Day At The Track


09:00 PM 26 Apr 2005 NZST
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Rainbow Blue
Rainbow Blue
Fotowon - 2005 Classic Distaff Series

The $345,900 Progress Pace, eight Matron Stakes and the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) 2-Year-Old finals were showcased the opening month of the 2004-2005 season at Dover Downs.

There were also a number of divisional and track records re-written.

Holborn Hanover set a world record for a 3-Year-Old gelding winning the Progress Pace in 1.49.3.

Georgia Pacific set another world record in the Matron 3-Year-Old Gelding $236,314 final win in 1.49.1. It also equalled for the fifth time, the all-time world record over a five-eighths mile oval.

Fast Ruffles sustained a career-ending injury yet still won the $189,225 2-Year-Old Filly Pace in 1.52.4.

Speed Demon recorded a 1.51.4 in the $298,800 Colt Pace.

Strong Yankee excelled in the $204,550 freshman Colt Trot winning in track record time of 1.56.3 while Rainbow Blue set a track record of 1.51 for a sophomore filly in $159,675 final.

Ron Pierce who drove winners of $12-million during the year won four Matron finals. In addition to Rainbow Blue, Pierce also steered both 3-Year-Old trot winners - the Dan Patch award winner Mystical Sunshine in 1.55.4 and Jailhouse Joey to an upset 1.55.2 victory in the $220,075 Filly and 258,214 Colt finals respectively. M&L of Delaware-owned Ladymatic pulled a mild surprise winning the $189,450 freshman Filly Trot in 1.57.4.


Closing week set off racing fireworks on Super Monday, April 18.

Seven Harness Racing Hall of Famers were listed on the outstanding 15-race card.

The headline event, the prestigious Classic Series featuring North America's finest 4-Year-Old and older horses.

Annually, Dover Downs plays host to the first leg of the four-division Classic Series.

Woodbine Racecourse and the Meadowlands host the two other preliminary legs.

There is a $250,000 final in each division July 30 at the Meadowlands.

On the Monday card, in addition to two $85,000 and four $60,000 Classic Series events, also featured were two $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund finals, a $36,000 Preferred, $32,500 Delaware Special, a $28,000 Open, three $17,500 Delaware Winners-Over and a $40,000 Claiming pace.


The total amount of winning purses for the 15-race Super Monday racing boasts horse that have won around $30-million in purses.

Classic Series starters total approximately $20-million alone in purse monies won.

The anticipated Classic Distaff first meeting between 2004 Horse of the Year Rainbow Blue, a winner of $1.3 million after two seasons of racing and 2004 Dan Patch Older Mare Pace winner Loyal Opposition did not materialize due to Loyal Opposition being scratched due to a puss pocket and being sick.


On arguably the finest 15-race program of the early 2005 season, Hall of Famers - John Campbell, Mike Lachance, Ron Waples, Catello Manzi, 2005-electee Ron Pierce and Herve Filion, North America's all-time dash win leader - were listed as drivers and Jim Doherty as trainer, in races on Classic Monday.

In addition, a number of younger horsemen with outstanding credentials, David Miller, Brian Sears, Wally Hennessey, Andy Miller, Eric Ledford, Pat Berry, Trond Smedshammer and Jacquie Ingrassia, one of the sport's most talented women drivers were on the program.


Dover Downs' 130 day 2004-2005 season came to an end on Thursday, April 21 with two $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) 3-Year-Old finals for trotters are on the program.

In addition the Horse of the Meet award was presented to pacer Bobnoxious, trained by Sam Beegle and driven by Tim Curtin, a winner of eight top class events and more than $140-thousand in purses.

Brad Hanners drove 252 wins to break Luc Ouellette's 1998-99 record of 247 wins. Hanners received the Leading Driver of the Meet while for the second time in three seasons, Kevin Lare, with 74 wins, won the Leading Trainer of the Meet awards.


Monday, April 11, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Lt. Gov. John Carney read the official "Rainbow Blue Day in Delaware" proclamation in the winner's circle at Dover Downs following Rainbow Blue's first pari-mutuel start of the season, a 1.53 victory in a $50,000 Invitational for Mare Pacers.

The Delaware harness community pulled out all stops to make the day honouring 2004 Horse of the Year, Rainbow Blue, a memorable one to an overflow crown and those watching via simulcasting. Dover Downs, joined by Harrington Raceway and the Delaware Standardbred Owners Association (DSOA) representing the state's horsemen jointly have collaborated to make it a gala "Rainbow Blue Day" tribute.

In addition a number of Delaware State governmental figures were on hand to congratulate Rainbow Blue, trainer and co-owners George Teague, Brenda Teague, Kevin and Ron Fry.

Special food items were served in the Winner's Circle Dinning Room and track concession stands.

Fans received a slice of a giant cake made in the form of Dover Downs Raceway featured a Rainbow Blue video showing the horse in action.

