Day At The Track

Harness racing notebook with Ken Weingartner

07:30 AM 23 May 2014 NZST
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Shebestingin, harness racing
Shebestingin has won 17 of 25 career races and $724,102
Lisa Photo

Trainer Joe Holloway's top two female pacers will be in action Sunday in Pennsylvania, but at different tracks.

Shebestingin is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the $250,000 Betsy Ross Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon and Somwherovrarainbow is the 5-2 choice in the $25,000 Mares Preferred at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Sunday night.

Holloway would have preferred to see both 4-year-old mares in the Betsy Ross, but was limited to one starter. Shebestingin and driver John Campbell will start from post eight in the eight-horse Betsy Ross field.

The remainder of the field, in post order, is Drop The Ball, Rocklamation, Jerseylicious, Monkey On My Wheel, Anndrovette, JK Letitgo, and Yagonnakissmeornot.

"I have the eight hole, but I don't know what would be a good post position with the way the race might unfold," Holloway said. "John will work out a trip. To me, I know she's the best in the race. As long as we get a trip we'll be fine."

Shebestingin has won 17 of 25 career races and $724,102. This year, she has won twice in three starts, including a track-record 1:50.4 triumph in the Chip Noble Memorial at Miami Valley Raceway on May 4. Last week, she finished second to Jerseylicious in the fillies and mares free-for-all handicap at the Meadowlands. The winning time was 1:50.1 over a sloppy track.

"She's the kind of horse that needs to train a bit more, needs to get a little tight," said Holloway, who trains Shebestingin for Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, and L&L DeVisser. "She's finally getting there. She didn't race as well last week but it was teeming down rain. She is a bit of a diva, she has her quirks, and she didn't really like the heavy rain at the time. She was pacing along just fine. There was nothing really wrong."

Somwherovrarainbow, who has won five of seven races this year and earned $266,750 for owners Ted Gewertz and Diamond Creek Racing, will start from post seven in a seven-horse field at Pocono Downs. Tim Tetrick will drive.

The remainder of the field, in post order, is American In Paris, Scandalous Hanover, Continual Velocity, Krispy Apple, Show Runner, and Feeling You.

Somwherovrarainbow is coming off a win in the fillies and mares free-for-all handicap at the Meadowlands on May 9. Both of Holloway's mares are scheduled to head to the Roses Are Red Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack following Sunday's action. The Roses Are Red eliminations are June 7 and the final is June 14.

"I think I have two of the best fillies in the country and only one of them will get to race (in the Betsy Ross)," Holloway said. "I wanted to find a start for (Somwherovrarainbow) between now and next Friday because we can't go a month without racing before the Roses Are Red."


Two $40,000 eliminations for the Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old pacers are on Saturday's card at Yonkers Raceway, with Dan Patch Award-winner He's Watching leading the list of hopefuls.

He's Watching, who was voted the best 2-year-old male pacer of 2013, is undefeated in eight career races. His Rooney elim, the first of the two divisions, will be his seasonal debut. He has three wins at Yonkers, including the New York Sire Stakes championship in his 2013 finale.

The 3-5 favorite in his elim, He's Watching and driver Jim Morrill Jr. will start from post two. The rest of the field is Unlocked, Forty Five Red, Gold Rocks, Bondi Hanover, and Stevensville.

"He's right where I want him to be," trainer Dave Menary told Yonkers' Frank Drucker earlier this week. "We're looking forward to coming back (Yonkers). He loves the track and we're anxious to have him start the season.

"He's muscular, with heart and stamina. I've never seen a horse dig through the ground the way he does."

Menary owns He's Watching with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust.

The second Rooney elimination features 4-5 favorite All Bets Off from the stable of trainer Ron Burke. The rest of the field is Ideal Fashion, Some Playa, Thereisapaceforus, and Maxi Bon.

Also on Saturday's card are two $20,000 eliminations for the Lismore Pace for 3-year-old fillies. Burke's Southwind Silence is the 3-5 favorite in the first division, which also includes It Was Fascination, Bettor Business, A Little Starstruk, and Palm Beach. Casie Coleman's Also Encouraging is the 3-5 favorite in the second split, which also has Tyra, JK Molly, Gentlemens Delight, and Rusty's Bliss.

The top four finishers from all the eliminations advance to their respective finals. The $300,000 Art Rooney Pace final and $124,744 Lismore Pace final are May 31.


He's Watching is the early favorite to win the Meadowlands Pace, according to Big M morning line oddsmaker Darin Zoccali, who has the colt at 3-1.

Several other horses in the Top 15 also will be in action this weekend.

Ron Burke-trained JK Endofanera, who is No. 2 in the Meadowlands Pace odds at 4-1, is the favorite in his division of the Historic-Pocono Cup on Saturday at Pocono Downs. His Pocono Cup division also includes John Butenschoen's Allstar Partner, who is No. 14 in the Pace ratings.

Capital Account, trained by Jimmy Takter, is the favorite in the other Pocono Cup division.

On Saturday night at the Meadowlands, Steve Elliott's Doo Wop Hanover, No. 15 on the Road to the Meadowlands Pace, is the favorite in his division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes. Jim Campbell's Sometimes Said, who is No. 12, is the favorite in a conditioned race at the Big M.

North of the border one night earlier, Carmen Auciello's Bugger Bruiser (No. 11) is the second favorite in a division of the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold at Western Fair. Richard Moreau's Boomboom Ballykeel (No. 13) races in a Gold division earlier on the card.

The Meadowlands Pace is July 12.


Top Hambletonian contender Father Patrick, who received the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter, won his seasonal debut Wednesday night in 1:53.3 over a "good" track in a division of the Historic-Dickerson Cup at Pocono Downs.

"He had plenty of trot left," said driver Yannick Gingras, who sits behind the colt for trainer Jimmy Takter. "I knew he was ready to go and he proved me right."

Several other Hambletonian hopefuls are in action this weekend.

Flyhawk El Durado, trained by Mark Ford, is the favorite in his division of the New York Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs on Friday. The colt won the New York Sire Stakes championship last season. John Grasso's Expressive Action and Dan Daley's Daley Lovin are the top picks in the other sire stakes split at Tioga.

New Jersey Sire Stakes action for 3-year-old trotters Friday night at the Meadowlands finds Hambletonian eligibles Dave Briggs, Hillustrious, King City, Lightning Force, Martiniwithmuscle, Odds On Amethyst, Resolve, Royal Ice, Skates N Plates, Southwind Poseidon, Speak The Truth, Sumatra, and Well Built all going behind the gate.

Elsewhere, Harper Blue Chip, who was second to Father Patrick in last year's Wellwood Memorial, makes his first qualifying effort for trainer Mark Steacy on Friday morning at Mohawk.

Ken Weingartner

Harness Racing Communications

U.S. Trotting Association

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