Day At The Track

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Fire Start Hanover, Commanding Officer and Summa Cum Laude all remained perfect through two harness racing legs of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds at The Meadowlands Friday night. Fire Start Hanover had an easy time of it in the first race filly pace, sailing down the road in a lifetime-best 1:52.1 to win by 1¾ lengths with driver Victor Kirby calling the shots. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Fit To Frame, who is trained by Nifty Norman, paid $3.20 to win as the 3-5 favorite and ran her overall winning streak to three. Commanding Officer completed an all-chalk Early Daily Double for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Scott Zeron. The 2-5 favorite cleared to the lead before the three-eighths on the way to a 1½-length romp in 1:52.1 in a division for colt and gelding pacers. The son of Captaintreacherous-Turnoffthelights returned $2.80 to win. Summa Cum Laude stayed unbeaten in taking another division for male pacers in race nine. Driven by Simon Allard for trainer Ron Burke, Summa Cum Laude took over the lead after Bettor Not Talk went off stride while racing on the point on the way to the half. The winner, a son of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Graduate, scored by a length in 1:52.2 and returned $4.00 as the even-money post-time choice. A LITTLE MORE: Allard was the top driver of the night. Currently fifth in the standings at Pocono Downs, Allard won three races on the night, two of them for Burke. … Kirby guided a pair of winner’s circle visitors for Norman. … Mark MacDonald and Zeron also steered two to victory lane. … Big M TV personality Jessica Otten correctly selected the $267.40 Early 50-cent Pick-4. She also gave out best bet Mazzarati, who returned $9.80 to win. … Despite the 4-5 favorite scoring easily, the 13th race Pentafecta failed to yield a winning ticket. The next Late 10-cent Pentafecta will start out with a carryover of $14,331. … All-source wagering totaled $1,878,489. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

WILKES-BARRE. PA -- The carryover pool for the Rainbow Pick 5 will be $218,268 going into the Saturday afternoon harness racing card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   To score the big money, a player must have a unique ticket containing the winners of the last five races at Pocono on a given card. If there are multiple winners any given day, a portion of what was bet that day is divided among those multiple winners, and a portion enters the carryover; if no one picks all five winners in a given day , the entire amount bet is added to the carryover jackpot.   The first race at Pocono on Saturday is 12:30 p.m. The Rainbow Pick 5 races will include a pair of $14,000 events, one trot and one pace, for the fastest seasoned performers at the track.   From the PHHA /The Downs    

WOODSTOCK, VA --- The14-year-old A Fool For Mark, the 2011 Horse of the Meet at Colonial Downs, put a punctuation mark on his return to Virginia by wiring the harness racing field for his 81st win today (Friday) at Shenandoah Downs.   Dustin Ingraham's Western Ideal gelding beat six other pacers in a $4,000 claiming handicap in his 414th career start.   With Jim Meittinis in the sulky, the veteran gelding held off Lyons Johnny in deep stretch to win by one-half length. He cut fractions of :28.0, :57 4/5 and 1:26 2/5 and finished in 1:55 4/5, second fastest time of the day. The runner-up, a 12-year-old Mach Three gelding who was making his 265th start, stalked in second through most of the last half.   A Fool For Mark has bankrolled $322,863 from 39 seconds and 68 third place finishes in addition to the 81 wins. His life mark of 1:49 3/5 came as a 7-year-old at Pocono. He finished second last Friday on the Woodstock oval's opening day, his first start in Virginia since 2014.   Fastest time of the day was authored by another of Ingraham's horses --- Movie Star --- also driven by Meittinis. The four-year-old Ponder gelding crossed in a lifetime best 1:54 1/5 after passing Fritzie Pic Up Man and Cirrus De Vie in the stretch. He crossed one-half length the best for his sixth lifetime win.   Shenandoah Downs presents a 15-race card Saturday with first post at 1:00 PM. Live streaming is available at shenandoahdowns.com.   by Darrell Wood, for Shenandoah Downs

