BATAVIA, N.Y. --- It looked like things weren't going to go well for Dont Say Goodby at the top of the stretch, but by the time he reached the wire, he was saying "hello there" in posting a surprising $29.00 victory. Dont Say Goodby (Shawn McDonough) rallied from fifth place in the passing lane and stunned the pace-setting OK Braveheart by three-quarters of a length in the $8,500 Open Pace at Batavia Downs Saturday night (Nov. 30). Ok Braveheart (Kevin Cummings) as expected set the fractions with times of 29.1, 57.3, 1:25.4. It appeared that OK Braveheart was ready for a battle with a stubborn Unicorn Hanover down the stretch for the victory. But sitting fifth and 4-1/4 lengths off the lead, Dont Say Goodby found plenty of room in the passing lane and roared past the front runners to notch the upset win in 1:55.3. OK Braveheart finished second while Unicorn Hanover (Ron Beback Jr.) finished in third. It was the sixth win of the season for Dont Say Goodby (Dontgetinmyway-Good By Albatross) who is owned by Derek Menchhofer and trained by Charles Stewart. The 5-year-old gelding has now earned $62,577 in 2013 and $161,137 lifetime. Reinsman Shawn McDonough and Ray Fisher Jr. had triples on the night while Ron Beback Jr. scored a double. The final week of racing for 2013 starts on Wednesday night with a 12-race card beginning at 6:30 p.m. The feature is the seventh race with the $8,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace to take center stage. For more information including upcoming promotions, latest news, statistics and race replays, go to http://bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing. by Brian J. Mazurek, for Batavia Downs
Delaware, OH – Sitting in the Log Cabin, waiting for the draw to be completed for Thursday’s Little Brown Jug program, is perhaps the one man whose voice alone reminds tens of thousands of people where they are and who he is. It’s none other than Roger Huston, the voice of the Little Brown Jug. It’s Monday, September 16, 2013 and it’s Roger’s 71St birthday. It’s ironic that the man who has called the Little Brown Jug race card for the past 46 years usually celebrates his birthday at the racetrack. “I actually started calling races at the Delaware State Fair the year before,” Huston recalled. “It was because Hank Thomas had left that season and they asked Stan Bergstein to call Jug Week but he said he could only do the Little Brown Jug Day so I got the call to come and do the first few days and got to call a few races on Jug Day. “I had been coming to the Jug since Adios Butler won it in 1958,” Huston said. “I was in high school and loved racing but never did I dream I become the Jug’s announcer.” Over the year’s Roger Huston has called and seen the greatest three-year-olds in the history of harness racing go in the Little Brown Jug. “I can’t tell you which one race was the best Jug I ever saw or called,” Huston said, “There have been so many races and everyone was dramatic and special to me. Even some of the other races on Jug Day were impressive to me. I remember when Tom Harmer had Falcon Seelster and he was not eligible to the Jug so he raced him on the program in an invitational race against older horses. “That was the race where he set the world record and I coined one of my best phrases as an announcer,” Huston explained, “I knew by the three-quarters he was going so fast that he had a great shot at the world mark so I said “If you have never been on your feet before…you better stand up now!” And sure enough Falcon Seelster went faster than any horse ever did on a half mile track and in 1:51. Later that day Nihilator won the Jug in 1:52.1.” There have been so many other great Jug Day events that Huston loves to talk about. “I’ve loved them all,” Huston said. “When Herve Filion won with Nansemond against Stanley Dancer and Albatross in 1971 was a classic. Stanley had told a reporter he thought all he would have to do is go around the track and Albatross would win the Jug. Well, some people make copies of the story and placed it all around the fair and come time for the post parade they booed Stanley and when Herve won the crowds were screaming and cheering for them. “In 1977 Governor Skipper was almost scratched,” Huston said, “He was chewing on the wood in his stall and got a big sliver in his gum. But they got him a big rubber bit and he raced and dominated the Jug. And there was Big Bad John in 2011. I called 11 of his starts and he never lost one of them including the Jug. His trainer said when he came back the next year that he would hear my voice on the loud speaker and pick his head up by the window and when another announcer called a race he wouldn't’t pick up his head. So when he won again that day his owner, Ed Telle, gave me a duplicate of the trophy. That was very special.” What does Roger do to prepare for Jug Week? “Nothing special,” Huston said. “It’s almost like a normal week of calling the races at The Meadows except for Jug Day. I make sure I have plenty of Halls eucalyptus cough drops and some of my special elixir in case my throat gets sore. But Jug Day is never normal, it’s very emotional to me.” Before allowing Huston to later head out to celebrate his birthday, the big question for Little Brown Jug Week had to be asked. Who would win this year? “Before the Adios,” Huston said, “I really liked Vegas Vacation so I’m sticking with him to win the Jug. But now I also have a long shot to consider in Lone Wolf Currier. Last week with Dave Palone driving him he was boxed in for his life in the $260,000 PASS final and nearly pulled it off late in the mile.” Happy Birthday Roger Huston! By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
