Day At The Track
Harness racing

Evenin Of Pleasure romps in $260,000 Gerrity

Heading into Saturday night, in two of the previous five installments of the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the track record has been set. In 2013, Bolt The Duer lowered the all-age track record to 1:49 before having his mark eclipsed the following season when Dancin Yankee cruised to a 1:48.4 score in the Gerrity. In 2016, defending National Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit shined in the season's biggest race at Saratoga as he overcame a difficult journey to prevail in the $260,000 race that memorializes the longtime former Chairman of the Board of Saratoga Harness Inc. Joe Gerrity Jr. Saturday night was the tenth installment of the race in his honor. The winner of the '17 Gerrity Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) was back to defend his crown and wound up as a 2-1 co-second choice in the wagering on a beautiful night for racing in the Spa City. Bit Of A Legend sat the pocket behind the favored Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) who was hounded while on the engine, having to endure first half fractions of 26.2 and 53.4 before seeing rival Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) fly past him heading towards three quarters. Evenin Of Pleasure took over and took off, pacing away from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:49.2, the third fastest time for any horse in track history. Evenin Of Pleasure's romp came by a margin of five and a half lengths. Bit Of A Legend N now has a win and two seconds in the Gerrity as he was the runner-up on Saturday night while Rockin Ron earned the show spot. With the win, the eight year old Evenin Of Pleasure went over the $1 million mark in career earnings. A force at Yonkers this spring and summer, Evenin Of Pleasure is trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owner Gestion Blais, Inc. of Montreal, QC, CA. Evenin Of Pleasure paid $6.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $18 and $49.40, respectively. Saturday's star-studded card also featured a blanket presentation for harness racing's richest horse as Foiled Again was honored in the winner's circle at the conclusion of his conditional race at the Spa. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening with a first post time of 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Great Vintage, harness racing

Yonkers $44k Open Pace to Great Vintage

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 21, 2018-Veteran Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald, $6.60) had to work for the lead and that worked for him Saturday night (July 21st), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Using his usual gate speed, Great Vintage-from post position No. 5-had an early impediment in Barimah A (Brent Holland). Forced wide around that one, Great Vintage then continued to the lead, taking over from Robbie Burns N (Greg Merton) before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. Once he fronted the fray, Great Vintage finished it off (:56.4, 1:24.4, 1:52.4). Second went to a stubborn 17-10 fave Always at My Place (George Brennan), who was also compromised when an out-again Barimah A moved first-up and was his obligatory hard-to-steer self. Barimah A eventually went back in-again-leaving Always at My Place to take up the chase. Great Vintage, with a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, defeated Always at My Place by three-quarters of a length in 1:52. Robbie Burns N was a pocket third, with Run Oneover N (Jim Marohn Jr.) and that Barimah A rounding out the payees. For second choice Great Vintage, a 10-year-old son of American Ideal owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Goran Anderberg & Goran Falk and trained by Jimmy Takter, it was his fourth win in 11 seasonal starts (career 44-for-159, earnings over $1.24 million). The exacta paid $22, the triple returned $68.50 and the superfecta paid $281. Sunday's (July 22nd) matinee has a first post of 12:30 PM, with races 1 through 4 of the overflow-field, mile-and-a-quarter 'French' theme. The 'New York, New York Double' is comprised of Saratoga's third race and Yonkers' fifth. Post times are 2:07 PM and 2:20 PM, respectively. . by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Obrigado, harness racing

Obrigado much the best in Tioga Trot

Obrigado (Rene Sejthen) looked in prime form beating the best trotters at Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 21). Obrigado ($5.20) was bet as the second choice to Barn Bella (Claude Huckabone). Obrigado controlled all the fractions (:27.3, :56.3, 1:25.0, 1:53.3). He went to the lead and never gave it up even as he was pressured all the way down the backstretch and the final turn by the betting favorite, Barn Bella (Claude Huckabone Jr.). Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) took a run at him in the stretch but settled for second best. Barn Bella gutted it out to finish third. Obrigado is an 8-year-old gelding by Boy Band. Owned by trainer Paul Kelley as well as SRF Stable, L Higgins and Stable 45. It was his first win in two years and career victory number 43. He has won almost 1.8 million dollars in his career. Truth And Liberty (Mike Simons) fires late to capture Fillies and Mares Open Handicap ($12,000). Roll With Sparky led the group to the first quarter in :27.1 and the half in :56.1. K J's Caroline (Mike Merton) then took a short lead before hitting three-quarters in 1:23.4. Truth And Liberty ($5.20), who is owned by Fairy Horsemother Stables and trained by Simons, went three wide at the top of the stretch and blew right by to win in 1:52.3. MC Attagirl (Fern Paquet Jr.) came up late to finish second. K J's Caroline settled for third. Truth And Liberty is a 6-year-old mare by Total Truth. It was her third win in 2018. She now has 31 lifetime victories. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 22) with a 13 race card starting at 6:15. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Helpisontheway, harness racing