Jenny Lake (Leon Bailey) rolls to an easy win in the $5,200 featured harness racing  trot at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 25). The 2020 Vernon Downs Horse of the Year, Jenny Lake ($2.40) jumped right to the front and led to a first quarter of :27.2. She was followed in the pocket by American JJ (Michael Miller) and she used a :29.1 second quarter to hit the half in :56.3. She trotted to three-quarters in 1:25.4. As they made the turn for home Amercican JJ gave everything he had but Jenny Lake found another gear and was much the best as she equaled her lifetime best of 1:54.1. Amercan JJ put in a valiant effort but had to settle for second best. Haveitalltogether (Chris Long) finished third.   Jenny Lake is a 4-year-old mare by RC Royalty. She is trained by Paul Minckler for owners Ed Namiotka Jr. and Carol Namiotka. It was her eighth win this season all at Vernon Downs. She now has 15 career victories. Leading driver Leon Bailey had a driving double on the card. He got his other win with the Kerin Warner trained Bet Big On Blue ($5.90). With Just one night of racing left, Kerin Warner leads all trainer with 19 wins. George Ducharme is second best with 17 tallies. Claude Huckabone III is just three back with 16 victories. David Dewhurst is fourth with 15 wins. Jennifer Lappe, and Brandy Wine are tied for fifth with 14 wins each. Vernon Downs returns to live racing with closing night for the 2020 season on Saturday (September 26) starting at 3:00 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs  

CHESTER, PA - Three-year-old fillies were spotlighted in $150,000 worth of Liberty Bell stakes series action during the Friday afternoon harness racing card at Harrah's Philadelphia, with two divisions for pacers and three for trotters. The first pace saw the ultraconsistent Rocknificent, competitive not only within the state but with the North American elite, handle a late pocket charge from Drama Act to win in 1:51.3. Scott Zeron sent the daughter of Captaintreacherous out of the $2M+-winning Rocklamation, who was second choice at 3-2 to Drama Act's 1-2, to the lead from post six, with Drama Act from the rail maintaining the pocket through pedestrian fractions of :27.1, :56.4, and 1:24.3.   When both the fillies' pedals were pushed to the metal, however, they dueled home in :27, with Rocknificent holding off her rival by a neck to run her seasonal record to 10-5-2-3-$242,530 and her lifetime tally to 23-10-4-7-$524,036 for trainer Linda Toscano and the partnership of Enviro Stables LTD, South Mountain Stables, and Little E LLC. The second pacing section also saw the second choice win, though the positional tables were turned, as the A Rocknroll Dance miss Dance Club made Going Gone Hanover, favored at 4-5 to Dance Club's 7-5, work through early numbers of :26.4 and :54.4, and then sat watching the 1:22.4 battle to the three-quarters between the favorite and first-over Wayside. George Brennan then steered the Ron Burke trainee up the inside, and Dance Club, who is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc. and David Wills, went past by a length and a half , with Going Gone Hanover beating Wayside by a half length for second. Turning to the trotters: Next Level Stuff raised her lifetime win record to 10 triumphs in 19 starts by posting a 1:55 victory in her division. With main foe Fifty Cent Piece eliminating herself early, the daughter of Sebastian K S quarter-moved after a :27.3 opener, got a breather to the half in :58.1, then tripped the three-quarters in 1:26.4 and held safe Electrapedia by 1¾ lengths. Todd McCarthy, quickly adapting to top-level North American competition, drove the winner of $328,816 for trainer Jim Campbell and Runthetable Stables. A similar scenario developed in another Liberty Bell trot, as Dune Hill made an early misstep, leaving the path clear for the Muscle Massive miss Miss McKee to head down the road for driver George Napolitano Jr., with fractions of :28.1, :58.1, and 1:26 leading to an open length triumph in 1:54.2. The Jack Baggitt Jr.-trained filly now has seven wins in twelve seasonal starts and over $110,000 on her card this year for J L Sadowsky LLC. The Hall of Fame is not likely to be calling for a copy of the third division. After the Andover Hall filly SVF Blushingbride made the lead in :27.4 and got to the half in :58.1 ahead of her five opponents, the following happened in this order: 1) first-over Impressive Fashion made a break just past the midway point, leaving Cover Girl uncovered; 2) pocketsitter Aldebaran Revani made a miscue off turn two, causing 3) I'm Winin Hanover right behind her to suffer an "ix," which let Cover Girl take the pocket and left favored Molto Bene uncovered; 4) the "first-up" horse broke at the 1:26.3 three-quarters, leaving a two-horse breakaway until 5) Cover Girl misbehaved past midturn. That left driver Simon Allard and the Lou Pena-trained filly all alone to trot out in 1:57, with SVF Blushingbride's margin over the recovering Cover Girl 9 1/2 lengths. The subsequent inquiries into the breaks caused the red lighting on the tote board to use more electricity than a Christmas display, but only Aldebaran Revani, for causing interference, was placed lower. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Freehold, NJ --- Watching Kasha V win has become a Friday tradition at Freehold Raceway. He continued his dominant harness racing streak this Friday (September 25), completing a sweep of the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund Final for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings.The purse was $56,000.   Austin Siegelman was aggressive with his drive, putting him on the lead just after the quarter. He controlled the pace most of the way, and was clear at the top of the stretch. However, he had to hold off the surge of second choice Kyrie Deo, who was flying for Corey Callahan. Fortunately for Kasha V, the wire came just in time, and he held on to win by a head as the 7/5 favorite. The final time was 1:58.       That's the fourth win in a row for this gelding, who won all three legs of the NJSS-SDF series, plus the Garden State Trot. Of his $78,000 in lifetime earnings, $60,500 have come within those four races. He's owned by Theologos Moutafis and trained by Tom Corelli.   Friday's card at Freehold also featured several divisions of the NJSS-SDF for 2-year-old trotters. Ake Svanstedt swept both divisions of the first leg of the series for fillies, winning division one with Illuminata and division two with Wet My Whistle.   Two divisions of the series for colts and geldings were held as well. The first division was held as a non-betting affair, and was won by Torrey Pines, for trainer/driver Dan Daley. Division two went to Canadian invader Muscle Dynasty, for trainer Paula Wellwood and driver Jim Marohn Jr.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a scheduled first post time of 12:30 PM.   From Freehold Raceway    

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 25, 2020 -- Western Tyrant followed live cover, then brushed wide through the lane to capture his third straight harness racing victory in Friday's $10,800 co-feature at The Meadows, a $20,000-$25,000 Claiming Handicap Pace. Western Tyrant was fifth when Dave Palone positioned him behind the first-over Bugger Bruiser. The 6-year-old Western Terror-Fans Bikini gelding moved three wide through the final turn and scored in 1:51.4, matching his lifetime best. Early leader Butter Bay Hanover was second, 3/4 lengths back, with Border Control A third.   Kevin Johnson conditions Western Tyrant, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $196,886, for Richard Briskey. In Friday's co-feature, also a $20,000-$25,000 Claiming Handicap Pace, Kingstons Bad Boy was first over forever before prevailing for Aaron Merriman and giving Johnson and Briskey a sweep of the day's top races. Palone piloted five winners on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Ron Burke, while Merriman fashioned a four-bagger. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the 13-race program features a $36,480.30 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3). First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA  

Humboldt, Iowa will host the "Championship Weekend" for Iowa Harness racing. The seasonal points leaders will compete not only for bragging rights, but increased purses from 2019. Consolation races will be held on Saturday (9/26), competing for $9,000 per division. The race purses are also increased to $3,000 per division. Sunday (9/27) will highlight the season leaders in the Championship Final. All divisions of two and three-year-olds (trotters and pacers) will compete for $18,000. Aged Iowa horses will also race to secure their position as the "2020 Champions" on Sunday. Post time both days is 12:30pm CDT. Races will be broadcast live on Facebook. by Tara Spach, for the Iowa Harrness Horseman's Association

