Mike Paradise

The dismantling of the ICF Stakes Program

I assumed I would be writing about one, or both, of Friday’s ICF 3-year-old stakes at Maywood Park however each of the scheduled $10,000 events were cancelled by the track’s Race Office because of insufficient entries. Four male pacers—Fox Valley Cupid, Fox Valley Deuce, Little Hank and Sleazeburgernfries—entered the Betzotic while three fillies—Fox Valley Amanda, Fox Valley Shiver and My Little Bit—were submitted to compete in the Giggles The Clown. Apparently not enough numbers for a pari-mutuel race on the Friday program but they certainly could and should have been positioned as non-wagering events before start of the regular card.  Next week’s conditioned sheet shows that both of Friday’s scheduled 3-year-old stakes were not written back, they were just discarded. Likewise there was no attempt to re-schedule the $25,000 McKeever/Associates stake for older state-bred pacers when that came up short on Windy City Night. That long-time popular Maywood Pacing Series race wasn’t written back the following weekend either. The hours by trainers and their help preparing these horses for these scheduled stakes and the anticipation of their owners to watch them compete evidently doesn’t get much consideration by those who seemingly have complete control of the horsemen purse money. The continuation of the local racetracks to scrap these ICF stakes and put their revenue pots into the general purse fund for non-ICF horses to acquire doesn’t  “(e) Encourage the breeding of thoroughbred and standardbred horses in this State” as specified in the Illinois Racing Act of 1975. At a time in our history when the Illinois breeding industry needs all the help it can get the local racetracks instead are discouraging people to own and race ICF horses in our state by the persistent dumping of ICF stake races for any excuse they see fit. Through the years the backbone of harness racing success in our state has always been a strong ICF program. Let’s do what we can to build it back up . . . not break it down. No Contest: Bailey’s Wish was much the best in Thursday night’s $10,100 Speed N The Tunnel stake, drawing off by four lengths with Dave Magee in a snappy 1:58.3 mile Bailey’s Wish had a six length lead in the stretch before she was taken up by her National Hall of Fame driver and hand-driven to the finish wire. The victory was the 3-year-old ICF filly’s sixth in 16 starts for trainer Dirk Simpson and his Illinois owners Jim Bafia (Minooka) and Gene White (Chicago). Earlier Bailey’s Wish captured the Lady Lincoln Land and the Springfield titles giving her a two-season record of 10 wins in 30 starts and over $258,000 in purse earnings. Notable Numbers: Casey Leonard went over the 300 mark in dash winners for this season earlier this week and he also topped the $2 million plateau in money won for the second consecutive year. The 37-year-old Harvard Illinois native leads the Maywood Park driver’s race by 30 winners and is 50-plus ahead at Balmoral Park. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

10-31-14 Who Will Win It artwork.jpg

Who Will Win It? Handicapping by Steve Wolf

For the second straight week I lost money (-$4.10) on win bets but with the cold exactas and trifectas in the Messenger Stakes and Valley Victory, we made decent money for the weekend. This weekend we have super cards Friday at Hoosier Park and Saturday at Vernon Downs plus we travel north of the boarder to Woodbine Racetrack for their good Preferred Trot. Good Luck! $50,000 Pace Monument Circle consolation 3yo colts Hoosier 6th race FRIDAY - May only be the consolation race but still a very good match-up. I am going with Capital Account. Early season sensation has been putting in decent efforts except for his last outing against tougher. Draws well, rested and should be able to regain winning form against this field. Use Somestarsomewhere and Somesizesomestyle in exotic plays. $193,000 Trot Moni Maker 3yo fillies Hoosier Park 8th race FRIDAY - Best fillies in the nation will go out at it in here but the smart money has to go with Shake It Cerry. Won't be a walk in the park as she faces four other return winners in the field but she has beaten most of them throughout the season and can do it again. Use Lifetime Pursuit and Riveting Rosie in exotic plays. $176,500 Pace Nadia Lobell 3yo fillies Hoosier Park 9th race FRIDAY - Since winning the Jugette and rolling through five straight wins, Color's A Virgin has been sensational in Indiana for two years. She really gets tested once against facing the best in the nation. But even from post eight she is rightly the morning line favorite to win it all. Use Precocious Beauty and Katie Said in exotic plays. $230,000 Trot Carl Erskine 3yo colts Hoosier Park 10th race FRIDAY - Will be really interesting to see how Indiana's top colt, Rose Run Parker, who is going for his eighth straight win, will fare against the number one rated colt in the nation, Father Patrick. I am going to have to stick with Father Patrick as has beaten the best all season long. Use Rose Run Parker and Il Sogno Dream in exotic plays. $211,500 Pace Hoosier Park Pacing Derby FFA Hoosier Park 11th race FRIDAY - Half of the field are return winners but I am going with the horse who has lost his last three starts, only by a nose and a head. That's Foiled Again. Game class master can still show his heels to younger rivals and from outside post he might even be able to work out a trip to take this field. Use Sweet Lou and Clear Vision in exotic plays. $275,000 Pace The Monument Circle Final 3yo colts Hoosier 12th race FRIDAY - Wow...Limelight Beach, JK Endofanera, Always B Miki, Let's Drink On It, nearly all the best colts in the country going head and head for big money. I am taking a shot that Always B Miki got a week's rest after his big win at Hoosier where he romped by 8 ½ lengths and can do it again. Use JK Endofaneara and Limelight Beach in exotic plays. $34,000 Trot Preferred Woodbine Racetrack 5th race SATURDAY - Great matchup here between the return of Intimidate against Daylon Magician. When he is right he can beat any trotter there is and I think that Intimidate is ready to fire it up after good rest and very sharp qualifying win last week. Outside post is only hindrance. Use Daylon Magician and Slip Into Glide in exotic plays. $178,000 Pace Artiscape older mares Vernon Downs 6th race SATURDAY - Trainers PJ Fraley and Ron Burke seem to have the deck stacked, each with a three-horse entry. Doesn't matter because I am going with Joe Holloway's Somwherovrarainbow. She showed her former self last week with impressive win at Harrah's. All she needs is come live cover and she can score again. Use Fraley entry of Krispy Apple, Shelliscape, Anndrovette with Burke entry of Rocklamation, Summertime Lea and Camille in exotic plays. $240,500 Trot Kindergarten Final 2yo colts Vernon Downs 7th race SATURDAY - While the Erv Miller entry of Airman Batten and SS Poseidon are the race favorite, I am going with French Laundry. He has the gate speed to get good position and has shown great closing speed, :27.3 in his last start. Yannick will work his magic to get this one home. Use Airman Batten/SS Poseidon entry and Boots N Chairns/Suit And Tie entry in exotic plays. $251,100 Trot Kindergarten Final 2yo fillies Vernon Downs 8th race SATURDAY - Jimmy Takter's entry of Sarcy and Lil U Hanover have not been world beaters this season but have drawn well and have both shown good trot in recent action and gets a slim call in here over Allerage Star. Use Allerage Star and Queen The Bea in exotic plays. $178,000 Trot Muscle Hill older mares Vernon Downs 9th race SATURDAY - Great field of trotting mares featuring numerous world champions and a Horse of the Year! Who to pick? The class of the field is Bee A Magician, who last week was a game third in the International Trot against the world's best. Despite drawing outside post nine I think she is in a perfect spot for Brian Sears to work out a great trip to score from. Use Classic Martine and Perfect Alliance in exotic plays.

