FORMER Australian feature race winner Shartin went from dominant to doubting in just one start.
But it took just one more start to restore her reputation.
Odds-on favourite Shartin gave nothing else a chance last night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $373,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker.
A week after a confounding, double-break performance, Shartin, which had won her first three series preliminaries before taking the subsequent fourth round off, had something to prove.
An unhurried fourth after winning the draw, Shartin saw Sell A Bit, Medusa and Lakeisha Hall all leave the gate in front of her.
It was Sell A Bit leading through pokey intervals of :27.2 and :57 before Tim Tetrick began his assault with Shartin.
Moving with purpose, the mare engaged the leader right at the half, then rolled by with a 27-second third quarter before widening her lead to three-and-a-half lengths entering the lane.
The final margin was four-and-a-half lengths in a spiffy 1:52.2 as Sell A Bit and Motu Moonbeam completed a ‘Down Under’ trifecta.
For Shartin, a daughter of Tintin in America co-owned by Richard Poillucci and Jo Anne Looney-King and trained by Jim King junior, it was her eighth win from 10 seasonal starts.
“I wasn’t racing her to win,” Tetrick said. “I was racing her to make money. If she broke again, we’d get nothing, so I wanted to be careful getting out of there.
“She’s been fussy at times, and she was last week, but she was very good tonight.
“She has every attribute to be a good horse, you just have to keep her calm like she was tonight. She’s learning how to be an ‘American’ horse, to stop and start and relax.”
Shartin’s victory is consecutive Matchmakers for former Australians, with Mackenzie capturing last year’s edition.
- FRANK DRUCKER