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Pinske: ‘Glamour Boy’ Class Looks Open

Published: April 17, 2018 10:20 am ET

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Carter Pinske will graduate from college next month and he is looking forward to the work ahead. That means lending a hand at the family’s custom cabinetry and millwork business, which dates back to the 19th century, as well as taking an increased role in what by comparison is a more recent pursuit – harness racing.

The Pinskes have been involved in harness racing since the mid-1950s when Carter’s great-grandfather, Robert, began competing at the Minnesota county fairs. Pinske Stables is now led by Carter’s father, Karl, and Karl’s parents, Tim and Marlys. Carter has worked with the horses for years, when not in school, and is anxious to spend more time around them in the future.

“The horses have been my passion,” Carter Pinske said. “I’ve been involved with them since I was old enough to be. I jogged my first horse when I was nine or ten and went my first training mile when I was 11. It’s hard to get out of your blood once it’s in there.”

In the past, Pinske helped prepare the family’s horses for racing by assisting as much as time permitted with the winter training at Southern Oaks in Florida. Now, he hopes to spend the entire winter working with the horses before they head to their respective trainers, primarily on the east coast, for their campaigns.

“I’d like to make the trip east to visit the horses as many times as I can,” said the 22-year-old Pinske, who is an animal science/business dual major at South Dakota State. “Since I started college, I’ve been involved in making decisions with my dad and grandpa. I really like going to the sales and picking out the horses. But what I most enjoy is the training side, watching them develop on a weekly basis.”

There was plenty for the Pinske Stables to enjoy in 2017, led by stakes-winning pacers Hayden Hanover and Points North.

Hayden Hanover, owned with Jim Simpson and trained by Julie Miller, had the fastest winning mile of the season for a two-year-old male pacer thanks to his 1:50 score in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. He finished second in both the Metro Pace and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship.

Points North, trained by Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman, won a division of the Bluegrass Stakes and capped his season with a victory in the Kindergarten Classic series championship. Points North qualified on Saturday at the Meadowlands, timed in 1:53.1 with a :26.4 final quarter-mile.

“Both of them trained back great,” said Pinske, who spent the summer following his freshman year in college working with Julie Miller and her husband Andy at their stable. “Points North has shot up; he really put on weight and got taller, actually. Hayden stayed about the same height, but he put on a lot of muscle, too. Training back, the two were great. No hiccups so far, and that’s all you can ask for. You just keep your fingers crossed.”

Another three-year-old male pacer, American Vision, also qualified Saturday and finished in 1:53 for trainer Norman. American Vision, owned with Mitchell and Tom Pinske’s Curly Tall Curly Small stable, was winless in seven starts last year, primarily on the New York Sire Stakes circuit.

“We thought he would be able to go with them, but he didn’t have luck the whole year, between post positions and some trips,” Pinske said. “Then about halfway through the year he had some sickness trouble. He never really got the chance to show himself. This year training down he’s really come around. He’s been able to go with Points and Hayden.

“I don’t like to jinx myself, but I think that (three-year-old male pacer) division is probably as open as it’s been. There are a lot of tough horses and I think every week you could see a different horse show up. So it’s going to be tough, but I think we have a chance to have some fun. But it’s a long season and a lot of tough horses in that division.”

Also among the returnees are three-year-old female trotter Lucky Rainbow, who finished third in the New York Sire Stakes championship, and three-year-old male trotters Voss Volo (a full brother to stakes-winner Bills Man) and Haveitalltogether.

The stable retired stakes-winning female trotter Overdraft Volo, co-owned with Kentuckiana Racing Stable and bred to Muscle Hill last week, and sold female pacer Inverse Hanover.

“Last year was like a dream season,” Pinske said. “And all of the owners we’re involved with are awesome. It’s really fun when it works out. That’s all you can hope for; you hope to have a little bit of fun with it.”

The Pinskes also have a group of two-year-olds comprised of four male pacers, three female trotters, two male trotters, and one female pacer.

“We have a pretty good group of trotters that I really like,” Pinske said. “They’ve been a solid group. They show potential. On the pacing side, same deal. It’s a real solid group.

“The season is slowly starting and I’m getting excited.”


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