Columbus, MN - So many things have been significantly different about the 2020 harness racing season, not only at Running Aces in Minnesota, but at so many venues across North America and likely across the world as well.   One difference this year at Running Aces that has been fun to see develop over the summer season is the leaderboard for our top ten trainers. On this year's list there are many rising stars, joining stalwart top trainers like Kathie Plested-Wiseman, Justin Anfinson, Gene Miller and Tim Maier.   Today we want to shine the spotlight on those rising stars and highlight some of their impressive accomplishments over the current racing season.   Jessica Johnson jumped out to a big early lead in the standings by posting lots of early success in both June and July. Johnson is in her first year as head trainer for Roland racing stable - she has been a key figure in the operation for many years but this is the first season that she has been listed as the trainer of record.   After her very fast start she has been able to maintain her lead in the standings all the way into the final week of the season, and currently holds a five win lead at the top with 36 wins, and is sporting an overall win percentage of 20.4% and a U.T.R.S. rating of (.354). Headliners in the Johnson barn this summer have included sophomore trotting filly Teachmehowtotory and sophomore pacing colt It's A Marcs World. Both are the current seasonal leaders in their respective divisions of the Minnesota-Sired program.   Richard Bertrand is in the midst of his best season ever both at Running Aces and overall. The Michigan native has been a regular at both Cal-Expo and Aces for many years and credits improved stock and loyal owners as key factors in helping him become one of the top trainers in Minnesota this season.   Heading into the final 6 days of the meet he is sitting second in the standings with 31 wins and has a win percentage of 13% and a rating of (.238). Top performers for Bertrand include upper condition level pacer Mystery Dragon, 4 year old pacer Haulin' Oats, and veteran 14 year old pacer Best Dream Seeker to name a few.   Edwin Quevedo is a trainer that came onto the scene at both Cal-Expo and Running Aces about five years ago and has proven to be a solid horseman. He has steadily advanced up the rankings over the past three seasons, hitting the top five for the first time at Aces last year, followed by a close second place finish at Cal-Expo last winter and is currently a close third in the Aces standings with 29 wins and a solid winning percentage of 21.3% and a solid rating of (.326).   Quevedo is on pace to record his highest career seasonal win total to date. The star of the Quevedo barn this season is the standout Open pacer Heza Real Diamond, who has won ten of nineteen starts this year.   Williams Hernandez has followed the same Cal-Expo and Aces circuit since becoming a full-time trainer in 2016 and has also ventured to New York and New Jersey in the past couple of years. He has proven himself as a solid horseman as well and is currently among the top 10 trainers in Minnesota with 19 wins and a strike percentage of 16.2% with a (.299) rating. He is also on pace to post career best totals this year across the board. Top horses for Hernandez include Open trotter Muscle Ave and Open level pacers Paklane Jet and Prologue.   Edward Hernandez, (brother to Williams) is a relatively new trainer - in just his second year as a full time trainer, and ranks among the top trainers this summer with very impressive numbers. He leads all trainers at Running Aces in win percentage at a stunning 33.3%, and U.T.R.S. rating with a phenomenal (.511) and he has 15 wins to his credit so far at the meet. He has posted standout performances with sophomore pacer So So De Vie and 8 year old pacer PH Kenny.   Chris Scicluna made his Aces debut this season and has also posted solid numbers to rank amongst the top ten. The Australian native has racked up 19 wins in Minnesota so far and shows an impressive win percentage of 27.5% and a very strong rating of (.420). He is also on pace to post his career best seasonal win total and U.T.R.S. rating. Scicluna's top performers at Running Aces have included Open-level pacers Keep On Rocking A, Hoo Nien A and top pacing mare My Kiwi Lady N.   Ariel Alvarez is one of the newest trainers at Running Aces. The 25 year old secured his full trainers license this July and has posted very impressive early numbers. Alvarez has picked up 9 wins from his first 43 starts, with 24 top-three finishes. His win percentage so far is an impressive 20.9% and he sports a current U.T.R.S. rating of (.388). The star of the Alvarez barn has been six year old pacing mare Lakota Law, who recently won four consecutive races.   The Minnesota Harness Racing season is beginning to wind down, with just six racing days to go before the curtain call on October 4. Live Racing is conducted every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 pm CDT. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces 

