Honorable Daughter is gearing up for sophomore campaign

by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Ken Weingartner

Freehold, NJ — Last season’s top 2-year-old filly trotter, Honorable Daughter, is preparing to make her 3-year-old debut later this month in the Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs. Eliminations will be held May 16 and the $250,000 final is Memorial Day, May 25.

Honorable Daughter, trained by Larry Remmen and driven by John Campbell, won nine of 11 races in 2008, including the Breeders Crown and Merrie Annabelle, and earned $835,555. She also became the fastest 2-year-old filly trotter in history on a five-eighths-mile track with a 1:55.1 victory in the Matron Stakes final at Dover Downs and was recognized by the U.S. Harness Writers Association as the best in her class.

Last week, she returned to the track in a qualifier at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, winning in 1:58.2. She is expected to prep once more in a qualifier before the Empire Breeders Classic.

“She’s a little bit bigger and stronger than she was last year. She’s come back real good,” Remmen said. “We planned on catching some of the early races and we’ll go accordingly. If she’s good, we’ll stay on the top circuit and try to get as much money as we can. If she happens to throw in a clunker in the qualifier next week, which I don’t expect, we’ll change our plans.”

USTA/Mark Hall photo

Honorable Daughter was a 2008 Dan Patch Award winner as the sport’s top freshman trotting filly.

Following the races in New York, Honorable Daughter could head to Canada for the Casual Breeze and Elegantimage in June. The Delvin Miller Memorial is in July at the Meadowlands and the Hambletonian Oaks is in August.

“It will go week to week,” Remmen said. “We’re not going to tie ourselves to anything. We’re going to take it as it comes.”

Honorable Daughter is owned by Paolo Rosanelli, who owns a machine shop, and John Siena, who runs a bakery with his brother-in-law. Both Rosanelli and Siena, who have owned horses together for more than a dozen years, live in Middletown, New York. Honorable Daughter (Malabar Man-Honorable Mother) was purchased for $32,000 as a yearling at the Lexington Selected Sale.

“She’s a natural,” Remmen said. “I could give you some story about how we made her career progress along, but she’s a freak. We didn’t do anything special. We just make sure she gets feed and stays healthy and she does the rest.”

Remmen is hopeful that Honorable Daughter can pick up her career where it left off.

“She went out as strong as she went in; her last race (in the Breeders Crown) was as good a race as she went all year,” he said. “For the naysayers to say she raced too much, to me, is a little absurd. But they’ve got nothing to lose by saying it. If she has a mediocre year they’ll look good. If she has a great year, they’ll never remember saying it. She’s the same filly she was last year, except a little bit bigger and stronger.”

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