East Rutherford, NJ — Venerable remained undefeated Saturday (Aug. 7), winning the $326,850 Jim Doherty Memorial, for 2-year-old female trotters, by 2-1/4 lengths in a stakes record 1:52 for driver David Miller and trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman at The Meadowlands.
Brickhouse Babe finished second at 90-1, and Delilah Hanover was third.
Venerable’s time bettered the previous stakes record, 1:52.2, set by Mission Brief in 2014. The clocking was one-fifth of a second off the track record for a 2-year-old trotting filly, also held by Mission Brief.
Sent off as the 3-5 favorite, Venerable took the lead following the half, fended off a challenge from Jiggy Jog S on the final turn, and pulled away in the stretch to pick up her fourth win of the season.
Mon Cheval led the field to the quarter in :27 and Joviality S was on top at the half in :55 before Venerable and Jiggy Jog S hit three-quarters side-by-side in 1:23.4.
“I think I was doing more work than her; I was very nervous at the three-quarters,” trainer Norman said with a laugh. “But Dave said he kicked the (ear) plugs and she found another gear. She was very, very impressive.
“She just keeps getting better, it seems like.”
Venerable, the New Jersey Sire Stakes champion, is owned by David McDuffee, Mel Hartman, Paul Bordogna and Steven Arnold. She was purchased for $210,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and has earned $280,254.
“Oh, boy, that was quite a performance,” McDuffee said. “She’s really pretty special.”
Venerable, a daughter of Walner out of Jolene Jolene, was bred by Maumee River Stables, Black Creek Farm, Martin Schmucker and Steve Stewart. She paid $3.40 to win.