Columbus, OH — The owners of Shartin N, the 2019 Dan Patch Harness Horse of the Year and the fastest pacing mare in history, announced she has been retired from racing as of Saturday (Dec. 19).
In a glittering harness racing career, the world champion mare won 39 of her 55 lifetime starts and $2,555,629 in purse money. Shartin N also took a world record lifetime mark of 1:46.4.
Bred in New Zealand, Shartin N did not race at 2 and commenced her career in Australia as a 3-year-old, winning seven races and $105,718 in purses including the Queensland and Tasmanian Oaks.
Following her defeating Victorian Horse of the Year, Jilliby Kung Fu, Shartin N was purchased by leading New Zealand bloodstock agent John Curtin on behalf of Richard Poillucci of South Easton, Mass.
Poillucci would then take on partners Jo Ann Looney-King and eventually Hall of Fame driver Tim Tetrick.
“In my wildest dreams I never thought I would have a mare like Shartin,” said Poillucci. “It does not happen very often in our industry or in a lifetime for an owner. It was a hard decision to be made. We talked about it for the past few months and decided it would be in her best interest to become a broodmare.
“It has been so surreal having Shartin these past few years. If you are into harness racing there is no greater feeling than owning a world champion like her. When she was good no one could beat her and when she was not good, she was still great.”
Poilliuci also had other thoughts.
“She would not have been possible for her to do all that she did if it wasn’t for trainer Jim King Jr.’s tutelage and driver Tim Tetrick,” he said. “They, along with my co-owner JoAnn King, did such a superb job with her. When she first came into their barn, she was not a well-mannered mare and they made her the world champion she is today.
“I can’t thank my agent and friend John Curtin enough. He did not just find and purchase this mare for us, but he has been one of her biggest fans too, following every start she has made in North America. He does that with every horse I get with him.”
Shartin N took the North American racing scene by storm in 2018, winning 19 of her 24 appearances and earning $1,053,236 – the highest total by a pacing mare ever in one season. She was named the Dan Patch Pacer of the Year and was second in the balloting for Harness Horse of the Year.
She completed almost a clean sweep of the major races for mares in 2018, including the $373,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker final, $281,200 Roses Are Red final, $270,000 Breeders Crown, $197,400 Lady Liberty, $175,000 TVG Free-for-all, $161,000 Artiscape Pace, $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational, $102,200 Chip Noble Memorial and the $98,500 Allerage Farm Pace.
Shartin N put an exclamation mark on her 2019 career in August last year when she produced a jaw-dropping world record performance to win the $183,500 Lady Liberty at The Meadowlands, carving out the mile in 1:46.4..
A month later, Shartin N set another world record for mares on a five-eighths-mile track when she was clocked in 1:48 at Harrah’s Philadelphia in a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series contest.
She continued her dominance of the distaff pacing ranks throughout the year, winning the $402,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final, $247,500 Roses Are Red final, $179,550 Golden Girls, $137,000 Artiscape, $100,000 Clara Barton, $100,000 Betsy Ross Invitational and the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial and finishing second in the $300,000 Breeders Crown final.
Shartin N won 15 of her 19 outings in 2019 for $982,177 in stakes – a season’s high for her gait and sex.
As the result of a remarkable season, Shartin N was named 2019 Dan Patch Harness Horse of the Year and became only the fifth female pacer and the first horse bred outside of North America to pick up the prestigious award.
Shartin N returned to the track at 7 this year, winning an additional five races including the $177,100 Lady Liberty and $129,000 Artiscape for the third time each and notching consecutive wins in the $100,000 Clara Barton.
“The barn will not be the same without her for sure,” King said. “Hard to imagine this barn without her and looking forward to her next race. “It’s been the driving force for me these past three years. “We knew this day would come so it’s tough.”
“I can’t hardly tell you what it’s been like to have owned and raced a world champion like Shartin,” said co-owner Jo Ann Looney-King. “She’s the dream horse I longed for since I was a young girl in the horse business. She’s the dream horse everyone longs for. Imagine owning a horse that North America knows by name seems unreal but it happened and to me and our team I also want people to know that the experience of meeting so many nice people and well-wishers on the road traveling has been one of the high points of owning a horse like Shartin.
“People have been so nice everywhere we travelled. We met so many nice people that I still stay in touch with and I’m so appreciative of their kindness. When I walk by her stall and speak to her I have some sadness but I know it’s best for her and for the team, but damn it’s going to be hard to watch her walk out of that barn the final time. “It will be emotional for me, real emotional. It’s really been the best three years imaginable. A dream come true and I thank God every day.”
Bloodstock agent John Curtin also confirmed the sale of Shartin N for an undisclosed sum to Ola Yoder, owner of Kountry Lane Standardbreds LLC of Indiana.
Plans for a special retirement ceremony will be announced soon.