Retired Thoroughbred jockey Julie Krone will take part in a rare attempt by a Standardbred to set a world record time while trotting under saddle. The world-record attempt will take place at The Red Mile harness track in Lexington, Ky. on Oct. 6.
According to an announcement from the track, which opens Tuesday under new ownership, Krone will ride Moni Maker, a 7-year-old mare who was harness racing's Horse of the Year in 1998 and 1999. Krone and the Standardbred will be trying to beat the current record of 1:58.2 for 1 mile.
The announcement said trotting races were routinely conducted in the mid-19th Century and that such races are held regularly today; the record, however, is rarely attempted. From 1940-1994, the under saddle record was held by the great trotter Greyhound, who went the mile in 2:01 at The Red Mile in 1940 under the late Frances Dodge Johnson (later Van Lennep). The under saddle record marked Greyhound's last public appearance. Greyhound's record was broken in 1994 when Preferential and Brooke Nickells went in 1:58.2.
"Moni Maker is the most accomplished Standardbred in the world today," said co-owner Geoffrey Stein, noting that the under saddle record attempt would highlight the mare's diversity. "We believe her accomplishments put her on a par with Greyhound and hope this time trial will show the parallels between them. She can't get this record alone, though, and in Julie Krone we have a Hall of Fame rider who will give Moni Maker the best chance to show her abilities. The under saddle record has been held by a woman rider since 1940 and we'd like to continue that tradition."
Moni Maker, who made her final start by winning the $500,000 Trot Mondial in Montreal on Sept. 9, retires as the richest Standardbred of all time, with earnings of $5,589,256. According to The Red Mile, the mare won 67 races at 28 different tracks in seven countries.
Krone, racing's all-time leading female rider with 3,345 wins and the first woman jockey elected into Thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame, rode Moni Maker in a mile training test on Sept. 22 at Winners International Farm in Chesterfield, N. J., where the mare's trainer, Jimmy Takter, is based.
"She is phenomenal," Krone said of Moni Maker after riding her in the training mile. "She's so powerful and a complete professional."
The record attempt will occur at approximately 3:00 p.m. (ET) Oct. 6, the same day The Red Mile will feature its Kentucky Futurity, third leg of the Trotting Triple Crown. During the record attempt, race conditions will be simulated by having prompters--Thoroughbreds hitched to a sulky--gallop alongside and behind Moni Maker. Takter will drive one of prompters and Moni Maker's regular driver, Wally Hennessey, will drive the second prompter.