Day At The Track

Dover Downs Extra 1-12-17

10:50 PM 13 Jan 2017 NZDT
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Heather Vitale, harness racing
Heather Vitale will host the awards ceremonies
Nadina Ironia Photo

On Friday, the 13th, the biggest social night for Delaware harness racing people is on, when Delaware Standardbred Owners Association (DSOA) presents its Annual Meeting at `10:30 a.m. at Dover Holiday Inn and then shifts to nearby Modern Maturity Center for its popular Awards Dinner begins with the cocktail hour at 5:45 p.m. Following dinner at 7 p.m. Heather Vitale will host the awards ceremonies celebrating the horsemen and horses highlights of 2016 at Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway. The evening is completed when "Mike Hines and the Look" entertain with music and dancing starting at 9 p.m.

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Coming up on Saturday, Jan. 28, Canada presets its Black Tie 2016 O'Brien Awards in Mississauga, Ont. The classy banquet theme this year is the 250th anniversary of horse racing in Canada."

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Next month, the annual highlight of the Winter banquet season comes on Sunday, Feb. 26 at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, Nevada with the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA) Night of Champions honoring the 2016 Dan Patch Awards winners. For more information, check www.ushwa.org .

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George Teague will be honored with a number of prestigious awards for 2016 at several banquets in Las Vegas. Early in the week,Teague has been named Harness Horsemen International's (HHI) major award, "The Dominic Frinzi Person of the Year." In addition to conditioning 1,631 winners who earned $35-million to date, Teague will be honored for graciously allowing the public to meet and greet his great pacer, 2015 Horse of the Year, Wiggle It Jiggleit, several times during 2016 ,all to help promote harness racing. On Sunday, Feb. 26, the U.S.Harness Writers Association will honor Teague, who becomes the first person honored for a second time as its "Good Guy" award winner. Team Teague gets the sport's second highest honor, The Stan Bergstein Proximity Award or service to the sport. For ticket and hotel arrangements consult www.ushwa.org .

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The hot horses in early January at Dover Downs are Ed Gannon and Yannick Gingras' Vintage Babe, a winner of her last five starts. Two of trainer Bryan Tuitt Stable's young horses are streaking. Enhance Your Mind has won 3 in-a-row and 6 of her last 7 races. Meanwhile, Sonny At the beach won his third in-a-row on Thursday. Ralbar, conditioned by Ron Davis won his second straight and 6th win in his last 7 starts. JL Wonder Woman, owned by Vic Kirby and Matt Ivory, has won 4 of his last 5.

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Starting with Monday's racing card, Dover Downs will display several new wagers on it daily program. For the first time , the track is changing the Pick 4 to a $.50 (50 cents) wager. In addition to changing the base price, an additional $.50 Pick 4 will be added and scheduled for Races 12,13,14 and15. Two Pick 3's will also be added - the first starting in Race 2 and later with Race 13. Finally, a Superfecta is being added to Race 14. As part of the changes, Dover Downs will be carding the 12th and 14th race with 9-horses.Beginning on Mondy, Jan. 16, all these changes will be offered Monday through Thursday racing programs.

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On Tuesday, Jan.10 at Dover Downs, of the 15 races, 13 of the winning horses set new lifetime speed records.

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Vic Kirby is back on top of the leading driver standings after emerging from a tie las week with Tim Tetrick. Kirby topped off a good week and now leads the win stats with 74 wins. Red-hot defending champion Corey Callahan has vaulted into second place with 65 winners. Yannick Gingras, is third with 58 wins. The vacationing Tim Tetrick is now fourth with 56 trips to the winner's circle. Tony Morgan completes the top 5 with 46 wins.

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Jim King continues atop the leading trainer stats with 44 winners. Josh Green and Joe Hundertpund are tied for second place , each with 23. Leigh Raymer and defending champ Dylan Davis are tied for fourth with 22 wins.

Marv Bachrad

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