MONTICELLO, NY –Something occurred yesterday (Oct,23) at Monticello Raceway that brought back memories to longtime harness fans. If one happened to be around the sport in late 1970’s and early 1980’s they may have recalled a pacer by the name of Super Kris.
Super Kris was anything but super. Spotted locally and proclaimed to be the world’s perennial loser, Super Kris was cited for losing 85 races in a row and he became somewhat of an industry celebrity as the world’s biggest loser.
Up until 1980- Super Kris lost every race he was in. He also lost to a pacing pony in match race and then suffered the ultimate disgrace when he was beaten again in a match race by a human-- the NY Giants Beasley Reece, who then was the self-proclaimed fastest man in the NFL.
All involved with Super Kris went along gladly with all promotions and that Super Kris was the “losingest horse in the world” he became somewhat of a folk hero. And, if you didn’t think Super Kris wasn’t well known than you never saw his 30-second video of the race in which he lost to Beasley Reece on HBO’s Not So Great Moments In Sports back in 1981 on the then fledgling cable network.
Super Kris finally won a race as a 10-year- old after moving from Monticello to Pocono Downs in late 1981. And with all the celebrity involved the pacer had harness publicists seeking horses that lost more races than he.
So what’s all that have to do with yesterday at Monticello Raceway? Well, in the ninth race a pacer by the name of JB’s Beach Iscape won for the first time in his career after losing 68 previous races. In the ninth race, with Jimmy Taggart, Jr. in the sulky, JB’s Beach Iscape turned back all-comers to win in 2:01.4 and produce a $8.40 win pay-off.
For the past month the horse has been in the hands of veteran trainer Doug Gosney. In recent starts, however, JB’S Beach Iscape had been knocking on the door after finishing third, fourth and second respectively in his three previous outings from Gosney’s barn.
It was announcer Howard Oil’s race call that pointed out JB’s Beach Iscape hadn’t won in 68 previous tries and that attracted attention.
Contacted in the paddock after the race Gosney was asked about the pacer. “I’ve only had him four weeks and we call him ‘the gentleman’. He doesn’t seem to want to upset anyone and in a race it appeared as if he didn’t want to make any of the other horses mad by winning,” Gosney said, obviously with tongue in cheek.
“But really,” he continued , “he’s a gentle soul and a pleasure to be around. When he came to me from upstate New York he wasn’t being conditioned on a track. They used to jog him on the local roads but obviously that wasn’t enough work for him. I may be going out on a limb but I believe he’ll go on to be a decent kind of horse. He’s only a 4-year-old.”