Updated on 09/15/2011 12:53PM

Accident jolts Pic a Lil


SALEM, N.H. - The career of New England mainstay Pic a Lil is over after an accident earlier this month that nearly cost her her life.

"She was feeling good under the shed row" said George Handy, who trained the 5-year-old Pic a Lil throughout her career. "Something startled her, she jumped around and stepped on a fan. The fan short-circuited and shocked her.

"She was down for about half an hour. Dr. [Richard] Sheehan revived her and we sent her right to Tufts [Veterinary Hospital] where she stayed for about two weeks. They found that she had injured nerves in her hind end.

"She's back in the barn now where we're working on her. She's stable and shown a little bit of improvement. I'm hoping we can save her as a broodmare. She won about $300,000 in her career. She won short, long, mud, dry, turf, dirt, and I think she'll make a wonderful broodmare."

Pic a Lil, a Francis McDonnell homebred, was twice named a New England racing champion: the first time as a 2-year-old in 1998, and last year, when she was voted the best older filly and mare. This year, Pic a Lil won 4 of 7 starts, including the Rockingham Distaff Handicap, and banked nearly $96,000.

The news hasn't all been bad for the McDonnell stable, which for several years has dominated the sport in this area. On Wednesday, Handy unveiled Yacht to Pay For, one of the seven 2-year-olds he has high hopes for in the barn. Yacht to Pay For made quick work of dispatching eight rivals in a five-furlong dash.

"She came up to the race real good and she did it easily. She's by Wheaton so she'll be able to go on to bigger things."

* The annual Labor Day 14-race doubleheader, with its 10:30 a.m. post, is just over a week away. The doubleheader is the final card of a three-day weekend that will feature three $25,000 stakes: the Manchester at six furlongs on Saturday; the Sam McCracken on Sunday; and the Kenneth Graf for fillies and mares on Monday. The McCracken and Graf will be decided at 1 1/16 miles on the turf course.

* The second qualifying round of the Coors Light Handicapping Contest will take place on Aug. 25. The top 20 finishers from this round will meet the top 20 finishers of last week's opening round. Coors Light and Rockingham are offering prizes of $1500, $750, and $500 to the top three finishers.