Day At The Track


06:33 PM 11 Jul 2007 NZST
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Running Book
Running Book
Photo by Michael Lisa - Lisa Photo, Inc. - 2007 Meadowlands Pace elimination

Ahead of Saturday's U$1 million Meadowlands Pace, Harnesslink brings you profiles of four of the contenders - Pandoras Sox, Running Book, Southwind Lynx and Sutter Hanover.

PANDORAS SOX(3 b g The Panderosa-So Bright-Temujin)

OWNERS: Blaso Farms [Pete and Michele Blaso], Allentown, NJ

BREEDER: Blaso Farms, Allentown, NJ

SALE: Homebred

TRAINER: Joseph Poliseno

DRIVER: Andy Miller

LIFETIME -- 19 -- 3 -- 5 -- 4 -- $254,808 -- 1:53.0 Lex

Pandoras Sox finished third in his Meadowlands Pace elim, which was won by Always A Virgin in 1:50. Pandoras Sox was beaten by two and three-quarters of a length.

“I thought he was very good,” trainer Joe Poliseno said.

“He left well and got pinned in for a bit, but was pacing strong at the wire. The owners have had him since he was a baby. They bred him. He has matured since last year; he has gotten bulkier."

"He can leave or come from off the pace. He is very handy. He has great gate speed. He’s a very smart horse. He is spoiled and gets whatever he wants. He loves people and goes right to them.”

Poliseno [May 14, 1963] lives in Allentown, NJ, and grew up near Freehold Raceway. He followed his brothers, Tony and Carlo, into the business.

In 2004, he won a division of the U.S. Pacing Championship with Art’s Chip. He is married to racing analyst Ellie Sarama, who came up with the name Pandoras Sox because the horse has four white feet.

“I was over Freehold all the time when I was a kid,” Poliseno said. “I remember playing pool with Herve [legendary driver Herve Filion] when I was 10 or 11, and he always beat me. He’d say: ‘Next time, kid.’”

Last year, Pandoras Sox won a $94,800 division of the Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington’s Red Mile on September 30.

He also picked up checks in the $410,000 Woodrow Wilson [fourth] on August 4, $900,000 Metro Pace [fifth] on September 2, a $96,647 division of the Champlain [second] on September 9 and the $450,000 Governor’s Cup [third] on December 2.

This season, he was slowed by an electrolyte imbalance that caused an irregular heartbeat, and allergies. He has a win, a second and a third since being put on Lasix.

“He’s a nice horse,” owner Pete Blaso said.

“Joe liked him from early on, and that’s uncharacteristic of Joe to say anything early on. We didn’t duck anybody last year. We raced against the best colts and he held his own."

"He does everything you ask; he’s very handy. We gelded him early on; he wasn’t a bundle of joy when we first brought him in. Once we did that, everything fell into place. He’s fun to be around and he likes people. He’s Joe’s pet.”

Pete and Michele Blaso have been breeding horses for about eight years on a 22-acre farm outside of Allentown, New Jersey. Pete Blaso also operates a landscaping business in Bergen County, New Jersey.

“We were claiming horses and got a couple of mares and started breeding them,” Blaso said. “Every year I said it was going to be the last one. But I’m bullheaded and didn’t know when to stop, and then he came along.

“Now,” he added with a laugh, “I’m a breeding guru.”

Driver Andy Miller [September 7, 1968] has won 5,532 races and $49.7 million in purses in his career.

He finished second in last year’s Meadowlands Pace with My Boy David. A leading driver on the Chicago circuit, Andy Miller began driving full-time at the Meadowlands in 2006 and was warmly received.

Miller is the younger brother of trainer Ervin Miller. Erv and Andy were born and raised in the Amish community of Arthur, Illinois.

There were always Standardbred horses around the Miller home, but they were used for buggies not racehorses. Andy Miller started driving in 1985, at the age of 16, on the Illinois fair circuit.

When Erv went to work for leading Illinois trainer Tex Moats, Andy followed and was soon afforded the opportunity to drive stakes-caliber horses for Moats. By 1996, Miller topped the $1 million mark in purses.

After spending eight years with Moats, Miller moved on to become one of the most successful catch drivers on the Balmoral-Maywood-Hawthorne circuit.

His older brother’s stable has developed into a national powerhouse and he has often been in the sulky behind Erv’s top trainees like Restive Hanover and Loyal Opposition.

Miller’s wife, Julie, is an established trainer in her own right and has a small stable based at Gaitway Farm, Englishtown, NJ. The couple purchased a home in Millstone, New Jersey in August 2006.

