Lexington, KY --- Arthur "Artie” Lance Bier, 74, the father of Delaware-based horsemen Daryl and Sean Bier, died Aug. 21, 2014. A top horseman of the 1970s and 1980s, Mr. Bier's last drive came in 2002, although he continued to train horses through 2011. One of Mr. Bier's greatest days as a driver came on Valentine's Day 1981 at Northfield Park when scored six wins in six drives, equaling the track mark for single-day wins at the time with Herve Filion and Lew Williams. Because of thawing, the racetrack was listed as "slow” that afternoon, and the times for his wins -- all in pacing events -- ranged between 2:08.3 and 2:21.3. Following his sixth win that day with Labet's Buddy in the $4,500 Open Pace in 2:12, Mr. Bier quipped, "I weigh only 130 pounds and my tires don't sink down as much as some of the other guys'.” To view the rest of this story click here.
By Rick Foster for www.thesunchronicle.com Gov. Deval Patrick has blocked legislation that would reduce the state’s take on simulcast greyhound racing featured at Plainridge Racecourse and the state’s two other race tracks. Patrick sent the bill back with an amendment knocking out a provision he said would drain $600,000 budgeted for the state Gaming Commission and create a continuing shortfall. The gaming commission’s racing division oversees live horse racing at Suffolk Downs and Plainridge Racecourse. The tracks, along with the former Raynham Park dog track, also feature simulcasts of races from other facilities. The bill, originally filed by state Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, applies only to simulcast greyhound events and would also reduce the number of live racing days the tracks would have to host in order to qualify for simulcasting. Dooley said the provision reducing the state’s revenue take was not part of his original proposal and was added by another House member. Dooley said he was “thrilled” by the governor’s action which would leave the other portions of the bill intact. Penn National Gaming, which won a state license for a slot parlor in Plainville, is currently constructing a new facility in that town while continuing its harness racing schedule. Suffolk Downs, located in Revere and Boston, is competing with Wynn Resorts for a full casino license. Raynham Park, which lost out to Plainridge in its bid for a slot license, continues to offer simulcast wagering. A statewide referendum scheduled for November asks voters to repeal the 2011 law legalizing casino gambling. If approved, the measure would also ban simulcast dog racing. Dooley said he expects the amended bill will be taken up next week in the House.
Crazy About Pat (Crazed) pulled off a mild upset in the $14,000 featured trotting race on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Paul Kelley trainee won his previous start which was his first for new connections and on Friday battled some of the top local trotters. Benefiting from an early speed duel, Crazy About Pat and reinsman Shawn Gray moved three wide at the three quarter pole and outtrotted his rivals home to win 1:55.3. The four-year-old trotter moved his career earnings to over the $400,000 mark with his win that came at odds of 7-1. Longshot Walltocousins (Joe Bongiorno) held second while Slugfest (Jay Randall) closed for third. The victory was one of three on the night for Shawn Gray. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway
Vernon, NY - Vernon Downs will conduct a double draw with the entry box closing at 9:00am on the morning of Tuesday, August 26 for the Friday (Zweig Memorial, Crawford Farms open trot, 2014 Drivers' Championship) & Saturday (NYSS 2YO Colt Pace) race cards. The condition sheet will be available on Saturday afternoon. Horsemen should contact the race office at (315) 829-6825 or to email@example.com for hotel reservations for next weekend. Rooms are limited on Saturday due to a wedding and a VIP Event in the casino, so reservations will be on a first come, first served basis. From Nick Salvi, for Vernon Downs
Victory Is Coming and Ronnie Wrenn Jr.stole the spotlight with their world and new track record performance of 1:51 at Scioto Downs Friday. The previous world record of 1:51.4 for an aged trotting mare on a 5/8 mile track was set by Beatgoeson Hanover and In Your Room, both in 2013. The previous track record of 1:52.2 was held by Unefoisdanmavie and Modern Family. The 7-year old mare by Victory Sam out of Norse Comer is trained by Ammon Hershberger for Betty and John Shaw. Victory Is Coming has now earned over $520,000 in her 107 starts and has made 47 trips the winners circle. The mare started from post five in the full field of 10 and went off at odds of 8-5. Wrenn got away an early fifth behind the battle of Its Complicated and Creatine. Clicking the opener quarter in a hot, :26.2. The pace didn't slow much when Lachance grabbed leather with Creatine to drop in third. They clocked the half mile in :54 and it was shortly after that Wrenn pulled the right line and made a quick brush to the front. Victory Is Coming quickly opened up 3-lengths on the field as she hit the three quarters in 1:22.2. Wrenn had the talented mare well in hand as the cruised to a 1-1/4 lengths victory over Southwind Pepino. The other lone mare in the field, Daylon Miracle was a closing third. Freshman fillies dominate in $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes at Scioto Downs on Friday night. Like Old Times and Josh Sutton set a new track record of 1:57.2 for 2-year trotting fillies at Scioto Downs. The previous record of 1:57.2 was held by Rose Run Keepsake. Like Old Times is a daughter of Chip Chip Hooray out of Royal Two. She's trained by Don McKirgan for Keith Ross of Bellefontaine, Ohio. She started from post four in the field of eight and was in good company. The 9-5 morning line favorite, Dark Roast started from post five. Dark Roast and Kurt Sugg left out for command and landed In The Pocket spot, but were out to take command just passed the 1/4 that was trotted in :28.3. Sutton and Like Old Times were parked the entire way and still were charging for command after the half that was trotted in :59. Dark Roast and Like Old Times went toe to toe and stride for stride down the three quarters that was clocked on 1:27.4. Sutton finally asked the filly for more and she responded by opening up on the field by 5-3/4 lengths. Sammy Star and Aaron Merriman came on late for second and Dark roast held on for third. Bettys Sam and trainer, driver Ammon Hershberger upset their division in 1:57.4. Bettys Sam is owned by John "Red" and Betty Shaw of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. She's by Victory Sam out of Norse Comer. She was out to prove that she wanted to be just like her sister, Victory Is Coming and her point was made. The filly started from the rail, but still had hard work ahead of her. The undefeated Sunrise Nibbles had post four in the field of eight. Page sent Sunrise Nibbles to her normal spot and clocked the opening quarter in :29. Ammon had Bettys Sam sitting third and after the :30 second quarter decided it was time to move. She started her first over grind and hit the three quarters in 1:28.2. Sunrise Nibbles and Bettys Sam battled down the stretch, a small neck separated the fillies. Bettys Sam earned the victory and paid $71.40 to win. Chip Girl and Ronnie Wrenn Jr.completed the trifecta. Lisa Jane takes the final division for trotting fillies in a career best, 1:57.2. Lisa Jane started from post five and Ryan Stahl had the lines for trainer, Scott Cox. She's a daughter of Neely Dunn out of Vanilla B and is owned by Parent Racing Stable LLC and G.Peters. Stahl wasted no time to gain control of the fractions. After the opening quarter was trotted in :28.4 by Tt'scaramelcream, Ryan made the move to the front. The trotted to the half in a moderate :59.1 and passed the three quarters in 1:28.2. Lisa Jane was well in hand and won by 3-1/2 lengths over Student Of Life and Dolly Dunn was third. Bell Flower and Chris Page dominate their $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes division in 1:55. Bell Flower never made her connections anxious as the heavy favorite. She started from post six in the field of eight. Page steered the perfect filly to the top and never looked back. She clocked fractions of :28.1,:57.1 and 1:25.4 before drawing clear by 7 lengths. Crosswinds Cupcake and Dan Noble rallied for second and Ut Oh Spakiddio grabbed the show spot. Sectionlinefriskie breaks her maiden with a win in her division of Ohio Sires Stakes in 1:56. Sectionlinefriskie is a daughter of Feelin Friskie out of Aquatic Yankee. She's trained by Steve Bauder for Harold Bauder, Michael Dixon and Harold Lee Bauder. Dan Noble had the assignment from post seven and was overlooked at 22-1. Noble ended up an early seventh in the field of eight. The heavy 1-5 choice, Friskie Lil Devil was the pace setter and cut fractions of :28.2, :57.4 and 1:27. Aaron Merriman and Zoey's Lemon Tart sat the pocket trip and waited to pounce in the stretch. Neither one could hold off the late charge from Sectionlinefriskie. She paced her final quarter in :28.3 Friskie Lil Devil settled for the place spot and Zoey's Lemon Tart was third. From Scioto Downs Racino