Harness Racing

Canadian Wildcat pulls off upset at Harrah's

It was John & Dan Wach's Canadian Wildcat pulling off the upset in the feature at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday, a trot for non-winners of $17,500 in their last 5 starts. The 5-year-old son of Angus Hall was coming off of three straight off-the-board finishes against similar. The odds board was wide open however, as four of the eight combatants were under 3-1, with the favorite going off 5-2. At the start, it was Possessed Fashion (Ron Pierce) and Yagot Class (Tim Tetrick) leaving well for the lead, as Canadian Wildcat (Mike Simons ) settled off the early tempo. The opening quarter went in :28. The battle raged on up top, as classy veteran Bastille (David Miller) forced another lead change under the finish line the first time, and was first to the half in :56.2 (:28). Possessed Fashion made another move towards the lead up the backstretch, and battled first over while Bloodstockshalltab (Yannick Gingras) took up second over position, as the field bunch at three-quarters in 1:25.3 (:29.1).  Turning for home, the speed gave way, allowing Canadian Wildcat to split rivals in the final steps, winning by a neck, stopping the clock in 1:55.4 (30.1). Bloodstockshalltab settled for second, while Possessed Fashion was third. The Dawn Dellaporte trainee returned $98.20, keying an exacta worth $668.20. Once again, driver Tim Tetrick led the day with three wins. He was coming off of a six win performance on Wednesday. Live racing returns on Friday, with a special post time of 2:30 PM. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Upland Hanover, harness racing

176-1 long shot comes in at Northfield Park

Long shot players were ecstatic as the horses crossed the wire in the ninth race at Northfield Park on Thursday (October 30), when (7) Upland Hanover successfully kicked from the back to win at odds of 176-1. Northfield, Ohio's Greg Bartlett owns and trains the seven year-old. Jason Thompson was aboard for the winning drive. It was the fourth win this year in 23 starts and represents Upland Hanover's 12th lifetime score. (7) Upland Hanover (176-1) was followed across the wire by (3) Caramel Chinno (8-5) and (1) Stellllllla (6-1). Upland Hanover returned $355.60 to win; the 7-3 Exacta paid $1,094.80; and the 7-3-1 Trifecta returned a whopping $10,102.20. Albeit one of the biggest winners in Northfield Park's history, Upland Hanover is not the longest shot to ever score over the Flying Turns. That honor goes to Jet's Appearance and driver Sheri Hersman when they paid $579 to win on August 22, 1988. Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $20,000 Pick-4 total pool guarantee to Monday’s (November 3) program.  Beginning in Race 8, the $20,000 Pick-4 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $3,578.47. Northfield’s Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3’s offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent.    Monday’s post time is 6:00 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Shuffled to last at the top of the stretch, Itstimeformetofly ($27.40) found room to hook to the grandstand side in the final eighth of a mile, rallying to a 1:53 victory in the featured $7,300 conditioned pace for fillies and mares on Thursday (October 30) evening at Vernon Downs.   The six-year-old Cheyenne Rei mare secured the pocket between dueling leaders Always Flash-n (Frank Davis) and Spotlight On (John Macdonald) through a scorching :26.1 initial quarter, left to track the pair from third on the backstretch.   As Bring Them Home (Justin Huckabone) commenced a first-over bid on the entry to the far turn, Itstimeformetofly found herself hard pressed for racing room, shuffled badly through the third quarter. Relegated to last off the corner, Fern Paquet, Jr. hooked four-wide with Itstimeformetofly, charging up alongside mid-stretch leader Thats My Dream (Jimmy Whittemore), who took the lead after kicking cover.   Itstimeformetofly continued on to take charge in the final yards, prevailing by three-quarters of a length over Thats My Dream. Always Flash-n, also a victim of traffic trouble, re-rallied to save third after steadying hard mid-stretch.   Scott West trains Itstimeformetofly for owner Marie Roberts.   Paquet and Truman Gale each scored three wins on the evening's 10-race card.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (October 31), with the first of 11 races scheduled for 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

