Hightstown, NJ — It might be a bit uncommon for a trainer to feel little apprehension about discovering their horse’s post position, particularly on a half-mile track, where outside starting spots are typically unfavorable. So far, though, 6-year-old female pacer Demeter N has afforded Andrew Harris that luxury.
Demeter N has won five of eight races since arriving from Australia last year, including five of six at half-mile Yonkers Raceway. She is 2-for-2 this season at The Hilltop, with victories from post six and post eight.
Two of her losses came in her first two starts in the U.S., both at The Meadowlands. She missed by a neck in her debut and by a nose from post 10 in the next, when she closed with a :25.4 final quarter-mile.
“I’m really impressed with her versatility,” Harris said. “She can do it any way. She’s raced from off the pace, come from off a helmet. She’s done it first up, grinded it out. And when we’ve put her on the front, she’s just as good there.
“She can do it from any position on the track. The post positions never seem to really scare me with her. The race doesn’t need to set up for her. She will make things happen because she wants to do it.”
Harris bought Demeter N and 8-year-old male trotter Deltasun A as a package in July. He owns Demeter N, a daughter of Art Major out of Weka Lass, with Martin Budkey. The mare won 10 of 40 races Down Under and is a half-sister to six-figure-earner Reciprocity.
“I think she’s exceeded expectations, to be honest with you,” Harris said. “She’s a nice mare and she’s been a beast at Yonkers. Her only issue is that she will tie-up once in a while and not finish the way she should. But as long as we stay on top of that, nothing seems to slow her down.”
Demeter N has raced in conditioned classes since her arrival but is scheduled — weather permitting — to step up to the $30,000 open for fillies and mares on Thursday at Yonkers. Demeter N, with Jason Bartlett in the sulky, will start from post four and is 9-2 on the morning line. Alexa Skye is the 3-1 favorite.
“She’s got to try them at some point, so we might as well do it while she’s sharp,” Harris said. “I do think she is going to be that level of a horse, so this is going to be an acid test for her. I think we are going to skip the (Blue Chip Matchmaker) with her this year, but I do think this mare is going to be the real deal eventually.”