When Jenn Biongorno, accompanied by the lovely, tiny, Justin Horowitz, announced the winner, most didn't quite know what to think.
You see, harness racing is a sport with trotters and pacers. One move their legs slightly different than the other. That's really all you need to know about that. But there's only two. Trotter of the Year was announced, and it was a three year old filly named Shake It Cerry. A case could be made she deserves it, because although she did not win the Hambo Oaks, she was pretty good. Not long after, Sweet Lou was announced pacer of the year. Lou had quite the year, and he too deserved it.
All that was left was the announcement for Horse of the Year. Was it going to be Sweet Lou - the pacer of the year - or was it going to be Shake it Cerry - the trotter of the year.
The winner is: Another horse!
Joe over at the View blog can explain how this could happen, so I will leave it to him to add the details.
In effect, the voters who voted for Horse of the Year could choose either their choice for pacer of the year, or trotter of the year, for Horse of the Year. As it shook out, some people who chose Sweet Lou for POY, moved to Shake it Cerry for HOY. Most who chose JK She'salady for pacer of the year stuck with her. People who may have chosen California Chrome were in the wrong sport.
Anyhow, here is the ballot:
Got all that?
Anyway, I was disappointed because harness racing does not vote two year old fillies horse of the year, like ever. It was a fall back, or default position I know, but if JK She'salady was boxed in, or had a cough or got run into by someone and lost a race, she would not be considered for Horse of the Year. If that happened to a horse like Lou, he still would have been Horse of the Year. The vagaries of being undefeated should not make a filly the first ever horse of the year in harness racing. As someone pointed out on twitter:
.@Pullthepocket Also the fact that she's not even the best 2YO fillyHe's right. Mission Brief was.
— Inside The Pylons (@InsideThePylons) December 18, 2014
In a way, perhaps it makes perfect sense that North Korea hacked this vote. Maybe it makes perfect sense Bieber is popular; no, it really doesn't. But whatever the case, this was the strangest, most bizarre Dan Patch result in this sports' history.