Harrisburg, PA — Three-year-old trotting colt Greenshoe, who was the highest moneywinning trotter in North America during 2019, had the largest margin of victory among six trotters elected to Dan Patch Award divisional honors in year-end voting conducted by the United States Harness Writers Association, the sport’s top media organization, and the American Harness Racing Secretaries.
The trotting side also produced the closest decision in the 12 categories for both trotters and pacers. Four-year-old mares Atlanta and Manchego, who combined have won over $4 million lifetime, produced as good a finish as any on the track, with Atlanta edging out her rival, 74-72.
Also elected divisional trotting winners were 2-year-old gelding Real Cool Sam, 2-year-old filly Ramona Hill, 3-year-old filly When Dovescry, and 4-year-old stallion Six Pack. There were 147 participants in this year’s Dan Patch Awards racehorse voting.
Greenshoe’s margin was 123-22 over Gimpanzee, the group’s defending champion and his stablemate in the barn of Trainer of the Year Marcus Melander. Greenshoe, a Father Patrick colt out of Designed To Be, was bred by co-Bergstein/Proximity winners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz, driven by Brian Sears, and owned by Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist, Morten Langli and Owner of the Year Anders Ström’s Courant Inc.
Greenshoe won 10 of 13 starts and $1.27 million; in his three other races he was second, and suffered interference in two of them. Among his notable victories were the Kentucky Futurity, the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial, a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial, and sire stakes championships in Kentucky and New Jersey. He took his mark of 1:49.4 in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile.
Defending Trotter of the Year Atlanta got the barest of nods among the trotting mares for her campaign in which she won eight of 15 races, hit the board a total of 13 times, and earned a division-best $769,950. She won the Charlie Hill Memorial and two legs and the final of the Graduate Series in mixed company, along with the Armbro Flight and Miami Valley Distaff.
A daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip bred by Order By Stable, Atlanta raced for trainer Ron Burke, driver Yannick Gingras, and the ownership of Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant, and Howard Taylor.
Six Pack joined Atlanta as a repeat champion in 2019, collecting 56 percent of the vote among older male trotters. Six Pack won four of 12 starts and was worse than third only once on his way to $581,314 in purses. An authoritative 1:49.2 win at Lexington in the Allerage Open Trot and a strong rallying victory in the TVG Series final were among Six Pack’s wins.
The son of Muscle Mass-Pleasing Lady was bred by Breeder of the Year Brittany Farms and campaigned by trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt for his Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E-Knutssontrotting, Stall Kalmar Inc., and L Berg Inc.
The champion among 2-year-old male trotters, Real Cool Sam, was a success from the word “go,” winning his first nine starts and suffering defeat only at the Breeders Crown, where he got too far behind in off going and could only rally for fourth. The son of Muscle Hill is out of the mare Cooler Schooner, a world-record-setter in her racing days, and in 2019 Real Cool Sam set no fewer than five divisional world records, including in his division of the International Stallion Stakes, where he dead-heated with Big Oil in 1:52.1, making him the fastest freshman trotting gelding ever, and the time also the fastest dead-heat ever on the trot, regardless of age.
Other wins for Real Cool Sam included the Peter Haughton Memorial and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Fashion Farms bred and owns Real Cool Sam, who was trained by Jim Campbell and driven by David Miller.
Ramona Hill ensured her selection among 2-year-old trotting fillies by rocketing to the lead from the outside post 10 in her Breeders Crown final, surrendering the advantage, then coming back on to win by four lengths, leaving Sister Sledge and Hypnotic AM, respectively, both second and third in the race and in the year-end voting.
For the year, Ramona Hill won six of seven races and $405,400. She is a daughter of Muscle Hill-Lock Down Lindy, bred by Crawford Farms, and owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant, Robert Leblanc, and In The Gym Partners. She is trained by Tony Alagna and was one of driver Andrew McCarthy’s four Breeders Crown winners.
