Here in Southern California, harness racing is 400 miles away (at Cal Expo in Sacramento) and big-time harness racing is even more distant, so it’s easy to forget about that branch of the sport. Here’s some unintended drama surrounding the nation’s top standardbred and his bid for history in the harness equivalent of the Breeders’ Cup.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Deweycheatumnhowe has developed a throat abscess, jeopardizing his appearance next weekend in the Breeders Crown.
The Hambletonian winner, and a leading contender for Harness Horse of the Year honors, is heavily favored in the 3-year-old Colt Trot, one of eight finals worth a combined $4.9 million at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Nov. 29.
Fortunately, his division did not require an elimination, which would have been held Saturday night. If the problem clears, Deweycheatumnhowe could still attempt to join Mack Lobell (1987) and Malabar Man (1997) as the only trotting colts to win Breeders Crowns at 2 and 3.
“In two years he has never had a thing wrong with him, so I guess it had to happen sometime,” said trainer and driver Ray Schnittker. “I’ll wait till Monday and see what I’m going to do. We’re lucky there was no elimination.”
Deweycheatumnhowe has won 22-of-24 starts, earning over $3 million.