Driver Aaron Byron had the hot hand at Tioga Downs on Friday (August 22) evening, taking five of the evening's ten races. Among his triumphs was a 1:52.1 win in the $15,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace with Inittowinafortune ($6.20). After establishing the lead with the four-year-old Cams Fortune mare, Byron yielded to the pocket, allowing Southwind Trini (Jim Meittinis) to set steady fractions of :27.3, :56 and 1:24. With the first-over De Vins Girl (John Cummings, Jr.) fading on the approach to the far turn, and even-money favorite Pan Luis Obispo (Vinny Ginsburg) commencing a three-wide bid off stalled cover, Byron was able to wedge out of the pocket with Inittowinafortune. The Michael Russo trainee struck the front in the final sixteenth, driven clear to a 1-1/2 length win over Southwind Trini. Pan Luis Obispo stayed on for third. Byron also teamed up with Odds On Aventure (1:54), Belle Boyd (1:53.3), Shutthefrontdoor (1:54.1), and Rompaway Brandon (1:57.1) to complete his quintet of wins on the evening. Live racing returns to Tioga with a 12-race card on Saturday (August 23). Post time is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs
YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 22, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $44,000 co-featured Opens--a handicap for harness racing distaff pacers and a blind draw all socially-acceptable trotters--were won by odds-on numbers Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton, $3.70) and Bee A Magician (Brian Sears, $3.10). From penultimate post position No. 6, Robin Cruiser was in the game early, yielding to outside assignee Summertime Lea (George Brennan). just after a 27-second opening quarter-mile. Social Scene (Sears) was away third. After a 55-second half and before a 1:23.3 three-quarters, "Lea" was getting only mile pressure from a first-up Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett). The lead was length-and-a-quarter into the lane. However, she tired mid-stretch, passed on the inside by Robin Cruiser and on the outside by a fast-closing Crazy on You (Brent Holland). The former beat the latter by a neck in 1:52.3, with Summertime Lea, the filly Fanticipation (Larry Stalbaum) and Krispy Apple rounding out the payees. For Robin Cruiser, a 5-year-old homebred daughter of Yankee Cruiser owned by Pinske Stables and trained by Julie Miller, it was her sixth win in 21 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $74.50, with the triple returning $345.50. ...and then there was the week's featured trot, where the name above the marquee was one Bee A Magician. The reigning Harness Horse of the Year, in her first Westchester work night-and just third career half-mile excursion-took to the four turns like a veteran. Winning the draw, she allowed the 2013 Yonkers Trot champ Dewycolorintheline (Stratton) to throw the first salvo. Bee A Magician then secured the lead after a :28.1 first station. From there, a waltz--around :59.3 middle half (:58.4 intermission, 1:27.4) gave the lass three lengths in and out of the final turn. Millionaire four times over Arch Madness (Trond Smedshammer) was the first to move, trotting in place from fourth before Somebody As (Dan Dube) tried his luck advancing modestly from third. A :27.1 chaser closed the sale by 3Â¾ lengths in 1:55...a new track record for her division. Somebody As won the scrum for second, with "Dewy," Tober (Bartlett) and Arch Madness rounding out the payees For Bee A Magician, a 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra trained by Nifty Norman for co-owners David McDuffee, Mel Hartman and Herb Liverman, she's now 2-for-8 this season (career 29-for-38 with earnings a shade under $2.5 million) "She handled the track perfectly, and I'm hoping she returns," Sears said of the first HOY to race here after winning the award since Gallo Blue Chip (won HOY in 2000, raced here twice in '03). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
ANDERSON, Ind.-August 22, 2014 - Don't Spank Me, driven by Andy Shetler, utilized her customary late charge to prevail in the featured event of the evening, a $22,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 22. The 1:51.2 victory was a new lifetime best and the third win at this level in the last four outings for Don't Spank Me. Leaving from post seven in the talented field of nine, Don't Spank Me was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in eighth while a host of others left alertly. Latenite Rendevous and Ross Leonard were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :26.3 while Nutmegs Yankee and Terry Cullipher were well placed In The Pocket second. Peter Wrenn had Miss Millie out and firing early down the backside and the duo found the front through the second panel in :55.2. Miss Millie continued to call the shots around the third station in 1:23.3 but Blissful Romance and Ricky Macomber Jr. were applying pressure to their outside with the rest of the field also closing in. As the field turned for home, Don't Spank Me was perfectly placed second over and had her sights set on the leader. Just as Miss Millie began to tire on the front, Don't Spank Me found another gear and exploded past her rivals halfway down the stretch. Using a :27.1 final panel, Don't Spank Me finished four lengths in front of American Girl and Sam Widger who closed gamely to finish second. Latenite Rendezvous also rallied late in the lane to round out the trifecta. As the 8-5 favorite, Don't Spank Me returned $5.20 to her backers at the window. "She's a fun mare to drive," Shetler noted in the winner's circle. "She's the type of mare that if you put her in position to win, she will do the rest. She raced big again tonight." Trained, owned and bred by Wayne Carter, Don't Spank Me notched fifth first win of the season from 15 starts. The four-year-old daughter of Capital Request-Catalog has now won 13 of 36 lifetime outings while amassing $170,337. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, August 23 with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. The 14-race card will be highlighted by the $22,000 Invitational pace. With an extended stakes scheduled offered for the 2014 live racing season, the live racing season will be conducted through November 15, 2014. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park
It was the battle of the $2 million "ladies" in Friday's feature race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, a Preferred Handicap for Fillies and Mares. Seven fillies and mares went to the gate in the race, the 10th on the card, with a purse of $25,000. The skies opened up prior to the race, but that didn't stop this field from jetting out of the gate. George Napolitano Jr. gunned Show Runner (Little Steven-Peace Runner) out of the gate, followed by Rocklamation (Rocknroll Hanover-Art Sale) with Andrew McCarthy in the bike, and Anndrovette (Riverboat King-Easy Miss), but Anndrovette, piloted by Hall of Famer Ron Pierce took over approaching the half-mile post. Fractions were 25.3; 54.3; 122.3; and the $2.9 million mare Anndrovette held on over a fast-charging Rocklamation for the win in 1:50.4. Lucy's Pearl (Well Said-Remember When) was third, driven by Corey Callahan. The victory was the 14th start this season and the 5th win for the 7-year-old mare, trained by P J Fraley. by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs
Driver Jim Morrill Jr. was the star of the evening on Friday night at Vernon Downs. He won with six of his nine drives on the 12-race program. One of those wins was with Gural Hanover (Crazed-Givemearing) in the $59,100 New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. The win was the seventh consecutive Sire Stakes win for Gural Hanover. Gural Hanover actually sat second behind Wild And Crazy Guy (John Macdonald) through the opening quarter of 27.4 seconds. As the field moved into the backstretch, however, Gural Hanover powered to the lead and never looked back. He dominated the remainder of the race and eventually moved away with authority in the stretch to win by four lengths. The rest of the fractional times were 56.4 for the half, 1:25.3 for three-quarters, and a final time of 1:53.3. Wild And Crazy Guy tracked Gural Hanover after being passed, but could never again mount a serious threat. The complete order of finish for the second division of the New York Sire Stakes was: Gural Hanover, Wild And Crazy Guy, Zoey De Vie, Karets, and Hallanet. Gural Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Pennsylvania and Little E LLC and Panhellenic Stable Corporation of New York. The trainer is Ron Burke. The first division of the $59,100 New York Sire Stakes for the sophomore trotters actually produced a better final time of 1:52.4. The winner was Flyhawk El Durado (Conway Hall-El Paso Gal), driven by Mark MacDonald. The race was similarly run to the second division, as Royal Max (John Macdonald) led through the opening quarter of 26.4 before Flyhawk El Durado moved past and led the rest of the way. The half was 56.1 seconds and three-quarters went by in 1:24.3. The complete order of finish for this division of the New York Sire Stakes was Flyhawk El Durado, Royal Max, Expressive Action, Daley Lovin, Mister Anson, and Lukas Hall. Flyhawk El Durado is owned by Martin Scharf of Lawrence, New York and trained by Mark Ford. The dominant man of the evening, though, was Morrill. He started the evening off right, winning with his first two drives, Winbak Glory in the second and Morning Joe in the third. He didn't return to the Winner's Circle until the seventh race with Genius At Work in the first division of the New York Excelsior "A" Series. The score with Gural Hanover in the ninth followed. That was part of a natural hat trick of wins for Morrill to wrap up his night. He won with Engagedatlexington in the tenth and Flaming Yankee in the eleventh. Morrill also finished second twice on the night, with Omnipotent in the fifth and Crazzycrazzy in the eighth. Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Saturday night with a 12-race program. First post time is 6:45pm. by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs
A large group of horsemen from The Meadows tonight accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Roger Huston and MSOA Executive Director Kim Hankins offer comments before the video begins: by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA