12/29/2017 5:53PM

Giwner: Unheralded names that deserve your attention

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Chris Gooden
Safe From Terror is tied for the most wins in 2017 at 22. She goes for 23 on Friday night at Dayton.

With only a few days remaining we say goodbye to some familiar equine faces that have helped us cash at the windows and honor a couple more which don’t get daily recognition but certainly deserve the spotlight for at least one day.

Amazingly two of the top 10 horses in the win column this year are 14 years old. Both Grecale AS and Saint William A entered action on Thursday (12/28) with 17 victories in their final seasons on the track.

Grecale AS, a gelded son of Sugarcane Hanover out of Tenkara, was bred in Italy. He calls it a career, as all standardbreds do at 15 years of age, with 299 starts to his record and 59 wins, the last of which came in the fifth race on Wednesday at Monticello Raceway. Don Hoover, who claimed Grecale AS twice in 2016, owns and trains the career winner of $394,639.

Saint William A tried to match Grecale AS and go out a winner but could only finish fourth after challenging for the lead in the seventh race at Monticello on Thursday (12/28). Bred in Australia, the son of Presidential Ball out of La Saint has amassed 64 wins thus far in 320 career starts and earnings of $763,664. He has been in the Kimberley Asher barn since arriving in North America in 2010 and was able to win more races in 2017 than his previous four seasons combined (12).

While she still has another year before calling it quits, 13-year-old Quicksilvercandy A, another charge from the Asher barn, is tied with Safe From Terror for the most wins in 2017. An Australian bred mare by Bad Bert, Quicksilvercandy A has won 22 races in 47 starts for $113,694 this year. The number of victories eclipses the 21 wins she accumulated over her previous seven years on the track.

“We were able to classify them properly and they had a great year,” said Asher. “We’ve had them their whole lives. They were great when they arrived in the U.S. and they are still great now while down in class. They really are part of the family.”

They may be senior citizens in the eyes of the racing world, but when 13 and 14-year-olds can win at the rate of Grecale AS, Saint William A and Quicksilvercandy A have in 2017, it certainly makes you wonder if exceptions to the mandatory retirement age should be enacted.

Moving back to Safe From Terror, perhaps the best horse in training that few people have ever heard of. The 5-year-old daughter of Western Terror-In A Safe Place, a half-sister to the ageless $7.55 million earner Foiled Again, has won 22 times in 35 starts this year while earning $239,630. Even better, she owns a 105-47-13-15 career record and is just over $100,000 from becoming a millionaire. On Friday at Dayton Raceway she’ll get the opportunity to win her 23rd race of the year when she starts from post 9 as the 5-2 morning line favorite in an $18,500 Open Handicap, race 12 on the program.

More notable under the radar performances from 2017:

Strawberry Hanover (filly, Donato Hanover) trotted the fastest mile by a 2-year-old with a 1:52 2/5 clocking in a qualifier at the Red Mile.

Hayden Hanover (colt, Somebeachsomewhere) tied Dan Patch award winner Youaremycandygirl as the fastest 2-year-old pacer with a 1:50 mile

Have you heard of Carmensdaleyapple? He led all 3-year-old pacers in wins with 16 from 17 starts on the Ohio fair circuit.

Two-year-old gelded pacer Fox Valley Gemini went undefeated in nine starts in Illinois during 2017 with a mark of 1:52 2/5. Racing in Maine, Hoppi also was unblemished in nine starts during his freshman campaign.

Finally, we leave you with the king of the Maritimes. Pappy Go Go, a 3-year-old gelding, won all of his 13 starts this year while mostly racing at Charlottetown. His 1:59 1/5 career best win time may not scare away the competition, but who can argue with perfection?