Harness Racing Records Broken
As with rules, they say, records were also made to be broken, and in the harness racing industry there were two records that had remained untouched since the 1990s, making them the two longest standing records in harness racing. But this year was most definitely a remarkable year, as both these records were broken, seven days apart. Honorable Daughter and If I Can Dream, were the two year olds that set the new standards, and times to beat.
On 30 November 1990, Artsplace came up against his rival, Die Laughing, in the final race of the Breeders Crown, hosted at Pompano Park Racecourse. Driver, John Campbell was not focusing on setting records, only to ensure that they made it to the finish line before Die Laughing. Racing conditions on the day were not favorable as the wind was not being kind to the competitors, but Artsplace was a horse that never gave up, did not tire and would not slow down until the race was over. It was a very fast race, with times of 0:53.2 being clocked at the halfway mark. It would be Artsplace that surged ahead of the rest of the field and set a world record of 1:51.1. In 2007, the record came under threat by Badlands Nitro, but he only managed to equal the record. On the 8th of November 2008, a two year old by the name of If I Can Dream, completed his Matron Elimination race in a time of 1:50.4, setting the new record after eighteen years.
The second record had been standing since 9 September 1994. It was during a division race of the Kentucky Standardbred Sale Company Stakes that CR Kay Suzie and Rod Allen would face off against Lifelong Victory and Stanley Dancer, at the Rosecroft Raceway. Allen recalls the day with a large smile on his face, as CR Kay Suzie delivered an unforgettable performance that day. Everyone had warned him that Dancer will not give up the leading position, but Allen and CR Kay Suzie were running magnificent fractions, and eventually took the lead from Lifelong Victory, to win in a time of 1:56.1. Honorable Daughter took the victory in a Matron Stakes final in a time of 1:55.1 on 15 November 2008, breaking the record set in 1994.
Even though CR Kay Suzie lost one of her records, she still has one standing which she set in the same year. She holds the world record for a victory on a half mile track for two year old filly trotters, with a time of 1:56.3. No doubt there is a filly out there who will be trying to set the new record, and making their own memorable times.