Venerable Remains Perfect In Doherty

Published: August 7, 2021 02:48 pm EDT

The three-week layoff was no issue for trotting filly Venerable, who extended her career unbeaten streak to four with a stakes record performance in the $326,850 Jim Doherty Memorial Final on Saturday (Aug. 7) on the Hambletonian undercard at The Meadowlands.

The rookie trotters looked like seasoned veterans with three fillies barreling into the first turn vying for command. Mon Cheval (Dexter Dunn) emerged on top of that early tussle, clearing Valentina Blu (Andy McCarthy) then hitting the opening station in :27. Venerable was floated away off the gate, sitting second over behind Joviality S (Brian Sears). Joviality brushed to the front down the backside, landing on top through a :55 half, and then yielded to the favoured Venerable.

Venerable had no time to slow the tempo down as Jiggy Jog S (Yannick Gingras) pressured immediately and kept Venerable honest through a 1:23.4 third quarter. As the field turned for home, Venerable was asked for another gear by David Miller and she responded willingly by trotting home in :28.1 to trip the timer in a stakes record and lifetime best 1:52. Brickhouse Babe (Mark MacDonald) closed well for second some three lengths back with Delilah Hanover (Todd McCarthy) rounding out the top trio.

"I think I was doing more work than her!" said trainer Richard 'Nifty' Norman after the win. "I was very nervous at the three-quarters but Dave said he kicked the plugs and she foudn another gear. very, very impressive. She just keeps getting better, it seems like."

Norman trains Venerable (Walner - Jolene Jolene) for owners David Mc Duffee of Florida, Mel Hartman of Ottawa, Ont., Paul Bordogna of New Jersey and Steven Arnold of New York. With four wins in four starts, the $210,000 yearling purchase now sports $288,425 in earnings.

The win, a fifth in the Doherty / Merrie Annabelle for driver David Miller, erased the former stakes record of 1:52.2 held by the great Mission Brief.

The Jim Doherty Memorial is part of a stakes-packed card of harness racing on Hambletonian Day. Be sure to check out the 2021 Hambletonian Day News Centre for recaps and replays of all the action.