Forget all that "little horse that could" stuff. Get Ready Set Goes can run, it doesn't matter if she's part of a one-horse stable, an Ohio-bred, a 4-year-old filly taking on her elders and a rare Kentucky-based steeplechaser. It also doesn't matter that her owner is also her trainer, van driver, groom and hotwalker.
Saturday at the Far Hills Races in New Jersey, Get Ready Set Goes caught favorite One Lucky Lady in the stretch to win the $50,000 Peapack Stakes for owner/trainer Hill Parker. Ridden by Richard Boucher, the daughter of Run Away And Hide stalked the favorite early, let Lady Yeats make a play for the lead down the backstretch and prevailed in the stretch to score by three-quarters of a length. One Lucky Lady finished second with Ivy Mills a half-length back in third. With her third consecutive win, Get Ready Set Goes ran her seasonal earnings total to $94,500 to take the division lead.
Parker, who bypassed the win photo to walk his horse back to the barn, was overjoyed.
"I feel so lucky, I feel so lucky, God it's just been amazing," he said. "To just do this as my hobby and to have this horse? It's spectacular. I would do this anyway, but to have her is unbelievable."
Parker grew up with horses and was introduced to racing by his mother Frances Hill "Snowie" Myers. She bred Get Ready Set Goes, but died in 2014 and never saw her run. She missed a star. The chestnut filly won on the flat at Belterra Park in May 2015 and has excelled since switching to jumps with a second at Atlanta in April and wins at High Hope, Saratoga and now Far Hills. Parker, whose real job is selling real estate in Lexington, oversees every detail including a trip to Pennsylvania six days before Far Hills.
Get Ready Set Goes, who travels with a lead pony for company, did her final preps at the farm of Boucher and his wife Lilith.
"They stayed in our little hunter barn and he's been riding around the fields there," said Richard Boucher. "I galloped her on Michael Moran's track on Wednesday and she just hung out at the farm. He goes out and picks grass with her for two hours every evening."
Boucher called Saturday's performance special.
"She can really jump and that keeps her in it all the time, she's quick over a fence," he said. "Down the backside when (Lady Yeats) came up the inside of me, I thought it was a little too quick and I took a hold. I was thinking that if I could get a lead to the hill, I had enough gas to get there as long as I met the last OK. We were getting weight (14 pounds) from One Lucky Lady and she's pretty good. You don't want to run with her the whole way."
NOTES: Eight-year-old mare One Lucky Lady won the Peapack in 2015 and has been first or second in five of six American hurdle starts . . . Get Ready Set Goes ($94,500) leads the division over One Lucky Lady ($57,000).