Well travelled and focused trainer Ryan Bellamy, 25, is taking in stride the news that he's just surpassed $2 million in harness racing career earnings.
"That's a nice number to accomplish at my age but I've already been at it long enough to know the valleys are out there and they seem to come more often than the peaks do" Bellamy said in a live TV trackside interview before the Monday evening, March 8 program at the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. "I will say, by remaining a small stable operator,that's the business model that's working well for me" he stated.
With 395 lifetime training wins to his credit, Bellamy credits his dad Bob with getting him started around the horses about fifteen years ago at the start of a successful eight year run in Chicago when campaigning with Rod Allums.Ryan made the decision as a teenager that driving wasnot for him and in 2003 he set out to operate his own stable.His current stable stalwart, nine year old gelding Tuffery N, stepped to a second straight win at the Isle last Saturday night. By keeping his stable size down to nine horses or less this meet, Bellamy has been carrying a lofty UTRS hovering above .400 for the 2009-2010 meet in South Florida.
"Tuffery N is a horse that had a poor start to the meet here and he was just terrible in the turns" Bellamy explained. "We made some shoeing changes and the last two starts were down in class so we hope his confidence is back up again. My girlfriend, Gina Parisi, is really the hardest working person in our operation and when we ship north by March 24 we'll look to get back up to a stable size of about 12 horses again" he adds.
When not at Pompano, Bellamy resides at Crown Point, IN, and when there his charges are often in the entry box at Balmoral Park.He's certainly well travelled at this early career stage with campaigns at The Meadowlands, Yonkers, and Windsor in addition to the Chicago tracks, Indiana,and Florida.The summer season this year will see Bellamy focusing his efforts on the Indiana circuit at Hoosier Park and Indianapolis. On the Wednesday evening, March 10 program at the Isle, Bellamy has an unsually busy night with three of his charges in to go, including claiming pacers CG's Power Punch and Legal Option and claiming trotter Grit Your Teeth.This is looming as his best career year to date with a slate of 36,11-6-4 for over$37,000since January 1.
"It's going to be hard, make that almost impossible,to keep winning with almost a third of my starters but I have great owners that let me classify the horses where they can do the most good" Bellamy says. "I've seen the bigger tracks in New York and New Jerseyup north and raced there and at this stage, I've decided they're not for me.This first winter in Florida has been just great although I'm sort of dreading running into snow when shipping up north later this month. It would be just great to return to Florida again in October" he added.
Paragon claimed - again
The claiming tug of war for pacer Paragon continued on the Monday evening, March 8 card at the Isle.
For this start he was dropped from the Open-3 class back to a $15,000 price tag and scooping up the-Lola eight year old pacer this time is Melvin Fink of Michigan. After two starts in the Peter Pellegrino barn for Coral Springs owner David Schneider, Paragon will return to the Paul Holzman barn where he raced from on January 30 and February 10. Prior to that, the former Series winner from Woodbine was campaigned at Pompano since last Fall by trainer Stephane Bardier for Ontario owner Richard Moreau.
On the March 8 program under ideal conditions and 68 degrees (20 C), Paragon was again an impressive front end winner in 1:52. It was the third time he's been claimed in his past six starts.
The trotting feature on Monday evening was the $10,000-$12,500 claiming handicap. From the outside post in the field of seven starters, 10 year old S J's Photo-Keystone Caviar mare Slated For Success benefitted from a perfect trip in the final half outer flow in rein to Fern Paquet Jr. to score in 1:58.1 over Brancaleone with David Ingraham and Dee Day Fame partnered by Dan Clements. Jamie Paquet of Vernon, NY is the trainer of Slated For Success and co-owner of her ownership with Robert Caruso of Ft. Pierce, FL.
Also on Monday night, the winningest driver in track history, Bruce Ranger, returned from a short vacation and he won his first start back in the opening race with maiden pacer Loverboylou in 1:55.1 for owner Souren Hovsepian and trainer Michile Lorenzo. Ranger also steered claiming pacer Fox Valley Michael to a sharp 1:54.3 front end win for owner-trainer Fred Cohen of Coconut Creek. Driver David Ingraham added another tally to his list of incredible longshot wins for the meet. He reined in Remington Style at 42-1 in the $6,000 claiming pace for owners Sara and Philip Seckler of Royal Palm Gardens and trainer Allan Johnson to conclude the Monday evening proceedings.
Racing resumes on Wednesday evening,March 10, at 7:05 p.m. EST at the Winter Capital Of Harness Racing.