Justahayfer captures the USTA Roadster Classic – US Trotting News


Louisville, Kentucky— In 14 career starts on the racetrack in 2017-18, the now 7-year-old trotter Justahayfer has not won a single victory. The best performances for son of Noble Venture and Yankee Muscles mare Ornellaia were a fourth and a fifth, bringing his total earnings to just $1,423.

In less than 10 minutes Thursday night (August 25) at the World’s Championship Horse Show at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., Justahayfer netted his owner $6,864 when he won the $28,600 U.S. Trotting Association Roadster Classic.

Justahayfer won the $28,600 US Trotting Association Roadster Classic. USTA Photo/Kyle Creditt.

Raised by Massachusetts residents Peter Goldberg and Michael Seidman, Justahayfer was purchased after his racing career by Carl Kramer, a member of the Missouri Amish community who owns a construction company. While many owners after buying a retired Standardbred change the name before a roadster career, Kramer has kept the name. While Justahayfer is now competing as a bike roadster on the Horse Show circuit, Kramer has now sold the horse and he will now be trained by Larry Hodge at Kalamara Farm in Springfield, Ky.

The USTA Roadster Classic was just one of many events contested during a full week of competition August 20-27. Over $1 million in prizes were awarded in 236 classes in total. The USTA sponsorship for the Roadster Classic is $5,000 plus the winner’s trophy. Horses competing must be a registered Standardbred and the owner, trainer and exhibitor must be a current member of the USTA and the American Road Horse & Pony Association.

There were 23 nominations for the event with 12 entered, and an elimination was made three nights earlier on Monday (August 22) to reduce the final field to 10.

Steve Crabtree, who lives in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, trains and rides Justahayfer in the Roadster Classic. USTA Photo/Kyle Creditt.

Steve Crabtree, who lives in Elizabethtown, Ky., trains and rides Justahayfer in the Roadster Classic, where the trotter was the unanimous choice of all three judges out of nine rivals. Crabtree noted after the win that while Kramer purchased Justahayfer four years ago, it was only his fourth time in the ring.

“Carl bought him as an investment and put him with me. He had never been in a show ring until July when I took him to my little home show at the county fair from Hardin,” he said. “Then we went to Harrodsburg and he won there, and then we came here. He showed the other night in qualifying when they knocked out two horses to reduce the field to 10, so this is the fourth time he’s been in the ring.

Crabtree thought Justahayfer was at his best on Thursday night, so he wasn’t surprised all three judges put him first on their scorecards.

“He put on a great show,” said Crabtree, who has trained horses for more than 50 years since he was 18. “He hit the ring showing and he left the ring showing. He never gave up. I can’t say enough good things about him.

“I’ve had a lot of horses over the years, including several world champions, and I think he’s the best I’ve ever had a place behind.
This is the most beautiful Standardbred I have seen in my life. He can really trot.

The USTA Roadster Classic was inaugurated in 1997, when Larry Jenkins, then president of ARHPA, approached USTA officials for support. The current president of ARHPA is James Nichols.

“This class is not age-based because these horses come off the racetrack at all ages,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said the judges look at specific elements in making their decisions, including speed — horses sometimes go at top speed back and forth — and gait.

“The horse should be attractive in appearance, carry its head high with an arched neck, good movement in front and a clean way of going behind,” Jenkins said. “A roadster must be close to the rail except when overtaking. More importantly, it must stay at a trot through the corners with its head straight.

“When the judge calls to go fast, the horse must stay calm and trot at all times. A horse that goes wrong is a major mistake and the judge will take note of it. It will help to overtake another horse but not mandatory like in racing It’s a horse show, not a race, but showing more speed than your nearest competitor will help you in the judges’ opinion.


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