Northfield, OH — These early fall days, Nancy Johansson might be shuttling around North America at a speed that out paces the harness horses that she trains.
Johansson was in Kentucky last weekend to race at the Red Mile and to also take the rubber band off the bankroll at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She’s since returned to her home base in New Jersey, but will be in Toronto this weekend to prepare members of her stable for the upcoming Breeders Crown races at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
And then there’s JK American Beauty, a 3-year-old filly pacer that Johansson trains and will send postward as the 5-2 morning line favorite to win Saturday’s (Oct. 12) $120,500 Courageous Lady at Northfield Park.
“I can’t be there, but I’ll be watching on my phone or my computer,” said Johansson. “We call JK American Beauty our ATM machine. She always gets a check.”
The daughter of American Ideal, a homebred for the 3 Brothers Stables of New York City, has finished no worse than third in 20 of her 26 lifetime starts. Only four of the placings are victories, none for more than a $60,000 purse, but Johansson takes the lack of winner’s circle visits in stride.
“It’s a little frustrating, and yes the seconds and thirds do pile up, but in the long run, she’s been consistent. She always tries and I’m fine with her record.”
JK American Beauty drew the No. 5 post position for the Courageous Lady and will be driven by Brett Miller.
Their main foe might be So Awesome, the race’s richest entrant with a bankroll of $446,113. A winner of eight of 23 career starts, she drew the No. 3 and will be driven by Dave Palone, harness racing’s all-time winningest driver with 18,953 victories.
The Courageous Lady is the ninth race on the 14-race Northfield Park card that also includes a pair of $75,000 Ohio Sires Stakes finals and two divisions of “The Pace for the Cure,” featuring all female drivers.
As for Johansson, she collected a world record Sunday at the Red Mile when her pupil Manchego won the $69,500 What The Hill Allerage Farms Mare Trot in 1:49, an all-age mark. The previous record was 1:49.1 set earlier this year by Atlanta at The Meadowlands.
The night before, Johansson led all buyers at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, spending $1,980,000 for eight yearlings for various owners. Her most expensive purchase was $800,000 for Some Terror, a son of Somebeachsomewhere.
The Courageous Lady Lineup:
1-She’s Allright-Ron Burke-Ronnie Wrenn Jr.-10/1
2-Skater Chick-Mark Harder-Corey Callahan-9/2
3-So Awesome-Scott DiDomenico-Dave Palone-3/1
4-Under The Hood-Nick Surick-Brady Galliers-15/1
5-JK American Beauty-Nancy Johansson-Brett Miller-5/2
6-Crazy Cute-Mark Harder-Aaron Merriman-12/1
7-Rose Run Uptowngal-Ron Burke-Chris Page-6/1