Tompkins-Geers to Helpisontheway at Big M

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Helpisontheway looked like a seat-filler in the Saturday night feature at the Meadowlands, the $61,900 Arthur Tompkins Memorial for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot. The Linda Toscano trainee was sent to the gate at odds of 9-1 and was one of only two horses in the field of eight who are not eligible to the Hambletonian. He may not have looked like much on paper, but he sure did on the track. Tim Tetrick used a little of the colt's speed to grab the three hole early, before brushing to the top just before the half. Racing on the rim, here came 8-5 second choice Zephyr Kronos, inching closer as the pair passed three-quarters. In mid-stretch, it appeared Zephyr Kronos would go by easily, as driver Jimmy Takter wasn't getting after his Hambo hopeful, who is a son of Ready Cash-Orange Kronos. In deep stretch, Tetrick energetically asked Helpisontheway for more, and he responded as Takter took that cue and got after his colt, but at the conclusion of the three-sixteenths of a mile duel, it was Helpisontheway prevailing by a hard-fought neck in 1:53.2. Met's Hall finished third. Evaluate, the 3-2 favorite, went off stride at the start. Helpisontheway, a son of Chapter Seven-Porque who won twice earlier this year on the New York Sire Stakes circuit, now has three wins in seven starts this season and earnings of just over $94,000. He paid $20.60 to win. In the Arthur Tompkins for sophomore trotting females, Hey Blondie lived up to her 4-5 promise, racing parked for the final half-mile yet still scoring easily by a length over Bill's Lady in 1:54.3. Hey Blondie, a daughter of Cantab Hall-Winbak Blondie who is Hambletonian Oaks eligible, was driven by Andy McCarthy and trained by Chuck Sylvester. She returned $3.60 to her backers. A LITTLE MORE: The Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five resulted in a single-ticket winner. That Oregon Express player, who held the ticket with the 5-1-3-6-9 combination in race nine, walked away with $20,039. ... It was a double jackpot night, as the Late JSH5 was also hit, by a player in Ontario. That bettor with the ticket reading 9-6-5-3-1 in race 12 was paid $13,401. ... The 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 also had only one winner. That lucky Twin Spires player survived eight legs of the wager and cashed in for $11,109. ... The 50-Cent Pick-4 pool went past the $90,000 mark for a sixth straight time, as $90,308 was poured into the pot. ... All-source wagering totaled $1,942,079. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - Trainer Jimmy Takter brought the down under sensation Lazarus out for gate schooling after today's qualifiers and the pair went a dazzling mile in 1:51 flat, the only company being two trotters that were unable to keep up and the only encouragement a few "C'mon boy" calls from the driver.   Fractions were 29.2, 57, 1:25.3, 1:51.   The six-year-old New Zealand bred son of Bettors Delight was imported by Taylor Made Stallions and is expected to contest the top older horse events for the balance of the season.   Breakfast WithThe Babies (BWTB), sponsored by Fashion Farms Meadowlands Pace Day edition, was conducted at 9:00 am under ideal conditions, no wind and temperatures of 70 degrees. Pacing colts opened the card today and Goldberg rode the Team Teague bus up from Harrington this morning then went a sensational mile in 1:51.3 for catch driver Dewayne Minor. He went right to the front, set fast fractions and closed it out in 27.3 in hand. Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) rallied between horses for second and Alittlewiggleroom, driven by George Teague, gained wide late for third. Goldberg is a Montrell Teague homebred by family sire Mr Wiggles and is trained by his aunt Brenda Teague. Captain McKee was a 1:53.4 winner for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Scott Zeron. Zeron afforded the Captaintreacherous colt a perfect trip behind eventual second place finisher Cub Fan (Andy Miller), tipping off that one in the stretch through the 27.2 final panel for the win. Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant and Captain Trevor Racing gave $75,000 for the Hanover bred at Harrisburg last fall. Pacing filly Pace Baby Pace (Andy Miller) put one in the win column for her sire Sweet Lou with a 1:56.1 score for the Burke barn. She sat a pocket to Passion Struck (Andy McCarthy) through reasonable fractions then sailed by under minimal encouragement form the driver. JK Mardi Says (Zeron) rallied wide nicely for the place. The winner is a homebred for Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, LLC. Trotting fillies came next and Sister's Promise can now be counted among the winners from Father Patrick's first crop after her effortless 2:00.4 score for Tim Tetrick. Celebrity Serena cut the mile through slow numbers and led until mid-stretch where the winner and Mother Teresa (Zeron) went by in the 28.4 final stanza. Linda Toscano trains Sister's Promise for Brittany Farms. She was a $120,000 Harrisburg yearling, bred by Fred Hertrich, III. Andy and Julie Miller won the next race with the Donato Hanover filly American Kronos in 1:58. Getting away in third, American Kronos accelerated when asked around the last bend and sailed by early leader Lindy Pearl (Zeron) through the 27.4 end to the mile. Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and David Goodrow own the winner, bred in Italy by Allevamento Kronos. Full Right (Justin Morrison) won in 1:59.1, surging by a stubborn Celebrity Stalone (Minor) in the shadow of the wire. Jim Campbell trains the homebred son of RC Royalty for Runthetable Stable. Finally Dewayne Minor doubled up for the day by driving Fearless Dreamer, an Explosive Matter colt from Bold Dreamer to a front stepping 1:59.1 win over Practical Cat (Takter). The winner is owned by Rivers Stable who gave $35,000 from the Valley High consignment at the Lexington Yearling Sale. Also of note last season's Dan Patch award winning freshman trotter Fourth Dimension went a flat qualifier in 1:52.4 for Brian Sears as trainer Marcus Melander continues to seek answers to the colt's erratic performances thus far this year. Live racing tonight at 8:00 and it's Corntastic Night! Lazarus “schools” in an approximate time of 1:51. Last qua in 25 and change. pic.twitter.com/U2fkysunXM— Dave Brower (@eedoogie) July 21, 2018 by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

