“I didn’t have Cam's Card Shark, but I’ve had plenty of them,” the trainer said. “I could name 10 Card Sharks I’ve had, and when you get a good Cam's Card Shark, they’ll last a long time; they’re good and they’re tough.
“The ones I’ve had are tough in the barn and on the track. They’re all-around good racehorses. It’s a shame they’re done breeding now.”
|Dealt A Winner is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for freshman male pacers.|
But he still has Dealt A Winner, whose owner Jeff Snyder also owned 1994 Horse of the Year Cam's Card Shark during his racing career and is part of the Cam's Card Shark Syndicate. Dealt A Winner has won both of his starts this year and is entered in Saturday’s $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers at the Meadowlands.
He is the 5-2 morning line favorite, starting from post four with driver David Miller.
Saturday’s card, in addition to New Jersey Sire Stakes finals for 2-year-old male and female trotters and pacers, features the Meadowlands Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, Stanley Dancer Memorial, Delvin Miller Memorial, Mistletoe Shalee, Golden Girls and a leg of the Miss Versatility Series.
The Haughton and Meadowlands Pace will air live beginning at 9 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for Saturday’s first race.
Dealt A Winner, whose mother Lazan Hanover is a half-sister to millionaire Timesareachanging, has the same mindset as his siblings with that mental toughness.
“Obviously I hoped I had a nice colt,” Hart said. “I liked the breeding on him. He’s got the pedigree to be a good horse.
“He’s only a medium sized horse but he has a heart of gold. One thing about this horse, he always tries from day one. We’ve been really pleased with him.”
There were some difficult choices, however, as they had to geld the horse in March due to attitude issues.
“He was a little ornery, I guess you would call it,” Hart said. “It really is a tough decision. If we didn’t, I don’t think this colt would make it. He’s tough in the stall. He hit the wall, he was going to hurt himself so we had to do it.
“He came through it all really well. He’s really focused and he’s gotten much better in a couple of months. He’s definitely tough on the track.”
And he has become mellower off of it.
“He’s very good now,” Hart said. “He’s much more relaxed in the stall and he’s been much more focused on the track. It’s been all good.”
The race strategy for Dealt A Winner is to calm him down in order to maintain that focus.
“We’ve kept him a little relaxed,” Hart said. “He has a tendency to be a little warm so we try to keep him relaxed.
“I think he can race any way. He’s just that kind of colt. He’s come from behind. The last race he got away fifth, he just stayed on the outside and was good coming home.”
Dealt A Winner has been staked lightly this year. Saturday’s race will be one of his big tests of the year.
“Obviously it’s going to be tougher this week with the final coming up,” Hart said. “He does have a shot. He’s stayed well within himself, he’s done everything right. He had a good week this week.”
And with the toughness of his father, could have a good career ahead of him.
“The way he finished his second qualifier, I told Eddie that I think you’ve got one here,” driver David Miller said. “I really liked him. He was a bit too aggressive his first start, not sure what got into him, maybe he was just getting his legs under him. But he’s been good. He shows talent and a lot of good qualities.
“I think he’s going to have a big future.”
-- Allison Conte also contributed to this story