Other give-away items included a commemorative Rainbow Blue 2004 Horse of the Year mug bearing an action photo; a Rainbow Blue T shirt and a 9"x12" Rainbow Blue colour photo card.

After Rainbow Blue's race, trainer George Teague and driver Ron Pierce signed autographs.


Rainbow Blue really put her foot down in early April and created a colourful "Rainbow Blue Artwork" that was raffled-off on Rainbow Blue Day at Dover Downs.

Heather Vitale and Horse Lovers United, Inc., a Delmarva group caring for and placing unwanted and retired horses conducted a raffle.

Horseman Chad Hall won the 16"x 20" canvas painted by Rainbow Blue (Her hoof was dipped into various coloured paints and Rainbow Blue did the rest spreading vivid colours in a Picasso-like modernistic vogue over the canvas in the one-of-a-kind painting.


Also on the Classic Series card were two Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) $100,000 finals for 3-Year-Old colt and filly pacers and trotters.

Both 2004 2-Year-Old champions, Valerin K and Bayland Lady, returned to defend their freshman crowns, but Bayland Lady did not make it to the 2005 final at Dover Downs.

Valerin K, owned by KDK Standardbreds, set a DSBF record winning his final in 1.52.2 while Vityl Flyte, owned by Peggy Martin, dominated the filly final with a 1.52.3 record win.


On Thursday, April 21, season closing day, the 3-Year-Old trotting colts and trotting fillies race in $100,000 finals.

Command Of Heart, with Al Stafford Junior driving for Diana Harrison, won the Colt final in 2.00.2 while Go Sassy Go, owned by Delbert Cain, driven by George Dennis, went even faster in 1.58.2.


Dover Downs hosted a free seminar on the basics of buying a harness racehorse on Sunday, April 17.

Sixteen interested people were treated to instructional materials, a subscription to the sport's monthly Hoof Beats magazine plus a $25 credit on the U.S. Trotting Association's (USTA)

Pathway database as well as learn about costs, risks, rewards, the selection of a trainer and choosing a racehorse. Insight and pointers are trainers George Teague, Dr. William Moffett, Erika Paradee and Ed Howard. Judy Davis-Wilson, Executive Director of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) and Harness Racing Communication (HRC), a wing of the U.S. Trotting Association were responsible for the seminar, co-sponsored by the Delaware Standardbred Owners Association (DSOA) and Hanover Shoe Farms.


Crew Cut Zach, at 10-Years-Old, became the sport's latest millionaire on April 11.

Two weeks before, his 1.51.3 victory was only one fifth of a second off his lifetime best.

Trained by Bobby Clark his entire career, Crew Cut Zach was bred and is owned by Gary and Barbara Iles of Middletown, Del.


There were a number of extended win-streaks during the season. At meet's end,

llraessignofglory boasted the longest of the season, eight wins in a row and nine

f his last 10 races.


Five drivers had a three-figure win total.

Brad Hanners, Dover Downs all-time one season dash-win champion outdistanced rivals with 252 wins. Jim Morand, winner of the previous two season, finished second with 195 wins. Steve Warrington is third winning 129 races. Ross Wolfenden, fourth, with 125 victories and Eddie Davis Junior is fifth with 103 wins.


Kevin Lare finished with the second highest total by a trainer, 75 wins.

Lare set the track all-time record of 99 wins in the 2002-2003 season. Steve LeBlanc was second with 62. Previous season champion, Josh Green haltered 58 winners. Chuck Crissman ranked fourth with 53. George Teague holds fifth place with 43 wins.


George Teague had the highest UTRS ranking for trainers started at least 75 horses during the meet.

Dan Warrington was runner up with a .408 average. Bobby Glassmeyer is in third place with a .391 percentage. Nick Callahan is fourth with .381. Josh Green was fifth with a .350 rating. Among trainers with fewer than 75 starters but more than 40, Greg Callahan has a .510 rating, Brad Hanners, .422, Brandon Givens, 413, Paul Davis .373 and Steve Warrington, .361.


The Dover Downs meet boasts one of the highest average win payoffs in racing.

Through the 2004-2005 season, the average win-payoff is $11.73, with the median price of $7.40. Exacta payoffs averaged $69.63 with a median of $38.60. Trifectas returned an average of $512.08 with the median price of $203.20. There were 461 superfectas with an average return of $2,68.46 and a median of $1248.90.


Claiming which was up all season dipped in April and finished with 338 horses being claimed.

The average price of a claimed horse during the 130 sessions, $22,937, was slightly higher than the previous and record season. In 2003-2004, 367 horses changed hands via claiming for an average of $22,412.


The 2004 season marked the first time a Delaware-owned horse ranks among the top 10 horses in the sport.

Rainbow Blue completed the season ranked Number One in the Hambletonian Society/HRC weekly poll.

Voters also rated another Delaware-owned horse in the top 10 balloting. Quik Pulse Mindale, owned by Lloyd Arnold of Hartly, Del. finished ninth in the year-end balloting.

Courtesy Of Marv Bachrad, Publicity Director, Dover Downs

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