Day At The Track
Garrards Horse And Hound, Harness racing

Weekly Spotlight on Breeding

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound Three-year-old world record  A fresh world 2400 metre record rating for a three-year-old filly was established by the Bettor’s Delight filly Anntonia of 1:52.9 – bettering the previous record of 1:56.7 held by La Machane – when she won the $200,000 NSW Oaks at Menangle. Anntonia, who has now won five of her 10 starts – she finished second to Beach Music in her heat – is a member of the same family as Franco Hat Trick. Anntonia ranks as a half-sister to the NSW Breeders Challenge winner Miss Halfpenny 1:55 ($234,540), being by Bettor’s Delight from the Christian Cullen mare Perfect Penny (1:58.8), whose dam, the Oaks winner, Threepence 1:57.3 ($253,306), was by Holmes Hanover from Have A Go Franco, by Ok Bye from Heather Franco, by Nero’s B B. Threepence was a sister to a fine racemare in Our Sixpence 1:51.3 ($613,977), who set an Australian mile record for mares winning the 2013 NSW Ladyship Mile. Their dam, Have A Go Franco, was a half-sister to two high class pacers in Franco Hat Trick 1:52 ($659,210) and Franco Heir 1:56.4 ($392,272), both NSW Derby winners. This is the family which produced such winners as Vandanta (1:50), Howard Hughes (1:53), recent winner of the Pinjarra 4YO Classic, Lady Luca (WA Diamond Classic), Magic Franco (1:54.2), Franco Harbourmaster and Silent Major (1:55), who captured the Village Kid Sprint at Northam on the same night as Anntonia won.   Pink Bonnet winner Silk Cloud, the season’s latest two-year-old classic winner, in beating a useful field in the $50,000 Pink Bonnet at Menangle, gives the impression that she could develop into one of next season’s top three-year-olds. Silk Cloud            --Club Menangle Photo   Bought for $13,000 at the 2020 Bathurst Gold Crown Yearling Sale, Silk Cloud is a well developed filly by Shadow Play from Modern Babe, the dam of an earlier winner in Ultra Bliss (2:00.5). Their dam, Modern Babe, was a Modern Art mare from Flawless Babe, by Windshield Wiper from Our Flawless, by Out To Win. It is an interesting fact that there is a double strain of Bye Bye Byrd in Flawless Babe (grand-dam of Silk Cloud), through both Windshield Wiper and Out To Win (sire of the dam of The Unicorn). Modern Babe is a half-sister to a capable pacer in Mirfak Prince, who took a record of 1:56.6, won 32 races and $128,936, Incorruptible 1:55.5 (who won 12) and to the Classic Garry mare Fearless Babe, dam of the Melton winner Fearless Courage (1:58.6). A top flight racemare in Torrent belongs to this family. She won 13 races including the NZ Easter Cup, Timaru Cup and Inter Dominion Consolation.  Amaze, winner of the NZ Derby, the triple NSW Sires Stakes champion Step Outside, Cavaliere Servente, Elite Angel and Jamestown are among many good winning members of Silk Cloud’s family.   Stylish Memphis in 1:49.2 Stylish Memphis, winner of then $200,000 NSW Ladyship Mile in 1:49.2, continues to prove herself in the top bracket among the mares. She is a member of one of NZ’s most successful families, being a four-year-old Bettor’s Delight mare from Memphis Melody (2:00.1), a Badlands Hanover mare who produced others in the Group winners Delightful Memphis 1:51.5 ($507,811) and Memphis Tennessee 1:58.5 ($113,015), Harley Earl 1:55.3 ($146,184) and Virginia Lightning (1:57.1). Memphis Melody was out of Ok Deb (1:58.1), a Victoria Oaks heat winner by Ok Bye from the Dundee Adios mare Deborah Dundee, dam of a fine racemare in Adios Dream 1:58.4 ($167,597) and the NZ Sires Stakes 2YO Final winner Advance Debra, who, in turn, of the mighty Courage Under Fire 1:54.2 ($1.4 million) and a top juvenile pacer in Advance Attack 1:57.2 ($406,094). Other members of this family, which was founded in NZ by the Bribery mare Entice, were Jesse Duke (NZ Sires Stakes 2YO Final and Harness Jewels), the Breeders Crown champion Cyclone Kate (1:50.6), Passion Stride and last year’s outstanding WA youngster Black Jack Baby.   Siring feat to Fly Like An Eagle Rather a notable siring feat was credited to the Mach Three horse Fly Like An Eagle at Gloucester Park last Friday, when he provided the quinella pair in the Group 1 APG 2YO Fillies Sales Classic Final. Valhalla Miss, a grand type of filly, led throughout to defeat Extraordinary Mary (second), and his third runner, Shes An Eagle, finished a respectable seventh. Fly Like An Eagle’s oldest stock are four-year-olds, and they include Chasing The Wind (a Group winner in NSW as a two-year-old), Dancelikeanangel, Dancinginthedark and Mondos Eagle. Fly Like An Eagle was the first son of Mach Three to stand stud in WA, and his early crops have been most impressive. Based at Allwood Stud, Fly Like An Eagle is closely related to the champion NZ pacer and now highly successful sire Changeover.    Well related three-year-old filly Just For Love, who won the $50,000 APG 3YO Fillies Sales Classic at Gloucester Park, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when she finished second to Black Jack Baby in the Westbred Classic. She has opened her three-year-old season on a winning note and will be well in line for the major juvenile classics. Just For Love is a filly by the Matt’s Scooter horse, Mach Three, from Harper Grace (1:55.5), the dam of the recent Sales Classic two-year-old heat winner Rock On Top (1:58). Harper Grace ranks as a half-sister to a smart juvenile and Australian Pacing Gold winner in Bus To Harland, being by Grinfromeartoear from Tiz Herself, by Exotic Earl from the noted producer Laurick’s Pride, by Dale’s Gift. Just For Love was bred by prominent Perth breeder Steve Johnson.   Star trotter by Father Patrick Have No Fear, a brilliant straightout trotter by the American sire Father Patrick from Without Fear (a member of the same maternal line as the Derby winner Stress Factor), advanced strong claims to being the best young trotter in the country when he won the Group 1 Need For Speed Prince Final at Melton. Have No Fear                     -- Stuart McCormick Photo   A three-year-old, Have No Fear is in his second season of racing, but from nine starts he has won five and been twice placed. He has a background of trotting blood second-to-none. Apart from being by Father Patrick, and one of his first frozen crop, Have No Fear is out of the Sundon mare Without Fear (6 wins), a sister to a top NZ filly trotter in Fear Factor, being out of Fickle, by Wide Acclaim from Frivolous, by Rodney Day from the Gay Piper mare Gay Helen, whose family today is one of the best in the NZ stud book. It includes Derby winners in Habibti and Stress Factor and other fine trotters in Our Renezmae (Breeders Crown 2YO), the Dominion Handicap winner Habibti Inta, Habibti Ivy (NZ Oaks), Saratoga and Prince Fearless (Central Victorian Championship).   WA Sales Classic winner Bought for $30,000 and now a winner of $61,925, Floewriter became the first two-year-old classic winner for the season when he won the $100,000 APG Sales Classic Final at Gloucester Park. By the Artsplace horse Sportswriter, Floewriter is out of Maddy White (1:56.9), by the Australian bred horse Lombo Mandingo. Maddy White left an earlier winner in Star Of Diamonds (1:58.4), who was twice placed in Group company. Maddy White, the winner of 11 races and $110,824 in stakes, was out of Benjor Maddy Lombo, by Perfect Art from Magic Maddy Lombo, by Classic Garry and tracing to the noted family founder in Bessie B. Maddy White was a half-sister to the WA Derby and Governor’s Cup winner Handsandwheels 1:53.2 ($666,379), the WA 3YO Sales Classic winner Rock Me Over 1:53.8 ($292,119) and the promising three-year-old Squinta (1:58.6). Their dam, Benjor Maddy Lombo, was a half-sister to two high class pacers in Suave Stuey Lombo 1:49.6 ($587,032) and Miss Trickin Lombo 1:53.3 ($230,312) and to the Panorama mare Sweet Maddy Lombo 1:59.5 ($106,588), a Group winning juvenile who became the dam of the Menangle winner Lombo Idle Belief (1:51.1). The Bessie B family had a terrific influence on NZ and Australian breeding through several branches.   First winners by Always B Miki Always B Miki (1:46), the equal fastest horse of all-time and who shuttles between North America and Alabar’s Victorian branch, was recently represented by his first Australian winner in the two-year-old gelding Uncle Miki.  He led most of the way and won by open lengths at Bathurst.  The gelding is the second foal from the Village Jasper mare Balcony (1:59.9). A second Always B Miki winner was the two-year-old filly Taking The Miki, who won at her second start at Northam. She is the first foal of All American Dream (1:58.7), a Bettor’s Delight mare.   Need For Speed to Queen Elida The $60,000 Need For Speed Princess, for three-year-old trotting fillies, one of the features of the Aurora Australis carnival at Melton, was won by Queen Elida, a well performed filly by Love You from Queen Kenny. Queen Elida      --Stuart McCormick Photo   Love You, a son of Cocktail Jet, has been one of Europe’s top sires of trotters for many years, and his frozen crops in New Zealand and Australia have produced a cavalcade of stars. He has sired such winners as dual NZ Trotter of the Year Monbet (1:55.2), Enghien (1:57.3), Habibti (1:56.5), Ultimate Stride, Il Pirata, Father Christmas and other top trotters. Love You had sired an earlier winner of the Need For Speed Princess in Amour De Frere. Queen Kenny, the Group winning dam of Queen Elida, was by Monarchy, who also distinguished himself as a sire of trotters, from Nice One Kenny, the dam of the Menangle winner Princess Kenny (1:55.3), Royal Kenny (2:00.5) and the promising Here Comes Kyvalley and the second dam of the ill-fated Im Jake The Mus (1:58.8). This has been a most successful family, as One Over Kenny, a sister to Nice One Kenny, was one of NZ’s greatest ever trotting mares and ranked as the dam of the top colt trotters One Over Da Moon, now at the stud in NZ, and Ultimate Stride. The latest Need For Speed Princess winner, Queen Elida, has certainly a wealth of successful trotting blood on both sides of her pedigree.   by Peter Wharton