DOVER, Del. --- The $350,000 (estimated) Progress Pace has moved to the last part of Dover Downs month-long “Novemberfest of Stakes.” The track’s six-month long campaign begins this Sunday, Nov. 2. During the first week of the meet all eight divisions of the prestigious Matron Series in lucrative finals. On Sunday, Nov. 31, $35,000 Progress Pace eliminations sets the stage for the top eight elim finishers racing for an estimated $325,000 final on Sunday, Dec. 7. During late November, the freshman division of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) is a part of the ‘Novemberfest’ program .The DSBF colt and filly pacers and trotters race in two preliminary legs and the eight top point-getters meet in $100,000 finals. Sunday races begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. No live racing on Fridays and Saturdays. The six-month long Dover Downs 2014-2015 meet begins Sunday, Nov. 2 and continues until April 9, 2015. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

DAYTON, OH. - Two elimination heats went postward at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Thursday night to determine the field for next week's "Stars of the Future" mini-series championship. The trotters that answered the starter's call in the pair of $4000 eliminations were all non-winners of a pari-mutuel race; however two emerged as winners and earned roles as likely favorites for the $8000 final next Thursday. Jailhouse Hooch (Dan Noble) captured the first split in 1:59.1 to top Hey Pancho (Kayne Kauffman) and Autumn Estelle (Hugh Beatty). The winner, a lightly raced five-year-old son of Jailhouse Jesse, broke his maiden in just his 19th lifetime start for owners Cynthia and Nancy Zirkle and trainer David Myers. In addition to the place and show finishers, Timeflies So Do I (Josh Sutton) and Big Emotions (Greg Grismore), who was the fastest fifth place finisher in the two heats, advanced to the championship. Nanohio (driver-trainer Tom Moore Jr.) won the second division in 2:01.1, reaching the wire ahead of Dunn Dealin (Ryan Holton), Kasi (Kayne Kauffman) and Miko Begonia (Jason Haynes), who will join the first elimination survivors in the final. The winning son of Chip Chip Hooray had triumphed in a pair of earlier county fair races, but visited a commercial track winner's circle for the first time for owners Arthur Erford and Kenneth Phillips on Thursday night. Through the first 18 nights of live racing at the new Dayton Raceway, Chris Page sat atop the driver's standings with 34 victories. Dan Noble and Josh Sutton were tied for second with 25 triumphs apiece. Randy Tharps and Greg Grismore were deadlocked for fourth with 20 each, followed by Jeremy Smith 19, Kayne Kauffman and Jason Brewer 17, and Kyle Ater 13. Hollywood Dayton Raceway presents live programs every Monday and Wednesday through Saturday at 6:30 p.m. From the press box at Dayton Raceway

VERNON, NY – Vernon Downs is getting into the Halloween spirit by hosting a race exclusively for grey horses on Halloween Night, Friday, October 31. The race has drawn a field of seven including local favorite The Grey Bullet. The excitement will happen in Race 8 on the 11-race program that begins at 6:45 p.m. “Fewer than one percent of the Standardbred racehorse population is grey so we had to work hard to find enough horses to put this race together, but we think it will be exciting for the fans and so perfect on Halloween night to see the grey horses racing through the stretch at Vernon Downs,” said Scott Warren, Director of Racing. Earlier in the evening, one of the area’s favorite grey horses of all-time, named Four One One, will officially retire in a winner’s circle ceremony. The 12-year-old, owned by Robert Siemski of Utica, raced 135 times at Vernon Downs over an eight-year period. He won 16 races at Vernon Downs including his last career start this past May. Closing Night of the 2014 Vernon Downs racing season is Saturday (November 1) with a special post time of 6:00 p.m. The 11-race card begins with a long-sleeve t-shirt giveaway, free while supplies last, and concludes with a spectacular fireworks display following the last race of the season. Vernon Downs features free admission and free general parking. For more information, visit www.vernondowns.com. by Justin Horowitz, for Vernon Downs

