by Dean Hoffman
She was a freak. Everyone said that. No one disagreed.
CR Kay Suzie had such extreme trotting speed that normal adjectives of praise seem inadequate.
She burst on the harness racing stage in 1994 by setting a world record in the Merrie Annabelle by cruising to a 3-1/2 length victory. She capped her season with an astonishing 14-3/4 length win in the Goldsmith Maid.
She took up right where she left off in 1995. Only a break at the start of one race marred her perfect record in early summer.
She humiliated fillies so easily that soon she challenged the boys and simply beat them like a drum. She won the Yonkers Trot from post eight by 7-1/2 lengths and then drubbed the colts again by open lengths in the Beacon Course.
Nothing could stop CR Kay Suzie.
And that’s exactly what happened in the Hambletonian, a race that was virtually conceded to her. She went off at 1-9 odds and seemed to be cruising toward her usual spot on the front end when she broke stride entering the backstretch.
Driver Rod Allen got her back on gait and set off in pursuit of the leaders, but it was futile. She was beaten for fifth place, thus eliminating her from the Hambletonian final.
She then bravely challenged seasoned old trotters in the 1-1/4 International Trot and tired badly at the end to finish fourth.
Was something wrong?
Not at all. CR Kay Suzie was dropped into the World Trotting Derby against colts and easily beat the Hambletonian winner Tagliabue in straight heats.
The Allen family, breeders and owners of CR Kay Suzie, were never afraid to break tradition, so they entered their 3-year-old filly against older mares in the Breeders Crown on the half-mile track at Delaware. It was just a cakewalk for the talented lass as she set hot fractions and held on to defeat the older mares.
She thus became the first 3-year-old to defeat older horses in any Breeders Crown, truly a milestone and a memorable achievement.