STICKNEY, IL - Saturday evening at Hawthorne saw a pair of divisions in leg two of the Incredible Finale. The Incredible Finale is for Illinois-bred two-year-old colt and gelding pacers as the pair of races were contested over a fast track. Race three was the first division of the Incredible Finale as Meyer On Fire and The Bucket battled for off time favoritism. Sent away as the favorite was The Bucket with Casey Leonard driving. Making the early lead was Meyer on Fire as he cruised through the opening quarter in :30.2. Chased by longshot Coming Up through a half in :59.1, Meyer on Fire maintained his lead while The Bucket was well positioned in third. Opening up a three length lead through three quarters in 1:28.3, Meyer on Fire led the field into the lane as The Bucket started to move. Mid-stretch, The Bucket moved alongside Meyer on Fire as Meyer on Fire broke stride and dropped back. At the wire, The Bucket was six lengths clear, winning in 1:57.2. Coming Up held second while Meyer on Fire got back on stride, finishing third. The Bucket is owned by George Dremonas, along with trainer Ken Rucker. Race five was the second division of the Incredible Finale as a competitive field of seven was led by favorite Maximus as Casey Leonard and Ken Rucker looked to sweep both divisions. Leaving quickly was Holden Steady, passing the opening quarter in :29.2. On the backside, Fox Valley Julius moved quickly to take over, passing the half in :59.0. After three quarters in 1:28.3, Fox Valley Julius held a three length lead into the lane. Mid-stretch, both Voila and Maximus tipped out and went after the leader as Maximus was closing fastest of all, winning in 1:57.2. Voila finished second while Fox Valley Julius held third. Maximus is owned by The Panhellenic Stable Corporation and Ken Rucker. Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, continues the summer harness season through September 24. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 5 through December 29. For more information, visit www.Hawthorneracecourse.com or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700. by Jim MIller for Hawthorne Race Course  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - A veteran harness racing pacer with career earnings of $1.3 million and a record of ability to race well over an off-track, teamed with a driver making his first career start on a sloppy track to pull off a 12-1 upset, as Sunfire Blue Chip and driver Josert Fonseca skimmed the inside pylons to take a 1:50.4 victory in a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series for fast-class pacers on Saturday night. Sunfire Blue Chip, who was beaten only a half-length over sloppy footing when third behind Captaintreacherous and Vegas Vacation in the 2013 Hempt Championship here, started from post six and took his spot sixth in the early "lineup" (1 through 7) out of the gate, but things changed radically even before the 27 quarter, as Christen Me N was already out to take the lead from polesitter and favorite Bettor's Edge, only to see that one remove to the top by the 54.3 half. Highalator came uncovered from third with Rockeyed Optimist and the mare Bettorhaveanother right behind, and when Rockeyed Optimist gapped cover Christen Me N slid out behind Highalator, with Sunfire Blue Chip and Fonseca, sixth in front of the stands, advancing quickly to find themselves in the pocket to the 1:22.4 3/4. Highalator wore down pacesetting Bettor's Edge early in the stretch, but Fonseca had his son of American Ideal flying up the famed Pocono Pike, and they beat out the game Highalator by a neck, with Bettorhaveanother, ducking back in to get out of her bad flow, closing well to miss the big end of the purse by only ¾ of a length as the 43-1 longest shot on the board. Sunfire Blue Chip, whose mark of 1:48.3 was taken in his Hempt elim just over five years ago, boosted his earnings for trainer Jimmy Takter to $1,357,440 for Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical Inc., and R A W Equine Inc. For driver Fonseca, his budding career now shows a 14-6-2-1 tally, good for a UDR of .532 - which rises to 1.000 if only sloppy track races are considered. Frpm the PHHA/Pocono Downs