This is a reminder to all horsemen that beginning with the November 14th racing program, any New Jersey Sired horse entered in a race with a condition of non-winners of one, two, three or four pari-mutuel races will race for 60-percent more than the listed purse. The bonus program encompasses both sexes of horse as well as gait. The Meadowlands wanted to issue this reminder prior to the Harrisburg Mixed Sale as there will be lucrative opportunities for New Jersey Sired horses selling at Harrisburg at the upcoming Meadowlands meet. The purse structure will be as follows: Non-winners of one: $10,000 (plus $6,000 for NJ sired horses) Non-winners of two: $12,500 (plus $7,500 for NJ sired horses) Non-winners of three: $15,000 (plus $9,000 for NJ sired horses) Non-winners of four: $17,500 (plus $10,500 for NJ sired horses) In addition, all races with a condition of non-winners of one, two, three or four pari-mutuel races will be written with first preference for all horses that are New Jersey Sired, to ensure that New Jersey sired horses have the most opportunity to compete for this bonus program. Regarding the recent announcement of trainers who have achieved entry into the trainers rewards program, The Meadowlands would like to reiterate that the program does not include races classified B-1 or higher, nor does it include stakes, late closer or early closer events. In addition, the program is limited to the period of November 14, 2014 through February 28, 2015 to ensure our most loyal trainers are able to get their horses raced when The Meadowlands entry box is in its highest demand. The program was designed in conjunction with the SBOANJ with the sole purpose of rewarding those trainers who supported The Meadowlands during the period of time that it proves most difficult to fill the entry box. Any horsemen with questions, comments or concerns should contact either The Meadowlands Race Office or the SBOANJ as any input is valued and appreciated. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

MANALAPAN, NJ - October 29, 2014 - Angels Ransom not only won the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres Final for three-year-old trotters but did so in stakes record time on Thursday, October 29, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The autumn air must agree with the gelded son of Revenue - Queen of Angels, who now has two straight wins to improve his 2014 record to five wins, three seconds and two thirds in 16 starts. George Brennan was at the lines of Angels Ransom, who crossed the wire in 1:56.4, with a last quarter in 28.3 seconds. It was five and a quarter lengths back to Choco Sun [Chocolatier] in second and Holiday Spirit [Chocolatier] in third. Angels Ransom, trained by Roland Mallar, eclipsed the Green Acres record for three-year-old gelded trotters of 1:58 set by Spat One [Malabar Man] in 2002 and bested the colt mark of 1:57 established by Watch Out [Malabar Man] in 2004. Bred and owned by Michael Andrew of Gorham, ME, Angels Ransom has banked $58,150 this year and $70,760 lifetime. The Green Acres Final was contested as a non-wagering event prior to the card. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

