WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 11, 2015 — The Meadows Racetrack & Casino would like to remind harness racing trainers and owners that payments for the 2015 Delvin Miller Adios and for two new stakes, the Meadows Maturity Trots for 4-year-olds, are due by Feb. 15. Payment for the “Pace for the Orchids,” a premier event for 3-year-old pacers with an estimated $500,000 purse, is $600. That payment also maintains the eligibility of sophomore pacing fillies to the $150,000 (est) Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo. Eliminations for the Adios take place Friday, July 25, with the Adios final and the Adioo Volo set for Saturday, Aug. 1. The Meadows Maturity Trots include an event for mares (Friday, April 24) and a stake for stallions and geldings (Saturday, May 2), each with an estimated purse of $50,000. A $300 nomination fee is due by Feb. 15, with a second payment of $600 due by March 15. Checks for all events should be made payable to the Hambletonian Society. For more information, please contact the office of the race secretary, 724.225.9897.
Fifty-four of the 68 winners of the Little Brown Jug go back to Hal Dale. Two of those winners, Keystoner and Good Time, were his sons, while all the rest are linked to either his son, Adios, or his grandson Meadow Skipper, neither of whom won the Jug. Adios, who was born in 1940, pre-dated the Jug, which started in 1946. Meadow Skipper did participate, but he was parked most of the mile in the 1963 final and finished third to Overtrick, who set an all-age world record of 1:57.1. While Adios, who was twenty years older than Skipper, got a head start; eight sons and a grandson—Romeo Hanover—by Adios had won editions of the Jug before the principal of Skipper’s first crop, Most Happy Fella, won in 1970. Meadow Skipper certainly made up for lost time. Thirty-four of 43 Jugs since 1970 have been won by sons or other descendants of his—that’s about 80%. The only gap larger than one year during that run was the three year stretch at the beginning of the run, between 1971 and 1974, when Nansemond, Strike Out, Melvin’s Woe and Airliner were victorious. Between Hot Hitter’s win in 1979 and Abercrombie’s in 1993, there was a 13 year dry spell for Adios and any other progenitor not named Meadow Skipper. The last Adios line colt to win the Jug was Real Desire in 2007. Beyond his own failure to win the Little Brown Jug, Skipper’s prolific band of sons, grandsons and great grandsons, as successful as they have been at producing Jug winners, have a spotty record when it comes to winning the race. Yes, Most Happy Fella, Niatross and Bettor’s Delight won, but the list of Skipper’s descendants who produced winners but didn’t win it themselves is much longer: Cam Fella, Western Hanover, Falcon Almahurst, Western Ideal, No Nukes, Cam’s Card Shark, Rocknroll Hanover, The Panderosa, Tyler B, French Chef, Oil Burner, Tyler’s Mark…. While Adios had nine sons win the Jug, Meadow Skipper only had four. The difference is that while Adios only got four from his greatest son Bret Hanover and three via his great grandson Abercrombie, Skipper got twenty from the Most Happy Fella branch, eleven from the Cam Fella branch, and seven through Albatross. Since the turn of the century only three Adios Line colts have won the Jug—Astreos, Mr Feelgood and Real Desire—and none of those victories have come in the last six years. The other dozen were won by Skipper line stallions. This year’s Jug may prove to be a game changer, and there are a couple of ways that can happen. The field won’t be drawn until Saturday, but in his latest edition of Road to the Little Brown Jug, Delaware PR man Jay Wolf rates McWicked as the top contender. He, of course, is from the Adios line, being a son of McArdle, who has been keeping the Bret Hanover artery on life support in recent years. McArdle’s daddy, Falcon Seelster, wasn’t in the Jug, although he did set a world record of 1:51 at Delaware as a sophomore on Jug Day 1985. The call of that race by Roger Huston trumped the Jug itself, where Nihilator won in a time that was more than a second slower. A win by McWicked would prevent a seven race losing streak by Team Adios. Another way in which the 2014 Jug could be a game changer would be a win by a son of Somebeachsomewhere. Jay lists four possibilities on his Top Ten list: Ron Burke’s Limelight Beach, who just finished second to McWicked in the $260,000 PASS Championship Final; Jimmy Takter’s Cane winner, Lyonssomewhere; Bob McIntosh’s gelding, Somewhere In LA, who finished third to McWicked in the PASS Final; or Brent MacGrath’s Melmerby Beach, who won a split of the Simcoe over the weekend. This would represent a dramatic change because no member of the line running from Volomite through Sampson Hanover has ever won the Little Brown Jug, and no top line descendant of Volomite has won in 38 years, since Stanley Dancer’s Keystone Ore beat Joe O’Brien’s Armbro Ranger in 1976. The other two winners going back to Volomite are Overtrick in 1963 and Rum Customer in 1968. SBSW skipped the Jug, and last year Captaintreacherous, the star of his first crop, did the same. There may be no Jug winners on the branch he is now the figurehead for, coming down from his great, great, great grandsire Sampson Hanover, but that one was very handy on a half. In September, 1951, 4-year-old Sampson Hanover, who was converted from the trot as a three-year-old, became the first pacer or trotter to win a race in under two minutes on a half mile track. He accomplished that historic fete in the Almahurst Pace at Delaware, Ohio. So, we have the inspiration of Sampson Hanover’s Delaware heroics for the sons of SBSW and for McWicked his granddaddy Falcon Seelster’s world record mile over that track and his great granddaddy Bret Hanover’s world record of 1:57 in the Jug. Either way, it’s time for a colt not tied to Meadow Skipper to step up and take the prize. He’s Watching is quick as a cat around those turns and his pilot Tim Tetrick is no slouch. It won’t be easy, but it’s about that time. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/