MILTON, ON - July 21, 2018 - Superstar harness racing trotting filly Atlanta will attempt to make history by tackling the boys and competing in the $1 million Hambletonian on Saturday, August 4 at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Trainer Rick Zeron made the official announcement on Saturday evening (July 21) regarding his decision to race his three-year-old filly Atlanta against the boys rather than against fillies in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks. A daughter of Chapter Seven, Atlanta has taken the racing world by storm and is currently undefeated in five starts this season. Zeron was not required to make a decision regarding which route Atlanta would take until this Tuesday (July 24), but noted he and his son, Scott, made their decision weeks ago. "Scott and I decided this about a month ago, but we just kind of kept it all to ourselves and mulled everything all over and did all the right do's and don'ts," said Zeron, who shared the news while preparing to race Saturday at Georgian Downs. "We came up with she's competitive enough to race against the boys." Atlanta was purchased for $60,000 as a yearling at the Harrisburg Sale in November of 2016. The Chapter Seven filly had a solid rookie season, winning four of 10 starts and earning $135,075, but was in the shadow of then-undefeated Manchego. Zeron wasn't shy about declaring high hopes for Atlanta's sophomore season during the winter training months at Sunshine Meadows in Florida. The filly immediately backed up her trainer's statements in her season debut. "We qualified her (April 28) and I told Scott to qualify her around 1:55 and he went 1:54 with her," said Zeron. "He got off the bike and said, 'She's serious.' " "10 days later we tried to get her in a three-year-old filly class at The Meadowlands and they didn't have one. They said 'There is a class, non-winners of $11,500 last five, but you'll be in against colts and a couple of aged trotters.' and I said 'Go ahead'. She sat seventh and Scott moved her at the head of the lane and she won her first start in 1:52." Atlanta's dazzling debut caught the attention of many and proved to Zeron exactly what he had thought for months about his filly. "That's when we knew that she was really special." In just her third start of the season, Atlanta established a Vernon Downs all-age track record of 1:50.3 in the Empire Breeders Classic. The victory vaulted the filly into superstar status and created a buzz among racing fans. Atlanta has since added two more victories to her career totals, which sit at nine wins and $313,309 earned. Her most recent victory occurred Thursday evening in a New York Sires Stakes event at Vernon. Zeron described the victory as a "training mile". The Hambletonian will require Atlanta to race multiple-heats on the same day, unlike the Hambletonian Oaks which has eliminations the week prior to the final. "I'm not that worried about it," said Zeron about racing heats. "She recovers about 12 or 14 minutes after each race." Zeron co-owns Atlanta with partners Crawford Farms, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor and Brad Grant. He noted that his partners have provided full support. "All of my owners are on board with my decision to race her in the Hambletonian." Atlanta will become just the fifth filly since the year 2000 to race against the boys in the Hambletonian. The last filly to capture harness racing's most prestigious trotting event was Continentalvictory in 1996. Zeron's decision to race Atlanta in the sport's biggest trotting event adds tremendous hype to the 93rd Hambletonian and the veteran horseman expects to leave a lasting mark. "This will go down in history." by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

WASHINGTON, PA, July 21, 2018 - Hitman Hill and American History each scored in Saturday's eliminations for the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows and will lead the harness racing field into next Saturday's $400,000 final.   Also making the nine-horse final field are Done Well, Wes Delight, Summer Travel, Dorsoduro Hanover, Thinkgbig Dreambig, and Babes Dig Me as well as GD Western Joe, who earned a berth as the fifth-place finisher with higher career earnings.   The connections of Hitman Hill and American History will choose their post positions, with the selection order determined by draw, with the other post positions determined by open draw. That draw is set for 12:30 PM Tuesday and can be seen on Meadows Live!   Hitman Hill was on top past the quarter when his driver, Brett Miller, opted to release the favorite, Dorsuduro Hanover, who had been outside every step.   "Dorsoduro went some kind of mile in his last start in the Meadowlands Pace," Miller said. "I was happy to follow him."   At the top of the stretch, Miller, still in the pocket, had another choice to make: outside or Lightning Lane. "I could have gone either way, but my colt was running out," he said. "That's why I chose to go outside. Dorsoduro fought me all the way to the wire. I wasn't even sure if we got up. I've been high on my colt since Day 1. I think he's as good as any 3-year-old out there."   Hitman Hill edged Dorsoduro Hanover by a nose in1:50, with the fast-closing Thinkbig Dreambig third. Chris Oakes trains the American Ideal-Fox Valley Shaker gelding for Tom Hill and Northfork Racing Stable.   American History had been racing hell bent for the front, a strategy that put him on the board in North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace eliminations but got him cooked in the finals of those events. His regular pilot, Yannick Gingras, indicated before Saturday's race that he might try a more reserved approach.   But when an opportunity to quarter-pole to the lead arose, American History and Gingras took it. The son of American Ideal-Perfect Touch opened a 3-1/2-length lead into the final turn and ultimately downed Done Well by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51, with early leader Wes Delight third.   "That definitely wasn't the plan today, but sometimes you have to play the cards the way they're dealt," Gingras said. "That's the way the race unfolded today--a big difference in fractions from last week. I'm sure that's part of the reason he held on today."   Tony Alagna, who conditions American History for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and American History Racing, agreed with Gingras' decision.   "Sometimes you have to call an audible," Alagna said. "Yannick thought more horses would leave than actually did. He was planning on tripping out, but when he saw the fractions, he decided to take a shot and move to the front."   by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows  

WASHINGTON, PA, July 21, 2018 -- Saturday's Adios eliminations card at The Meadows also featured 66 freshman colt and gelding pacers vying for total purses of $312,112 -- and to demonstrate they have what it takes to be champions. Indeed, several of them showed just that. Here are the highlights of the two stakes for 2-year-olds: $190,112 Pennsylvania Sires Stake (The Albatross) De Los Cielos Deo extended his career unbeaten streak to three -- all stake victories --while Semi Tough earned Albatross honors by scoring in 1:51.1, fastest this year by a freshman on a five-eighths-mile track. Yannick Gingras drove both promising youngsters for trainer Ron Burke. Other Albatross splits went to Sugar Factory and Ehrmantraut. A son of Captain Treacherous-Lisjune, De Los Cielos Deo quarter-poled to the front and never allowed the pocket-sitting Love Me Some Lou to get close, downing him by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:51.3. Captain Victorious finished third. "From the first time I drove him in Florida, he was my favorite," said Gingras of the winner, who is campaigned by Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J&T Silva-Purnell&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. "He's never disappointed. He's been there from the start, and he's showing it now. What we like best about him is that he's so smart. You want to pull, he goes. You want to go back in the hole, he goes back in the hole. He's like a 6-year-old who knows what to do." At times in the past, owner John Cancelliere and trainer Tom Cancelliere have launched the careers of their brightest 2-year-olds in relatively soft spots, allowing them to gain their sea legs and develop confidence before facing the pressures of bigger stakes. That approach paid off for Sugar Factory, who debuted with a stallion series win and had little trouble stepping up to the Albatross for a facile victory in 1:52.1, 2-3/4 lengths better than Cruise Captain, with No Mas Amor third. "We'll see how far up he can go without torturing him," Tom Cancelliere said of his $65,000 yearling acquisition. "His upside? We don't know yet. He hasn't faltered yet. He hasn't told us, that's enough. I want to race him only 10 or 12 times this year." Ehrmantraut allowed 4-5 favorite Bring The Thunder to do the heavy lifting, then blew by him in the Lightning Lane to triumph in 1:52.2 for Dave Palone, trainer Lou Pena and owners Lawrence Keethe and John Darrah. Branquinho was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, while Bring The Thunder saved show. "There are three or four colts today, you'd lick your chops to have one," Palone said. "I think he's in that group. I don't know what more you could ask from him." $120,000 PA Stallion Series Latissimus Hanover made it two straight in the stallion series in a stake-fastest 1:52.4. Prince Of Tides, Highlandbeachlover, Do Ya Think, Just Plain Loco and Captain Hill captured the other divisions. Palone fashioned a stake double behind Highlandbeachlover and Do Ya Think. Latissimus Hanover, a son of Captaaintreacherous-Ladyking, quarter-poled to the top for Tim Tetrick and made short work of the field, defeating Roar Of Approval by 2-1/2 lengths. Early leader Yacht Week completed the ticket. "We'll keep him right in the stallion series and, hopefully, keep making the money," said Ray Schnittker, who trains the $75,000 yearling purchase and owns with Mary Arnold and Ted Gewertz. "We have him staked pretty good for the end of the year, so hopefully he can get through this gauntlet and get the job done." Prince Of Tides was caught outside for most of the opening panel, but he was still tons the best, scoring for Corey Callahan in 1:54.1. Doc's Hooligan was second, beaten 6-1/4 lengths, while Cool Your Heels earned show. "The field didn't really look that tough time-wise, and he had been in a lot more than the other colts," Callahan said. "I figured I'd give him a chance to strut his stuff and take matters into our own hands. He's a little bit immature and a little better following, but I kept him to task, and he was good." Ross Croghan conditions the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Tug River Princess for Let It Ride Stables, Dana Parham and Howard Taylor. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Scarborough, Maine - July 21, 2018 ... Two-year-old stakes racing made its seasonal debut at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (7/21) as a group of 7 Maine-bred pacing colts, freshmen all, gathered to contest a $10,635 premier of this Maine Sire Stakes division. In imposing fashion, LucksRealDeal gave notice to the competition that he might well be the "real deal" of this class this season as he threw in an uber impressive pari-mutuel debut, following a pair of rather rocky, yet intriguingly promising prep miles. The two-year-old son of Luckcamotion-Deal With Life had made breaks before the start in both his Baby Race appearances, only to rally smartly after resetting himself, while claiming back-to-back runner-up placings. Needing a flat line to qualify for his upcoming stakes engagements though, trainer Marc Tardif trucked his protege up to Bangor Raceway where the gelding proceeded to demoralize his competition, cutting the mile while pacing a back-half of 1:00.2, en route to a 39-1/4 length margin of victory. That sturdy QueenCity form certainly carried over into Saturday's stakes event as driver Matty Athearn gunned his charge explosively off the car, through an opening panel of 28 seconds flat, gaining an easy early lead which they would never relinquish. Owned in partnership by Marc Tardif and Lesley Leighton, the