Delaware, OH — Captain Barbossa found the perfect time to visit the winner’s circle for the first time this year, capturing Thursday’s $335,400 Little Brown Jug final for 3-year-old male pacers in 1:49.1 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. Cattlewash was second and Catch The Fire finished third. The win was Captain Barbossa’s first in 13 races this season. The gelding, who finished second in his Jug elimination, was driven to victory in the final by Joe Bongiorno, who celebrated his 27th birthday Wednesday. Captain Barbossa gave Bongiorno his first Jug trophy, as well as the first for trainer Tony Alagna. He paid $15.00 to win. Captain Barbossa, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Swinging Beauty, is owned by Robert LeBlanc, David Anderson, and the partnership of Alagna, Martha Frank, John Fodera, and Steven Wienick. He was bred by Steiner Stock Farm. His winning time was one-fifth of a second off the stakes and world record for a 3-year-old pacer on a half-mile track. The margin of victory was 1-1/2 lengths.   Catch The Fire, Sandbetweenmytoes win Little Brown Jug eliminations Catch The Fire won the first $111,800 elimination of the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old male pacers Thursday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, overtaking pacesetter Seeyou At Thebeach on the last turn on his way to a 1:49.3 triumph. Seeyou At Thebeach was second, followed by Later Dudes and Genius Man. Those four horses advanced to the $335,400 Little Brown Jug final.   Catch The Fire was the 4-5 favorite in the field of seven. He was driven by Mike Wilder for trainer John Ackley and owner CT Stables. Sandbetweenmytoes scored a 7-1 upset in the second of Thursday’s two eliminations, using a three-wide move entering the last turn to get past leader Capt Midnight on his way to a 1:49.3 victory. Captain Barbossa finished second, with Capt Midnight third and Cattlewash fourth. Those four horses also advanced to the $335,400 Little Brown Jug final.   Sandbetweenmytoes was driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Jim Campbell and owner Fashion Farms. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Delaware, OH — Plunge Blue Chip on Thursday trotted the fastest harness racing trotting race mile in history on a half-mile track, winning the $87,500 Miss Versatility Series championship for trotting mares in 1:51.3 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Pure Chance finished second, followed by Grand Swan and Manchego, the 3-5 favorite who went off stride in the second turn while in second place behind Plunge Blue Chip. Following Manchego’s break, Plunge Blue Chip was never pressured. She set all the fractions — :27, 54.4, and 1:22.3 — on her way to eclipsing Maven’s previous all-time race best on a half-mile oval, 1:51.4 set at Delaware in 2013. Plunge Blue Chip’s winning margin was 5-1/4 lengths.   “She did it on her own,” driver-trainer Ake Svanstedt said. “I didn’t feel her pick up the speed after the first quarter, but that’s good when you don’t feel the speed on a horse. She raced without shoes, and that made her faster.” Plunge Blue Chip was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock, which shares ownership of the mare with Svanstedt and Tomas Andersson. She has won three of eight races this year and 22 of 46 in her career, with earnings of $1.43 million. Plunge Blue Chip is a 5-year-old daughter of Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Delaware, OH — Arnold N Dicky was sent off as the 1-9 favorite in Thursday’s (Sept. 24) $47,006 Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old harness racing male trotters and lived up to expectations, winning by 6-1/4 lengths over Sunny Crockett in a world-record-equaling 1:54 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. To Be Frank finished third. The time equaled Action Uncle’s world record for a 2-year-old trotting colt on a half-mile track, set last year at Delaware. It bettered the previous Standardbred Stakes record of 1:55, set by Don Dream in 2016. Sunny Crockett took the lead on the first turn with winning driver Dave Palone content to sit second with Arnold N Dicky until the backstretch. Palone then moved Arnold N Dicky to the front and was unthreatened the rest of the way.   