A capacity harness racing crowd filled the M&T Bank Grandstand at Harrington Raceway on a warm summer night Thursday evening (July26) to watch the first-ever nighttime Governor's Day racing program at the Delaware State Fair.
For decades the annual day of racing began at 11 a.m., but was moved to the evening for this year’s event. A showcase of Delaware’s top owned and/or bred horses were on display over the span of 13 races.
Four separate $100,000 Final events for Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) 3-year-olds were contested among two divisions each that were comprised of both sexes for trotters and pacers.
It wasn’t a good day for favorites in the DSBF final events as only one favorite of the four prevailed. The biggest longshot came when Mary Martin’s Mac’s Journey ($90.20, Sean Bier) utilized a power surge approaching the top of the stretch to clear tiring favorite Here’s My Ticket and hold off a fast closing Roddy’s Girl for an upset win the filly pacing final in 1:57.
Here’s My Ticket held on for third. Trained by Crissy Crissman-Bier, it was the 7th career win in 26 lifetime starts for Mac’s Journey.
Another favorite went down when Alleigh Girl broke stride behind the gate in the filly trotting final as Morgan and Jeanne McInnis’ Skuttlebutt ($8.40, Victor Kirby) strolled to a front end win in a lifetime best of 1:59.3 for trainer Ryan McInnis. A daughter of CR Commando, Skuttlebutt was one of four driving wins for Kirby. Ja’s Charmer was second while Jodi Lin rallied for third.
The favorite did hold up in the trotting colt final as Windshield ($2.10, Ross Wolfenden), owned by Wolfenden with Nanticoke Racing, registered another powerful score with a dominant 13-length win in 1:59.
Trained by Les Givens, thecolt improved to 14-for-16 in his career. Flash Commando was second and Bold Strike completed the trifecta.
In the pacing colt final, Eli Scott and Greg Simendinger’s Its Outta Here ($7.40, Kirby) surged by stretch leader Flying Instructor late for a one length score. Shaving Mug was third. Trained by Eli Scott, Its Outta Here bolstered his lifetime bankroll to more than $117,000.
The $40,000 Governor’s Cup, $30,000 Legislators Cup, and $30,000 Charles Murphy Memorial Trot are three staples on the Governor’s Day program for older horses.
In the Governor’s Cup, favorite Elizabeth Brittingham’s As Bad As Thunder didn’t disappoint as he marched to a four length win in 1:52.4 over Jeremys Successor and Volo. The Don Brittingham-trainee has won four straight races and made more than $110,000 this season after being claimed for just $15,000 in February at Dover Downs.
The Honorable Governor Jack Markell made the presentation to the winning connections, something he has done each of the last four Governor’s Day racing programs.
North State Street Stable’s Monochromatic ($3.60, Corey Callahan) won the Legislator’s Cup in 1:53.2 over Outahere Hanover and No Bad Luck. A Dylan Davis-trainee, Monochromatic surpassed $100,000 in seasonal earnings with the victory.
Kirby piloted Steve Anderson’s Sea Raven ($8.60) to a three-length score in 1:55 in the Charles Murphy Memorial Trot. The 6-year-oldmare wore down the early pacesetter Second Hand News and drew clear by three lengths after a first-over trip for trainer Kay Gannon.
Gurf rallied for second while Second Hand News held third.
Live racing resumes on a Monday through Thursday schedule at Harrington August 13.
by Matthew SPARACINO