home-bred claimed a maiden speed record of 2:00.1 while cruising to 6-1/2 length margin at the wire. Victoria's Maverick (Heath Campbell) racing as part of a mutuel entry, threw in a strong rally bid to secure runner-up honors, while Heza Deuce (Mark Athearn) raced in second position throughout the mile before settling for third best at the wire. Maine Sire Stakes racing resumes at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/22) as the three-year-old pacing colts will take center stage, helping to anchor a strong 10-race program which will feature the 2nd annual Battle of the Ages driving challenge. Scarborough Downs will proudly feature live harness racing on Thursday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with the popular Sunday matinees getting underway at 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. by Mike Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Barry Hanover ($10.60) looked like a prize fighter bobbing and weaving in the stretch, seeking for some racing room in Buffalo Raceway's co-featured $9,700 Open II Pace on Saturday night (July 21). But driver Billy Davis Jr. was patient but persistent and finally found a gap in guiding Barry Hanover to a neck victory over Bugatti in 1:55.3.   In the other $9,700 Open II event, In Runaway Bay N found the 'lightning lane' early and was straight as an arrow to the finish line to notch a $34.20 upset win in 1:55.1.   Bugatti (Ron Beback Jr.) showed the way in the opening feature as he set the tempo with fractions of :29.3, :57.4 and 1:26.3. Barry Hanover, who was sitting fifth at the top of the stretch, looked in every direction before Davis Jr. was able to dip him into the passing lane and rally in the shadow of the wire for the victory. Bugatti had to settle for second with Southwind Torque (John Cummings Jr.) taking third.   Owned by John Sixt and trained by Judith Blaun, it was the second win in 15 starts this season for the 4-year-old gelded Barry Hanover (Rock N Roll Heaven-Beachbunny). The win increased his seasonal earnings to $17,628 and $105,609 lifetime.   In Runaway Bay N (Shawn McDonough) got the perfect stalking trip behind the pace setting Dark Horse and squeezed out a head victory. With panels of :28.2, :57.1 and 1:26.2, a :28.3 final quarter plus clear sailing through the stretch enabled In Runaway Bay N to collar Dark Horse. Tyler (Shawn Gray) took the show position.   Owned by Mark Jakubik and trained by Angelo Nappo, it was the third win in 21 starts in 2018 for 7-year-old gelded Runaway Bay N (Mach Three-Pullover Brown). His bankroll jumped to $29,515 this year and to $171,135 in his career.   Gray finished the evening with three winners in the bike with Monti and Davis Jr. adding two apiece. Dave McNeight Sr. had two training victories.   With the 2018 season now complete, the track announced its award winners for the year on Saturday night.   Drew Monti won his first driving championship at Buffalo Raceway with 123 victories as the 23-year-old went over $700,000 in purses. Shawn Gray took the runner up spot with 106 wins and Billy Davis Jr. finished in third with 100 in his initial season at the track.   James Clouser Jr. took his first training title at the Hamburg half-mile oval with 81 wins and over $415,000 in earnings. JD Perrin ended up second in the standings with 63 victories while Maria Rice rounded out the top three with 42 victories.   The "Trotter of the Year" went to Fox Valley Veto who broke the all-aged trotting record on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 1:56.0 victory to solidify the honor. Fox Valley Veto (Pizzazzed-Yankee Victory Om) is co-owned by the Vogel & Wags Nags Stable along with Jack Rice. The 7-year-old gelding is trained by Maria Rice and won five times in 16 tries at Buffalo, amassing $40,489 in purse money.   The "Pacer of the Year" award went to Lightning Raider N (Christian Cullen-Talent Hanover) as the 13-year-old gelding posted 12 victories in 21 starts in 2018 for then owner Mae Smith. Lightning Raider N had bankrolled $38,349 until he was claimed last weekend by Marissa Russo and Kenneth Urbanczyk for $5,500.   He didn't last long in their barn as Mike Torcello claimed him on Saturday night for $8,000 with Gerry Sarama listed as the trainer. Lightning Raider N finished fifth in the race.   Simulcasting at Buffalo Raceway will be closed from July 23 through August 21 due to the Erie County Fair.   Live racing at Buffalo Raceway will return in January of 2019.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Oh My Joepa (John MacDonald) hangs on to capture the Vernon Downs featured pace ($6,000) on Saturday (July 21). Oh My Joepa ($8.20) laid down all the fractions going gate-to-wire (:26.3, :56.4, 1:24.4, 1:52.2).  However it was not easy.  Skip Jive (Jimmy Whittemore) was third after three quarters and gave everything he had battling all the way down the stretch losing by a nose at the wire.  JDs Brent N Sheree (Truman Gale) finished third. Oh My Joepa is a 10-year-old gelding by Rocknroll Hanover.  Owned and trained by MacDonald, he won for the third time this season and for the 48th time in his career.  MacDonald had a triple double on the night, by driving and training three winners.  The other wins came with Weapon To Win ($8.40) and Kabu ($3.10). Adam Capizano had two wins on the night with big long shot Dark Prince ($101.50), as well as Banacek ($38.00). Vernon Downs returns to live action on Thursday (July 26) with a post time of 6:10 p.m..  There will be no live racing on Friday (July 27) due to Wynonna and The Big Noise concert. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