John and Robert Dunn, Harness racing

Dunn stable chasing feature wins

No trainer will start more horses in more feature events at the premier night of harness racing at Alexandra Park on Friday than Robert Dunn. One of the biggest winning chances among Dunn’s bumper team comes in the Listed Northern Mares Classic with Need You Now. The trainer has been rapt with the four-year-old since her desperately unlucky third after receiving a chequered run up the straight behind race rival Plutonium Lady in last week’s Charles Roberts Stakes. “She has trained on really well, she is bright as a button,” Dunn said. “She had had three or four really hard runs behind Amazing Dream and Johnny [Dunn] was trying to look after her a little bit last week and things just went pear-shaped.” “It looked like she still could have won but it was just one of those things.” Dunn also starts both Woodstone and One Majic Kenny in the Group 3 Greenlane Cup. Woodstone looks a strong place chance following his fresh-up third to Bolt For Brilliance, who again looks hard to beat. “I was rapt with his run last week, he hadn’t had a trial or a workout or anything since Cup Week,” Dunn said. “He loves Auckland and always settles in really well up here and he looks a treat.” “Bolt For Brilliance will be hard to beat but he should be a good eachway chance.” One Majic Kenny got things wrong behind Bolt For Brilliance last week, but Dunn is hopeful the trotter can turn that around on Friday night. “He has been really unlucky, he missed away badly last time, but I can’t fault the way he is trotting.” “If he trots he can take advantage of being off the front line and he will go a good race.” Dunn starts Dance Til Dawn in the Group 2 Delightful Lady Classic for two-year-old fillies. The filly has trained on well since her debut second behind the favourite Artisan and the trainer is expecting another good performance. “She is a very handy type and she has trained on well.” “I have been happy with her.” “She has a lot of upside to her, right from the time Ross Houghton broke her in she has been a lovely filly.” “If she can get a nice run she will be right in it.” Dunn will also start Matt Damon in the Group 2 City Of Auckland Free-For-All. He expects another honest performance from the pacer, but he is wary of what impact Copy That will have on the race. “Matt Damon needs the speed on, he is a lovely horse and he has only had a handful of starts really,” Dunn said. “He is still learning his trade as far as open class goes.” “But he needs them to go hard and with Copy That in there it’s unlikely anything else will take him on too much.” “That won’t help us but he should still go another honest race.” The Dunn stable also has I’m Your Huckleberry in the Group One Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes. The trainer is expecting more from the two-year-old after he disappointed in his debut behind Montana D J in a heat of the series. “I was disappointed with his first run, but that race has really brought him on.” “I am expecting him to go much better.” Dunn also starts yet another horse in a feature event with Off N Gone in the Group One Northern Oaks The filly stuck on gamely after working hard in her last start behind race favourite Bettor Twist in the Peter Breckon Memorial Caduceus Club Stakes. Having had that right-handed run should be a big help in Friday night’s feature. “She ran in on the bends, last week, so we have worked on her steering this week,” Dunn said. “She probably did enough work when she was getting around them, they ran quite a fast quarter when she moved.” “So it wasn’t a bad run and I am expecting her to be better this week.” Dunn also starts Mighty Looee on Friday night’s undercard, in race 2. View the full Alexandra Park fields click here!   by Jonny Turner

