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Trotting Supermare Manchego Is Retired
By KEN WEINGARTNER
 

USTA/Ken Weingartner

Manchego won 39 of 65 lifetime races
and earned $3.14 million.

(Courtesy of USTA Media Relations)

Hightstown, NJ — Manchego, a multiple Dan Patch Award winner and world-record-holder, has been retired, owner Barry Guariglia of Black Horse Racing said Thursday. The 6-year-old trotting mare will head to Kentuckiana Farms for the next phase of her career as a broodmare.

A daughter of Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, Manchego won 39 of 65 lifetime races and earned $3.14 million. Her earnings rank fourth in history among female trotters, trailing only Moni Maker, Peace Corps, and Bee A Magician.

She is the fastest female trotter in history, with a mark of 1:49 established in 2019. She also is the fastest female trotter ever on a five-eighths-mile track, with a time of 1:49.3 set in 2020. She is the only trotter in history to win with a sub-1:50 mile in three different years, which she accomplished in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Manchego was the sport’s fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020, and her best win time of 1:49.4 this year is tied for second.

In 2017, Manchego won all 12 of her starts and became the first undefeated 2-year-old filly trotter in Breeders Crown history as well as the first unbeaten 2-year-old filly trotter to win a Dan Patch Award.

Manchego captured a second Dan Patch Award last year, when her accomplishments included joining Peace Corps and Grades Singing as the only female trotters with at least three Breeders Crown trophies.

In addition to winning three Breeders Crown finals, Manchego’s career triumphs included the 2018 Hambletonian Oaks, the 2017 Peaceful Way and Jim Doherty Memorial, and the 2020 TVG Series Open Trot championship. She was a two-time winner of the Spirit of Massachusetts, in 2020 and 2021.

Other triumphs this year included the John Cashman Memorial, Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, and Maxie Lee Memorial. Her win in the Cashman made her the first mare to capture the event over the boys since Moni Maker in 2000.

For this season, she won six of seven races before finishing off the board in consecutive starts. She was scratched from the Dayton Trotting Derby last week.

Manchego was the sport’s No. 1-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll for 13 weeks this year. She is No. 6 in the current poll.

“She had a great career, so many wonderful moments,” Guariglia said. “We’ll miss her last couple starts, which would have been great, but we just decided it was enough. It is what it is. We can’t complain. I knew it would end one day. And here it is.”

The Brittany Farms-bred Manchego was trained by Jimmy Takter at ages 2 and 3, and Nancy Takter at 4, 5, and 6. She had two regular drivers during her career, Yannick Gingras and more recently Dexter Dunn.

Nancy Takter said in a 2020 Hoof Beats story that Manchego’s gait set her apart.

“It’s amazing to sit behind her; she’s like a little bouncy ball,” Takter explained. “Her gait is completely unique. She is so efficient the way she goes. It’s really like she’s on springs. She springs forward and covers so much ground effortlessly.

“Obviously, she’s got the mentality to her that makes her a fighter and a winner. She’s just amazing. I feel like there really isn’t much more I can say about her. How many times can I say she’s amazing?

“There isn’t another one like her.”

Guariglia on Thursday agreed.

“She truly will be missed,” he said. “She will always be the big cheese to us.”


 
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