The 2018 Harness Horse Youth camp had an exciting finale to their week-long stay at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono with three thrilling exhibition races on the world-famous 5/8 miles oval.  Accompanied by Pocono drivers, the children donned harness racing colors and thrilled the crowd made up of family and friends. The first Exhibition was won by Logan Keller of Kingston, PA, who drove Pokie’s Topshot accompanied by driver Joe Poliseno.  His brother, Jatym, won the second race with Royal Attire, assisted by driver Matt Romano.  Exhibition 3 was a tightly contested race between Pokie’s Topshot and Alivia Smith (with Matt Romano) and CD’s Miss M, driven by Lucas Rideout and assisted by Joe Poliseno, coming right down to a nose win by Pokie’s Topshot. All campers were joined in the Hanover Shoe Farms Winner’s Circle by Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association Executive Director Mike Harant and Horsemen’s Representative Pete Antosh, along with Marketing Manager Jennifer Starr, for a special trophy and medal presentation.  A few tears were shed as the children said goodbye to their fellow campers and Ellen Taylor, camp director, and her counselors, Katie Eick, Morgan Kiehl, and John Reames.  The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and the PHHA are looking forward to next year’s camp, and extend a special thanks to all volunteer horsemen who made this year’s camp such a huge success. **The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with  harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation was established in 1976 and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs and educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF and its mission, go to www.hhyf.org. by Jennifer Starr, for Mohegan Sun