RUNNING BOOK (b b c Real Desire-Open Book-Big Towner)

OWNER: Antonio Chiaravalle, Hamilton, ON

BREEDER: Big Al’s Stables Inc., Woodbridge, ON

SALE: $85,000 yearling, Lexington Selected Sale

TRAINER: William Elliott

DRIVER: Brian Sears

LIFETIME -- 17 -- 6 -- 2 -- 3 -- $175,491 -- 1:48.4 M

Running Book won his Meadowlands Pace elim in 1:48.4, equaling the fastest Pace elim in history.

He finished three and a quarter lengths ahead of Artriverderci after sitting behind early pace-setter Sutter Hanover. He went off at 40-1.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of speed on the inside of Sutter Hanover,” driver Brian Sears said.

“I was just hoping to sit close and maybe shake loose and hopefully make the final. Going to the half, the horse felt super and I said, ‘You know what? I might have to pull this horse and see what happens."

"The trip worked out and the horse was super. He’s a nice horse and just hasn’t had any luck this year, but he definitely has some ability.”

Last year, Running Book picked up a win in a division of the Champlain Stakes. He is a half brother to High On Emotion, who won the 2000 Confederation Cup and was third in the Meadowlands Pace. Another half brother, Justanotherpoorboy, won $550,755 lifetime.

“I knew this horse always had the capability; that’s why I brought him here,” trainer William Elliott said.

“It didn’t look like it on the program, but I knew he had speed and was just waiting to step up and go a big mile. And he did that [Saturday]. He sprinted home with authority."

"He’s just a natural, nice gaited horse, and he’s well bred. He’s got all the parts to be a nice horse. We were aiming him for these kinds of races this year.”

Elliott, who turns 41 on July 26, worked for the Bill Robinson Stable for 20 years before going out on his own in 2005.

While with Robinson, he was associated with top horses such as Meadowlands Pace winners Precious Bunny, Presidential Ball and Cam’s Card Shark.

Elliott won the 2005 William R. Haughton Memorial Pace with Dr No and the 2006 edition with Leading X Ample, who went off stride in the 2005 Meadowlands Pace and was 10th.

Owner Antonio Chiaravalle, 71, is in the construction business in Ontario and owns a real estate and a development company. He won the 1994 Meadowlands Pace with Presidential Ball. He also started Laughing Art in this year’s Pace elims, but the colt failed to advance to the final.

“[Running Book] is a good colt,” Chiaravalle said. “I had no concerns about going into this race; otherwise we wouldn’t have put him in. He raced against older horses two weeks ago and came home in 53 [seconds]. He’s just starting to pick it up.”

Driver Brian Sears [January 21, 1968], who also won the other Meadowlands Pace elim with Always A Virgin, won the 2005 Meadowlands Pace with Horse of the Year Rocknroll Hanover.

He set a single-season record for purses that season with nearly $15.1 million. Sears entered this week needing 11 wins to reach 6,000 in his career. Sears’ father, Jay, and late grandfather, Gene, each won more than 1,000 races.

Sears went to Auburn for two years with the idea of becoming a veterinarian, but the lure of the races proved too much. He was the 1991 U.S. Harness Writers Association’s Rising Star Award winner.

SOUTHWIND LYNX (3 b c Real Artist-Luxury Class-Jate Lobell)

OWNERS: K & R Racing LLC [Kevin and Ronnie Fry], Houston, DE & Teague Inc. [George & Brenda Teague], Harrington, DE

BREEDER: Southwind Farm, Pennington, NJ

SALE: $42,000 Lexington Selected Sale, 2004

TRAINER: George Teague Jr.

DRIVER: Tim Tetrick

LIFETIME -- 12 -- 4 -- 1 -- 2 -- $584,661 -- 1:51.3 M

In his Meadowlands Pace elimination, Southwind Lynx closed strong to finish second, a length behind Always A Virgin.

“He hadn’t raced since the Pepsi North America Cup eliminations,” driver Tim Tetrick said after the elimation.

“He hadn’t had any racing. I thought he raced really well considering all the facts. I know George [Teague Jr.] is a great trainer and had him trained as well as he can go, but it’s not the same as training as it is racing. They gotta have racing to keep them tight and in race shape.”

“I’ve driven him four times now, with tonight’s race,” Tetrick said.

“I drove him when I won the Art Rooney with him. He’s a nice little colt. He had some sickness problems when he got up to Canada, and he didn’t race very good in Canada."

"But George seems to think he’s got him back on the right key now. He’s pretty good to work with. He’s real gritty. He’s not as big as some of the other colts in the race, but he gives 110 percent, he tries really hard.”

