Wilkes-Barre, PA --- It’s the early afternoon on Thursday (Sept. 26) and the fastest horse in Standardbred racing during 2013 has already done his work for the day.
Warrawee Needy took to the Pocono Downs track this morning to compete in a qualifying race, and he made short work of that assignment.
From post seven in the field of eight, he briefly tucked second during an opening split of :30, then marched to the lead and posted these splits -- :58.2, 1:25.2 and 1:52, winning by nearly a dozen lengths. That’s an individual last three-quarters in 1:21.4, a last half in :53.3, and a last quarter in :26.3.
Not a bad morning’s work.
It’s been a while since Warrawee Needy has been in the spotlight, so a brief “catch-up” may be in order.
After briefly holding the title of “The World’s Worst-Drawing Horse” (in three weeks at the Meadowlands, post six of seven, post ten of ten, and post eight of nine-wide with a trailer; then to Tioga, getting post eight of nine with a trailer), Warrawee Needy won on North America Cup night, then won eliminations for the Haughton (in the season's fastest and world record time of 1:46.4) and U.S. Pacing Championships, losing the finals when left with first-over trips. The U.S. Pacing Championship final was contested on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands, Aug. 3.
He was entered for the Aug. 24 Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations, but had to be scratched when he did not appear for retention time.
Warrawee Needy had been owned by Ontarians Thomas Kyron, Dr. Michael Wilson, Floyd Marshall and trainer Carl Jamieson from Sept. 11, 2010 until Sept. 3, 2013, when his registered ownership changed to Jamieson and noted New York-based trainer Mark Ford. The horse qualified the next day at Mohawk with Jamieson as trainer, winning in 1:53.3, last half :55.4.
No further news surfaced until this past Monday, when his ownership took on two new partners, longtime Ford associate Robert DiNozzi of New York and David Shea of Ontario.
He qualified today with Ford as the listed trainer -- and with Mark MacDonald in the sulky. Ford/MacDonald had been the team behind Warrawee Needy when he raced in the Aquarius series at the Meadowlands in March.
MacDonald, of course, already has had the drive behind another accomplished free-for-aller, Bolt The Duer, who had co-held the records for five-eighth-mile tracks (1:47.4) and half-mile tracks (1:49), until both were recently broken (1:47.2f, 1:48.1h) by Pet Rock.
Where now for Warrawee Needy? Well, the track at which he qualified today may give some hint.