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Trainers Jimmy Takter and Tony Alagna had the hot horses Friday night at the Meadowlands, as each conditioner sent three pupils apiece to the winner's circle. Takter swept the Early Daily Double not only as trainer, but driver as well. Susy took a division of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-old trotting fillies in 1:55.1. The 2-5 favorite is a daughter of Father Patrick. Tactical Landing, the 1-2 public choice, completed a $4, all-Takter double in a non-winners of two event. The Hambletonian hopeful, a son of Muscle Hill, hit the wire in 1:52.3. Takter's three-bagger was complete after 1-9 choice Beautiful Sin won a Kindergarten for 2-year-old trotting fillies in 1:55.1 in the sixth race. The daughter of Muscle Hill made it two wins in as many parimutuel starts. Alagna sent out a pair of winners in the Kindergarten for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the pace. The first was in race five, when Major Deception (a Captaintreacherous colt) scored in 1:53.3 as the 3-5 favorite. The other was with Captain Ahab (another Captaintreacherous colt), who scored as the 4-5 choice in a sizzling 1:51.1 in race nine. Tony's trifecta was capped in the 11th race when 5-1 chance (the longest shot of the night) Key West scored in a Kindergarten for 2-year-old pacing fillies in a remarkable 1:51.1. Making her second career start, the daughter of Captaintreacherous paced her final quarter in :25.4. A LITTLE MORE: Tim Tetrick drove three winners on the card, while Takter, Yannick Gingras and Andy McCarthy had two apiece. ... Marcus Melander trained a pair of winners on the program. ... Seven favorites scored on the 11-race card, with the longest two prices of the night (5-2 and 5-1) coming in the last two races to create a Late Double that came back $68.00. ... The Pick-4 pool $100,000 streak ended at four, but betting was still brisk at $90,497. ... Total handle on the card was $1,978,174. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday with a special post time of 8 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Heading into Saturday night, in two of the previous five installments of the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the track record has been set. In 2013, Bolt The Duer lowered the all-age track record to 1:49 before having his mark eclipsed the following season when Dancin Yankee cruised to a 1:48.4 score in the Gerrity. In 2016, defending National Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit shined in the season's biggest race at Saratoga as he overcame a difficult journey to prevail in the $260,000 race that memorializes the longtime former Chairman of the Board of Saratoga Harness Inc. Joe Gerrity Jr. Saturday night was the tenth installment of the race in his honor. The winner of the '17 Gerrity Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) was back to defend his crown and wound up as a 2-1 co-second choice in the wagering on a beautiful night for racing in the Spa City. Bit Of A Legend sat the pocket behind the favored Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) who was hounded while on the engine, having to endure first half fractions of 26.2 and 53.4 before seeing rival Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) fly past him heading towards three quarters. Evenin Of Pleasure took over and took off, pacing away from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:49.2, the third fastest time for any horse in track history. Evenin Of Pleasure's romp came by a margin of five and a half lengths. Bit Of A Legend N now has a win and two seconds in the Gerrity as he was the runner-up on Saturday night while Rockin Ron earned the show spot. With the win, the eight year old Evenin Of Pleasure went over the $1 million mark in career earnings. A force at Yonkers this spring and summer, Evenin Of Pleasure is trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owner Gestion Blais, Inc. of Montreal, QC, CA. Evenin Of Pleasure paid $6.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $18 and $49.40, respectively. Saturday's star-studded card also featured a blanket presentation for harness racing's richest horse as Foiled Again was honored in the winner's circle at the conclusion of his conditional race at the Spa. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening with a first post time of 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 21, 2018-Veteran Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald, $6.60) had to work for the lead and that worked for him Saturday night (July 21st), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Using his usual gate speed, Great Vintage-from post position No. 5-had an early impediment in Barimah A (Brent Holland). Forced wide around that one, Great Vintage then continued to the lead, taking over from Robbie Burns N (Greg Merton) before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. Once he fronted the fray, Great Vintage finished it off (:56.4, 1:24.4, 1:52.4). Second went to a stubborn 17-10 fave Always at My Place (George Brennan), who was also compromised when an out-again Barimah A moved first-up and was his obligatory hard-to-steer self. Barimah A eventually went back in-again-leaving Always at My Place to take up the chase. Great Vintage, with a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, defeated Always at My Place by three-quarters of a length in 1:52. Robbie Burns N was a pocket third, with Run Oneover N (Jim Marohn Jr.) and that Barimah A rounding out the payees. For second choice Great Vintage, a 10-year-old son of American Ideal owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Goran Anderberg & Goran Falk and trained by Jimmy Takter, it was his fourth win in 11 seasonal starts (career 44-for-159, earnings over $1.24 million). The exacta paid $22, the triple returned $68.50 and the superfecta paid $281. Sunday's (July 22nd) matinee has a first post of 12:30 PM, with races 1 through 4 of the overflow-field, mile-and-a-quarter 'French' theme. The 'New York, New York Double' is comprised of Saratoga's third race and Yonkers' fifth. Post times are 2:07 PM and 2:20 PM, respectively. . by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
Obrigado (Rene Sejthen) looked in prime form beating the best trotters at Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 21). Obrigado ($5.20) was bet as the second choice to Barn Bella (Claude Huckabone). Obrigado controlled all the fractions (:27.3, :56.3, 1:25.0, 1:53.3). He went to the lead and never gave it up even as he was pressured all the way down the backstretch and the final turn by the betting favorite, Barn Bella (Claude Huckabone Jr.). Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) took a run at him in the stretch but settled for second best. Barn Bella gutted it out to finish third. Obrigado is an 8-year-old gelding by Boy Band. Owned by trainer Paul Kelley as well as SRF Stable, L Higgins and Stable 45. It was his first win in two years and career victory number 43. He has won almost 1.8 million dollars in his career. Truth And Liberty (Mike Simons) fires late to capture Fillies and Mares Open Handicap ($12,000). Roll With Sparky led the group to the first quarter in :27.1 and the half in :56.1. K J's Caroline (Mike Merton) then took a short lead before hitting three-quarters in 1:23.4. Truth And Liberty ($5.20), who is owned by Fairy Horsemother Stables and trained by Simons, went three wide at the top of the stretch and blew right by to win in 1:52.3. MC Attagirl (Fern Paquet Jr.) came up late to finish second. K J's Caroline settled for third. Truth And Liberty is a 6-year-old mare by Total Truth. It was her third win in 2018. She now has 31 lifetime victories. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 22) with a 13 race card starting at 6:15. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   by John Horne, for Tioga Downs
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Helpisontheway looked like a seat-filler in the Saturday night feature at the Meadowlands, the $61,900 Arthur Tompkins Memorial for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot. The Linda Toscano trainee was sent to the gate at odds of 9-1 and was one of only two horses in the field of eight who are not eligible to the Hambletonian. He may not have looked like much on paper, but he sure did on the track. Tim Tetrick used a little of the colt's speed to grab the three hole early, before brushing to the top just before the half. Racing on the rim, here came 8-5 second choice Zephyr Kronos, inching closer as the pair passed three-quarters. In mid-stretch, it appeared Zephyr Kronos would go by easily, as driver Jimmy Takter wasn't getting after his Hambo hopeful, who is a son of Ready Cash-Orange Kronos. In deep stretch, Tetrick energetically asked Helpisontheway for more, and he responded as Takter took that cue and got after his colt, but at the conclusion of the three-sixteenths of a mile duel, it was Helpisontheway prevailing by a hard-fought neck in 1:53.2. Met's Hall finished third. Evaluate, the 3-2 favorite, went off stride at the start. Helpisontheway, a son of Chapter Seven-Porque who won twice earlier this year on the New York Sire Stakes circuit, now has three wins in seven starts this season and earnings of just over $94,000. He paid $20.60 to win. In the Arthur Tompkins for sophomore trotting females, Hey Blondie lived up to her 4-5 promise, racing parked for the final half-mile yet still scoring easily by a length over Bill's Lady in 1:54.3. Hey Blondie, a daughter of Cantab Hall-Winbak Blondie who is Hambletonian Oaks eligible, was driven by Andy McCarthy and trained by Chuck Sylvester. She returned $3.60 to her backers. A LITTLE MORE: The Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five resulted in a single-ticket winner. That Oregon Express player, who held the ticket with the 5-1-3-6-9 combination in race nine, walked away with $20,039. ... It was a double jackpot night, as the Late JSH5 was also hit, by a player in Ontario. That bettor with the ticket reading 9-6-5-3-1 in race 12 was paid $13,401. ... The 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 also had only one winner. That lucky Twin Spires player survived eight legs of the wager and cashed in for $11,109. ... The 50-Cent Pick-4 pool went past the $90,000 mark for a sixth straight time, as $90,308 was poured into the pot. ... All-source wagering totaled $1,942,079. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands
Loader
Loader
Loader
Loader

Additional Articles