Arnold N Dicky is trained by Chuck Sylvester, who owns the colt with Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Gil Short. Bred by Concord Stud Farm, Arnold N Dicky is by Bar Hopping out of Kalibrated. He sold under the name Measured Pour for $17,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. “It’s an added bonus racing for Chuck,” Palone said. “He was a hero of mine when I first started in the game, a legendary trainer, and who wouldn’t jump at that opportunity.” The victory was Arnold N Dicky’s fourth in nine starts and upped his earnings to $144,060.  Chase H Hanover won the $54,206 Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers in a world-record-equaling 1:51.1. Lou’s Pearlman finished second and Jackie Moon was third.   The time equaled Ocean Rock’s world record for a 2-year-old gelding pacer on a half-mile track, set last year at Northfield Park. Sent off at 1-2, Chase H Hanover was driven by Ronnie Wrenn Jr. for trainer Scott Cox, who owns the gelding with Jason Ash. Chase H Hanover, by Captaintreacherous out of Calgary Hanover, was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. Chase H Hanover, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship runner-up, has won three of nine races and finished second on five occasions this season. He has earned $210,797. Filly Beats the Boys to Take the Old Oaken Bucket  Sans Default (Matt Kakaley) scored a mild upset over Hobbs (Jason Bartlett) to take the $83,800 Old Oaken Bucket in 1:55.  Burke Racing Stable, Crawford Farms, J & T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi share the ownership of the Muscle Hill filly. Ron Burke trains the winner.  Ohio Breeders Championship Action  Three-year-old gelding Ocean Rock (Dan Noble) equaled the track record in the second of two OBCs for colt pacers with his 1:49.3 mile.  Sandra Burnett owns the Rockin Amadeus gelding who swept the Ohio State Fair Stakes, Ohio Sire Stakes Final.  Elver Hanover (Chris Page) took the opening $48,121 division with a 1:51.1 victory over Cody Hanover (Mike Wilder) and Can B Perfect (Tim Tetrick).  The Yankee Cruiser gelding is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Dr. Bridget Jablonsky, Jason Mellilo and J & T Silva-Purnel & Libby.  A pair of $63,446 divisions of the freshman colt pace went to Heart Of Chewbacca (Dan Noble) and Charlie May (Brett Miller) in identical 1:52.2 miles.  With the win, Charlie May became the latest member of the Ohio Triple Crown club after previously posting wins in the Ohio State Fair Stakes and the Ohio Sire Stake Championship.  The two divisions of the $92,042 (div) three-year-old filly pace went to Mcmarkle Sparkle (Brett Miller) in 1:52.3 and Penpaperpaige (Tyler Smith) in a lifetime best 1:52  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

DAYTON, OH - Miss You scored an impressive 1:50.3 triumph in her harness racing debut at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, coasting to an open lengths victory in a $14,000 Mares Open. Driver Jeremy Smith took no prisoners in the feature event blasting from mid pack behind the gate to the early lead in the first furlong. The outcome was never in serious doubt as the New Zealand-bred 6 year old daughter of Betterthancheddar showed her heels to the field throughout the quick mile. Sweet Heaven (Brett Miller) proved second best, while Talkaboutaqueen (Rod Allums Jr.) rallied to secure the show money.   Carl Howard and Bottom Line Racing LLC own the winner who is trained by Virgil Morgan Jr. It was the 19th career win for Miss You, who increased her lifetime bounty to $222,560. From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

YONKERS, N.Y. – Harness racing trainer Paul Stafford feels fortunate to have worked in large stables and train many horses throughout his career. He’s trained good ones and inevitably, slow ones, too. Even among the good ones, there are those who need to be made to do their work or who don’t train well. However, when it comes to star trotter Stormy Kromer, Stafford says, “he trains me.” “The more horses you train, the more good horses you train, they’ll train you,” Stafford said. “You turn the right way to go and the further you go in a mile, the more interested they get. When you come out of the turn and for the last quarter, you just hang on for dear life because they know it’s time to go fast and they do it themselves. “He’s a very easy horse to maintain, he doesn’t take a lot of work. He makes my job easy because he’s very low maintenance.” Stormy Kromer joined Stafford’s stable in spring 2019 and since then, has exceeded expectations of being a high-level conditioned trotter. Stormy Kromer rose to the open ranks near the end of last year and won a $35,000 preferred trot at Yonkers Raceway Nov. 23. This year, he’s been even better. Since returning to racing June 25 after the coronavirus