Pink Pistol, the four-year-old trotting mare who captured Kawartha Downs’ signature race, the Goodtimes Invitational last month, is set to compete against the very best in the $250,000 Breeders Crown final at Hoosier Park on Friday night.
Pete Shody trains the daughter of Cantab Hall owned by the Knightstalker Stable of Oshawa, Ontario, which includes his wife Sharon Cameron. The stable has two horses, Pink Pistol and 10-year-old pacer Battle Call who raced regularly at Kawartha during the 2017 season, winning three times. Shody trains both horses.
The stable name comes from two of Cameron’s cats, Knight and Stalker, whose names originated from the mid-1970s TV series “Kolchak: The Night Stalker.”
Seven years ago Shody saw a four-year-old female trotter named August Revenue win by nearly 10 lengths in 1:54 at Pocono and called her owners to see if the mare was for sale. She was not, he was told, because she was going to be bred. But Shody did not forget about her.
Five years later Shody came across a two-year-old filly trotter for sale online for $6,000. Her name was Pink Pistol and she was a daughter of August Revenue. Shody was interested immediately. After checking out the filly, he convinced his wife and several partners to buy her.
Pink Pistol battled a variety of issues in the ensuing years, but has won 10 of 39 career races and earned $131,885. Among her four victories this season was her 1:55 effort in the Goodtimes on September 2 with Kawartha Downs’ leading driver Reg Gassien at the lines. The Breeders Crown on Friday night will be the richest opportunity by far in her career to date.
Pink Pistol will start from post three with Louis Roy driving and she is 8-1 on the morning line. Quebec-owned Emoticon Hanover, who finished second in last season’s Breeders Crown for three-year-old female trotters, is the 6-5 favourite.
“It’s a huge thrill,” Shody said. “Being around this business as long as I’ve been, and Sharon has had horses for about five years now, for a small mom-and-pop outfit, it’s pretty much everything you could dream about in the business.”
Shody followed his father, who owned several horses, into the sport and worked for Continental Farms in the mid-1980s before starting his own small stable in the early 1990s. He stepped away from training for two decades while focusing on his work as an agent, but got re-licensed last year.
“I think she’s turned the corner,” Shody said of Pink Pistol. “She always was a good filly, she just had a lot of issues that lingered for a while. It was an easy decision to put her in (the Breeders Crown) after her last two starts (a win and third place finish at Mohawk). I think she’s got a good chance, to be honest with you.
“If you look at the horses she raced with in her last start, it was a real tough field. She’s heading the right way. It’s a race. We’re all trying to do the same thing.”
Pink Pistol raced only once as a two-year-old. At three, she won five of her first eight races, including a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at The Meadows.
“We’re glad we have her,” Shody said. “She’s a tough filly. She’s a racehorse. I think her best is ahead of her. She turned the corner, I think, to becoming a good horse. I guess we’ll see Friday.”
Fortunately for Pink Pistol’s connections, whatever happens in the race, as long as she competes she’ll earn a share of the quarter of a million dollar purse as there are only five mares entered so all five will earn a portion of the purse.
Swedish-bred Pasithea Face was expected to be scratched, but no formal announcement was made prior to the draw.
Here is the line up for Friday.
1. Emoticon Hanover-Dan Dube-Luc Blais-6/5
2. Flowers N Songs-Jim Pantaleano-Rich Gillock-10/1
3. Pink Pistol-Louis Roy-Peter Shody-8/1
4. Caprice Hill-Yannick Gingras-Tony Alagna-9/2
5. Pasithea Face S-Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter-2/1
Story by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications, USTA (with editing by KD)