Day At The Track


01:41 AM 02 Aug 2007 NZST
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Adrian Chip pounced off a pocket trip to win his Hambletonian elimination in 1:54.2. Driven and trained by Robert Bergh, Adrian Chip will try to become the second Swedish horse in six years to win the most prestigious event in harness racing.

In 2001, Scarlet Knight followed the same path to Hambletonian glory for driver-trainer and racing photographer Stefan Melander.

Although foaled in southern Ohio, Adrian Chip spent his sophomore season in Sweden until the Hambletonian eliminations.

As a two-year-old, Adrian Chip raced in the United States and Canada under the tutelage of trainer Per Henriksen. He was exported to Sweden late in 2006, when he was bought by NHL star Peter Forsberg, who races as Forspro AB of Domsjo, Sweden.

“He had only raced at the mile distance once this year and that was his only loss, but that didn’t worry me,” Bergh said.

“That was at Solvalla [the track in Stockholm, Sweden] in late May, and he wasn’t quite in top condition. I knew that, but I wanted to race him that day. He’s been racing at longer distances [2100 meters or about 1 5/16-mile], but I was confident he’d have the speed for the mile.

"He was very good in his last start in Norway [in the Ulf Thoresen Memorial]. I knew he was in top form. My only worry was how the quarantine conditions affected him. It’s not good for a horse. I’d like to get him on to a farm where he can go out in the paddock each day. That’s his routine.”

“Adrian Chip raced without shoes in front in the elimination heat,” Bergh continued.

“That is probably how I will race him in the final. It was most important to me in the eliminations to give him a nice race and that’s what happened.”

Robert Bergh is a top driver and trainer in Sweden. He is making his Hambletonian debut. Bergh has an impressive web site for his stable: [in Swedish].

Peter Forsberg, 34, has had a prolific career in the National Hockey League, playing with the Colorado Avalanche, with whom he won the 1996 and 2001 Stanley Cups, and most recently with the Philadelphia Flyers.

He is currently a free agent. Born in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, Forseberg is the son of Kent Forsberg, former coach for Sweden’s MODO Hockey club and the Swedish national team.

Forsberg and his father own a Swedish development company named Forspro Company, which helped fund the MODO Hockey team's new Swedbank Arena in Örnsköldsvik. They also own a company, Pforce AB, that imports and markets Crocs shoes in his native Sweden.

One of Forsberg’s most notable North American performers was the late Swedish trotting millionaire Tsar D'Inverne, who competed in the 2004 Maple Leaf Trot in Canada. He won his elimination and finished second in the final. Forsberg is making his Hambletonian debut.

The tale of how Adrian Chip came into Forsberg’s possession is certainly far from what one would expect.

It was not a pricey purchase at the yearling sale by a professional athlete with a hefty checkbook, but rather by way of Amish country, a want ad and a German connection.

The horse was bred by Junior Yutzy, a 28-year-old Amish man from Ohio, who began breeding and selling standardbreds in order to help pay his bills.

Yutzy, who manufactures wood pallets, placed a want ad for the horse and was answered by a German man, Ernst Gerbaulet of Recklinghausen.

After racing the colt in Canada and the United States last year under the care of Per Henriksen, Recklinghausen sold him privately to Peter Forsberg and the horse was exported to Sweden.


OWNER: Forspro AB [Peter Forsberg, et al], Domsjo, Sweden

BREEDER: Junior Yutzy , West Union , OH

SALE INFO: Homebred, Private transfer to Ernst and Silvia Gerbaulet, February 1, 2006; Private transfer to Forspro AB, December 10, 2006

TRAINER: Robert Bergh

DRIVER: Robert Bergh

Adrian Chip -- Bay colt, 3 by Andover Hall-My Favorite Chip-Pine Chip


2007 -- 6 -- 5 -- 1 -- 0 -- $167,519 -- 1:54.2 M

2006 -- 9 -- 5 -- 3 -- 1 -- $162,034 -- 1:55.3 DD

LIFETIME -- 15 -- 10 -- 4 -- 1 -- $329,553 -- 1:54.2 M



In his Hambletonian elimination, Donato Hanover moved for the lead off the gate and dominated throughout the mile to capture his 12th straight victory by a length in a career best time of 1:53.1.

“We wanted to use him a little more today than we had been. So I coasted to the front, 27.2, I let him trot down the back, 55.3,” driver Ron Pierce said after the elimination victory.

“Then we coasted around the last turn, I asked him to go a little into the lane. He was doing it all on his own. I tapped the wheel disk and that’s something I never done with him before.

"Then I touched him on the tail with the whip, and he didn’t like it very much. We would have been better off if I hadn’t done that. [Have we seen him extending?] No not at all.

"We stretched him out a little bit today but maybe we should have went a little more. He’ll be fine. She’s [Pampered Princess] a sweetheart. She’s a great filly. She’s going to have her hands full, and we’re going to have our hands full.”