As the races for divisional honors head toward the finish line, trainer Ron Burke is hoping for continued strong performances from his horses down the stretch. Burke sends 18 horses into Friday's stakes action at Hoosier Park, not to mention five more to Vernon Downs for stakes engagements on Saturday. Among Burke's top contenders at Hoosier are 3-year-old male pacers JK Endofanera and Limelight Beach in the $275,000 Monument Circle, older male pacers Clear Vision, Foiled Again and Sweet Lou in the $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, and 3-year-old female trotter Market Rally in the $193,000 Moni Maker Stakes. "There is still money left out there, so you want to finish up strong with some of these," Burke said. "We usually tend to do good in races at the end of the year. We've always done that. It's been more of a tradition that we tend to start poorly and do better late. Hopefully it will continue." Burke's stable already has earned a record $23.75 million this year and is nearing 1,000 wins for the second consecutive season. His earnings are the most for any trainer in horse racing, more than $3.70 million ahead of Thoroughbred leader Todd Pletcher. Last year, Burke's horses won 262 races over the final three months of the campaign. Only three other trainers won more races - in the entire year. This season, Burke has 109 victories in October, including 25 in stakes events. JK Endofanera is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Monument Circle, a race won by Burke two of the past three years. JK Endofanera brings a four-race win streak to the race, including victories in the American-National Stakes and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. Last week he won a division of the Circle City at Hoosier. For the year, the son of Art Major-Presidential Lady has won 10 of 15 races and $936,145 for breeder/owner 3 Brothers Stables. Joe Holloway-trained Always B Miki, who also won a Tattersalls division and has captured seven of his last eight starts, is the 5-2 second choice, followed by Limelight Beach at 3-1. Limelight Beach has won four of his last five races, including the Little Brown Jug. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere-Benear has banked $539,118 this season. He is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable, and Wingfield Brothers. "All my 3-year-olds have been real good recently," said Burke, who also has At Press Time, Forty Five Red, and Big Boy Dreams entered in the Monument Circle. "They're finishing up the year strong. I'm glad about that. "The Monument Circle is our best two shots (Friday) with JK (Endofanera) and Limelight Beach. We'll see how that works. They've got to beat Always B Miki." McWicked leads all 3-year-old male pacers in purses, with $1.01 million, followed by JK Endofanera, All Bets Off, He's Watching, Always B Miki, and Limelight Beach. "There are three or four horses (that could win divisional honors); whoever wins the Breeders Crown is probably the 3-year-old of the year," Burke said. "It's going to be exciting. It's not like last year, where it already was all decided (with Captaintreacherous). Coming into the Breeders Crown this year, there's still a lot up for grabs." Clear Vision is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, followed by Foiled Again at 5-2 and Sweet Lou at 7-2. Burke-trained Bettor's Edge and Easy Again also are part of the 10-horse field. Foiled Again won the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby - then named the Indiana Pacing Derby and raced at Indiana Downs - in 2011 and 2012. Clear Vision is coming off a win last week in the Dayton Pacing Derby, where he edged Foiled Again by a nose. Sweet Lou won 10 consecutive races during the summer, and has earned $958,558 this year, but heads to the Pacing Derby trying to snap a three-race losing streak. "Lou trained great this week," Burke said. "I went out and trained him myself on Tuesday and I was very happy with him. I think he'll be back to himself. "Bettor's Edge and Clear Vision drew great spots and Foiled is still Foiled. Hopefully we should do alright. They've stayed sound all year, all of them, and raced great. I could see them finishing up the year great too." Burke's Rose Run Parker is the 4-1 second choice in the $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old male trotters. Multiple-stakes-winner Father Patrick, from the stable of Jimmy Takter, is the 3-5 morning line favorite. Takter also has the top choices in the Moni Maker - Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit - followed by Burke's Market Rally, who is a two-time New York Sire Stakes champion trying open stakes company for only the third time in her career. "She's in very tough, against very good horses," Burke said. "But I've always wanted to see what Market Rally would do against top horses, so I'm excited to see what she'll do there." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Fresh from making six appearances in the Cal Expo winners circle last Saturday night, including five of his own trainees, Steve Wiseman comes into this weeks action atop both the driver and trainer standings. "I had a lot of horses in the right spots, so I thought it was going to be a good night, Wiseman related. "As far as being the leading driver and trainer, that was the goal coming into the meet. Ive never won the training title before, so that would be nice, and Ive got a great crew to help me." Wild About Eagle overcame the tough No. 9 post to get the job done last weekend while carrying the banner of Kathy Plested and Mark Benvenga. Shes awfully sharp right now and on top of her game, her mentor said. I think she had an advantage these first few weeks because shed been racing while some of the others took the summer off. Another Wiseman trainee who got his picture taken last Saturday was the trotter Jimmy Shin, who sat a perfect pocket trip and won going away. The 10-year-old is now at the $384,000 earnings plateau. "I claimed him here at the last meet with the idea of racing him in Minnesota. He did pretty well until the end of the meet, when I probably had him a couple of classes too high." Wiseman said. Jimmy Shin had to settle for a second in his first appearance at this stand after coming from far back and getting a less than ideal journey. He had a poor cover flow that night and would have won if I could have had him just a little closer. As bad as that trip was, everything worked out perfectly last time. El Azteca getting the marquee treatment El Azteca, perfect in two starts at this meet and victorious in 15 of his last 25 trips to the post, looks to keep the momentum going in Saturday nights Open II Trot. An 11-race program is on tap with first post set for 6:15 p.m. Racing is now being conducted on Saturday and Sunday nights, with first post on Sunday at 4:45 p.m. Plans call for a three-night-a week schedule starting on December 26, with Friday racing being added to the mix. El Azteca is a 5-year-old son of Panama Hanover who is owned, trained and was bred by Marco Rios and he will once again have the services of James Kennedy. El Azteca comes into this assignment with $120,000 in his bank account and a 1:54 3/5 career standard that was established at Hoosier Park in early June. He went to the sidelines with an issue following that score, and has returned to capture both of his appearances at this meeting. The hard-hitting California-bred got a second-over journey in his October 18 tally here while hanging a head decision on Franks Best, then did the work in first-over fashion lat week while once again prevailing by a head over Franks Best in an ultra-game decision for Rios and Kennedy. Franks Best is another outstanding state-bred trotter who is just shy of the $200,000 earnings plateau with a 1:56 2/5 mark. The 7-year-old Armbro Scribe offspring is owned, trained and was bred by Bob Johnson and Mooney Svendsen will once again be in the sulky. In his three starts at this meet, Franks Best has two seconds and a third, beaten by a grand total of a half-length in those three outings. The co-feature on the evening is an Open II Pace that finds Del Rio Seelster heading the cast while doing his work from the outside slot. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

