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Mach It A Par Retiring

Published: December 11, 2019 10:16 am ET

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Jason Bartlett’s first words about Mach It A Par were hardly the stuff of testimonials.

“She doesn’t look like much, her gait isn’t the smoothest, very choppy, she has to use many more steps to cover same amount of ground,” her usual chauffeur said.

“But” — and there’s always a ‘but’ — “what no one could measure was her heart.”

Mach It A Par will make the 182nd and final start of her seven-figure career Friday night (Dec. 13), after which she’ll be honoured by her home away from home, Yonkers Raceway. Entering the $22,000 second race, the nine-year-old daughter of Mach Three has made her last 87 starts in Westchester for co-owners D’Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable and the Gandolfo Stables.

“She’s not supposed to do the thing she’s done,” trainer Richard Banca said of the 52-time winner. “She did overcome so much, all sorts of foot issues. She’s just been tremendous and gets around Yonkers great. I don’t know why, maybe it’s her size. She took a (1:50.3) mark there (September of 2016, Brian Sears driving), which I think was a world record at the time.

“We’ve had her since early (March) 2016. I think the owners paid $60,000 for her. She was racing at Pompano. She had a lot of wins, but hadn’t made much money.

“We put her right in the (2016 Blue Chip) Matchmaker,” Banca said. “She was probably eligible to non-winners of $10,000 (in last five starts), but we threw her in the series. She ended up winning and paying a lot ($81, George Brennan driving) and that really surprised us.”

There weren’t that many surprises after a career-best ‘16 season (39 starts, 13 wins, nine seconds, eight thirds, $404,200), with Yonkers as her nearly-exclusive place to race. The past two full seasons have seen Mach It A Par pay her way, earning $200,000-plus in each.

“It’s not that she can’t race anymore (six wins, more than $144,000 in 2019),” Banca said. “The owners just want to breed her (to an as-of-now undetermined New York stallion),”

It wasn’t all sunshine and skittles on the track for Mach It A Par, however.

The lass cost herself any number of winner’s circle pictures and a fair amount of coin by not necessarily pacing the straight and narrow through the lane.

“We never could figure out why she runs out,” Banca said. “She doesn’t do it every time (cue Bartlett… ‘She was a winner last [Friday] night [Dec. 6], but off the last turn, she wants to go and get a hamburger in the grandstand’) and we’ve tried some equipment changes, but then she ran in.”

So, there. Mach It A Par wasn’t always pretty, but with more than $1.1 million on account, she was pretty good.

(Yonkers Raceway)


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