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Just A Pet continues Sutton’s good fortune at Albany

3 minute read

Just A Pet getting the win in the opener at Albany. Photo Credit – Photography by Jodie Hallows

Picture: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

Just A Pet is a maiden no more, with the lightly raced six-year-old breaking through at start 24 after a string of placings leading up to the elusive win on Friday, February 16.

Trained by Debra Sutton and owned/bred by Doug and Debra Sutton, the son of Pet Rock is out of their long line of Lorinda mares, the first foal out of Lorindas Place who had just the 12 starts herself, coincidentally retiring after her last start at Albany in late 2015.

A runner-up at his last three attempts, Just A Pet led all the way in the opener at Albany, holding off the short-priced favourite in Pecunious NZ who went down by just a head on the line over the 2265m trip.

The Suttons have had their fair share of success over the years, including the likes of Most Happy Lady (Magic Fella NZ x Forcefulness), Scot Bay (Grinfromeartoear USA x Lorinda Bay) and Kimba Bay (Artistic Fella USA x Lorinda Bay) just to name a few.

Kimba Bay had just the 50 starts before injury brought his career to an end, but with 20 wins and 14 placings to his name and over $219,000 in stakes, the promising youngster claimed the Gr1 2013 $100,000 2YO Westbred Classic at just his fourth start, then later going on to win the $30,000 2015 GWN Albany Pacing Cup and the $30,000 Harvey Cup the following year that was run at Albany.

Confirming that they've always enjoyed racing in Albany, the Sutton family has also experienced plenty of success around Harold Reid Paceway, with Debra Sutton remembering fondly of a time when Most Happy Lady won by 90m at Albany on the old track, her first start, cementing that the mare had a big future ahead of her.

She went on to win 22 races in her 64-start career, before retiring in May 2004 and going on to produce two foals; Most Happy Boy in 2005 and Forever Happy in 2006 (the pacing mare who went on to produce trotter Thats Not My Gait for David Young).

Her life was cut short after succumbing to a snake bite.

The Suttons have wound down their breeding operation over the recent years, with just Our Samantha Jane (Pet Rock USA x Lorinda Hall) in their breeding barn, who is currently in foal to the locally stood stallion, Captain Ahab.

The fourth foal from the mare didn't see the racetrack due to an accident as a foal ending her career before it even started.

Our Samantha Jane's half-sister in Tempt Me Once More has since retired after her last start on November 17, 2023, and will head to stud later this year.

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