“I was very impressed with him tonight,” trainer George Teague Jr. said.

“For four weeks he has been battling a strong sickness that he got while he was up in Canada. We wanted to start him before the elims tonight but we scoped and he wasn’t well still. We trained him and sneaked in a good mile. After seeing him tonight, I am looking forward to the final.”

“He had a bad lung infection that he couldn’t shake,” Teague said. “It knocked him out pretty good.”

Southwind Lynx was fourth in his elimination but came from off the pace to claim a head victory in the $1 million Art Rooney Final at Yonkers in his personal best of 1:52.3 on June 2, 2007.

At two, Southwind Lynx won a $92,500 International Stallion Stake division at the Red Mile.

“We got him as a yearling at the Kentucky sale for $42,000,” Teague said.

“My partner Kevin really liked this horse. His pedigree was great, and he came from a family of racehorses that raced a long time."

"At the time, Kevin liked this horse more than I did. Last year this colt had a good gait and spurts of fast speed."

"His gait was not consistent last year, but he matured into himself this year. He is a very ordinary horse, but he is very professional.”

George Teague Jr., [43] of Harrington, Delaware, followed in the footsteps of his late father, George Teague Sr., into harness racing. As a teen, George started off working for trainer Jim Case.

After two decades of hard work on his racing resume, Teague purchased a filly by the name of Rainbow Blue for $10,500 in 2002 and was thrust into the spotlight. During her phenomenal career, she posted 30 victories in 32 starts and earned a bankroll of $1,428,934.

She captured multiple Dan Patch awards in 2004 as the Horse of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year. In 2006, the sensational filly was retired to broodmare status after being sidelined in 2005 with a torn tendon.

George Teague Jr. was honored in 2005 with the Stanley Dancer Media Award for his rapport with the media and his efforts on behalf of racing.

Brenda Teague [46], her brother George’s co-trainer and business partner, playing a big part in the stable’s success.

George and Brenda Teague made their first appearance in the Pace final with Western Ace [8th] and Total Truth [9th] in 2006.

Brothers Kevin [45] and Ronnie [43] Fry jointly owned the 2004 Horse of the Year Rainbow Blue with George and Brenda Teague.

Kevin and Ronnie Fry are making their Meadowlands Pace debut.

Driver Tim Tetrick [November 22, 1981] grew up in Illinois. His father, Tom, has been involved in racing for three decades as a driver/trainer with more than 1,200 wins to his credit.

Tom currently oversees an Illinois farm operation of 35 horses along with his wife Mary Alice and his sons Tim, Trace and Tom Tyler. Tim now primarily races on the Delaware circuit.

In 2007, Tim Tetrick became the youngest driver to win a million-dollar race, capturing the $1 million Art Rooney Pace with Southwind Lynx at Yonkers Raceway, eclipsing Richie Silverman’s record, who was two months older when he won the 1990 Woodrow Wilson with Die Laughing.

In May, he became the youngest driver to win 3,000 career races. He was also the youngest to reach 2,000 career victories and the first driver in harness history to have a million-dollar season before the age of 20. In June, he set the record for wins in a single calendar month with 120.

Tetrick currently leads all drivers in North America with 617 wins and $7,280,642 million in purses as of July 8. He remains on pace to break Walter Case Jr.’s record of 1,077 wins in a single season, set in 1998.

“Kind of unbelievable,” Tetrick said of his 2007 season. “I don’t know how to put it into words. Maybe next year I can look back and say ‘Man, it was pretty amazing.’ But right now I’m just expecting myself to do what I’m doing and I’m glad I’m getting to do it.”

Driver Tim Tetrick is making his Meadowlands Pace debut.

SUTTER HANOVER (3 b c Dragon Again-Sami Cam-No Nukes)

OWNERS: Deena Frost, Delray Beach, FL; Sampson Street Stables [Lou & Deborah Domiano], Old Forge, PA; Fox Hollow Farm [Robert Tambur], Shavertown, PA; TLP Stable [Thomas & Louis Pontone], Kearny, NJ.

BREEDER: Hanover Shoe Farms, Hanover, Pennsylvania

SALE: $20,000 yearling, Harrisburg Sale

TRAINER: Mark Harder

DRIVER: David Miller

LIFETIME -- 17 -- 8 -- 4 -- 2 -- $765,648 -- 1:50.1 Moh

Sutter Hanover faded to third after leading the field through fractions of 27, 54 and 1:21.2 in his Pace elimination; however, the effort had trainer Mark Harder breathing a sigh of relief.

