: $1,327,147. Mark: 1:48.1 at Meadowlands.
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $132,360 Little Brown Jug elimination.
THREE-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER
TEST OF FAITH
Art Major – Cannae Cammie – Cams Card Shark
Breeder: Frederick Hertrich III.
Owners: Melvin Segal, Kentuckiana Racing Stable, Eddie Gran.
Trainer: Brett Pelling. Driver: David Miller.
Races: 16-14-2-0. Purses: $1,069,739. Mark: 1:48.3 at Red Mile.
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $214,000 Empire Breeders Classic; $207,000 Glen Garnsey; $200,000 New York Sire Stakes final.
OLDER MALE PACER
ALLYWAG HANOVER, four-year-old gelding
Captaintreacherous – Anderosa Hanover – The Panderosa
Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms.
Owner: Allywag Stable.
Trainer: Brett Pelling. Driver: Todd McCarthy.
Races: 19-10-3-1. Purses: $1,011,500. Mark: 1:46.4 at Red Mile.
Top wins: $590,000 Canadian Pacing Derby; $350,000 TVG Series Open; $265,400 W.R. Haughton division; $158,500 Sam McKee division; $158,000 Allerage Open.
OLDER FEMALE PACER
LYONS SENTINEL, four-year-old
Captaintreacherous – Tutu Hanover – Western Ideal
Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms.
Trainer: Jim King Jr. Driver: Tim Tetrick.
Races: 19-10-2-4. Purses: $827,708. Mark: 1:48 at Meadowlands.
Top wins: $316,000 Roses Are Red; $240,000 Milton; $191,050 Lady Liberty; $175,000 TVG Series Mare.
(With files from USHWA)