When Dovescry first made noise in the 3-year-old trotting filly division by winning her Hambletonian Oaks elimination on July 27, then came back the next week to win the final of the prestigious event. Further triumphs in the Matron and divisions of the Simcoe and Bluegrass stakes boosted her earnings for the year to $644,380.
The daughter of Muscle Hill-Cedar Dove was campaigned by the brother team of trainer Rene Allard and driver Simon Allard. She was bred by William Weaver III and is owned by Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh, and Lawrence Dumain.
All of the honorees and their connections will be honored at USHWA’s annual Dan Patch Awards banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2019 will be held on Sunday (Feb. 23) at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla., the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings.
The Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be revealed for the first time at the banquet.
Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards banquet are $180, with a filet mignon dinner featured; “post times” on Feb. 23 are cocktails at 5:30 p.m., with dinner to follow. Tickets, and other banquet-related information, can be obtained through Dinner Planning Committee Chair Judy Davis-Wilson, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302.359.3630.
Hotel reservations can be made through USHWA’s website, www.ushwa.net; a link to the hotel’s computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for award-winners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at email@example.com or 708.557.2790 (the 2019 journal is online at the writers’ website).
TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER
REAL COOL SAM, gelding (91 votes, 61.9%)
Muscle Hill – Cooler Schooner – Broadway Hall
Breeder: Fashion Farms LLC
Owner: Fashion Farms LLC
Trainer: Jim Campbell Driver: David Miller
Races: 10-9-0-0 Purses: $497,774 Mark: 1:52.1 at Lexington
Top wins: $324,550 Peter Haughton Memorial; $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship
TWO-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER
RAMONA HILL (67 votes; 45.6%)
Muscle Hill – Lock Down Lindy – Lucky Chucky
Breeder: Crawford Farms LLC
Owners: Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, Robert Leblanc, In The Gym Partners
Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Andrew McCarthy
Races: 7-6-0-1 Purses: $405,400 Mark: 1:52.2 at Lexington
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes
THREE-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER
GREENSHOE, colt (123 votes, 83.7%)
Father Patrick – Designed To Be – Donato Hanover
Breeders: Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz
Owners: Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist, Morten Langli
Trainer: Marcus Melander Driver: Brian Sears
Races: 13-10-3-0 Purses: $1,277,049 Mark: 1:49.4 at Lexington
Top wins: $450,000 Kentucky Futurity; $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial; $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship; $200,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship
THREE-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER
WHEN DOVESCRY (90 votes, 61.2%)
Muscle Hill – Cedar Dove – Andover Hall
Breeder: William Weaver III
Owners: Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh, Lawrence Dumain
Trainer: Rene Allard Driver: Simon Allard
Races: 12-5-4-3 Purses: $644,380 Mark: 1:50.1 at Lexington
Top wins: $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks; $176,150 Matron Stakes
OLDER MALE TROTTER
SIX PACK, 4-year-old stallion (83 votes, 56.5%)
Muscle Mass – Pleasing Lady – Cantab Hall
Breeder: Brittany Farms LLC
Owners: Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E-Knutssontrotting, Stall Kalmar Inc., L Berg Inc.
Trainer/driver: Ake Svanstedt
Races: 12-4-3-4 Purses: $581,314 Mark: 1:49.2 at Lexington
Top wins: $350,000 TVG Open championship; $145,000 Allerage Open
OLDER FEMALE TROTTER
ATLANTA, 4-year-old (74 votes, 50.3%)
Chapter Seven – Hemi Blue Chip – Cantab Hall
Breeder: Order By Stable
Owners: Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant, Howard Taylor
Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Yannick Gingras
Races: 15-8-4-1 Purses: $769,950 Mark: 1:49.1 at Meadowlands
Top wins: $250,000 Graduate Series championship; $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial; $192,000 Armbro Flight
Complete vote totals are available at this link.