Jason Settlemoir will be honored at the upcoming Awards Banquet of the Monticello Goshen Chapter USHWA on November 16. A man who wears and has worn many hats in the harness racing industry will be the recipient of the chapter's Good Guy Award. At age 37 Settlemoir is already accomplished but his star continues to rise and it seems that there is nothing in the Standardbred sport that he can't do. His list of accomplishments is amazing. However, much of his fortune was dictated by fate. First his association with trainer/driver Terry Holton and then later with a meeting with Dave Stoltz. When Jason was a youngster in Newark, Ohio he found out that Terry Holton moved and was on his paper route and it was his association with Holton that helped direct Settlemoir's future. "When Terry found out I was interested in harness racing he took me under his wing. He was like a dad to me and took me with him when he raced around the fairs and raceways and taught me all about racing. Terry had wanted me to be a catch-driver but I refused to clean stalls," Settlemoir remembered. "When we traveled I'd practice calling races in the car and I enjoyed it. So instead Terry helped me to call races at some of the fairs. I got to call my first race at the Hartford (Ohio) Independent Fair." But vivid in his memory is the time Terry helped him to get me the announcer's job at the West Virginia State Fair. "I was only 13 years old at the time so I had to get my mother and grandmother to drive me there, " he laughed. Settlemoir graduated high school in 1995 then matriculated at Ohio State University and then at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. In 1995 he went to work at Scioto Downs for Bob Steele and Jerry Kalb and he was there for nearly 10 years where there wasn't anything there that he didn't do, or learn to do. "I was the simulcast program manager, worked in the money room, worked in admissions and programs, assistant race secretary, track announcer, you name it I did it," Settlemoir said. Two mottos that Settlemoir said he learned and lives by are; "I will never ask someone to do something that I wouldn't do or have not done and the other is 'an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of gold'. In 2005 he worked for a while at the USTA as director of advertising and it was there that he had a conversation with a customer he met at Scioto Downs Dave Stoltz; a meeting that would forever change Settlemoir's life. "Dave asked me how would I like to work for a good friend of his who had two race tracks in New York. He gave me his number and told me to call him. I did. It was Jeff Gural and he asked me if I'd like to join his organization. Unfortunately it was at a time when I had many personal problems; my granddad had recently passed away and Terry Holton had advanced pancreatic cancer, I thanked Mr Gural and told him at this time I can't." However it wasn't too long after that initial phone call that Settlemoir again heard from Gural. This time Gural called him and this time they connected. "I asked Mr. Gural about a contract and he told me he doesn't do contracts. He told me to shake his hand and we'll have an agreement," Settlemoir explained. "I guess you could say I'm a pretty lucky guy that I got an opportunity to work for him. He's a man of his word." Initially Jason was heavily involved with both Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs but when Gural and his company started the New Meadowlands Settlemoir had more on his plate. And he responded to his new duties magnificently. In 2006 he was awarded the U.S. Harness Writers Association's Lew Barasch Breakthrough Award for his work in opening up Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs and was inducted into the Upstate New York Chapter of USHWA's Hall of Fame in 2011. Settlemoir is also simulcast director for the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio as well as the second announcer at the legendary racetrack. He is vice president of Harness Tracks of America; and past president of the U.S. Harness Writers Association and sits on the board of directors for the United States Trotting Association, and in September of this year Settlemoir was elected to the prestigious Little Brown Jug Society. He is also active in the sport as a Standardbred owner and he was appointed to the Board of Directors for American Racing and Entertainment in September 2011. Also in 2011, he received the Tioga County United Way Appreciation Award. Jason sat on the board of directors for the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Tier Red Cross and the Tioga County United Way, where he was chair for the annual campaign drive before making his move east. Currently he is the CEO/GM of New Meadowlands Racetrack and Winners OTW at Bayonne, N.J., and is vice president of racing, simulcast and sponsorship for American Racing and Entertainment (Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs). He and his wife, Lori, reside in Cream Ridge, New Jersey, with their sons Jeffrey and Travis. Born in the Buckeye State, Settlemoir is an avid fan of Ohio State sports and Cleveland Browns football. He likes spending time at home with the family. by John Manzi, for Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA

Monticello, NY--Few harness racing horse breeders have made a larger multi-media splash this year than Crawford Farms of Durhamville, New York.   From the second-story Crawford Farms mural at The Meadowlands to the Red Mile Grand Circuit meet where the water trucks proudly displayed the farm’s iconic insignia, racing fans are constantly reminded of the dynamic duo’s substantial commitment to the sport.  Evident across multiple digital platforms, the Crawford’s are very active on social media and have produced and broadcast several TV commercials during key, nationally televised harness races, including the Hambletonian.   Driven by a passion for the sport, and a desire to help harness racing prosper, the Crawford’s have sponsored this season’s Meadowlands Pace, Kindergarten Classic, Crawford Farms Trot and the Red Mile Grand Circuit meet.  In addition to vast purse support, they have recently completed a state-of-the-art equine therapeutic spa, 40-stall barn, and an 8-stall horse exerciser at their central New York breeding & racing operation.   For their considerable investment in the future of the Standardbred and support of harness racing and breeding in the state of New York, the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has awarded Crawford Farms their annual Excelsior Award.   The award will be presented on Nov. 16 at the chapter’s 56th annual awards banquet.  Somewhat surprised when they learned of the award, Michelle and Albert Crawford were humbled by the honor.   “We love this business, and we are very pleased that someone has noticed and appreciated our efforts” noted Albert, son of the late Jim Crawford who was the affable former president of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State.    “My wife and I are committed to breeding top horses in New York State and supporting the industry in the process.  We know that it is a considerable challenge, but we are rolling up our sleeves and eager to do the work!”   Michelle, the spark that energizes much of the daily operations added, “Every day that I am on our farm I am amazed at the work ethic and dedication that our staff contribute to our vision.  Whether we are breeding, foaling, weaning or performing racehorse rehab, they always give 110%, and for that I am very grateful.”   The farm, which was founded in 1966 by Jim and Patricia Crawford, continues to be a family affair.  The 100-acre nursery has continued to expand not only their footprint, but also their broodmare band.  Their yearling consignments to Lexington and Morrisville have continued to improve in scope and scale.   When they are not raising future harness racing stars, Michelle and Al own and operate one of the most successful healthcare lending institutions in the nation, Bankers Healthcare Group.  In fact, BHG was ranked as the 5th Fastest Growing Private Company by Inc.   Formed in 1992 from a modest group of four finance experts, BHG now employs close to 200 business professionals.   From the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA  

Quaid Racing's Jake Quaider continued his late season surge as he knocked off six other Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old trotting colts by one and one-half lengts in Wedneday's $40,200 Cardinal Stake at Balmoral Park. The final time was 1:58.2. Confidently handled by leading driver Casey Leonard the altered son of Photo Color--Grace Elizabeth was placed in mid-pack while Powerful Above All (Todd Warren) led the field through splits of 29.2 & 59.1. Getting underway while following live cover from his main rival RT Habanero (Dave Magee) as the field moved around the final bend, Leonard was able to drop in right behind that colt as the pair quickly swallowed up a tiring Powerful Above All while rolling by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.1. Through the lane Jake Quaider effortlessly began to reel in RT Habanero, cruising right by that one while under very minimal urging from Leonard for his third win in eight trips postward. RT Habanero was forced to settle for the runner-up role while Captain Greedy (JD Finn) was a distant third, 5 ¼ lengths behind the winner. Now under the guidance of veteran conditioner Nelson Willis after starting his career in the barn of Ervin Miller, Jake Quaider boasts a record of 3-2-2 in 8 starts with earnings of $51,560. Bet as though defeat was out of the question Jake Quaider returned $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10. The 10-cent Hi-Five was not hit on the night's final race so there will be a carryover of more than $9,600 added to Saturday's Hi-Five wager at Balmoral Park. The Hi-Five, the "ultimate get-out" wager will be held on Race 13 on Saturday's Balmoral Park card. Casey Leonard and Jake Quaider made it look easy in Wednesday's $40,200 Cardinal Stake for 2yo trotting colts. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park  

