“We bought him at Harrisburg,” Saunders said. “I had been watching him race for about two months and I know the owners. They had thought about sending him to the East Coast to race prior to the sale, so when I had an inkling of that I started watching him.
“We didn’t just stumble over an acorn with him. From watching him, I liked the fact he could go fast, that he seemed to try hard and was supposed to be terrific over a half-mile track. While I understand most of his money was made in Indiana, he did win a 3-year-old race out there in (1):54 and a piece, which I think was a track record.”
|Sweet Justice has picked up $46,000 in purse money from five straight triumphs at the Meadowlands.|
A son of Justice Hall and the Sir Taurus mare, Sugar, Sweet Justice was formerly owned by Steve Carter, Robert Mondillo and Our Little Stable. He is now the property of M & M Harness Racing.
Sweet Justice sports a record of 45-17-7-4 with $227,834 in the bank and established his lifetime mark of 1:51.1 on Jan. 3 in his last start.
Although Saunders appreciated his previous performances, he wouldn’t have exactly been crowing from the rooftops that the horse would go out and compete this well amongst the new competition.
“I was considerably surprised,” he said. “I knew he was a nice horse and I thought as he got older and stronger he would advance, but he has exceeded my expectations. I knew he came from a nice home and has a good family or pedigree so all the pieces are there.
“The times at the Meadowlands though can be a bit deceiving because of the winter weather and the track has been playing very fast, but that 1:51 is an accomplishment. He has also improved with each race.”
Naturally, Sweet Justice’s attitude is a contributing factor to how he races and Saunders certainly has no complaints about how he behaves.
“He is a sweetheart in the barn and always has his head out,” he said. “He enjoys his work and doesn’t like to come in off the track. I don’t put a lot of work into my horses during the week and he can be very full of energy in the mornings when we take him out to jog, but we go slow and easy with him because I want him to relax and not be up in the chin strap.”
Now that his connections realize they have a horse with some ability, they have begun to map out Sweet Justice’s schedule for the rest of the season.
“We think he has a good enough resume where he has given us some hopes,” Saunders said. “I haven’t had a trotter at this level in quite some time, so we are going to pay him into everything like all the free-for-all series at the Meadowlands, such as the TVG. Also, we might take him up to Canada.
“When you are at this level with these types of horses, you know they will be going just as fast in July as they were in December, but we think he will continue to improve and will step up. Our main goal is that he is competitive everywhere he goes.”