Day At The Track

Friday Night Blues, A J Corbelli share spotlight

12:40 PM 25 Feb 2020 NZDT
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Friday Night Blues,Harness racing
Friday Night Blues winning in 1:53.1
Conrad photo

LEBANON, OH. - Friday Night Blues (Cameron McCown), an Ohio county fair standout at age three, captured the championship leg of the $20,000 final of the Omar Hiteman Memorial Series at soggy Miami Valley Raceway on Monday (Feb. 24).

The 4-year-old harness racing son of Pet Rock won for the third time in six 2020 starts, lowering his lifetime best time to 1:53.1 despite a rain-soaked 'sloppy' track. McCown's wife, Jessica, trains both Friday Night Blues and the runnerup Captain Sunshine (Josh Sutton), who is a 4-year-old son of Captaintreacherous.

The stablemates left the gate with alacrity as Captain Sunshine allowed Friday Night Blues to take a temporary lead, but rushed back to the front of the field as the initial timer flashed :28.1. Farmers Only (Trace Tetrick) moved up to challenge and put a head in front at the :57 halfway point, but never was able to clear to the front. Fishin For Apples (John DeLong) was next to take on the stablemates, but his three-wide move at the 1:24.2 three quarters marked stalled when the horses straightened out for the stretch drive.

McCown popped the pocket in early stretch and wore down Captain Sunshine in the final furlong. Friday Night Blues won ten of 23 fair starts as a sophomore and has used the lessons learned to commence a successful commercial track campaign this season. He is owned by Kim Haver, the winner paid $10.80; combined with his barn companion the exacta was worth $30.80. Sunshine's Finest (Brett Miller) came from far back to grab the show position. Fishin For Apples and Spoiled Rockin (Kayne Kauffman) earned the remaining championship checks.

Two races later, the ten finalists that emerged from a starting field of 76 $5000 claiming pacers chased a $20,000 championship purse in the Survivor Series. A J Corbelli (Kauffman), a 13-year-old career winner of $625,867, emerged as the King Of The Hill, scoring a 1:56.2 triumph in 1:56.2. Using front end tactics to full advantage, Kauffman guided the venerable veteran to victory over longshot Amasa Al (Shawn Barker II) and Hit And Giggle A (Miller).


A J Corbelli scoring in 1:56.2                                            --Conrad photo

"It's not often $5000 claimers get to race for $20,000," exclaimed Ricky Redder, brother of trainer Pete Redder. "Kayne did a great job of rating the mile and it certainly was a big reason for the old warrior's success today."

A J Corbelli was claimed for $6500 in the second of the four Survivor Series rounds. Owner Therl Hensley has banked $10,900 in his first two starts with the prolific 57-time lifetime winner.

 

Gregg Keidel

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