Marianna Monaco, harness racing

Monaco plans to keep on "driving"

Whether driving a golf ball or driving a harness racing horse, Marianna Monaco knows the thrill of victory. The 25-year-old New Yorker has won a total of eight races as an amateur driver and her share of tournaments as an amateur golfer. In 2017, Monaco captured the New York State Women's Amateur golf championship one year after being the event's runner-up. The past two years, she has won the Women's Dutchess County Amateur. On the racetrack, Monaco got her first win in 2018 in a matinee at Goshen Historic Track. The victory came on her 23rd birthday. She notched her first pari-mutuel triumph last year in the GSY Amateur Series at The Meadowands and finished the season with six wins. Earlier this week, she won a Billings Amateur Series race at Yonkers. It was her first victory at The Hilltop, which is where Monaco and her family spent many nights enjoying the races over the years. As a child, Monaco imagined herself competing at Yonkers and accumulated a collection of whips and other items that numbered in the hundreds. "Growing up there, it was always a dream," said Monaco, a Yonkers native. "Getting a win there was a surreal experience. I was once that kid on the other side of the fence driving my imaginary horse across the wire. It was a thrill." On Friday, Monaco will be back in the GSY Series at The Meadowlands. She is starting from post one with Deerfield Beach and is 10-1 on the morning line. "Hopefully, the race will set up nicely for him and we can come a good last quarter and we should be fine in there," Monaco said. Monaco began jogging horses at a young age. Her father, Nick, owned horses and she had other family members in the business. Her involvement around the barn increased over the years until other sports began to occupy her time. It was fast-pitch travel softball at first, but a trip with her dad to a driving range changed her focus. "The pro asked my dad how long I'd been playing," Monaco said. "My dad said, 'She plays softball, she doesn't play golf.' The pro said, 'There's talent there.' My dad said there wasn't much after college for softball and asked if I wanted to keep playing. From that point on, I was going for golf lessons and practicing. It just stuck with me." Monaco got a full scholarship to play golf at Newberry College, where she was the South Atlantic Conference Freshman of the Year and, as a sophomore, the SAC Player of the Year. She transferred to the University of South Carolina for her final two years and graduated in 2017 with a degree in criminal justice. After finishing her collegiate career, Monaco stepped back from playing golf regularly. That's when driving entered the picture. "It's something I wanted to do," Monaco said. "I just wanted to win a race. I thought I would get that first win and I would be satisfied. But I wasn't. As soon as I got off the bike, I told my dad I wished there was another race because I wanted to get back in the bike again. It's just been something I've kept after." Monaco intends to play more golf this year, possibly with an eye toward turning pro. But she also plans to keep driving on. "I think the driving is more for fun, but as soon as I get off the bike I watch replays to see what I could have done better," Monaco said. "In golf, you can shoot 65 but you can look at the scorecard and say you left a couple shots out there. It's the same with driving; you can win a race, but it's always a learning process. I think that's why I enjoy it a lot. "Most importantly, if a trainer I'm driving for thinks I could have done something differently, I want them to speak up and tell me. That way I can learn from that and go forward. I appreciate that. They're trying to help me learn and be a better driver." In addition to driving, Monaco owns three horses. She trains one of them herself. "I enjoy the atmosphere, being around the animals," Monaco said. "It's something different every day. You see the same horses, but they have different attitudes day to day. I don't think you ever get tired of it. I look forward to seeing them. As much as you make them happy, you're just as happy to walk through the door and see them." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

Willie Go West, Harness racing

Aussie stable snippets

The temporary migration across Bass Strait of notable Victorian harness racing representatives continues this weekend, as the competition hots up for lucrative Autumn rewards in Tasmania. Astute Dean Braun, of Lara near Geelong, posted an impressive double at Hobart last Sunday and appears to have piqued interest in the Apple Isle from his Victorian counterparts. Braun teamed with champion driver Chris Alford to win with Willie Go West (Auckland Reactor-Better Go (Bettors Delight) and Jaffa Josh (Auckland Reactor-Silk Rose). Willie Go West scored a 13-metre win in the first heat of the Ladbrokes Tasmania Cup, while Jaffa Josh was just as impressive, winning by 19 metres in the second heat of the Tasmanian Labor Eric Reece Memorial. This Sunday at Hobart will see Momentslikethese (Jess Tubbs/Greg Sugars) and Tay Tay (Kate Hargreaves/Alex Ashwood) run in the $12,000 3yo Fillies Championship. The spotlight then turns to the second heat of the Tasmania Cup where Bullys Delight (John Nicholson), Form Analyst (Alex Ashwood), Guptas Cullen (Shaun McNaulty) and Triple Eight (Greg Sugars) do battle. The $75,000 final is tomorrow week at Elwick. Nicholson also has Alby Two Chains and Sebs Choice in the 3yo Guineas. Ashwood will drive Elita in the $8750 Downtown Property Pace. Greg Sugars, chasing success in Tassie this Sunday __________________________________________________________________________________ The Country Cups action continues in Victoria this weekend, with the tiny Mallee town of Birchip conducting its renowned Sharp’s Bakery Mallee Bull Pacing Cup meeting on Sunday afternoon, also featuring the TMC Enviro Trotters Cup. Later that night, Wangaratta will stage its Cup meeting at Shepparton. In-form Bendigo trotter Well Defined will chase his fourth consecutive trotters’ country cup, while the pacers’ feature sees Major Jodi, Uncle Jord, Mummys Boy, I Cast No Shadow and Boy From Bondi chasing top honors. And over the border into SA, Gawler has a twilight Sunday meeting where both the Trotters and Pacing Cups will be run. __________________________________________________________________________________ The Victorian Square Trotters Association has sent out an SOS for nominations for honors in three of square gaiting’s most prestigious awards for the 2019-20 season. Nominations close at 5pm today for three individual awards, with the three categories all named in recognition of key “advocates of the gait” in Victoria. There’s the Rising Star Award, named in honor of Dick Lee who, in his 80s, still keeps a sharp eye on the racing scene. Sponsored by Fred and Elizabeth Crews, this award is for a young person under 25 regarded as an up-and-comer in the industry. Drivers, trainers, stable hands, mini pony trot competitors, volunteers and promoters are eligible. The Bob Conroy Excellence in Trotting Award, sponsored by the Conroy family, is named in honor of a legend of the sport. “Gentleman Bob”, died in December 2017 doing what he loved at age 88, jogging a horse in the bush. “This is for a passionate person involved in the industry—-someone who is dedicated and making a mark in our trotting family,” the VSTA said. The Colin Redwood Encouragement Award, for perseverance and determination, is aimed at those outside the professional ranks. Proudly sponsored by the Redwood family, this award covers hobby trainers, stable hands, drivers, volunteers, etc. The late Mr Redwood, who died almost 12 months ago, was a HRV Distinguished Services Medallist. The VSTA was formed in 1980 to promote the trotting gait in the State. Over the following years, the Association has worked tirelessly with HRV to develop the sport. The popular Redwood Carnival at Maryborough, a flagship event for the VSTA, is now a highlight of the Australian trotting calendar. Award nominations can be emailed to vicsquaretrotters@hotmail.com I.R (Dick) Lee, a talented horseman, Hall of Famer, and prolific G1 trainer and driver __________________________________________________________________________________ Former country Victorian talented pacer Im Sir Blake (Alta Christiano-Jupiters Darling (Dream Away) will continue his career in America. O’Brien Racing at Armstrong, near Ararat, said it was with mixed emotions that their mate “Whiskers” would have his next chapter overseas with new owners and trainer. Co-trainers Danny and Leroy O’Brien did an outstanding job with the gelding, taking him to 14 wins and 12 placings from just 39 race appearances. “From a $4000 purchase at a Shepparton sale, to a lifetime stakes winner of over $120,000, he was a horse you dream to have in your stable,” the father and son training combination said. The pacer was bred by prominent Perth breeder and owner Robert Watson. A winner at his first start at Horsham when handled by ace freelance reinsman Michael Bellman, I’m Sir Blake then went onto record victories at Stawell, Bendigo, Ararat, Kilmore, Ballarat, Terang, Melton and Mildura. Undoubtedly one of his most exciting wins was in the far north-west corner of Victoria at MIldura in June 2019, when the pacer took out the rich Mitavite Northern Region Victorian Championship Final with champion horsewoman Kerryn Manning aboard. And it was probably fitting that Whiskers returned to that venue last November and scored again—in what was to be his last victory on Australian soil. The O’Briens also sold Imprincessgemma (Village Jolt-Melody Stride (In The Pocket), a winner of 11 races, to the States over 14 months ago and the mare has acquitted herself very well. “Whiskers” aka Im Sir Blake, who has been sold to the USA (Stacey Lear Photography)   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Harness racing fans, harnesslink community, we have some important and exciting news to share with you. The current iteration of our website is now over ten years old and while it has done it's job incredibly well, the time has come for an upgrade.  Due to a number of technological changes, our current website has started to experience several problems behind the scenes which need to be solved. This has also fortunately given us the chance to review our current design as website design has changed a lot over the last ten years.  Our new website will be coming sometime in the next few weeks and should bring with it a faster, cleaner, more modern design. We know that change is hard but we also hope that you will keep an open mind and enjoy our new look when it is launched. Here's to the next chapter! John and the Harnesslink team Here is a picture of our original Website dated 2002

