Year 43 Dark Bay Standardbred Trotter

(Royalty for Life x Dark Choc, by Chocolatier)

23: 19-3-1    $3,012,500

YR 45 Champion Two Year Old Male
YR 46 Horse of the Year, Champion Three Year Old Male
YR 48 Horse of the Year, Champion Older Male


In Week 13 of Year 43, the SIM put up an auction of mixer breeding stock, based upon real life horses.  Since Magic Raven Ranch had suffered throughout its history with an inability to breed or purchase a top quality trotter, there was a determined effort to acquire one of the two stallions available.  The preferred stallion was the one that the Steward had set at the higher stud fee, and that was Royalty for Life.  He was acquired for $3.127 million.

There was a large band of broodmares to breed to Royalty for Life, including many blue hen and star mares that nicked A and A-.  There were also some formidable mares that nicked A- and, despite an uncomfortably large foal crop, the decision was made to breed those, as well.  One of those mares was Dark Choc, who was purchased for $10,000 from a "fresh seeding" of mixed breed bloodlines in Year 37.  Dark Choc had two offspring to race as of Year 43, and neither had earned as much as 30k.

That first crop of Royalty for Life yearlings was disappointing, as none galloped higher than "stakes".  However, midway through the year, an "allowance" colt named LIFEAHOLIC jumped up two levels to "freak".  His one workout the second half of the season topped all yearlings at 1:51.77.  That mark had been lowered to 1:51.59 two weeks before his debut, and he would repeat it prior to the Steward's Cup as a three year old.

LIFEAHOLIC make his first career start in the Week 9 New Jersey Juvenile Trot.  While he ran a respectable 86, he could only finish third, but would never finish that poorly again.  He was dropped into a maiden special weight, and won by an easy two lengths with a 93 fig.  He was featured in the Edge's "future stars" that week and would win his next eleven starts, with one win at a 1/2 length being his smallest margin of victory.

To complete his juvenile season, he got his first win in the Strong Yankee Trot, where he set a new SIM track record of 1:51.27 that he would repeat three times.  The season ended with an easy Steward's Cup score, thereby clinching his first SIMMY.

LIFEAHOLIC's three year old season was phenomenal.   He was undefeated in six starts, five of which were Grade 1 races, including becoming the SIM's fourth Triple Crown winner in the breed.  He won that trio of races by a total of 5.25 lengths, including topping it off with a Meadowfields Futurity victory in 1:51.27.  Of course, he was named Horse of the Year, as well as Champion Three Year Old Male.

With little to prove in the U.S., LIFEAHOLIC was shipped to Belgium at four.  He won all three starts there, including two Grade 1 races and another 1:51.27 performance..  When shipped back to the U.S., he finally suffered a nose defeat in a Grade 3.  He won a Grade 2 and then was beat another nose.  In the Steward's Cup, he was beat a neck, and was without a SIMMY that season.

For his five year old campaign, the goal was to have him become the SIM's first trotter to achieve $3 million in earnings.  Not only did he accomplish that mark, but he trotted another 1:51.27 in his seasonal debut, was undefeated in six starts, won his third Steward's Cup, and was named Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male.

LIFEAHOLIC retired as perhaps the most outstanding trotter the SIM has ever known, and certainly the fastest and most accomplished.  All told, he won ten Grade 1 races.  He was the most winning horse ever campaigned by Magic Raven Ranch in wins and stakes wins, and second highest earner.  He retired to nick as well as his sire, and had a handful of freaks in his first crop.


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