Day At The Track

Marvin Raber romps in Billings West Final

02:14 PM 26 Oct 2013 NZDT
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Harness racing R Big Ben, harness racing Marvin Raber, harness racing
Winners’ Circle following the Mary McCune Memorial Trot
Rachel Kaneoka and R Big Ben win the Mary McCune Memorial
Marvin Raber drives Tabulator to a 17 length romp

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 25, 2013 — Tabulator was so wound up while scoring down that it took both trainer/driver Marvin Raber and Parade Marshal Missy Rothfuss to control him. But once Raber was able to redirect that energy to the matter at hand, the result was amazing — a 17-length victory for “Marvelous Marvin” and Tabulator in Friday’s $10,000 C.K.G. Billings West Final at The Meadows.

Tabulator ripped off a string of front-end victories at The Meadows early this year but wasn’t on top at any point in his last two starts.

“He’s been jogging good, and I’ve been swimming him a lot because of some soundness issues,” said Raber, who conditions the 4-year-old Cantab Hall-Mystical Taya gelding for Bert Dale Hershberger. “Now, he’s really good. Sometimes he quits at the end, but today he went right on. He gets fired up behind the gate.”

Tabulator scored in a career-best 1:56.2 while “Trader” Bud Hatfield and GJ Photo Victory won the war of the weary for place. “Lawbook Larry” Farley and Rewrite The Rules saved show.

The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association sponsored a “Pink Out” Friday to raise breast cancer awareness as well as funds for the Magee Women’s Hospital Foundation in Pittsburgh. The event included a $5,000 trot, featuring nine female drivers, that honored the late Mary McCune, who recently was named to the inaugural class of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Hall of Fame.

Rachel Kaneoka captured the event, piloting R Big Ben to victory in 2:00.2 and helping him snap his 48-race losing streak over two seasons. Devan Miller (Earl’s Glider) was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Cherie Keith (Red Falkor) third.

Scott U’ren conditions R Big Ben, an 8-year-old British Sterling-Gracious Pleasure gelding, for Debbie U’ren. Also participating were drivers Joelene Christman, Leslie Zendt, Sharon Donella, Kathryn Hawk, Danita Harvey and Nikki Harvey.

The action-packed card also included two $18,000 Preferred Handicap events. In the race for filly and mare pacers, Sissy Bar scored a 16-1 shocker by pouring through the Lightning Lane and downing Pink Camo by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52.4, matching her lifetime best. Early leader Darena Hanover was third. Eric Ledford drove the 7-year-old daughter of Aces N’ Sevens-Ocean Beach for owner/trainer Tyler Nostadt.

In the companion feature for filly and mare trotters, Victory Is Coming made it two straight for Mike Wilder by exploiting a pocket trip and prevailing in 1:56. The rallying Trotslikethewind was second, missing by 1/2 length, while the first-over Jesse’s Messenger earned show. Ammon Hershberger trains Victory Is Coming, a 6-year-old daughter of Victory Sam-Norse Comer who now boasts $416,795 in career earnings, for Betty Shaw and John Red Shaw.

by Evan Pattak for The Meadows


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