Kentuckiana Lodge colt Krug is perfectly poised ahead of his first classic race tilt in Friday night’s Northern Derby at Alexandra Park. Trainers Cran and Chrissie Dalgety go into the Group One feature after enjoying an ideal final lead up with their three-year-old. After two solid hit-outs to start his latest campaign Krug unleashed a powerful victory in the Northern Derby Prelude last week. And after enjoying a faultless week since, amid the chaos of a COVID interrupted night of premier racing, the Krug camp go into Friday night’s race full of confidence. “Everything has come together and we couldn’t be happier,” Cran Dalgety said. “95% of is just where we would want it to be and the other 5% is out of our hands and will depend on what happens on the night.” “The horse is fit and healthy and he has got a nice draw in 5.” “The driver has won more races than anyone else in the history of the country, so we couldn’t ask for too much more.” Tony Herlihy took Krug to the front for a strong final hit-out in last week’s Northern Derby Prelude. Well known as a good-doer, that run and this week’s training have the colt primed to be at his peak for Friday night’s Group One. “Tony summed it up nicely last week and it was just what the horse needed," Cran said.  “The three runs he has had in Auckland have brought him on each time and he is really match fit going into the big one.” “Now he just had to go out there and do battle.”  Few of the Northern Derby field have had a lot of experience over 2700m and Krug is a complete novice at 2700m.  But if any horse looks suited to the classic race trip it is the Kentuckiana Lodge colt. His ability to drop the bit and settle in any race scenario and pick up again with push-button speed makes him the ideal derby horse. “Of course it helps he is by Bettor’s Delight, so he has got plenty of staying power there.” “But you can drive him on a rein of cotton and stepping up to 2700m is actually a big advantage to him whereas it might not suit some of the others quite as much.” “There will be no excuses, put it that way.” Kentuckiana Lodge start a second Northern Derby contender in Alta Sensation from barrier 7 with Jay Abernethy in the sulky.  The three-year-old earned his spot in the field with a powerful win in the grades at Alexandra Park last week. While he may not be among the favourites, Alta Sensation has all the credentials he needs going into a derby. “He is a little bit unheralded compared to some of the big names, but he wouldn’t be there if we didn’t think he could run a big race," Cran said.  “He has got a nice draw (2) to work with and he has got gate speed.” “He is fit and well and we are hopeful can show he is up with the big boys.” “He certainly won’t disgrace himself, that is for sure.” Kentuckiana Lodge also starts Casino Action in the Group One Young Guns Final and Chevrons Bypass and Mitsi Gaynor in the Group Two Delightful Lady Classic on Friday night.  Casino Action has not been able to show his best in his last two after copping tough trips. But from barrier 3 it is hoped he can show his true potential and the kind of form that saw him beat many of his rivals in his outstanding debut win.  Both Kentuckiana Lodge fillies have copped tricky draws with Chevrons Bypass starting from barrier 7 and Misti Gaynor in barrier 1 on the second row. “The two-year-olds are all fit and well, they just need a bit of luck and they will be right there.” On a busy weekend for Kentuckiana Lodge, Twlight Bromac starts in race 1 at Addington on Friday night.    by Jonny Turner

MILTON, ON - March 4, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment today proudly revealed the names of the slot owners for the second edition of the Mohawk Million for two-year-old trotters on Saturday, September 25 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A total of nine slots were available for purchase at the cost of $100,000 (CAD) each for entry in the $1-million (CAD) Mohawk Million. The deadline to purchase a slot passed on February 15 with all slots sold. The tenth and final slot will be awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial on September 11. The slot owners for the 2021 Mohawk Million are listed below: Brad Grant Crawford Farms Determination (two slots) EquineX (two slots) Gino Toscani (two slots) Steve Heimbecker The owners of the slots are not required to declare a two-year-old trotter for the race until entry time and the slot is an entity that may be sold, traded or subject to lease. Each slot owner was required to submit $50,000 per slot by the February 15 deadline. The remaining $50,000 is due by June 1. The Mohawk Million will take place along with the $850,000 Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers on September 25, putting the sport's two richest races for freshmen on the same card. The $540,000 Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies will also take place on the Mohawk Million card, which will feature total purses of more than $2.6 million. Fans can track the march to the Mohawk Million by following @WoodbineSB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The official hashtag of harness racing's richest race for two-year-olds is #MohawkMillion. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment            

