Hightstown, NJ — It looks like motherhood can wait for Pat Matters.
The 6-year-old mare, who is this season’s fastest trotter thanks to her track-record 1:51.2 mile at Dover Downs on Jan. 5, is being pointed toward a Grand Circuit campaign by owner Patricia Stable and trainer Nifty Norman rather than retirement and a career as a broodmare.
“We were of two minds about what to do with her,” Norman said. “There was some thought of retiring her and breeding her, but she’s raced so good this year we’re going to press on and stake her. The owner kind of figured she deserved a shot against those better ones.”
On Saturday, Pat Matters returns to The Meadowlands for the first time since her second-place finish in November’s TVG Series championship for female trotters. She is the morning line’s 7-2 second choice in the sixth race, a $22,500 conditioned trot. The millionaire JL Cruze is the 3-1 favorite.
Pat Matters, bred by Patricia Stable, is by Explosive Matter out of Dibrizzi and a half-sister to Crazy About Pat, a 2013 New York Sire Stakes champion. Unraced at age 2, Pat Matters has won 17 of 50 career starts and $370,282. Since adding Lasix last October, she has won three of nine races and $91,610. She was fourth in last year’s Breeders Crown Mare Trot.
“She’s been a lot better ever since (Lasix),” Norman said. “She’s a very sound horse; a big strong healthy thing.”
Andy McCarthy will drive Pat Matters on Saturday. McCarthy has driven the mare in six of her past eight races, including the track-record mile at Dover. Pat Matter’s 1:51.2 shattered the previous track standard for a trotting mare, 1:53, established by Buck I St Pat in 2008.
“Dover is like that, you can be surprised by a time there,” Norman said. “But I was surprised by how easily she did it. That was nice to see. I was shocked by how old that record was. That amazes me.”
Pat Matters will get time off to freshen up for the Grand Circuit, with Norman starting to map out a schedule for the mare.
“We just have to put a plan together and see where we’re going to start her off,” Norman said. “There are some good horses in that division, but we have confidence in her so we’re going to take a shot. If you’re running in the top three, she can make a good living.”
Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EST) at The Meadowlands. The Big M and TrackMaster have teamed to regularly provide free past performances for each race card. Past performances can be found here on The Meadowlands website.