On Friday, September 6 Myron Bell, the managing partner of the Captaintreacherous Stable, notified the officials of the Little Brown Jug that their colt would not be competing in the 68th edition of the $550,000 (est) Little Brown Jug citing "the long-term interest" of the colt. "The officials, staff, volunteers of the Little Brown Jug have been preparing to put on a great week of racing and we are going to fulfill that promise," noted Tom Wright the Director of Racing and the President of the Little Brown Jug Society. "Almost all of the greatest three-year-old pacers have won or competed in the Little Brown Jug.Good Time, Albatross, Bret Hanover, Niatross, Nihilator, Rock N Roll Heaven. We will be very proud to put the name of another champion on the Little Brown Jug." Wright added, "While we are disappointed in their decision, we are more disappointed for the fans. In a sport that could use positive press, we had a tremendous opportunity to showcase a great horse in front of 40,000 plus fans." In August the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association, with unanimous approval from the Ohio State Racing Commission, allocated $50,000 of the revenue from the horsemen's video lottery terminal proceeds to the Delaware County Fair for the Little Brown Jug. With 16 starters and the allocation the 2013 Little Brown Jug purse is expected to be in excess of $550,000. The Delaware County Fair's Grand Circuit week begins on Sunday, September 15 and continues on Tuesday, September 17 through Thursday, September 19. For more information on the Little Brown Jug, please visit www.littlebrownjug.com by Jay Wolf
The year was 1971 when, shown in the photo below, driver-trainer Bruce Nickells was all smiles in the Maywood Park winner’s circle after guiding his star pacer Kentucky to a record-breaking mile of 1:58.4 in a second round division of the $120,000 Maywood Pacing Series. Joining Nickells in the winner’s that Friday night was (left) Arthur Galt Jr., president of Maywood Park and (right) executive vice-president Sid Anton. That same year Kentucky won an $20,800 elimination of the American National Maturity Pace at old Sportsman’s Park in 1:59.2 and then came back that same night to capture the $62,400 Final with Nickells in 2:00.3. Kentucky will always be remembered by veteran Chicago circuit racing fans as the horse who pushed Albatross to his world record 1:54.2 mile a year later on the old five-eighths mile track when he finished second behind the horse that paced “the fastest harness race of all-time” on July 2, 1972. Kentucky ended his racing career with $497,270 in purse earnings for his owners Quaker City Stable of Salem, Ohio. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association.
Winbak Farm is currently in the prime of the 2013 harness racing breeding season, with 3 months left - breeder's have plenty of time to breed their mares but they should be booked soon.
Racing greats Secretariat and Niatross figure prominently on the 2013 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame election ballot which reflects the changes announced earlier this year. Eligibility now includes those people and horses who brought honour to Canadian horse racing.
To say that Monticello Raceway's $5,000 harness racing 'Au Revoir' on Thursday afternoon December 27th is a unique race would be a gross understatement.
When Director of Harness Racing Eric Warner, opened the entry box for next Thursday's Au Revoir he unexpectedly found that seven 14 year olds had entered.
Since Monticello Raceway instituted its Au Revoir back in 1991 only five times has the race been presented. Although the raceway had tried to fill it every year since the inaugural the fact remains that there is usually is a shortage of harness racing 14 year olds still racing in December of the final year of eligibility.
Ontario native Jim Morand can never see himself back working in his home province again - simply because he wants his children to have a stable education base without being relocated. 'I'm happy here in Delaware. I'm from Windsor and they recently closed down the track there so there's no point going back there and my wife's from Montreal and the racing is struggling in Quebec too.
In mid summer of 2011, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) received footage and pictures taken at Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation (LPN) slaughterhouse in St-Andre-Avellin, Quebec. The subsequent report was compiled by the CHDC in a video/slideshow/report entitled Pasture to Plate: The True Cost of Canada's Horsemeat Industry.
It was a buyers market today (Thursday October 6) on Day Four of the of the five-day 2011 Lexington Yearling Sale being held at harness racing's Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Lexington, Kentucky from Monday October 3-7.
A lot of water has passed under the harness racing bridge since the 1920s when John Boring used to race his fellow milk vendors on their milk routes in Indianapolis in Indiana. Boring used to deliver his milk with a horse and trailer. His horses gradually got faster as he tried to out-deliver his mates. In fact when his standardbreds got so fast he decided to race them.