“Absolutely nothing [will change about his training schedule],” trainer Steve Elliott said. “Seems to me he’s been pretty good all along. Not sure we just need a lot of luck and no bad luck. [The Hambo] can’t come soon enough.”

“He’s been racing in front, but he’s actually better when he races from behind,” Elliott said.

“He loves to chase down other horses. He doesn’t have to race in front. He’s been the favorite, but I don’t think that the odds should dictate how you race a horse. If you have a horse that can’t take any air and he’s 1-9, do you want to put him in front and wind up looking like an idiot?

"Everyone says that Donato hasn’t really been tested yet, and I’d have to agree with that, but I’ve tested him in training.”

Donato Hanover is undefeated in four starts this year and has won overall 12 for 13.

His only loss was his career debut where he finished third. He already has captured this year his elimination and $400,000 final of the Stanley Dancer and the $85,000 Dickerson, all at the Meadowlands.

At two, Donato Hanover won the $55,875 Harriman Cup at the Meadowlands, the elimination and $456,000 Peter Haughton Final at the Meadowlands, a $82,800 division of the Bluegrass at the Red Mile, a $79,500 division of the International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile and his elimination and $600,000 Breeders Crown Final at Woodbine.

After his impressive performance last year, Donato Hanover was voted the Dan Patch Award as the 2006 Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year.

Donato Hanover was the second foal from the Donerail mare D Train, whose first foal is the world champion and multiple stakes winner Here Comes Herbie, who finished sixth in last year’s Hambletonian.

Donato Hanover future is already assured. Hanover Shoe Farms announced last year an agreement to syndicate the son of Andover Hall, who also stands at the legendary Pennsylvania nursery. There are 120 shares in the $6 million syndication. Twenty-two individuals and farms bought them.

Trainer Steve Elliott, 53 [November 4, 1953] from Englishtown, New Jersey was born in Detroit Michigan. He got his start with his cousin Dave Elliott, and made a name for himself when he won the 1987 Woodrow Wilson with Even Odds.

In 1988, Elliott was named the US Harness Writers’ Association Trainer of the Year, the same year he campaigned the Two-Year-Old Trotter of the Year, Valley Victory, who went on to be one of the top trotting sires in the sport. Valley Victory was expected to take on the filly Peace Corps in the 1989 Hambletonian but was scratched and retired because of a virus.

David Scharf [43] of New York, New York, has a Juris Doctor degree from Fordham Law School but does not practice law.

He currently works for Hedge Fund Co. Scharf first took an interest in horse racing at Roosevelt Raceway. He claimed his first horse, Flash Jack N, at the age of 18. He was part of partnerships that owned the 1999 Hambletonian winner, Self Possessed and ENS Snapshot who finished seventh in 2002.

Paul Bordogna [Golden Touch Stable, 58] is a real estate portfolio manager who resides Fair Lawn, New Jersey. He has been teamed up with trainer Steve Elliott for more than 20 years and owned standout Riverboat King.

He and Scharf have been partners on many horses. “David picked this one out,” Bordogna said of Donato Hanover. “He made me go look at him before the sale. I would say he’s not our typical purchase, but he has turned out to be a great one.”

Steve Arnold, 51, along with his wife Robin Finder, resides in Purchase, New York. He has been in the industry for the past 20 years. His father-in-law, Morton Finder, owned Pine Hollow Stud Farm, and was part of the syndicate that owned 1980 Meadowlands Pace winner Niatross. Steven’s cousin is trainer Jerry Silverman.

Bordogna and Arnold are making their Hambletonian debut.

Driver Ron Pierce, 51, a native of Livermore, California who now lives in Clarksburg, New Jersey, was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2005. Pierce was the Driver of the Year in 2004 when he won a career-high 395 races and led North America with $12.3 million in purses. Career, he has won 6,326 races, earning $126 million.

Pierce is racing in his tenth Hambletonian. He won the 1993 Hambletonian with American Winner, and finished second with Like a Prayer in 2002 and Classic Photo in 2005.


OWNER: (Lessees) David Scharf, New York, NY, Golden Touch Stables [Paul Bordogna], Fair Lawn, NJ and Steven Arnold, Purchase, NY

BREEDER: Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. Hanover, PA

SALE INFO: $95,000 Standardbred Horse Sale, Harrisburg, PA

TRAINER: Steve Elliott

DRIVER: Ron Pierce

Donato Hanover -- Bay colt, 3 by Andover Hall-D Train-Donerail


2007 -- 4 -- 4 -- 0 -- 0 -- $295,000 -- 1:53.1 M

2006 -- 9 -- 8 -- 0 -- 1 -- $662,587 -- 1:55 M

LIFETIME -- 13 -- 12 -- 0 -- 1 -- $957, 587 -- 1:53.1 M



Don’t Blink Twice finished third in his Hambletonian elimination race, which was won by Adrian Chip in 1:54.2. Don’t Blink Twice was beaten by three lengths and timed in 1:55. He was driven by Tim Tetrick, who also drove filly Pampered Princess to victory in her elim.

