While there is a long history of brilliant mares defeating the older horses at the Free For All trotting level in harness racing, it had never happened in the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial. That all changed on a rainy Saturday night at The Meadowlands.
Bee A Magician, the overwhelming 4-5 favourite did what had yet to be done as she emerged victorious winning the $183,650 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial in 1:51.2. She became the first mare in the 17-year history of the race to win the historic event.
Shortly after the start heading into the first turn, Market Share and Master Of Law appeared to have contact and Market Share went off-stride, just as he did in the Cutler last year. Bee A Magician avoided the trouble and Brian Sears allowed his former Horse of the Year to relax off the early speed, which was established by Wind Of The North, who reached the first quarter in a very strong :26.4.
As the field straightened up on the backstretch, Sears felt the time was right to move his mare to the top and she responded with a strong brush, reaching the lead before the half-mile in :55.2. Wind Of The North yielded to the pocket position.
Moving into the far turn, DWs NY Yank moved first over while Meladys Monet, who had been such a force this year at The Meadowlands, fought to catch his cover on the turn. Bee A Magician reached the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4 and turned for home with a comfortable lead.
DWs NY Yank never got close to the mare and began to tire. Wind Of The North came out of the pocket and tried to rally, but never appeared a threat as Meladys Monet moved into third. Brian Sears never asked his mare through the stretch and she coasted to an easy win in 1:51.2. Wind Of The North finished second with Meladys Monet third. It was the same result as the week prior in the prep for the Cutler final.
Sears was very proud of Bee A Magician after the race.
“She’s just such a pleasure,” said Sears. “Last year was tough for her, there was a lot of traveling and it was a long season. But right now, she is just really fresh and really sharp. It is hard to keep them this sharp all year long, but hopefully she keeps going forward.”
Bee A Magician won for the 34th time in 50 lifetime starts and her lifetime earnings surpassed $2.9 million (U.S). With the win, she became the third richest trotting mare in harness racing history, trailing only the magnificent Peace Corps and the legendary Moni Maker. She is trained by Nifty Norman for Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee