By Evan Pattak For The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association “Horsemen Helping Horsemen”

As stakes action heats up throughout harness racing, there may be no hotter trotter than the aptly named Splendid, who’s eyeing his sixth straight victory in Saturday’s $97,854 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The stake at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows goes as races six and eight, with first post at 12:45 PM.

Trainer Todd Rooney, whose Rooney Racing owns Splendid with April Mance’s Trotting For Bourbon, is the first to acknowledge that the son of Father Patrick-Long Island Tea has yet to face top-tier competition; his most notable wins are a pair of Pennsylvania Stallion Series splits. But that’s all according to plan.

“He had a pretty decent 2-year-old year; he placed in Kentucky Sires Stakes,” Rooney says. “I know he’ll have a pretty long year this season, and I didn’t want him to be chasing fast horses too early. I don’t want him against the big boys yet. I don’t want to make his year brutal.”

For all that, the $22,000 yearling acquisition has performed about as well as any owner could hope, taking a mark of 1:54.4 at The Meadows and earning more than $81,000.

“I don’t know how much he can trot,” Rooney says. “I figure he’ll show us one of these times.”

Splendid isn’t paid into the Hambletonian or other rich late-season stakes, “I knew he was a nice horse, but I didn’t believe he was quite that caliber”, but because he’s eligible in both Kentucky and Pennsylvania, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to cash in sires stakes.

Splendid leaves from post 2, race 6, with Chris Lems driving. Rooney indicates he’s not looking for any particular kind of trip.

“Chris knows the horse pretty well. My plan is to tell Chris, ‘He had a good week,’ and hand him the lines.”

Skip to content