The Riverton Trotting Club carded two Free for Alls, a Nuggets Final and a heat of the Southern Belle Speed Series today at Central Southland Raceway in Winton, and they were rewarded with some top harness racing. The pacing FFA was won by comeback horse U May Cullect. He lead early and ran his last 400 metres in a slick 25.8 to beat favourite Pembrook Playboy. “I was thrilled. Nathan’s horse (Pembrook Playboy) has been racing against the good ones so I thought we’d have to use our speed,” said co-trainer and driver Kirstin Barclay. From gate four Barclay went forward to take the lead inside the first quarter of the race and dictated the tempo. “I was really lucky to get a breather in the middle and run that quick last quarter. Nathan’s horse is so fast but you can’t catch them when they’re running those sorts of quarters.” U May Cullect looked very well and primed for today’s 1609 event and Barclay says the stable is not planning too far ahead, preferring the horse to tell them where to race next. “There are a couple (of) wee things that bother me at times but I think it’s just muscular. We just get the vet to go over him after every race and keep on top of things. But he seems pretty well within himself.” U May Cullect’s win today was his third over a mile on this track. He’s now won nine races in fourteen starts. Pearl Harbour capped off some good form to win the last heat of the Southern Belle Speed Series when she came from well back to beat Might Be Me by a head. “That’s just her racing pattern. You have to save her for one run, you can’t do any work early. They ran hard early today and it panned out well,” said driver Brent Barclay. Trained by Katrina and John Price the Somebeachsomewhere mare has now won six of her twenty two starts. “I haven’t driven many as fast as her over three hundred metres. She’s just electric.” Idealism confirmed his potential among a good crop of Southland three year olds when he won the Nuggets Final today in the hands of Nathan Williamson. Realising his main rival, stablemate Keep On Dreaming was behind him, Williamson set the gelding alight inside the 600 metres and that was the winning of the race. “Yep super drive,” said trainer Alister Black. On straightening Idealism mastered pacemaker Lynryd Skynryd, winning by three quarters of a length with Keep On Dreaming running home for fifth more than five lengths back. “I think if you reversed the draws you’d probably reverse the result to be fair.” Black said Idealism will be aimed at the end of season Southern Supremacy Stakes. “I think he’s going to be a better four year old. I didn’t pay up for the Derby for that simple reason.” Dark Horse showed quality when she won her fourteenth race winning  over a mile today. Running in the inside running line the eight year old mare was taken one out with 400 metres to run by driver Craig Ferguson. “She was cruising,” She challenged pacemaker Rydgemont Son though it took her most of the straight to get past him. “The second horse certainly made it tough for us. We really had to knuckle down up the straight.” The winning margin was just a neck. “In the end she did it easy and didn’t want to pull up after the line. She was just foxing a wee bit.” The Gordon and Colin Lee trained Bertie Jones had a nice win on debut today. The four year old was an impressive qualifier on this course in January and won today’s race by two lengths in the hands of Brent Barclay. Trotter Gold Chain trained by Bob Butt was the biggest winner of the day, clearing out to take the line by eleven lengths. The Muscle Hill mare has now won four of her seventeen starts.   by Bruce Stewart

Brittany Farms is thrilled to announce the arrival of their first foal by Bettor's Wish from Brittany Farm's mare Shining Beauty. The colt from 2021 and 2020 Dan Patch award winning Bettor's Wish has a special connection to Brittany Farms. Bettor's Wish and the dam Shining Beauty were both bred and raised by Brittany Farms. Shining Beauty is a stakes winning Captain Treacherous daughter of World Champion, Dan Patch and O'Brien Award winning mare American Jewel who herself was Brittany Farms born and raised. The first time mother is standing close by as her foal poses for his first photo. From the Bettor's Wish Syndicate

Police have launched an investigation into allegations a star harness racing trainer defrauded people in the industry for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Stuff previously revealed the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) was investigating allegations that promising trainer Mitchell Kerr over-syndicated horses and charged for non-existent insurance policies. Kerr was said to have cheated an All Black, a Black Cap and several wealthy businessmen in his scam, and was thought to have lost nearly $1 million through an Australian betting agency. The RIU’s manager of integrity assurance, Neil Grimstone, confirmed on Thursday the allegations had been referred to police. Read the full story here!   by Sam Sherwood and Martin Van Beynen Courtesy of Stuff

It’s been a week to remember for Charlton harness racing partnership Michael Gadsden and Denbeigh Wade – and, as they are the first to point out, that’s definitely something to be savoured. The young couple notched up their first training double at Shepparton on Tuesday night, hot on the heels of one of their most satisfying victories in the sport, with rehabilitated pacer Doitson at Boort on Sunday. “You’ve got to enjoy the highs and just ride out the lows – this week is a high and it’s been the best feeling, especially to get the win with Dewie (Doitson) because of what he’s been through,” Wade said. “I think that’s one of the things we’re learning – not to beat ourselves up when things aren’t quite going right.  Just keep working, do what you know to have the horses right, and things turn around.” Things certainly did turn around for Doitson (Bettors Delight – Sister Bertrand) on Sunday – 12 months to the day since the former Kiwi had his first start for Gadsden and Wade. Doitson did it at Boort on Sunday – a much celebrated comeback story (Claire Weston Photo) In that year, Doitson managed only six outings– three of them before being diagnosed with a fractured pastern in April last year. “He’d put up a couple of reasonable runs when we first got him, but he was disappointing at his third start at Stawell, and we were racking our brains about what was going on,” Wade said. “Then Michael fast-worked him a few days later and as he slowed up, he just went very lame.  The fracture initially didn’t show up on x-rays, but we kept him boxed up and resting,” she said. “Then a couple of weeks later the second round of x-rays showed a big, straight fracture – which was bad, but if you’re going to fracture a pastern, the vet told us that’s probably the best way to do it. “The Ballarat veterinary clinic was absolutely amazing. They operated to put four screws in his leg, but you honestly wouldn’t know it.  It’s healed perfectly, without a mark.” Dewie was rehabilitated by Kelly Stuart-Mitchell and partner Darren Aitken, two of the 20-member Youcandoitson Syndicate, which part-owns the horse.  “Straight after his operation Dewie went down to Kelly and Darren’s to stay boxed for six weeks so they could manage his recovery. Then he went out into a paddock and they looked after him there,” Wade said. “They did a great job. He came back here to go back into work in terrific order.  We started off just walking him, then light jogging and we had a few x-rays along the way to check on things.  But since then, he’s just been one of the team.  It’s all healed up and there’s no worries at all with him.” Wade said they were thrilled with Doitson’s two comeback runs, but the win in the $12,000 Bill Foley Tribute was one of the most celebrated wins on Boort Cup Day. “Everyone was just stoked. Claire Weston the raceday photographer had a day out – I think every one of the syndicate members bought a photo because a lot of them are first time owners, and because it’s been such a long road,” Wade said. “He was bought with the idea of chasing a few country cups – not the big ones, but cups that will suit him.  He’s pretty tough and durable, and he likes the longer distance.  We won’t win them all, but I think we can snag one or two and that will be a great thrill for the owners…and us!” Wade and Gadsden are among the happy tenants at the growing Charlton Harness Racing Club training centre, where up to 60 horses are expected to be based by the end of the month. Gadsden moved the couple’s team from their former property at Ararat in the middle of last year, and Wade, who previously worked for Kerryn Manning and Grant Campbell at Great Western, made the move at Christmas. The couple has now bought a house at Charlton and Wade says the town, and the close-knit harness racing community, is home. “When we started getting offered some more horses last year, our place at Ararat was never going to let us do it and we couldn’t have managed to buy a property with all the facilities we need to turn professional,” she said. “So we decided to pull the trigger and give it a crack here.  It’s been the best decision.  We have the facilities we need, but still have our own little space which still feels like it’s ours. “Everybody works hard at this game – you wouldn’t be in it if you didn’t love it.  But we’re blessed. Charlton is such a great harness racing community and so supportive.  Any win you get here isn’t a win just for you, it’s a win for Charlton.  We love it!”   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

