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16-Year-Old Standardbred Wins

Published: March 3, 2018 2:01 pm ET

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While Foiled Again has garnered much attention as a 14-year-old chasing his 100th career victory, a pacer based on Canada's west coast has that longevity mark bested by a couple of years as he continues to compete -- and win -- at the age of 16.

Earlier this year, Trot Insider learned that Prime Time Bliss would be granted permission by the racing commission in British Columbia to race through to the end of the current pari-mutuel meet at Fraser Downs. Through his first four starts, Prime Time Bliss was unable to connect but the stars aligned for the warhorse on Friday night.

Settled away fifth along the rail in the early going by driver Jim Marino, Prime Time Bliss was able to find cover heading into the back half of the mile and was situated second over with a quarter-mile to go. Marino then tipped Prime Time Bliss three-wide around the final turn and he responded with a strong closing kick to collar favoured Ronny Woo Woo (Brandon Campbell) and forge on for the 1:59.4 score.

From 343 career starts, Prime Time Bliss (Blissfull Hall - Armbro Knots) has recorded 61 wins, 46 second-place finishes and 33 thirds with $336,630 in career purse earnings for trainer Terry Burstyk and owner Debbie Burstyk of Surrey, B.C.

Terry told Trot Insider that Prime Time Bliss has gone out a winner, competing for the final time. He'll now start a stallion career, leaving for Wisconsin on Monday.

Only a handful of horses have lasted successfully as long as Primetime Bliss, as most jurisdictions require Standardbreds to retire from pari-mutuel competition when they turn 15. However, some Standardbreds have continued to compete at fair meets or in races conducted with amateur drivers. Since 1992, only seven other North American Standardbreds have won races as 16-year-olds:

  • Incredible K, June 19, 1999 at Saratoga Raceway (amateur driving race)

  • Rapunzels Star, Sept. 2, 1999 at Chatham, N.Y. (fair)

  • Fine Kettle, twice on August 12, 2001 at Sutton, Ont. (fair) and again on Sept. 2, 2001 at Port Perry, Ont. (fair)

  • Frosty Affair, April 16, 2003 at Pompano Park (amateur driving race)

  • Copper Stopper, August 21, 2009 at Sedalia, MO (fair)

  • Yankee Minstrel, August 3, 2010 at Morris, NY (fair) and August 24, 2010 at Trumansburg, NY (fair)

  • Famous Oscar, July 20, 2017 at Plattsburg, NY (fair)

Of those listed above, two -- Incredible K and Yankee Minstrel -- one-upped Prime Time Bliss and won as 17-year-old racehorses while Copper Stopper made starts until the age of 20.

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