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Dan Patch Award Winners Announced


Published: December 29, 2008 1:54 pm ET

Last Comment: December 30, 2008 1:38 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Harness racing’s Big Three keeps on motoring.

Somebeachsomewhere, Deweycheatumnhowe and Mister Big, who held the top three positions in the sport’s weekly Top 10 poll for much of the season, each will receive a Dan Patch Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association for the second consecutive year.

Division winners for the awards, given annually to the leading vote-getters based on gait, sex and age, were announced Monday.

Horse of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Trotter of the Year will be announced on February 4 at the Night of Stars banquet at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.

Somebeachsomewhere, who set a single-season record with $2.44 million in purses, was named three-year-old colt pacer of the year while Hambletonian winner Deweycheatumnhowe was voted three-year-old colt trotter of the year. Mister Big, who was named older male pacer of the year for the second time, joins Red Bow Tie (1998-99) as the division’s only back-to-back winner in the last 30 years.

Deweycheatumnhowe was named on all 158 ballots returned while Somebeachsomewhere got 155 votes and Mister Big received 153.

Other division winners were two-year-old colt trotter Muscle Hill, two-year-old colt pacer Major In Art, two-year-old filly trotter Honorable Daughter, two-year-old filly pacer Fox Valley Topaz, three-year-old filly trotter Lantern Kronos, three-year-old filly pacer Tug River Princess, older male trotter Enough Talk, older female trotter Buck I St Pat, and older female pacer My Little Dragon.

Somebeachsomewhere won 14 of 15 races this year, including the $1.5 million North America Cup, the Breeders Crown, the Messenger Stakes, and the Confederation Cup. He was last season’s two-year-old division champ and finished his career with 20 wins in 21 starts and $3.22 million in earnings. Only a loss to Art Official by a neck in the Meadowlands Pace, in a then-world-record 1:47 mile, separated “The Beach” from perfection.

Earlier this year, he equaled the fastest race mile in history with a 1:46.4 victory at Lexington’s Red Mile and also set the world record for two-year-old pacers on a half-mile track. He was trained by Brent MacGrath and driven by Paul MacDonell.

Deweycheatumnhowe became only the second trotter to reach $2 million in a single year, earning $2.2 million, and was the first trotter in history to reach $3 million in lifetime purses at the age of three. Trained and driven by Ray Schnittker, the colt’s victories included the Hambletonian and Canadian Trotting Classic in addition to a three-heat triumph in the Kentucky Futurity. He finished 2008 with 12 wins in 15 races and closed his career with 22 victories in 25 starts and $3.1 million.

Mister Big, trained by Virgil Morgan Jr. and driven by Brian Sears, became the first pacer in history with million-dollar campaigns at both ages four and five. This season, he won 11 of 14 races and $1.5 million (a record for older horses). His victories included the Canadian Pacing Derby, William Haughton Memorial and Breeders Crown.

Among the two-year-old honorees, once-beaten Muscle Hill won the Breeders Crown in a world record 1:53.3 at the Meadowlands Racetrack in addition to winning the Peter Haughton Memorial. Honorable Daughter also won a Breeders Crown and set a world record on a five-eighths-mile track by winning the Matron Stakes in 1:55.1 at Dover Downs. Major In Art won the Metro Pace and Woodrow Wilson while Fox Valley Topaz closed out her campaign with a victory in the Breeders Crown for two-year-old filly pacers.

Older trotters Enough Talk and Buck I St Pat both set world records in 2008. Enough Talk won the Patriot Invitational at Colonial Downs in 1:49.3, marking the first time in history a trotter broke the 1:50 barrier. Buck I St Pat, who won 10 of 14 races before being sidelined by injury in July, won the Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah’s Chester in 1:52.2, setting the record for older female trotters on a five-eighths oval.

My Little Dragon joined Eternal Camnation as the only female pacers to win three Breeders Crown titles when she triumphed at Mohawk Racetrack in August. She was the 2005 Dan Patch winner as best two-year-old filly pacer.

Lantern Kronos won the Elegantimage, American-National and Filly World Trotting Derby while Tug River Princess won the Valley Forge and Nadia Lobell.


December 30, 2008 - 1:38 pmHere's the real question,

Fraser M (not verified) SAID...

Here's the real question, how in the HECK did Dewey get all 158 and the Beach NOT get that? Only in harness racing ladies and gentlemen. Over 6000 people voted on a survey on USTA site about two weeks ago, and it finished with the Beach being voted the greatest three year old OF ALL TIME. Now, three people seem to think there was a three year old out there THIS YEAR who was better than him. This is absolute and total discrimination by country. These people want Dewey to win so they've made a vote they know deep down isn't accurate. I'd like to know who those three people were, it would be most entertaining for them to make a case for a horse meriting the title more than Beach.

December 29, 2008 - 3:25 pmwell done they all earned it

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

well done they all earned it ,i predict the beach will be back in 2 yrs doing double duty , i hope

December 29, 2008 - 2:15 pmThe USTA always seems to get

jrich (not verified) SAID...

The USTA always seems to get it right. Great job. Congratulations to all winners and connections.

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