A pair of new names have entered the most horses in the 2021 editions of the MGM Borgata and Blue Chip Matchmaker series to be contested at Yonkers Raceway throughout March and April. Both newcomers to the stakes scene, trainer Shane Tritton has seven horses between the two events and Neil Balcerak has five in the Borgata. A total of 46 horses nominated for the 2021 Borgata (nee Levy) and 20 were made eligible to the Matchmaker. Both events were canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With four in the Borgata and three in the Matchmaker, the Down Under native Tritton is feeling good about his chances and excited about his first stakes action since arriving in the U.S. less than a year ago. "I'm 100% looking forward to the series. It is very close to the Inter Dominion back home where you have to go four runs in a row. It is a war of attrition, but it is good to have something to work through. I'm looking forward to the challenge," said Tritton. Tritton's male quartet in the Borgata include 2019 Borgata champion Western Fame, Pat Stanley N, Bronx Seelster and Yayas Hot Spot N. His mare trio is formed by Lady Dela Renta A, Maczaffair N and My Ruebe Star N. "This has always been the goal for these horses," said Tritton. "Western Fame, Bronx Seelster and Pat Stanley are starting to hit their stride at the right time and the mares have been racing at a high level. Yayas Hot Spot just needs more racing." Neil Balcerak has been training horses on a limited basis since 2015 but is getting his first taste of stakes action in a big way. He paid the $5,000 nomination fee on five horses, all of which he owns in partnership with another newcomer to the game, Matthew Morrison. "Matt is new to the business. He did well on his first horse and wanted to take a shot," said Balcerak about entering so many horses. "He is a fresh owner to the game. He really enjoyed owning his first horse (Jahan Hanover) and now he goes to the track a couple of times a week. Having a new owner is great for the game. "We bought a couple of nice ones over the summer and we had a few others we just wanted to give a shot to because there wasn't much available for the horses to race for good money," continued Balcerak on entering five horses. Balcerak, who said he started out small as a trainer with just some county fair horses, is hoping for good things from all five of his Borgata entrants. He has the highest hopes for Caviart Rockland and The Wall, who was fifth in the 2019 Borgata. The 37-year-old Pennsylvania native also has Indictable Hanover, Jahan Hanover and Esai Hanover in the series. The Borgata, which begins on March 15 with the first of five legs raced in $40,000 divisions, is loaded with talent. The list includes 2019 Breeders Crown winner American History, who is standing at Walnridge Farm and is expecting to pull double-duty as a stallion and racehorse this year. Three-year-old Ohio standout Ocean Rock makes his first journey outside of the Buckeye state and is one of three newcomers to the Nancy Takter barn in the series. Undoubtedly one of the favorites going into the opening round will be overseas import Let It Ride N. The Richard 'Nifty' Norman-trained 8-year-old has won all six of his starts since coming to America including an impressive 1:52 1/5 win at Yonkers on January 11. "He'll be a handful for anybody," said Norman about Let It Ride N. "I'm sure others will be ready, but he proved he gets around the track very well." Alexa Skye, who joined the Jeff Cullipher barn before a recent second-place finish at Yonkers in the Open Handicap, is certainly one of the favorites going into the March 12 opening leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. She has won three of five starts in 2021 and has never finished worse than second. The Borgata and Matchmaker both feature five legs and culminate with finals and consolations on Monday, April 19. A complete list of the eligible horses can be found here and below: 2021 MGM Borgata Eligibles American History American Mercury Ana Afreet N Artie's Ideal Ashley Locaz N Backstreet Shadow Blood Line Bronx Seelster Caviart Rockland Chief Mate Esai Hanover Fine Diamond Hesa Kingslayer N Ideal Jimmy Indictable Hanover Jahan Hanover Jesse Duke N Leonidas A Let it Ride N Lyons Steel Mach n Cheese Mac's Jackpot Micky Gee N No Easy Day None Bettor A Ocean Rock Ostro Hanover Pat Stanley N Raukapuka Ruler N Rockapelo Rodeo Rock San Domino A Semi Tough Sheriff N Shnitzledosomethin Springsteen Stars Align A Tellitsabb The Wall This is the Plan Tookadiveoffdipper Tyga Hanover Western Fame Western Joe Windsun Ricky Yayas Hot Spot N 2021 Blue Chip Matchmaker Eligibles Alexa Skye Alii Nui Bettors Heart N Blue Ivy Caviart Cherie Dbldelitebrigade N Kaitlyn N Keep On Rocking A Lady Dela Renta A Machnhope Maczaffair N Monica Gallagher My Ruebe Star N Parisian Bluechip Seaswift Joy N Siesta Beach Snobbytown Soho Burning Love A The Bandit Queen N Trillions Hanover By Yonkers Raceway Media

In this exclusive edition of The Horseman's Voice we have Freddie Hudson a 3rd generation harness racing driver/trainer extraordinaire and primary host of the Harness Racing Alumni Show talks about his own history of the sport as a little kid and taking over the responsibilites of his father's training stable then starting out on his own from the 1970's.   He then opens up immediately about lobbying efforts he's undertaken with a myriad of people since 2015, how the process works and how important collaboration is with the entire Standardbred Industry.   Freddie then brainstorms several ideas, mostly marketing centric, and gives his viewpoints on the 'State of the Industry' from the past, currently and for the future.   Wishing him the best of luck on his continued lobbying efforts in our nations' capital, Washington, D.C.     The next edition of The Horseman's Voice is set for Monday, March 15, 2021, with three (3) horsewomen, so hold onto your lines - we're going to tap into some really interesting women in the sport from all aspects - new, old, multi-generational; yet they all have their own stories!   The International Source for Harness Racing    The Horseman's Voice