It was the colt’s first start since finishing second in the North America Cup on June 16. He prepped for the Pace elims with a qualifier at Chester Downs on June 29, but left Harder perplexed by his lackluster effort and 1:56 clocking.

“We qualified him at Chester and he was horrible,” trainer Mark Harder said after the elimination.

“I mean, it worried me he was so bad. I’m actually not disappointed after those fractions. I think that was a very good effort off those fractions after being so bad last week and now bouncing back."

"I was very worried after last Friday, I’m quite happy to be back in it. I’ve got to decide what changes to make for next week. I made some changes after last Friday’s qualifier, not equipment, just training schedule and a few other things, like his diet. We’re going to think about this the next day or two.”

Sutter Hanover kicked off his sophomore season with three straight wins, including a $100,000 Burlington Stakes division on June 2 and his elimination for the North America Cup on June 9 at Mohawk. He was second by two lengths in the $1.4 million NA Cup.

At two, he won the $450,000 Governors Cup at the Meadowlands and finished on the board in nine of 12 starts.

"This is a colt who we took our time with early,” Harder said about the colt’s 2006 season.

“He had some OCDs [bone chips] in a back ankle, so we started late with him. To be perfectly honest with you, I thought he'd do a little better early on. It wound up taking him half a dozen starts to start to show the ability I knew he had. I've liked him all along, ever since we got him at Harrisburg as a yearling."

Tom and Louis Pontone of Kearny, New Jersey, came close to winning the $1 million Meadowlands Pace in 2002 when McArdle, a horse they co-owned, finished second.

Sutter Hanover is the fourth horse the Pontones have taken to the Pace final in six years. The Pontones, who races as TLP Stables, own a casket business.

Deena Frost is a retired nurse who resides in Delray Beach, Florida. She has owned shares of an all-star trotting and pacing team, including 1996 Hambletonian winner Continentalvictory and Art Major.

Lou and Deborah Domiano, who race as Sampson Street Stables of Old Forge, Pennsylvania, own a chain of Pontiac, Buick and GMC auto dealerships.

They finished second in the 2002 Meadowlands Pace with McArdle and have been associated with a roster of champions over the past decade that includes 1999 Hambletonian winner Self Possessed.

Trainer Mark Harder holds the distinction of having sent out the longest-priced winner in Meadowlands Pace history. Holborn Hanover won the 2004 Meadowlands Pace at odds of 58-1, returning $119.

Harder [November 12, 1961] grew up in the small community of Johnsonville, New Zealand.

His parents owned a kiwi and avocado orchard, and Harder originally thought that he would go to college to earn a degree in agriculture. “Then I got the horse bug and much to my parent’s dismay, finished high school but then started working with horses.”

Harder apprenticed with some of New Zealand’s top horsemen, and in the late 1980s was asked to travel to Chicago with a group of horses to be sold.

Harder traveled back and forth to the U.S. on a regular basis for several years before giving Los Alamitos a try.

Then, upon the recommendation of Ross Croghan, whom he knew in California, he went to work for Bob Murphy’s large standardbred contingent in British Columbia for three years.

Problems with his work visa forced Harder to return to the U.S. and he went to work for Croghan’s powerful New Jersey stable.

Harder went out on his own in 2000 and his stable quickly swelled. He has sent out the winners of more than $7 million at the Meadowlands and won his first training title in 2004.

Driver David Miller [December 10, 1964] has raced in the Meadowlands Pace eight times. He finished fourth last year with Perfect Union and in 2003 with No Pan Intended.

No Pan Intended and Miller went on to win 10 in a row from that point, and 13 of 14 to end the season, which earned the colt Horse of the Year honors.

Ironically, Miller chose to drive No Pan Intended over elim winner Allamerican Theory in the 2003 Pace final. Allamerican Theory went on to win the Pace with Mike Lachance in the sulky.

Miller became the seventh driver in harness racing history to surpass the $100 million plateau in career earnings on June 15, 2007.

After dominating the Ohio circuit for a decade, David Miller has become an equally formidable force in New Jersey since joining the Meadowlands driver colony in 1999.

He shared his first January-August driving title with Luc Ouellette in 2003 and won back-to-back titles during the 2002 and 2003 fall meets. Miller resides in Cream Ridge, New Jersey with his wife, Misty, and his younger daughter, Leigha.

Miller’s older daughter, Devan, who will turn 19 in August, is a promising young catch driver. She primarily drives in Ohio, but picked up her first win at the Meadowlands this winter.

Meadowlands Media Relations Department

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