“He raced awesome,” trainer Jimmy Takter said.

“Tim said he’s so green he wasn’t sure what to do out there. He’s got so much speed, this horse. This raced helped him a lot mentally. It’s hard for a horse to come into his three-year-old season that was so lightly raced and be a man right away.

"He was a little headstrong and tough to be around, but he’s started to settle down. This was the first time he sat in a hole, and I was very pleased to see that.”

Don’t Blink Twice is a half brother to Blur, who lost the 2005 Hambletonian Oaks by a nose to Jalopy. She won the Breeders Crown, Elegantimage and Matron en route to the Dan Patch Award as Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year.

Last year, Don’t Blink Twice won a division of the Tompkins-Geers at Tioga Downs in New York .

Jimmy Takter won the 1997 Hambletonian with Malabar Man. He has Pampered Princess and Don’t Blink Twice in this year’s race, marking his seventh straight year with at least one finalist.

Three Takter-trained fillies have won the Hambletonian Oaks: Passionate Glide in 2006, Southwind Allaire in 2003, and Gleam in 1994.

Takter, 46, of East Windsor, NJ is a native of Sweden. He followed his father, trainer Bo W. Takter, into harness racing and has been working around horses since he was five.

In addition to Malabar Man, he is best known for his work with two-time Horse of the Year Moni Maker, who was the sport’s richest horses [$5.5 million] when she retired in 2000.

Other standouts have included Armbro Prowess, Kadabra, Cabrini Hanover, Ken Warkentin, Solveig, and Tom Ridge. Takter was honored as Trainer of the Year in 1996 and 2000 by the U.S. Harness Writers Association.

George Segal’s Brittany Farms of Versailles, KY, was named Owner of the Year last season.

Brittany Farms bred and co-owned 2006 Hambletonian winner Glidemaster and Hambletonian Oaks champ Passionate Glide. Brittany Farms also bred and co-owned 1999 Hambletonian winner Self Possessed.

The farm bred 1996 winner Continentalvictory. Segal, a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and a director of the Hambletonian Society, was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1997.

Leah Cheverie of Versailles, KY, has been the farm office manager at Brittany Farms since 1986 and is married to Art Zubrod, the farm’s manager.

Riverview Farms is Myron and Stephanie Bell of North Bergen, NJ. Myron Bell is the racing manager for Brittany Farms.

Milton and Martha Frank are a husband and wife lawyer-accountant team from Fair Lawn, NJ. They co-owned two starters in the 2003 Hambletonian; favorite Power To Charm finished fifth and Muscle King went off stride and finished last.

John Fodera of Staten Island, NY, is the principal at St. Peter’s High School for Boys. He is among the owners of Boulder Creek, the 2005 Older Male Pacer of the Year who has made $3 million lifetime.

Brittany Farms, Cheverie, the Franks and Fodera are part of the ownership group of Tell All, who won the $1.4 million North America Cup in June and was second in the Meadowlands Pace on July 14.

Fred Mansoor of Toronto is the CEO of Star Quality Office Furniture Mfg. Ltd.

David Miller may pick up the drive on Don’t Blink Twice in the Hambletonian Final.

David Miller, a 41-year-old native of Columbus, Ohio, joined the Meadowlands drivers’ colony in 1999 and was leading driver for the 2002 and 2003 fall meets and shared his first January-August leading driver title with Luc Ouellette in 2003.

In 2003 he teamed with eventual Horse of the Year No Pan Intended. Miller guided the three-year-old colt to victories in the Triple Crown of Pacing and the Breeders Crown en route to $1.4 million in earnings. Miller was voted the United States Harness Writers Association’s Driver of the Year in 2003.

Miller comes from a harness racing family - his father Donny and grandfather Clyde both had public stables. Miller first started driving in 1981 and had his first million-dollar season in 1992.

Miller is making his fifth appearance in the Hambletonian Final. His previous drives were: Malabar Millennium [sixth] in 2003, Eilean Donon [tenth] in 2004, Mr Dream OM [sixth] in 2005 and Capetown Hall [ninth] in 2006.


OWNER: Don’t Blink Partners, Versailles, KY [Leah Cheverie, John Fodera, Martha Frank, Milton Frank, Fred Mansoor, Brittany Farms, Riverview Farms]

BREEDER: Jason Goldstein, Amanda Goldstein, Hewlett Harbor, NY

SALE INFO: $100,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, Harrisburg, PA

TRAINER: Jimmy Takter

DRIVER: David Miller


2007 -- 7 -- 0 -- 1 -- 1 -- $21,787 -- Q1:55.1M

2006 -- 8 -- 3 -- 0 -- 0 -- $20,290 -- 1:59.3TgDn

LIFETIME -- 15 -- 3 -- 1 -- 1 -- $42,077 -- Q1:55.1M

Meadowlands Media Relations Department

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