WILKES-BARRE PA -The cream of the crop of this year's Pennsylvania-sired two-year-old trotters and pacers will gather together this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs for their $1,240,000 Championships Night program. The horses,in both the $260,000 finals and the $50,000 consolations, earned their way into these races by having the highest pointtotals based on finish position in four PaSS preliminaries raced at the state's tracks over the last two months. The four Championship events are slotted for races nine through twelve on Saturday's 16-race card at Pocono; here's a look at them in the order they will be conducted: TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (stakes record - 1:51.1, Economy Terror, 2007) These fillies have been very competitive among themselves, as this is the only of the four divisions that will find no four-time prelim winner looking for a sweep in the Championship. (In fact, there has never been a "sweeper" in the 2PF class since a record of prelim points was started in 2002, a fact which will obviously stay intact in 2014; what's more, the prelim pointleader has not won the 2PF Championship since Lady Annie in 2007.) Aria Hanover (post two, driver Tim Tetrick listed) and Southwind Roulette (post five, Yannick Gingras) figure to be the focal points of attention after showing three wins and a third in their prelims to be tied for the top in this group. Southwind Roulette was third in her first PaSS start, then has taken her last three; among the conquered in her final prelim was ... Aria Hanover, who had won three straight going into that event. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (stakes record - 1:54.3, Sand Violent Blu, 2011, and Designed To Be, 2013) In contrast to their pacing counterparts, two 2TFs have swept their four prelims and their Championship: Coulantine in 2004, and Fashion Feline in 2009. And the leading pointwinner has won their Championship in each of the last three years (the stake speed setters with Frau Blucher in between). Looking to add herself the "sweeper" ranks is Wild Honey (post seven, Yannick Gingras). In keeping her record unblemished in the prelims last time out, Wild Honey defeated Gatka Hanover (post eight, Ron Pierce), who had also won her three prelims heretofore, by a half-length. Neither filly will particularly benefit from their outside post draw, making this shape up as a very tough affair. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS (stakes record - 1:54.3, Stormin Normand, 2011) In setting this division's speed mark, Stormin Normand also completed the "Sire Stakes sweep," the only 2TC to have accomplished the feat. Attempting to emulate the "Storm" will be Billy Flynn (post four, Brett Miller), 6 for 6 in his young career. But there are three two-time Sire Stakes prelim winners in this field - Honor And Serve, Lima Pride, and Piercewave Hanover - plus Walter White, a horse who came within a head of Billy Flynn two starts back, so no one is conceding the honors to the unbeaten horse going in. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS (stakes record - 1:50.2, One More Laugh, 2009) Like his colt counterpart on the trotting side, Stormin Normand, One More Laugh became his division's only sweeper when he set the stakes mark five years back. (The leading prelim pointleader has won the 2PC in three of the last five years, including Allstar Partner last year.) Probably set to draw the majority of the focus here is Yankee Bounty (post three, Yannick Gingras), who like Billy Flynn is both 6 for 6 lifetime and unbeaten in the Sires prelims. But also like Billy Flynn, Yankee Bounty had a horse who gave him a scare - Wazikashi Hanover came within a neck of an upset last time -- and again like Billy Flynn, Yankee Bounty faces three opponents with multiple PaSS prelim wins: McArdles Lightning (who had three) along with Dragon Eddy and Lost For Words (two each). THE UNDERCARD There will be $50,000 consolations for each of the four Sire Stakes divisions' horses who came up just shy in trying to earn themselves a place in the final. It does seem strange to call a contest an "undercard" event when the field of eight has combined earnings of $12,112,270, especially when the first three horses in the post parade have bankrolled $9,956,663 among them. But this is a special field, for a special race - the $50,000 Modern Family Trot, honoring the recently-deceased free-for-aller who was based with the Daryl Bier stable right at Pocono, and who was competitive with this national group the last two years. Those "first three horses," by the way, are Wishing Stone, Market Share, and Arch Madness, and when mixed with Sevruga and four other hard-hitters they should give a fit tribute to their fallen fellow competitor. There will also be a $50,000 Invitational Pace, the Adieu to the Almost Summer Pace (no doubt if this race were held in the western part of the state, it would be called the Adios to the Almost Summer Pace, but that's another story). Millionaires Golden Receiver and Bolt The Duer will draw attention here, along with two sharp four-year-olds on three-race winning streaks: Sunfire Blue Chip and Mach It So. The first of Saturday's 16 races is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (And of course on Sunday afternoon, the $1,240,000 PA Sire Stakes 3YO Championships Day will be held at Harrah's Philadelphia, likely to feature a few horse you may have heard of -- Father Patrick and Nuncio, McWicked and Smewhere In L A, Shake It Cerry, Sandbetweenurtoes, horses like that. The draw for those races is tomorrow [Wednesday].) From the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association
Pompano Beach, FL --- The history of one of the world’s most majestic sports, harness racing, is well over 200-years-old in the United States and, one of the most iconic facilities encompassing harness racing’s grand tradition, Roosevelt Raceway, is brought to life in a most succinct manner by authors Victoria M. Howard, Billy Haughton and Freddie Hudson. Now closed for more than a quarter century, Roosevelt Raceway is where night time harness racing began and flourished for some four plus decades. The authors have unlocked a vault of memories, not only reliving history under the lights as many of today’s “old-timers” witnessed, but unearthing occurrences that, heretofore, were kept “hushed up”--only known by a few raceway executives--now erased from this earth, either naturally or otherwise--and a few underworld cronies, also no longer in this world, again, either naturally or otherwise. The initial chapters deal with George Morton Levy, the founding father of racing under the stars, and his connections with the underworld and politicians, some of whom were as crooked as many of the numbers on the Roosevelt Raceway infield tote-board. The book also covers the introduction of the “savior” of the sport--the mobile starting gate--as well as the celebrities, fatal occurrences, riots and characters that made Roosevelt Raceway the subject matter in, literally, millions of conversations over the years. Great horses, like the artichoke eating French-bred trotter Jamin and the grand Su Mac Lad, who, literally, wore out three sets of “free-for-all” trotters over his career, are brought back to life in this book...as well as greats like Bye Bye Byrd, Adios Butler, Cardigan Bay and Bret Hanover. And, of course, the book completes its task with a tribute to many of the sport’s great drivers who competed at Roosevelt Raceway--Billy, Stanley, Buddy, “Loosh,” “The Red Man,” Herve, Benny “The Whip” and “Toothpick Del,” to name a few. One of my favorite chapters is the one entitled “Stories Remembered,” a hilarious recollection of anecdotes both on and off the track. This book is a “must” for racing fans. It will bring back great memories and lighten every day it is in your hands. An official launch date for the book has not been released but it is due to be on shelves before November 1. by John Berry, - John Berry is a long time harness racing publictist, an inductee of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame Communicators, a past president of the US Harness Writers Association and a prior Hervey Writing Award winner.
WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 28, 2014 -- When The Meadows hosts Friday's final preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing colt and gelding pacers, it may seem like Act 2 of the 2014 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light. That's because the $199,980 stake has attracted Adios champion McWicked as well as Somewhere In L A and Let's Drink On It, who along with McWicked won Adios eliminations. First post Friday is 6:55 PM. Following the Adios, McWicked easily captured a PASS division but saw his five-race winning streak snapped in the $400,000 Carl Milstein at Northfield Park, where he dead-heated for second. "He raced great, but I thought he could have been a little better than what he was," said Casie Coleman, who trains the son of McArdle-Western Sahara for SSG Stables. "He came out of it quite good. He's had a real good week training, and I've been very happy with him." She indicated McWicked, whose dominance during his winning streak has made him a legitimate candidate for divisional honors, will be pointed for the PASS championship and the Little Brown Jug, with the balance of his schedule to be determined. McWicked goes from post 4 in the first division, race 8, with David Miller aboard, and he'll renew acquaintances with Somewhere In L A, who finished a length behind McWicked in the Adios final. The Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A gelding leaves from post 7 for Dave Palone, trainer Jimmy Takter and owners J&T Silva Stables, Deo Valente Farms and TLP Stable. Since the Adios, Somewhere In L A has won both his starts, including a strong performance in The Meadows' Preferred Pace last week. Let's Drink On It endured a tough trip in the Millstein and had to settle for fifth. In Friday's PASS, he's landed in the wide-open second division (race 10), where he leaves from post 6 for Tyler Smith. "He couldn't get into the race in the Milstein," said Joe Seekman, who conditions the son of Art Official-Letmedowneasy for Tina Seekman, Larry Bond, Hal Hewitt and Vince Boido, Jr. "When you have good horses inside you, it's suicidal to try to leave. I hope he gets away a little closer. He's been training good, and he's healthy. Also in the second division is Bob Key's Mattamerican, winner of the Adios consolation. He'll try to overcome post 8 for Aaron Merriman and trainer Norm Parker. The $260,000 (est.) PASS championship for this division is set for Sept. 7 at Harrah's Philadelphia. MANDATORY PAYOUTS FRIDAY. Because Friday is the last program of the Mountain Laurel meeting, there can be no carryovers in the Pick 4, the Pick 5 and the last Superfecta on the card. These wagers all are "must pay." In addition, the Pick 5 sports a carryover of $1,660.11. Since the Washington Trotting Association meeting begins Tuesday, Sept. 2, there will be no discontinuity in live racing. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
Wagering on the first of two Little Brown Jug future wagering pools will start at 12-noon Thursday, August 28 and continues through 11 p.m. Sunday, August 31 at racetracks and internet sites throughout North America and Europe. The second future pool will be from 12 p.m. Sunday, September 14 through 11:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 17. The minimum future wager is $1.00 and all future wagers are win wagering only. The winner of each pool will be determined by the official first place finisher in the 2014 Little Brown Jug presented by Fazolis to be raced Thursday afternoon, September 18. A team of harness racing analysts and handicappers have selected a group of 23 colts and geldings. Each colt and gelding has been assigned morning line odds based on the selection order. The horses in each of the pools are listed in alphabetical order. "This is the ninth year for the Jug Future Wager and our fans have been supporting this effort year after year," said Phil Terry, marketing manager for the Little Brown Jug. "The future wager gives you an opportunity for potentially higher pay-offs than on the actual second heat of the Jug." Last year Jug champion Vegas Vacation paid $11.00 in the first pool, $4.20 in the second pool and paid $3.40 in the second heat. The Casie Coleman trainee McWicked been tapped as the 7-2 morning line favorite in Pool #1. McWicked won the $500,000 Max Hempt Memorial and the $400,000 Adios Pace and owns a lifetime mark of 1:47.3. The bay son of McArdle is owned by the SSG Stable. With a win, Coleman will be the first conditioner with three straight LBJ training victories. World champion Hes Watching is a very close second choice at 4-1. The son of American Ideal won the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace in a world record time of 1:46.4 on July 12. Hes Watching was originally purchased for a meager $3,000 as a yearling and has earned Menary Racing, Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Muscara Racing more than $983,000. The mutuel field consists of the remaining horses eligible to the 69th edition of the pacing classic. Past performance lines for the Little Brown Jug Future Wagering event will be available free of charge on the Little Brown Jug website, www.littlebrownjug.com. 2014 LITTLE BROWN JUG FUTURE WAGERING POOL #1 HD Horse ML Odds 1. At Press Time 15-1 2. Beat The Drum 12-1 3. Boomboom Ballykeel 20-1 4. Cammikey 6-1 5. Carracci Hanover 25-1 6. Doo Wop Hanover 12-1 7. Friskie Adam 25-1 8. Hes Watching 4-1 9. Ideal Fashion 25-1 10. Jet Airway 15-1 11. Lets Drink On It 8-1 12. Limelight Beach 8-1 13. Mattamerican 15-1 14. Maxi Bon 20-1 15. McWicked 7-2 16. On Golden Ponder 20-1 17. Sometimes Said 10-1 18. Somewhere In LA 6-1 19. Spaghetti Eddie 30-1 20. Tellitlikeitis 8-1 21. Twin B Speedo 20-1 22. Western Vintage 10-1 23. Wicked Business 30-1 24. Field 6-1 by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug
Freehold, NJ --- As the owner of a breeding farm, Mike Gulotta would seem an unlikely candidate to buy a horse that was gelded. But when longtime horse agent Gerry Bloch called Gulotta about gelded 3-year-old pacer Somewhere In L A, Gulotta knew he had to listen. After all, it was Bloch who directed Gulotta to a 4-year-old pacer named Lis Mara in 2006. Lis Mara, who had earned $180,536 entering that season, banked $1.96 million the rest of his career and was the Dan Patch Award winner for best older male pacer in 2006. So far, Gulotta is happy he listened to Bloch and partnered with J&T Silva Stables and TLP Stable to buy Somewhere In L A on June 1. Since then, Somewhere In L A has won four of eight races, finished second in the Delvin Miller Adios, and earned $186,373. The fact (Somewhere In L A) was a gelding gave me some pause, but I thought that if Gerry was recommending the horse, I needed to pay attention,” said Gulotta, who is the CEO of Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey. “I have a great deal of respect for Gerry. He’s found a number of horses for me, so when he calls, I have to listen. “I think this horse is pretty special. He’s a fast horse that can take a lot of air. I think he’s getting better and better.” Somewhere In L A races Friday in the first of two $99,990 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions at The Meadows. He will start from post seven with driver Dave Palone at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. Also in the race is Adios champion McWicked, who leaves from post four with David Miller driving for trainer Casie Coleman. A son of stallion Somebeachsomewhere, Somewhere In L A is the first foal out of the stakes-winning mare West Of L A. She is a half-sister to millionaire Thinking Out Loud and stakes-winner You See L A. Somewhere In L A was bred and owned by Robert McIntosh Stables, C S X Stables, and Al McIntosh Holdings before the sale to Gulotta’s group. Last year, he won three of 11 races, including a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes, and earned $71,831. He enters Friday’s Pennsylvania Sire Stakes start with three wins in his last four races. His only setback during that span came by one length to McWicked in the Adios, and Somewhere In L A is coming off a victory over older horses in the preferred on Aug. 22 at The Meadows. “Jimmy is doing a great job with him,” Gulotta said. “I thought if he had a better trip in the Adios, he would have been right there with McWicked. He was on the outside a long time.” Gulotta is hoping for a long and prosperous career for Somewhere In L A, noting the earning potential for gelding pacers while making reference to Foiled Again, harness racing’s richest all-time North American performer. “What’s wrong with making $6 million,” Gulotta said, laughing. “(Buying Somewhere In L A) fits from a business perspective. He can bolster our finances.” Tom Pontone, who along with his father, Lou, makes up TLP Stable, was unaware the horse was a gelding when he committed to be a partner. He was given the chance to leave the group, but decided to stay on board. “I thought he was going to do good,” Pontone said. “I saw his stakes schedule and we have the opportunity to get back our money this year. And I love owning horses with Mike because he’s like a brother to me. I told Mike I think we’re going to have a little fun with him. “He’s turned out to be a pretty good buy for us so far. He’s a tough horse and he keeps on trying. That’s the one thing I liked about him. He’s had some tough races where he’s had to come first up, but he never stops. He just keeps on going right down to the wire. He never gives up.” If all goes well, Somewhere In L A will go to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship on Sept. 7 at Harrah’s Philadelphia, then head to the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 18 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Somewhere In L A is the No. 3-ranked horse in the Road to the Little Brown Jug ratings, behind Meadowlands Pace winner He’s Watching and McWicked. None of the current owners of Somewhere In L A have had a horse win the Little Brown Jug. “It would be a thrill,” Gulotta said. “It would be a dream come true. “Even with a gelding.” by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
July 27, 2014 – The Meadow’s Adios Card is in the books and at the end of the day Handicapper Ray Cotolo reigned supreme for the week in HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest with a weekly net profit of $305, nearly $100 ahead of his closest opponent. While Cotolo is a newcomer to the list of weekly winners, Bob Zanakis continues his run as overall leader with a combined net profit of $3,000.70 ($140 for the week), leading second place Brandon Valvo by $607.20. This week, the adage it only takes one hit to make you a winner applies as Cotolo’s victory came thanks to a single wager, a $150 win wager on Allstar Rating in the Adioo Volo which returned a $705 dividend. Other handicappers had winners, but due to the short-priced nature of the card, significant winners were at a premium, amongst them were: Derick Giwner’s $150 Win ticket on Too Darn Hot in the second division of the Adren Downs 2yo C&G pace paid $480; Mark McKelvie’s $50 Win ticket on Rich Wisdom in the first division of the Arden Downs for 2yo C& G pacers paid $195; Rusty Nash’s $100 wager on the same horse paid $390; Dennis O’Hara ‘s $10 Exacta part wheel ($30 total) in the first division of the Arden Downs for 3yo Filly trotters returned $125; Josie Verlingierli $40 straight wager on the second division of the Arden Downs 2yo C&G pace, earned $156; Gordon Waterstone’s $50 Exacta in the third division of Arden Downs 2yo C&G pace which returned $115. As the Hambletonian marks the unofficial mid-point in the stakes season, the standings for the Handicapper Shoot-Out at the mid-point are: As of July 26, 2014 - Leg 19 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis $140.00 $3,000.70 2nd Brandon Valvo $50.00 $2,393.50 $607.20 3rd Derick Giwner $206.00 $623.17 $2,377.53 4th Ray Garnett ($218.00) $15.85 $2,984.85 5th Mark McKelvie ($119.50) ($91.50) $3,092.20 6th Brian McEvoy $7.50 ($185.00) $3,185.70 7th Earl Paulson ($71.00) ($437.00) $3,437.70 8th Josi Verlingieri ($126.00) ($956.40) $3,957.10 9th Gordon Waterstone $108.60 ($989.30) $3,990.00 10th Ann Stepien ($189.00) ($1,020.11) $4,020.81 11th Garnet Barnsdale ($280.00) ($1,078.00) $4,078.70 12th Sally Hinckley ($400.00) ($1,325.00) $4,325.70 13th Rusty Nash $160.00 ($1,712.40) $4,713.10 14th Dennis O'Hara $30.50 ($2,097.70) $5,098.40 15th Ray Cotolo $305.00 ($3,398.40) $6,399.10 This week, the Grand Circuit Handicapper Shoot-Out visits Meadowlands Racing & Gaming for the Hambletonian Day card amongst which are the $1.2 million Hambletonian, $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, $352,050 Merrie Annabelle, $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial, $257,700 U.S. Pacing Championship, $177,750 Lady Liberty, and $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial. For more information regarding the handicapping contest, please visit http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. by Allan Schott, for HANA
