Day At The Track

Cane Pace and more on Hambletonian undercard

06:43 AM 05 Aug 2017 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Nike Franco N
Nike Franco N is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in the $200,400 Lady Liberty
Lisa Photo

Harness racing trainer Ron Burke and his fellow owners of male pacer R J P were pleased with the horse's first performance for the stable when he finished fourth in his Adios elimination July 22 and even happier when he was third in the final last weekend behind Fear The Dragon and Huntsville.

They hope for another surge of good feelings Saturday when R J P races in the $334,325 Cane Pace for 3-year-olds at the Meadowlands. The race, which features a 12-horse field going the extended distance of 1-1/8 miles, is the first jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown.

R J P is 5-1 on the morning line, behind favorite Huntsville at 9-5 and supplemental entry Downbytheseaside at 3-1.

"With him racing for the third week in a row, we're just hoping he's getting tighter and keeps getting better," Burke said. "We bought him because he was eligible to the Adios, but he's a big, good-looking horse that hadn't been over-raced. Those kinds of horses don't become available very often. It was nice to pick up a horse like that."

Burke shares ownership of R J P with the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Jack Piatt II, and the partnership of Purnel Jones Jr. and Elizabeth Jones. The group purchased R J P, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Vysoke Tatry, from the stable of trainer Erv Miller on July 12.

R J P has won three of 18 career races and earned $160,210. He won a division of the Bluegrass Stakes last year.

In the Cane Pace, he will again see Huntsville, who has won six of nine races this year and was the 2016 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. Huntsville, the Ray Schnittker-trained Meadowlands Pace champion, is the No. 2-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll and his three losses were second-place finishes to No. 1 Fear The Dragon.

Downbytheseaside, trained by Brian Brown, has won five of eight races this year. He finished second by a head to Huntsville in the Meadowlands Pace and was third behind Fear The Dragon and Huntsville in the North America Cup. His wins include the Art Rooney Pace.

The remainder of the field is Chip Walther, Art Scene, Lawrencetown Beach, Photobombr Hanover, Uffizi, Mac's Jackpot, Filibuster Hanover and second-tier starters Ocean Colony and Santafe's Coach. Lawrencetown Beach and Filibuster Hanover also are from the Burke stable.

"(R J P) is kind of a trip horse on the big track," Burke said, "so he's going to need a little bit of a battle to set up."

Burke has 17 horses racing on Saturday's Hambletonian Day card, including three in the day's main event, the $1.2 million Hambletonian Stakes. Burke, who finished second with filly Mission Brief in the 2015 Hambletonian and second by a nose with Southwind Frank in last year's event, will send out What The Hill, Southwind Cobra, and Southwind Woody in the hopes of hoisting the trophy for the first time.

"It's kind of different this year because I don't have the favorite, but mine also aren't coming in with problems," Burke said. "They seem like everything is good with them. I have a feeling they're going to be as good as they can be. The question is whether that's good enough."

Following is a brief look at some of Saturday's remaining stakes action at the Meadowlands. Racing begins at noon and the Sam McKee Memorial, Hambletonian Oaks and Hambletonian air live from 4-5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

$113,950 Shady Daisy (Race 2)

Idyllic Beach, last year's Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female pacer, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in a group of six that includes supplemental entries Blazin Britches and Ella Christina. Jimmy Takter-trained Idyllic Beach heads to the race off a second-place finish in the Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands.

Blazin Britches, the 2-1 second choice from the Brian Brown stable, and Nick Surick's Ella Christina were Adioo Volo division winners on July 29 at The Meadows. The remainder of the field is Sister's Delight, Awash and Caviart Ally.

$176,250 John R. Steele Memorial (Race 3)

Hannelore Hanover, last year's Dan Patch Award winning trotting mare, is back to defend her crown in the Steele Memorial, formerly known as the Fresh Yankee. The Ron Burke trainee is the 7-5 morning-line favorite in a field of nine older female trotters. She won this season's Armbro Flight Stakes and enters off a second-place finish to JL Cruze in the Spirit of Massachusetts.

Luc Blais-trained Emoticon Hanover is the 4-1 second choice followed by Takter's Swedish-bred Pasithea Face at 5-1. The rest of the field is Caprice Hill, Earn Your Wings, Jewels In Hock, Broadway Donna, Non Stick, and Barn Doll.

$360,650 Peter Haughton Memorial (Race 4)

Takter sends six horses to the Haughton, which is for 2-year-old male trotters, led by 2-1 morning-line choice You Know You Do. Julie Miller-trained Met's Hall is the 4-1 second pick followed at 5-1 by Takter's Samo Different Day, who won his Haughton elimination by a half-length over Met's Hall in 1:54.2.

The remainder of the field is Farsetti Hanover, Hill Street, Fashion Forever, Captain Morgan, Storming Mist, Maxus, and Bautista.

$330,800 Jim Doherty Memorial (Race 5)

Takter has the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the Doherty, for 2-year-old female trotters, in undefeated Manchego. The filly is 4-for-4. Trond Smedshammer-trained Phaetosive, who is 2-for-2 and won her elimination by seven lengths in 1:53.1, is the 4-1 second choice and Mark Harder's Lily Stride is next at 5-1.

The rest of the finalists are Vivacious Allie, Follow Streak, Top Expectations, Dab Hanover, Supergirl Riley, Front Circle, and Bella Glos.

$303,050 John Cashman Memorial (Race 6)

A field of 12, led by last year's Hambletonian and Trotting Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder, will go the extended distance of 1-1/8 miles. Marion Marauder, trained by Paula Wellwood, enters off wins in the Graduate Series championship and Hambletonian Maturity. He is the 5-2 morning-line favorite.

Ake Svanstedt-trained Resolve is 4-1 and Burke's Crazy Wow is 5-1. The rest of the field is JL Cruze, Wings Of Royalty, Rubber Duck, Dayson, Flanagan Memory, Musical Rhythm, Lookslikeachpndale, and second-tier starters Rose Run Parker and Obrigado.

Obrigado, last year's Dan Patch Award winning older male trotter, and Flanagan Memory, last year's Breeders Crown Open Trot champion, are previous winners of the Cashman.

$224,400 Sam McKee Memorial (Race 11)

Mel Mara aims for his first stakes win of the season and is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in a field of 11 older male pacers going 1-1/8 miles. Mel Mara, trained by Dylan Davis, was second in the Ben Franklin Pace and enters the race off a win in the preferred handicap at the Meadowlands.

William Haughton Memorial winner Mach It So is the 7-2 second choice from the stable of Jeff Bamond Jr. and Steve Elliott's Boston Red Rocks, the runner-up in the Haughton and Graduate Series championship, is next at 9-2.

The rest of the field is Rock N' Roll World, All Bets Off, Dude's The Man, Check Six, Lyons Snyder, Wakizashi Hanover, Rockeyed Optimist and second-tier starter Dealt A Winner.

$200,400 Lady Liberty (Race 15)

Golden Girls winner Nike Franco, from the stable of Jo Ann Looney-King, is the 6-5 morning-line favorite. The New Zealand-bred mare headlines a field of eight older female pacers that also includes Takter-trained Pure Country, the 4-1 second choice, and Patrick Lachance's Penpal, who is 5-1.

The remainder of the field is Call Me Queen Be, Medusa, Frost Damage Blues, Blue Moon Stride, and Shesjustadelight.

Ken Weingartner

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: