Schenectady, NY — New York-breds swept the Dan Patch Awards for 2- and 3-year-old trotters in 2018.
Year-end divisional honors will be going to four stand-out performers, 3-year-old female trotter Atlanta, 3-year-old male trotter Six Pack, and undefeated freshmen Gimpanzee and Woodside Charm. Voting results were released earlier this week by the U.S. Harness Writers Association.
“New York has an outstanding breeding program that is evidenced by the standout Dan Patch winners that came from New York this year,” said M. Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. “We offer a plethora of racing opportunities and each of these four champions competed in the New York Sire Stakes while taking on the best competition in the world on the Grand Circuit. Congratulations to the owners and connections of these exceptional performers. We wait expectantly to see the next chapter of their careers in the new year.”
Atlanta became just the fourteenth filly to win the Hambletonian this year (and first since 1996), capturing harness racing’s richest prize in 1:50.4 and taking her over $1 million in career earnings. She won eight of 14 races this year, including the Kentucky Filly Futurity and Empire Breeders Classic. She finished second in the Breeders Crown. She easily scored in New York Sire Stakes divisions at Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs. Atlanta (Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip) was bred by Order By Stable, is trained by Rick Zeron, and owned by Zeron with Crawford Farms, Howard Taylor, Brad Grant and Holland Racing Stable.
Six Pack trotted a world-record mile of 1:50 in the Stanley Dancer Memorial, and then lowered that mark with a 1:49.1 performance at the Kentucky Futurity. He won the Yonkers Trot, Empire Breeders Classic and legs of the NYSS at Vernon Downs and Yonkers Raceway. The colt has earned $970,573 this year and nearly $1.17 million in his career. Six Pack (Muscle Mass-Pleasing Lady) was bred by Brittany Farms of Kentucky, is trained and driven by Åke Svanstedt, and owned by Svanstedt with Little E LLC, Stall Kalmar FF and Lars Berg.
Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows) went undefeated in nine starts this season, which included a Breeders Crown, six legs of the New York Sire Stakes and a tour of the winner’s circle on the New York Night of Champions. The winner of $591,358 this year was bred by Order By Stable and is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable.
Woodside Charm (Chapter Seven-Fireworks) is another New York Sire Stakes and Breeders Crown Champion who went undefeated this year with seven victories. She won three legs of the NYSS, including a world-record finish on the half-mile track at Saratoga in 1:53.4 in September. The trotter is trained, driven and owned by Verlin Yoder and was bred by AV & Son Bloodstock LLC.
The Dan Patch Awards annually honor the best and brightest performers, both human and equine, of the previous season. The award winners are selected by USHWA members.