Harness driver David Miller was taking no chances with his top pacer, McWicked, sending the son of McArdle to the lead over At Press Time and never easing up as they won the $400,000 Adios Pace for three-year-olds at the Meadows Saturday afternoon. Trained by Casie Coleman, the first woman trainer to win the Adios, and owned by the SSG Stables of North Boston, New York, it was the fourth straight win for McWicked, who covered the one mile race in 1:49.1. Leading to the first quarter in :26.3, Miller kept McWicked in front to the half mile marker in :55.4 and then the action got underway as driver Brett Miller came first-over with Somewhere In L A, giving second-over cover to Beat The Drum (Ron Pierce) with Let’s Drink On It (Tyler Smith) third-over. Brett Miller kept Somewhere In L A well rated on the outside as the field past the three-quarters in 1:22.3 and then started to get after his colt as they were able to collar McWicked as they rounded the final turn. But once he was looked in the eye, McWicked dug in again for driver David Miller and held Somewhere In L A at bay as they went on to win by one and one-quarter lengths. Somewhere In L A was second with Cammikey (Brian Zendt) closing strongly for third place. “I was really anticipating a lot more leavers,” said David Miller. “Only the one horse pushed off and I got in front of him and pretty much just loafed around the track. I really did not have any pressure at all. I was kinda shocked that everyone grabbed up after the start of the race. “I was really surprised when I saw how cheap we got to the half mile,” Miller said. “I saw Brett (Miller) was riding alongside us but I knew my colt would be fine. Once we got around the final turn I knew we were home. My horse was ready for him. My colt is very manageable. He would go a lot slower if I let him. But when I called on him he kicked it into gear and got the job done.” “He ranks right up there with some of the best colts I have driven,” Miller said. “He keeps winning these big races. I really like him a lot.” “It really worked out well,” Casie Coleman said. “We got to the front pretty cheap and he was great. We will give him around ten days off now and then go in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes legs and final and then get him ready for the Little Brown Jug. “So far every start I put this horse behind the gate,” Coleman said. “He gives everything he’s got, 110%. He is an iron tough horse, wicked fast and a pleasure to have in the barn. He does nothing wrong and is just a sweetheart of a horse.” It was the sixth win in just nine starts this year for McWicked. Bred by Andray Farms of PA, McWicked now sports career earnings of $798,447. He was sent off as the 1/5 betting favorite and paid $2.40 to win. Mattamerican took the $30,000 Adios Consolation for Dave Palone, trainer Norm Parker and owner/breeder Bob Key. The race was opened to PA-sired colts and geldings who did not compete in Adios eliminations . . . In a conditioned pace, David Miller piloted Santa Fe Beachboy to victory in 1:49.1, a track record for 4-year-old horses. That erased the mark of 1:49.3 established by Trick Man in 2011. Brian Brown trains the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Santa Fe Yankee for Santa Fe Stable By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
$75,000 Gov. David L. Lawrence, 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers Yankee Bounty stayed undefeated in his four-race career with a victory in 1:51.3, a stake record. Although parked from post 8 for about one-half mile, Yankee Bounty thoroughly dominated his split, drawing off to win by 7-1/4 lengths. Cooperstown and Lone Survivor completed the ticket. Kevin Lare trains the Yankee Cruiser-Bootleg Yankee gelding for Frank Chick. Too Darn Hot, who had been toughened in New Jersey Sires Stakes competition, trailed the loose leader, UF Larry Alltheway, by 4-1/2 lengths at the three-quarters before his greater experience kicked in. He tracked the leader down and edged him by a neck at the wire in 1:53.3 for Yannick Gingras, with Hall of Terror third. "I figured the leader would come back to me at some point," Gingras said. "At that point, my hands were tied. If I chased him into a big quarter, that wouldn't do my colt any good. I trained him once -- he's a big colt, and I thought he would be a top colt. It's taken him a little longer." Ron Burke trains Too Darn Hot, a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Kiss Me Kate, for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Larry Karr. Rich Wisdom moved from sixth for cover and drew off to break his maiden in 1:53.1 for Matt Kakaley and give Burke a Gov. Lawrence double. My Hero Ron was second, 3 lengths back, while Denslow Hanover earned show. "He's gotten better every start," Burke said of his $25,000 yearling purchase. "I think he's a good colt, not a great colt, so probably this is where he fits. He has a lot of stakes this year. He might be the kind who does good at Lexington; he seems to be long winded." Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, JJK Stables and Phillip Collura campaign Rich Wisdom. $55,352 Ned McCarr, 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters Donatella Hanover didn't move crisply first over when initially asked, but she found her best stride late and scored in 1:56.1 for Brett Miller, trainer Jimmy Takter and owner Christinatakterandthekids. The rallying Dancing Dynamite fell a neck short, with Jessie's Song third. "She was really locked on the left line today, and I was having a hard time keeping her along the pylons," Miller said of the daughter of Cantab Hall-On The Glide. "The last half of the mile when we really started going fast, she straightened out. This filly is game. She kept fighting and didn't give up." Broadway Socks had little trouble wiring her field for her ninth victory in 17 lifetime starts, although winning driver Dan Rawlings indicated she might not have been at her best. "I didn't like the way she scored down, and I was actually planning on being a little bit conservative with her," Rawlings said. "But nobody came, and she's just a gutsy filly. I didn't have to work her that hard anywhere in the mile." She scored in 1:56.2, 1-1/2 lengths ahead of the pocket-sitting Global Magic. Travelin Dream earned show. David Wade trains the daughter of Broadway Hall-I Gotta Feelin and owns with Gerald Brittingham and William F. Peel III. $65,310 James Manderino, 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Skates N Plates, clearing to the lead by the quarter despite the outside 8-hole, was allowed to skate to the half in 58.3 during his division of the $65,310 Arden Downs 3-year-old colt & gelding trot, then scooted home in 57.1 to hold off Lightning Lane shooter Frost Free Hanover at the end of his 1:55.4 mile. Dave Palone handled the Revenue S colt for trainer Trond Smedshammer and owner/breeder Bob Key. Wheelsandthelegman, driven by Dick Stillings, set the pace, then rebuffed the last-quarter challenge of 1-5 favorite Il Sogno Dream to equal the 1:54.1 stake record of SJ's Caviar in the other division. The Donato Hanover gelding was unraced at 2, but he's making up for lost time in 2014, as he is now 6 for 7 for trainer Walter Carroll and owner Beth Carroll. $75,000 Mary Lib Miller, 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers Angel Or Terror is now two-for-three lifetime, and three-for-three in good performances, after winning the first of two divisions of the $75,000 Arden Downs 2-year-old filly pace. Driver Jason Brewer never looked back with the Jim Dailey-trained daughter of Western Terror, getting a cheap half and then sprinting home in 56.4-28 to complete the 1:55.2 win. Angel Or Terror adds this triumph to the 1:55.4 maiden victory and the hard-luck third after going first-over on her brief resume for the ownership combine of Dailey, Carlo and Down The Lane Stables. "She hadn't been on the front before," Dailey said of his $5,200 yearling acquisition. "If she didn't get lost, I felt pretty confident. I only plan to race her six or seven times. She's growing pretty good, and she'll make a nice 3-year-old if I don't beat her up." Hot Chica Boomba rewarded Daddy Dewdrop fans with a closing victory in 1:54.4 in the other freshman filly pace cut. The daughter of The Panderosa broke her maiden by following favored Melanies Sharkette, going past her in mid-stretch, then holding off Half Past Seven for driver Aaron Merriman, trainer Jim Arledge Jr. and owner Winchester Baye Acres Inc. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
WASHINGTON, PA, July 25, 2014 -- Just as the winner of Saturday's $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids presented by Coors Light will cash big time, harness racing bettors playing the Adios Day card at The Meadows will enjoy opportunities for a lucrative payday. For the Saturday card, The Meadows is offering four pool guarantees totaling $42,500 in association with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Initiative. Three of the multirace wagers include the Adios final, which goes as race 12. Here's the line-up: $20,000-guaranteed Pick 4, races 9-12; $10,000 guaranteed Pick 4, races 4-7; $7,500-guaranteed Pick 3, races 11-13; $5,000 guaranteed Pick 5, races 12-16. Minimum wager in each case is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post Saturday is 12:20 PM, with the Adios final set for approximately 4 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
WASHINGTON, PA, July 24, 2014 — When trainer Jimmy Takter sends out Somewhere In L A in Saturday’s final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light at The Meadows, he’ll be gunning for the winner’s share of the $400,000 purse, of course. But there’s something more at stake for the Hall of Famer. It would be the third Adios final victory in the last six years for Takter, who won with Vintage Master in 2009 and again with Sunfire Blue Chip last year. That would leave him just one behind Billy Haughton and Brett Pelling, who top the list of Adios final training victories with four. And Takter figures to get many more opportunities to break their mark. Takter isn’t certain why he’s so successful in The Meadows’ signature race. “I don’t know, really,” he said. “The Adios is a great race, and it’s tough to win it. We race at The Meadows quite a bit, and it’s fun to go out there and win.” The owners of Somewhere in L A — J&T Silva Stables, Deo Valente Farms and TLP Stable — acquired the son of Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A in mid-season from a group including trainer/breeder Bob McIntosh. So far, Takter likes what he sees. “He’s definitely a player,” Takter said. “He didn’t get good trips in a couple starts, but I know he can go. He’s a good, sound horse who’s raced every single week since I got him. I’m giving him just light work this week.” In his Adios elimination, Somewhere in L A exploded from well back when Brett Miller lowered his pull-down blinds, a device Takter added when the colt got “too grabby” with a blind bridle. “He raced well within himself that night,” Takter said. “It’s not easy at The Meadows sitting last and end up winning by 4 lengths.” But he warns not to expect miracles from the pull-down shades. “It normally helps the first or second start. Then they figure it out.” Miller will guide Somewhere In L A from post 5 while McWicked, the 7-5 morning line favorite, goes from post 2. Takter remains upbeat even while acknowledging how sharp McWicked is. “McWicked has been racing tremendous his last few starts. He’ll be tough to beat,” Takter said. “But the monkey’s on his back. If the trip works out, I have confidence my horse will be right there.” Saturday’s card gets underway at 12:20, with the Adios (race 12) set for approximately 4 PM. The blockbuster card features a total of six Grand Circuit stakes. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