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I assumed I would be writing about one, or both, of Friday’s ICF 3-year-old stakes at Maywood Park however each of the scheduled $10,000 events were cancelled by the track’s Race Office because of insufficient entries. Four male pacers—Fox Valley Cupid, Fox Valley Deuce, Little Hank and Sleazeburgernfries—entered the Betzotic while three fillies—Fox Valley Amanda, Fox Valley Shiver and My Little Bit—were submitted to compete in the Giggles The Clown. Apparently not enough numbers for a pari-mutuel race on the Friday program but they certainly could and should have been positioned as non-wagering events before start of the regular card.  Next week’s conditioned sheet shows that both of Friday’s scheduled 3-year-old stakes were not written back, they were just discarded. Likewise there was no attempt to re-schedule the $25,000 McKeever/Associates stake for older state-bred pacers when that came up short on Windy City Night. That long-time popular Maywood Pacing Series race wasn’t written back the following weekend either. The hours by trainers and their help preparing these horses for these scheduled stakes and the anticipation of their owners to watch them compete evidently doesn’t get much consideration by those who seemingly have complete control of the horsemen purse money. The continuation of the local racetracks to scrap these ICF stakes and put their revenue pots into the general purse fund for non-ICF horses to acquire doesn’t  “(e) Encourage the breeding of thoroughbred and standardbred horses in this State” as specified in the Illinois Racing Act of 1975. At a time in our history when the Illinois breeding industry needs all the help it can get the local racetracks instead are discouraging people to own and race ICF horses in our state by the persistent dumping of ICF stake races for any excuse they see fit. Through the years the backbone of harness racing success in our state has always been a strong ICF program. Let’s do what we can to build it back up . . . not break it down. No Contest: Bailey’s Wish was much the best in Thursday night’s $10,100 Speed N The Tunnel stake, drawing off by four lengths with Dave Magee in a snappy 1:58.3 mile Bailey’s Wish had a six length lead in the stretch before she was taken up by her National Hall of Fame driver and hand-driven to the finish wire. The victory was the 3-year-old ICF filly’s sixth in 16 starts for trainer Dirk Simpson and his Illinois owners Jim Bafia (Minooka) and Gene White (Chicago). Earlier Bailey’s Wish captured the Lady Lincoln Land and the Springfield titles giving her a two-season record of 10 wins in 30 starts and over $258,000 in purse earnings. Notable Numbers: Casey Leonard went over the 300 mark in dash winners for this season earlier this week and he also topped the $2 million plateau in money won for the second consecutive year. The 37-year-old Harvard Illinois native leads the Maywood Park driver’s race by 30 winners and is 50-plus ahead at Balmoral Park. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA
For the second straight week I lost money (-$4.10) on win bets but with the cold exactas and trifectas in the Messenger Stakes and Valley Victory, we made decent money for the weekend. This weekend we have super cards Friday at Hoosier Park and Saturday at Vernon Downs plus we travel north of the boarder to Woodbine Racetrack for their good Preferred Trot. Good Luck! $50,000 Pace Monument Circle consolation 3yo colts Hoosier 6th race FRIDAY - May only be the consolation race but still a very good match-up. I am going with Capital Account. Early season sensation has been putting in decent efforts except for his last outing against tougher. Draws well, rested and should be able to regain winning form against this field. Use Somestarsomewhere and Somesizesomestyle in exotic plays. $193,000 Trot Moni Maker 3yo fillies Hoosier Park 8th race FRIDAY - Best fillies in the nation will go out at it in here but the smart money has to go with Shake It Cerry. Won't be a walk in the park as she faces four other return winners in the field but she has beaten most of them throughout the season and can do it again. Use Lifetime Pursuit and Riveting Rosie in exotic plays. $176,500 Pace Nadia Lobell 3yo fillies Hoosier Park 9th race FRIDAY - Since winning the Jugette and rolling through five straight wins, Color's A Virgin has been sensational in Indiana for two years. She really gets tested once against facing the best in the nation. But even from post eight she is rightly the morning line favorite to win it all. Use Precocious Beauty and Katie Said in exotic plays. $230,000 Trot Carl Erskine 3yo colts Hoosier Park 10th race FRIDAY - Will be really interesting to see how Indiana's top colt, Rose Run Parker, who is going for his eighth straight win, will fare against the number one rated colt in the nation, Father Patrick. I am going to have to stick with Father Patrick as has beaten the best all season long. Use Rose Run Parker and Il Sogno Dream in exotic plays. $211,500 Pace Hoosier Park Pacing Derby FFA Hoosier Park 11th race FRIDAY - Half of the field are return winners but I am going with the horse who has lost his last three starts, only by a nose and a head. That's Foiled Again. Game class master can still show his heels to younger rivals and from outside post he might even be able to work out a trip to take this field. Use Sweet Lou and Clear Vision in exotic plays. $275,000 Pace The Monument Circle Final 3yo colts Hoosier 12th race FRIDAY - Wow...Limelight Beach, JK Endofanera, Always B Miki, Let's Drink On It, nearly all the best colts in the country going head and head for big money. I am taking a shot that Always B Miki got a week's rest after his big win at Hoosier where he romped by 8 ½ lengths and can do it again. Use JK Endofaneara and Limelight Beach in exotic plays. $34,000 Trot Preferred Woodbine Racetrack 5th race SATURDAY - Great matchup here between the return of Intimidate against Daylon Magician. When he is right he can beat any trotter there is and I think that Intimidate is ready to fire it up after good rest and very sharp qualifying win last week. Outside post is only hindrance. Use Daylon Magician and Slip Into Glide in exotic plays. $178,000 Pace Artiscape older mares Vernon Downs 6th race SATURDAY - Trainers PJ Fraley and Ron Burke seem to have the deck stacked, each with a three-horse entry. Doesn't matter because I am going with Joe Holloway's Somwherovrarainbow. She showed her former self last week with impressive win at Harrah's. All she needs is come live cover and she can score again. Use Fraley entry of Krispy Apple, Shelliscape, Anndrovette with Burke entry of Rocklamation, Summertime Lea and Camille in exotic plays. $240,500 Trot Kindergarten Final 2yo colts Vernon Downs 7th race SATURDAY - While the Erv Miller entry of Airman Batten and SS Poseidon are the race favorite, I am going with French Laundry. He has the gate speed to get good position and has shown great closing speed, :27.3 in his last start. Yannick will work his magic to get this one home. Use Airman Batten/SS Poseidon entry and Boots N Chairns/Suit And Tie entry in exotic plays. $251,100 Trot Kindergarten Final 2yo fillies Vernon Downs 8th race SATURDAY - Jimmy Takter's entry of Sarcy and Lil U Hanover have not been world beaters this season but have drawn well and have both shown good trot in recent action and gets a slim call in here over Allerage Star. Use Allerage Star and Queen The Bea in exotic plays. $178,000 Trot Muscle Hill older mares Vernon Downs 9th race SATURDAY - Great field of trotting mares featuring numerous world champions and a Horse of the Year! Who to pick? The class of the field is Bee A Magician, who last week was a game third in the International Trot against the world's best. Despite drawing outside post nine I think she is in a perfect spot for Brian Sears to work out a great trip to score from. Use Classic Martine and Perfect Alliance in exotic plays.
It was John & Dan Wach's Canadian Wildcat pulling off the upset in the feature at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday, a trot for non-winners of $17,500 in their last 5 starts. The 5-year-old son of Angus Hall was coming off of three straight off-the-board finishes against similar. The odds board was wide open however, as four of the eight combatants were under 3-1, with the favorite going off 5-2. At the start, it was Possessed Fashion (Ron Pierce) and Yagot Class (Tim Tetrick) leaving well for the lead, as Canadian Wildcat (Mike Simons ) settled off the early tempo. The opening quarter went in :28. The battle raged on up top, as classy veteran Bastille (David Miller) forced another lead change under the finish line the first time, and was first to the half in :56.2 (:28). Possessed Fashion made another move towards the lead up the backstretch, and battled first over while Bloodstockshalltab (Yannick Gingras) took up second over position, as the field bunch at three-quarters in 1:25.3 (:29.1).  Turning for home, the speed gave way, allowing Canadian Wildcat to split rivals in the final steps, winning by a neck, stopping the clock in 1:55.4 (30.1). Bloodstockshalltab settled for second, while Possessed Fashion was third. The Dawn Dellaporte trainee returned $98.20, keying an exacta worth $668.20. Once again, driver Tim Tetrick led the day with three wins. He was coming off of a six win performance on Wednesday. Live racing returns on Friday, with a special post time of 2:30 PM. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia
Long shot players were ecstatic as the horses crossed the wire in the ninth race at Northfield Park on Thursday (October 30), when (7) Upland Hanover successfully kicked from the back to win at odds of 176-1. Northfield, Ohio's Greg Bartlett owns and trains the seven year-old. Jason Thompson was aboard for the winning drive. It was the fourth win this year in 23 starts and represents Upland Hanover's 12th lifetime score. (7) Upland Hanover (176-1) was followed across the wire by (3) Caramel Chinno (8-5) and (1) Stellllllla (6-1). Upland Hanover returned $355.60 to win; the 7-3 Exacta paid $1,094.80; and the 7-3-1 Trifecta returned a whopping $10,102.20. Albeit one of the biggest winners in Northfield Park's history, Upland Hanover is not the longest shot to ever score over the Flying Turns. That honor goes to Jet's Appearance and driver Sheri Hersman when they paid $579 to win on August 22, 1988. Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $20,000 Pick-4 total pool guarantee to Monday’s (November 3) program.  Beginning in Race 8, the $20,000 Pick-4 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $3,578.47. Northfield’s Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3’s offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent.    Monday’s post time is 6:00 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park
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