shut down tracks across America, Stormy Kromer is 6-for-9 with his last three victories coming at the preferred level at Yonkers and Freehold. In his career, Stormy Kromer is 28-for-104 with $397,224 earned. Stormy Kromer’s streak started with a 5 1/4-length, win at Harrah’s Philadelphia July 16 in which the 6-year-old gelding set a 1:51.4 lifetime mark. Stormy Kromer then came to Yonkers July 24. With Dan Dube in the sulky, he trotted to a 5-length victory in 1:53.3, establishing a North American record for an aged gelding on a half-mile track. Stormy Kromer lowered his own record next out July 31, posting a 4-length victory in 1:52.3, the fastest trotting mile in the history of Yonkers Raceway (besting the previous 1:53.1 mark jointly held by Six Pack and Plunge Blue Chip). Despite all those victories coming on the front end, Stormy Kromer got away with another pace-setting win in the $22,000 preferred handicap trot at Yonkers Aug. 7 before the competition caught on. Next out Aug. 21, Stormy Kromer had a target on his back and was parked the mile after leaving from post five. Succumbing to the trip delivered by the wisening competition, Stormy Kromer finished last beaten by 15 lengths. He rebounded next out at Freehold Aug. 28, taking the $12,000 preferred handicap by 6 1/2 lengths. “Most horses, trotters especially, can’t leave as well as he can and be up 5 lengths the whole mile. Horses like that, you think are basically out of control and that’s the way they have to go. But he’s such a gentleman on the track. He’s two fingers, he’s doing that all on his own, which is awesome,” Stafford said of the open-length victories and blazing miles. Arguably Stormy Kromer’s biggest victory came in his most recent start in the preferred handicap at Yonkers Sept. 9. Starting from post seven and not desiring another ride on the rim, Dube and Stormy Kromer took back to sixth as Obrigado set the tempo. Stormy Kromer angled to the outside passing the half, but faced a 7 1/4-length deficit as Obrigado got soft fractions. Following the cover of Muscle M Up, Stormy Kromer advanced to within 3 lengths of the lead at the three-quarters, but began to gap the cover entering the final turn. Straightening away, Obrigado and Muscle M Up battled for the lead while Stormy Kromer was still 3 lengths behind. Dube tugged on the right line and Stormy Kromer saw open road ahead. Under a right-handed whip Stormy Kromer kicked into gear, trotting home in :28.1 to collar Muscle M Up for a neck victory. “He’s been racing well for us to say the least. He’s beat some good horses. His last start, that was a nice group of horses that he beat in there,” Stafford said. “He did it from off the pace; he came from behind for the first time in a while. It was a testament to him that he’s learned to race both ways. “He was gapped and Obrigado was on the front. Normally, Obrigado would put him away with that kind of a trip. That was impressive,” Stafford continued. “Going into it with the outside and all the speed on the inside, I thought if we sorted out a second- or third-over trip, we could be second or third in there. Stormy Kromer decided that wasn’t going to be good enough.” Stafford attributes Stormy Kromer’s standout summer campaign in part to the trotter’s continued physical development. Stormy Kromer got a break over the winter, making his last start Dec. 14, 2019 before requalifying Feb. 28.  Stormy Kromer got one race in at Yonkers March 7 before the coronavirus shutdown sent him back to the sidelines until June. “He raced the one time and he was third in an open. He was a good third, then we shut down. During the shutdown, he put on some weight. For me, there’s weight and there’s good weight. He put on good weight, he put on a lot of muscle,” Stafford said. “He filled out a lot over those three months because we didn’t do a lot of work. They all jogged every day, but you weren’t doing a lot of speed work. It got him to put on some good weight and it made him stronger, definitely.” Stormy Kromer seeks his seventh win this year and his third straight in the $22,000 preferred handicap trot at Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Sept. 25). After the early scratch of Warrior One, Stormy Kromer will start from post six in a condensed field, which is comprised of New Heaven, Nows The Moment, Lindsey’s Pride, The Last Chapter, and Obrigado. “I think it’s a good spot. The scratch helps, starting one position closer,” Stafford said. “I don’t know what the game plan will be. I think there’s still enough speed in there, we’re not looking to get torched again. We pretty much leave it up to Dube.” Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights through Dec. 22. First post time is 7:12 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

The sale catalog and past performances booklet for the Lexington Selected Mixed Sale are now available on the sales company's website, lexingtonselected.com, and on the Equineline sales catalog app.   The harness racing sale will be held Saturday, Oct. 10, the evening after the annual Selected Yearling sale concludes. Post time is 7 p.m. at the Fasig-Tipton Newtown Paddocks in Lexington, Ky.   The mixed sale includes the full spectrum of horses, plus stallion shares.   "Market breeders will want to make note of the mares selling," said co-manager David Reid. "We have mares in foal to leading trotting sires Muscle Hill and Father Patrick, along with many in foal to young stallions like Walner, Tactical Landing, International Moni and Greenshoe."   Among the top young mares on offer is Strong Legacy, in foal to International Moni and carrying a half-sibling to recent Kentucky Sire Stakes 2-Year-Old Filly Trot Champion Lady Chaos 2,1:53.1 ($248,303).   Reid said there are several race fillies and mares that fit the "race or breed" category, with those perhaps led by the 3-year-old Trixton filly Violet Stride 2,1:52, International Stallion Stakes winner at 2 and half-sister to a Breeders Crown champion.   A number of the racehorses cataloged have been racing in sire stakes in Lexington, or are planning to enter stakes or overnights during the Grand Circuit meet.   Some of the top horses shipping in to sell are the 3-year-old colt It's Academic, who comes to the sale fresh off a World Record 1:53.1 win in the Ohio Breeders Championship at Delaware; and the Muscle Hill 4-year-old Marseille, a stakes winner of more than a half-million dollars who defeated Greenshoe in the Beal.   Supplements to the sale are now being accepted. Those interested in joining the sale add-on should contact their agent or call (914) 773-7777 or (859) 255-8431.   From the Lexington Selected Yearling Sales Co.    

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 24, 2020-Three-year-old trotting colts & geldings were the highlight of Thursday, September 24's harness racing card at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. With a competitive field of ten behind the gate, it was Dude Included who dug in to win the sixth leg of stakes action for the sophomore trotters, earning the Trent Stohler trainee his second stakes win in 1:54:4. When the gate opened John DeLong guided Dude Included to find a spot along the rail in third. TJ's Top Pick and Trace Tetrick carved out fractions of :27:4 and :57:1 while Dude Included waited patiently for a chance to move in on the leader. Not long after the half, Speedball Swagger with LeWayne Miller moved first-over and Bluebird Deacon with Jay Cross grabbed the cover to advance positions. The battle for the lead heightened through the third quarter in 1:26:4, Speed Ball Swagger was able to wear down TJ's Top Pick but Dude Included was winding up to strike. Speed Ball Swagger and Bluebird Deacon were slugging it out on the front but it was Dude Included who was widest of all and surged ahead for the win. Bluebird Deacon dug in gamely for second and Speed Ball Swagger in third. Dude Included paid $6.40 to win at the betting windows. "The team does a great job taking care of him," Stohler noted. "I think he races best if he has a target to aim for, which worked out beautifully tonight. He hasn't done a thing wrong." Dude Included has now won four of ten lifetime starts, sporting a lifetime bankroll of $184,395 for owner Benjamin Graber. The son of Class Included-Celebrity Faith was bred by Lester Beechy. Live racing will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 25 and will present the third edition of the Caesars Trotting Classic, as well as several additional Grand Circuit events. Heralded as Breeders Crown Preview Night, the evening will feature over $1.2 million in purses to be distributed along with several promotions for guests. The night will also feature several guaranteed wagers including $25,000 Guaranteed Superfecta for the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, a $25,000 Guaranteed Superfecta for the Caesars Trotting Classic and a $15,000 in the final race of the night. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 21, highlighted by the return of the Breeders Crown October 30 & 31. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.   Rose Flood | Race Marketing & Operations Admin