WASHINGTON, PA, July 23, 2014 -- When Tall Cotton cut out a fast three-quarters in 1:23.4 in Wednesday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows, it seemed only a matter of time before the top trotters chasing him would gobble him up. They didn't, couldn't get anywhere near, in fact, and the timer told why. Tall Cotton blazed home for Tony Hall in 1:51.3, shattering the all-age trotting record at The Meadows. The previous mark of 1:52.2 was held jointly by Rembrandt Spur and Sharp Edge. Tall Cotton's fractions for the record mile were 27.1/55.3/1:23.4/1:51.3. Tall Cotton's stablemate, Cowgirl Hall, was 3 lengths back in second, with the first-over Trustworthy Kid third. Ron Burke trains Tall Cotton, an 8-year-old Revenue S-B Cor Peatra gelding who now boasts $576,831 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Edwin Gold and Howard Taylor. Dave Palone and Hall each drove three winners on the 15-race card. Live Adios Week racing at The Meadows resumes Friday with a program highlighted by a pair of Grand Circuit stakes -- the $80,000 Edward M. Ryan for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters and the $60,000 Judge Joe McGraw for freshman filly trotters. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
This Week: Delvin Miller Adios final, Adioo Volo and Arden Downs, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; John Cashman Jr. Memorial, Lady Liberty, Peter Haughton Memorial and Merrie Annabelle eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit actions kicks off this Friday (July 25) at The Meadows with four divisions in the $80,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt trotters and three divisions in the $60,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Saturday (July 26) card at The Meadows features the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios final and $30,000 Adios consolation for 3-year-old colt pacers, a single division in the $114,175 Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, three divisions in the $75,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt pacers, two divisions in the $75,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly pacers, two divisions in the $65,310 Arden Downs for 3-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the $54,952 Arden Downs for 3-year-old filly trotters. Meadowlands Racetrack will offer four sets of elimination races this week, with all the finals slated for the Hambletonian card of Saturday (Aug. 2). On Friday, the Meadowlands will host two $20,000 eliminations in the Merrie Annabelle for 2-year-old filly trotters and a single $20,000 elimination in the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters. On Saturday the program will feature two $50,000 eliminations in the John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters and a single $40,000 elimination in the Lady Liberty for older pacing mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Intimidate, trained by Luc Blais and driven by Sylvain Filion, pulled off a 45-1 upset over the heavily favored Sebastian K in the $560,790 Maple Leaf Trot this past Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. Intimidate won the Maple Leaf Trot by a nose over Sebastian K. Sent postward as the 1-5 favorite, Sebastian K got away in second behind post ten starter Modern Family who was sent hard to the lead over the 'sloppy' track to post an opening quarter of :26.4. In the second quarter, trainer-driver Ake Svandstedt sent Sebastian K to the lead and controlled the race through the middle half with fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.4. Intimidate got away in sixth and picked up cover in the second quarter behind Flanagan Memory and was towed around the final turn second-over and just a few lengths away from Sebastian K. In the stretch, Sebastian K continued to dig in and tried to hold off his challengers, but Intimidate in the final stride nailed the heavy favorite to win the 63rd edition of the Maple Leaf Trot in 1:54.2. Market Share, the 2013 Maple Leaf Trot winner, came off the rail and made a late charge on the far outside to finish third. The Maple Leaf Trot victory was the third win in seven starts this season for Intimidate, a 5-year-old son of Justice Hall-Fabulous Tag, owned by Determination and Judith Farrow. In other Grand Circuit action over the weekend, Clear Vision broke the Northfield Park track record for older pacing geldings, posting a 1:49.3 win in the 29th edition of the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie. Clear Vision (Western Hanover-Artistic Vision) is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, The Panhellenic Stable and James Koran. He is trained by Ron Burke, who called upon Brett Miller to drive. Clear Vision started from post four and immediately advanced a position when Bolt The Duer made an uncharacteristic break to his inside. He was still sitting third at the :26.2 opening quarter. Miller pulled Clear Vision in the second panel and he remained first-over through times of :54.2 and 1:22. Clear Vision locked horns with pacesetter Night Pro in the last turn and bested him by two lengths in the stretch, stopping the timer at 1:49.3. Foiled Again finished third. In The Arsenal (Eric Goodell) never had an anxious moment this past Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $125,000 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace in 1:56.4. In the Arsenal opened 2-3/4 lengths on the field in and out of the final turn. A pocketed Rock N' Roll World cosmetically cut the final margin down to three-quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Third went to a stubborn Parklane Eagle. Second choice In the Arsenal, a White Birch Farm homebred son of American Ideal-Ladyotra trained by Kelvin Harrison, returned $6.30 for his second win in three seasonal/career starts. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 437; 2. Tim Tetrick - 434; 3. Ron Pierce - 292; 4. Brian Sears - 205; 5. George Brennan - 174.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 767.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 397; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Ray Schnittker - 184; 5. Joe Holloway - 152. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 177.8; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 160.3; 3. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 92; 5. Brad Grant - 79.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack, Balmoral Park and Tioga Downs. Meadowlands Racetrack will host nine Grand Circuit events, led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian, the first leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Balmoral Park will contest Hanover Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters. Tioga Downs will race Tompkins-Geers stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
