Freehold, NJ --- Saturday is a big night for a little mare. The elimination for the $300,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace will be the very first foray into stakes company for 5-year-old Ooh Bad Shark, who starts from post four in race No. 7 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She’ll need to be no worse than seventh in the $25,000 elim to reach the final.
Bill Wiggins of Holland, Pa., trains Ooh Bad Shark, a daughter of Cam's Card Shark who he bred and co-owns with Donna Fedorak of Langhorne, Pa.
This will be the first stakes start of any kind for Ooh Bad Shark, who never even raced in Pennsylvania’s sire stakes races. She has won 17 of 51 career starts and earned $248,465.
“There are only 32 aged mares (eligible to the Breeders Crown) and probably half of them didn’t go, so I figured I’d give it a chance,” said Wiggins. “She is still very small and when she was a 2-year-old she just wasn’t big enough and strong enough. I never even raced her as a 2-year-old. I just stopped with her and gave her time off.
“She didn’t start until the fall of her 3-year-old year,” said Wiggins. “She’s still 14.1, she’s not very big. She’s a pony (starting size for a horse is 14.3 hands).
“She’s a delightful mare, but I have to protect her a little bit. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t go after the big guys all the time. That, and probably not quite good enough, but she gives you all she’s got when she goes.”
This year, Ooh Bad Shark has been racing against high level overnight competition at Pocono Downs and Harrah’s Philadelphia. She is coming off a win in a career-best-equaling 1:50.3 in a conditioned race at Pocono.
“I’m basically one of the longshots or maybe the longest,” said Wiggins. “Her grandmother is Ooh’s ‘N Aah’s and I own her daughter Ooh Bad Girl. She (Ooh’s ‘N Aah’s) was a small mare but she beat some of the big ones and she made a million-some dollars ($1,139,429). That was the reason I paid $20,000 for (Ooh Bad Girl) at the Harrisburg sale, but she had problems with her knees and never panned out as well as I’d like. This is her first foal.”
The Breeders Crown elimination features three horses to win at least one Breeders Crown trophy in the past. Anndrovette has won the Mare Pace the last two years and is trying to become the first horse to win an open division three consecutive years. Economy Terror and Monkey On My Wheel also have Crown titles to their credit.
“I’m hoping for ridiculously crazy fractions and then we’ll try to pick them off at the end. I’m probably going to need a little help. Those kinds of mares, they just generally keep going and I know that, but she can sit on the outside, she’s a tough little mare. But in against these, I don’t know how she’ll fare.
“I’m giving her a shot because I think she’s that close. She’s almost good enough for them.”
Following is the elimination field in post position order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Economy Terror, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes; 2. Rocklamation, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 3. Swinging Beauty, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke; 4. Ooh Bad Shark, Howard Parker, William Wiggins; 5. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, P.J. Fraley; 6. Monkey On My Wheel, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman; 7. Krispy Apple, Tim Tetrick, P.J. Fraley; 8. Camille, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 9. Shelliscape, David Miller, P.J. Fraley. Byes: Drop The Ball, Feeling You.