Harness racing trainer-driver Gavin Smith backed his judgement and it paid off when My Ultimate Chevron (NZ) (Sweet Lou) sprinted to victory in the $23,000 Group Three Sapling Stakes (1609m) on Saturday.  Smith’s ability to assess a horse was on full show when NZB Standardbred graduate took inside runs to charge through to win the Ashburton feature. Smith has had faith in My Ultimate Chevron from the time he was a yearling, securing him in partnership with Tumby Park owners Scott Whitton and Jodie Foster for $27,500 from NZB Standardbred’s 2020 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch. Prepared by Lisa Daly, the colt from Bettor’s Delight mare Bet I Can (NZ) was not on the buying list that the trainer-driver and Tumby Park owners Scott Whitton and Jodie Foster had agreed on. But Smith backed his eye for the horse resulting in Whitton and Foster enjoying stakes race success little more than a year later. “When I went to the sales he wasn’t actually on Scott’s [buying] list, he is a student of form and breeding,” Smith said. “This one was one that I really liked and sort of pushed him into a bit.” Smith was modest about his of weaving My Ultimate Chevron through runners like a seasoned professional to win Saturday’s feature in just his first start. Though he clearly had the horse ready for such a feat, he deflected all praise onto his two-year-old. “He is a just a natural wee horse, he has always been well balanced and good gaited and zippy,” Smith said. “We just needed to see if he could do it when we went a bit quicker, which he stepped up today and did.” My Ultimate Chevron was not among the original nominations for the Sapling Stakes. But, Smith again backed his judgement. “I didn’t originally nominate him because he probably needed another trial.” “But when it was a small field I thought I might as well throw him in.” “A couple of the better ones weren’t there, so we hoped for a good draw, then he drew barrier eight.” “So I went back and drove him quietly and hoped the gaps came our way.” My Ultimate Chevron won Saturday’s mile (1609m) feature by three-quarters of a length, in a winning time of 1.56.5. Prior to going through the ring at NZB Standardbred’s 2020 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch, My Ultimate Chevron also went under the hammer as a weanling at NZB’s Standardbred’s 2019 All Age Sale at Auckland. He has purchased by the Lake Brunner Syndicate for $13,000 from Woodlands Stud draft. The Tumby Park owners Scott Whitton and Jodie Foster were active again at the 2021 edition of NZB Standardbred’s National Yearling Sales in Christchurch. They purchased Lot 376 for $40,000, an Art Major filly from Bettor’s Delight mare Joanne’s A Delight (NZ) out of Graeme and Ann Mee’s draft. Tumby Park also purchased Lot 406, a Captaintreacherous filly from Bettor’s Delight mare Milwood Ivy (NZ) out of Millwood Farm’s draft for $35,000.   Vendor L. F. Daly Purchaser Tumby Park Breeding Sweet Lou – Bet I Can Sale 2020 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch, Lot 335, $27,500 Bred by Woodlands Stud   NZB Standardbred

Down Under pacer grabs another harness racing win in the US. Joesstar Of Mia A picked up his first win of the 2021 North American season on Sunday at Pocono. The win was as dominant as you will ever see as the 8yo Down Under gelding absolutely obliterated the field of 9 pacers racing for $6,800. Joesstar Of Mia A passed the post in cruise mode clocking 1:53.3, which was a whole one second in front of the second place getter in the race. Anthony Napolitano was in the race bike and Steven Brabrook did the training. The son of Roll With Joe was exported to North America after an extremely successful down under harness racing career where he won 17 races and placed on a further 21 occasions. To highlight his career he placed in Group 1 races twice and placed and Group 2 and 3 level 7 times. He was also the winner of four Group 3 races while racing for the Turnbull family Down Under.    Tuesday 23rd February Miami Valley Raceway OH Mach Doro A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $7,200   Monticello Raceway NY Ohoka Johnny N – Time: 1:59.0, Stake: $5,600   Pompano Park FL Glenferrie Blade A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $7,500 Lucky Artist A – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $10,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Audi Hare N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $9,500 Our Max Phactor N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $11,000 Ideal Star N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $14,000   Wednesday 24th February Dover Downs DE Anytime N – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $16,000   The Meadows PA Amelias Courage A – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $9,400   Yonkers Raceway NY High Rolling A – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $9,500 Bronze Over N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $11,000   Thursday 25th February Dover Downs DE American Colt N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $13,000   Pompano Park FL Risk N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $4,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Dongal Rundlscrk N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $14,000 Maczaffair N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $17,500 Bontz N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $17,500   Friday 26th February Freehold Raceway NJ Jenora N – Time: 1:57.2, Stake: $4,200 Follow The Wind N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $5,000 Alta Jerome N – Time: 1:57.2, Stake: $3,800   Miami Valley Raceway OH Shards Halo N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $16,200   Yonkers Raceway NY Tom Me Gun N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $9,500 Yankee Roller A – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $14,000   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Sly Eleanor N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $16,000   Saturday 27th February   Freehold Raceway NJ Vergeofgreatness N – Time: 1:57.2, Stake: $4,900 Tisadream N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $7,700   Meadowlands NJ Thatswhatisaid N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $10,000   Miami Valley Raceway OH The Great Buzz N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $11,700   Northfield Park OH Massive Attack A – Time: 1:58.2, Stake: $3,500   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Ivana Flybye N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $26,000     Sunday 28th February     Northfield Park OH Executive Dash N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $6,500   Rosecroft Raceway MD Buckeye N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $7,000   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Joesstar Of Mia A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $6,800 Heez Orl Black N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $7,500   Click here for previous weeks articles   by Carter Dalgety

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Dover, DE - Tiger Thompson N was a 16-1 upset harness racing winner in the Open Pace at Dover Downs on Thursday night. US Captain and driver Mike Cole, raced on an uncontested lead and set fractions of :26.4, :54.4 and 1:23. At the five eights marker,  Slick Tony and Victor Kirby,  launched their bid from fourth and raced 1st up and coverless into a brisk thirty mile per hour wind.  Itsrockandroll A, the even odds favorite, caught a 2nd over journey. Tiger Thompson N and Art Stafford Jr.encountered excess cover on the rim and circled four wide near the three quarters.  Tiger Thompson N  powered by everyone in the stretch and won by a measured length in 1:51 flat.  He paid $35.60 for the win.   Tiger Thompson N is sired by Big Jim and is owned by Nanticoke Racing, Joshua Parker and S. Messick.  Joshua Parker is the trainer. JJ Flynn, who was dead last at the head of the stretch, finished 2nd for trainer Chuck Crissman Jr.  Montrell Teague was the pilot. Itsrockandroll A finished third and is trained by Dylan Davis Corey Callahan was the driver. Racing resumes on Monday at Dover Downs.  Post time is 4:30 pm. For full race results, click here.   by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  
WASHINGTON, PA, March 4, 2021 -- Whiskey Blu stretched his harness racing career unbeaten streak to five with an in-hand victory in Thursday's Dale McConnell Memorial Trot at The Meadows. Massive Stroke took the other $10,000 opening-leg division in the series for 3- and 4-year-old colts, horses and geldings. The event honors the memory of Dale McConnell, who earned the nickname "Mr. Trot" for his success developing and campaigning trotters. Unraced at 2, Whiskey Blu launched his career Jan. 21 and has waltzed through conditions; the Southwind Frank-Kendall Blue gelding has rolled up a combined victory margin of 15-1/4 lengths over those five wins. In the McConnell, Dan Charlino -- his pilot for all five starts -- sent Whiskey Blu to the point at the quarter. He drew away from The Funk late and defeated him by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:56.3. Laramie rallied for show.   Ron Burke trains Whiskey Blu for Burke Racing Stable, Kitefield Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Mary Wohlmuth Memorial Trot Palm Springs and Whom Shall I Love each took a $10,000 opening-leg split of this series for 3- and 4-year-old filly and mare trotters, which commemorates the longtime manager of the 2:00 Club at The Meadows. Hammered down to 2-5, Palm Springs justified the support with a facile front-end score in 1:58 for Dave Palone, trainer Kevin Johnson and owner Richard Briskey. The 4-year-old daughter of Father Patrick-Hot Springs captured her second straight, defeating Elysian Promise and Friday Night Storm. Whom Shall I Love provided the day's tote board theatrics, upsetting at 16-1 with a charge through the Lightning Lane for Aaron Merriman and trainer Charley Myers, who owns the 4-year-old daughter of Whom Shall I Fear-Bars Dutchess with Randy Stevenson, Dana Phillips and James Phillips. She prevailed in 1:57.1, with early leader Wonmyheart Hanover and Graymatter Hanover completing the ticket. In Thursday's $14,600 Open Handicap Pace, Windsong Leo made it two straight for Palone, Burke, and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Phillip Collura. The 9-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding triumphed on the front end in 1:51.1, extending his lifetime bankroll beyond $700,000. Palone collected five wins and Burke three on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Friday, first post 12:45 PM. For full race results, click here. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA
Whether driving a golf ball or driving a harness racing horse, Marianna Monaco knows the thrill of victory. The 25-year-old New Yorker has won a total of eight races as an amateur driver and her share of tournaments as an amateur golfer. In 2017, Monaco captured the New York State Women's Amateur golf championship one year after being the event's runner-up. The past two years, she has won the Women's Dutchess County Amateur. On the racetrack, Monaco got her first win in 2018 in a matinee at Goshen Historic Track. The victory came on her 23rd birthday. She notched her first pari-mutuel triumph last year in the GSY Amateur Series at The Meadowands and finished the season with six wins. Earlier this week, she won a Billings Amateur Series race at Yonkers. It was her first victory at The Hilltop, which is where Monaco and her family spent many nights enjoying the races over the years. As a child, Monaco imagined herself competing at Yonkers and accumulated a collection of whips and other items that numbered in the hundreds. "Growing up there, it was always a dream," said Monaco, a Yonkers native. "Getting a win there was a surreal experience. I was once that kid on the other side of the fence driving my imaginary horse across the wire. It was a thrill." On Friday, Monaco will be back in the GSY Series at The Meadowlands. She is starting from post one with Deerfield Beach and is 10-1 on the morning line. "Hopefully, the race will set up nicely for him and we can come a good last quarter and we should be fine in there," Monaco said. Monaco began jogging horses at a young age. Her father, Nick, owned horses and she had other family members in the business. Her involvement around the barn increased over the years until other sports began to occupy her time. It was fast-pitch travel softball at first, but a trip with her dad to a driving range changed her focus. "The pro asked my dad how long I'd been playing," Monaco said. "My dad said, 'She plays softball, she doesn't play golf.' The pro said, 'There's talent there.' My dad said there wasn't much after college for softball and asked if I wanted to keep playing. From that point on, I was going for golf lessons and practicing. It just stuck with me." Monaco got a full scholarship to play golf at Newberry College, where she was the South Atlantic Conference Freshman of the Year and, as a sophomore, the SAC Player of the Year. She transferred to the University of South Carolina for her final two years and graduated in 2017 with a degree in criminal justice. After finishing her collegiate career, Monaco stepped back from playing golf regularly. That's when driving entered the picture. "It's something I wanted to do," Monaco said. "I just wanted to win a race. I thought I would get that first win and I would be satisfied. But I wasn't. As soon as I got off the bike, I told my dad I wished there was another race because I wanted to get back in the bike again. It's just been something I've kept after." Monaco intends to play more golf this year, possibly with an eye toward turning pro. But she also plans to keep driving on. "I think the driving is more for fun, but as soon as I get off the bike I watch replays to see what I could have done better," Monaco said. "In golf, you can shoot 65 but you can look at the scorecard and say you left a couple shots out there. It's the same with driving; you can win a race, but it's always a learning process. I think that's why I enjoy it a lot. "Most importantly, if a trainer I'm driving for thinks I could have done something differently, I want them to speak up and tell me. That way I can learn from that and go forward. I appreciate that. They're trying to help me learn and be a better driver." In addition to driving, Monaco owns three horses. She trains one of them herself. "I enjoy the atmosphere, being around the animals," Monaco said. "It's something different every day. You see the same horses, but they have different attitudes day to day. I don't think you ever get tired of it. I look forward to seeing them. As much as you make them happy, you're just as happy to walk through the door and see them." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   
MANALAPAN, NJ -- March 4, 2021 -- This is the first time the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of NJ is offering a supplemental payment in March for 3-year-olds who nominated but made no subsequent payments to the Home Grown Pace and the Garden State Trot. Home Grown Pace and Garden State Trot supplemental payments for 2-year-olds not nominated by May 15th and for 3-year-olds who nominated but did not make subsequent payments due March 15th. Both supplemental and sustaining payments must be made in order to remain eligible. Sustaining payment for the New Jersey Trotting Futurity #55 also due March 15th. Visit sboanj.com for the full 2021 Stakes Payment Schedule and Stakes Payment Forms. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ
Loader
Loader
Loader
Loader

Additional Articles