BEDFORD PA - There is a white wall against the outside backstretch fence at the half-mile oval in Bedford PA, and it says "Bedford Speedway" - appropriate, because much of the year the facility is used for auto racing. But the term "Speedway" certainly was also appropriate this past Monday and Tuesday, when horsepower of a different type - Pennsylvania trotters and pacers racing over the Bedford oval - was featured: --The all-time track trotting mark of 2:00.4 was set by the 3YO Faust, and a 2PG named Gordo was shocking in authoring a 1:57 win, only 2/5 off both the national season's record and the all-time Bedford pace standard; --Nine divisional track records were written - three of which not lasting two hours before being eclipsed; --Seven of the eight PA Fair Season's Leaders resulted from the two-day session, as did the first six 2:00 miles of the year on the twicearound circuit. Tuesday's highlight was the recordsetting 2:00.4 effort of the Glidemaster gelding Faust in the final division of the 3TC Fair Sires event for trainer Jim Raymer and the Harbor Racing Stable LLC of the noted harness racing hotbed of Texas. In that race, Fly Past Hanover and the fair season's leading driver Steve Schoeffel had carved splits of 29.2, 1:01.2, and 1:30.3, but in the stretch Faust "used the passing lane," squeezing through inside of the frontstepper to render a nose decision Ironically, Fly Past Hanover's stablemate in the Bill Daugherty Jr. barn, Broadway Charm, had lowered the local all-time trot standard to 2:01.2 30 minutes earlier, beating by a tick the old mark of Super Fellow, in a 3TC Fair Sire Stakes division a half-hour earlier. The track standard for 3TF was also rewritten twice on Tuesday, and for both fillies, it was their second rewriting of a divisional standard this summer. First up was The Yankees Win, who took a Quaker State event in 2:03 for owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer, knocking a full second off the record set last year by Homepage and Chrissie O. But later Bessie, in rein to owner/trainer Dave Brickell, would do even better, winning in the Sire Stakes in 2:02.3. Fastest of the three-year-old pacers was gelding Spot Lauxmont, who even trainer Ted Williams thought would not have been among the favorites were there pari-mutuel wagering. But "Spot" teamed with 21-year-old driver Shawn Johnston, himself eligible for the "nw 12 races lifetime" class, to get a 1:57.3 victory in a Sire Stakes heat. FINISHING LINES - Following up on Gordo, the 2YO who paced Bedford in 1:57 on Monday: he is a gelding, something not clear in all editions of yesterday's story; and his time made him co-equal fastest 2YO ever at a Pennsylvania fair, with Dixie Pride and Shu Hanover (both on the same 2003 day at Bloomsburg) and Evening Shadows (2010 at Port Royal) ... There are now two ways for fans to see Gordo - he'll be in the race right after The Adios this Saturday, in an Arden Downs stake ... ...and you can see his 1:57 mile on YouTube, as the crack Zidek videography crew was at the Bedford fairgrounds for this week's action. The fair circuit now sets up shop at the Clearfield Fair for four days of action starting at noon each day. Clearfield is trying a Sunday through Wednesday schedule for its harness program this year ... and if you're going to the Adios, Clearfield is only 138 miles away ... From the PA Harness Horsemen's Association
WASHINGTON, PA, July 22, 2014--McWicked, projected as the favorite for Saturday's $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Lite at The Meadows, didn't hurt his chances when he pulled post position 2 in Tuesday's draw. Somewhere in L A and Let's Drink On it, who along with McWicked won Adios eliminations last Saturday, drew post positions 5 and 7, respectively. The draw was a mixed bag for horses with local connections. The Meadows-based trainer Ron Burke drew 3 and 9 for his Adios pair, At Press Time and Carracci Hanover, while Cammikey, campaigned by Cam Land Inc. of Washington County, will leave from the rail. No. 1 is the fifth-winningest post position this year at The Meadows. McWicked has won four of his last five starts--including the $500,000 final of the Hempt at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs--faltering only in the final of the North America Cup. The son of McArdle-Western Sahara is owned by SSG Stables and conditioned by Casie Coleman, who is bidding to become the first female trainer to win an Adios final. Several others have a chance to write their way into Meadows history. A win by Somewhere in L A would give trainer Jimmy Takter his third blanket of orchids in the last six years--he won with Vintage Master in 2009 and Sunfire Blue Chip last year--while a victory by Let's Drink On It would make 21-year-old Tyler Smith the youngest final heat winning driver in the 48-year history of the race. The Pace for the Orchids will go as race 12 with an approximate post time of 4 PM. It anchors a powerhouse 16-race card that features a total of six Grand Circuit stakes. The Adios field from the rail out, with drivers and trainers: 1. Cammikey Brian Zendt Bill Zendt 8-1 2. McWicked David Miller Casie Coleman 7-5 3. At Press Time Matt Kakaley Ron Burke 6-1 4. Beat The Drum Tim Tetrick Staffan Lind 20-1 5. Somewhere In L A Brett Miller Jimmy Takter 5-1 6. Stevensville Mark MacDonald Ray Schnittker 20-1 7. Let's Drink On It Tyler Smith Joe Seekman 7-2 8. Bushwacker Dave Palone Chris Ryder 10-1 9. Carracci Hanover Yannick Gingras Ron Burke 15-1 by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows