Search Results
1 to 16 of 805
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Sharon Ann Courtois Sears, 73, of Pinehurst, NC passed away peacefully Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, at her home, with her son and daughter by her side. A celebration of life will be held on Friday, Jan. 9, at 6 p.m., at Cox Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, with Pastor Allen Mashburn officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service. Sharon was born in Glendale, Calif., on Jan. 12, 1941, to Eli Emanual and Mary Jane Courtois. She was a kind, caring individual who loved animals and was involved in harness racing her entire life. Her family rejoices that she was in their lives. A devoted mother, she will be greatly missed by Jennifer and Brian. She is survived by her children, Jennifer Sears-Vanderwerken, of New York, and Brian Sears, of New Jersey. She was preceded in death by her parents, Eli and Mary Jane Courtois.  

The year 2014, just like every season in the history of harness racing, was jammed packed with special events, major stakes races and other points of interest that made the year super exciting and quite a bit controversial. We have highlighted the “Year In Review” as best possible with the top events and races that took place each month. We apology for any news items that were missed. 2014 got off to a terrible start when on January 10 the starting gate at Freehold Raceway went into a spin after the start of a race and came down upon the field and took out most everyone in the race. While all horses miraculously escaped without major injuries, five drivers, Catello Manzi, Debra Rucker, Vincent Ginsburg, Chris Scicluna and Jim Pantaleano were taken to the hospital to be checked out. The worst injured were Manzi and Rucker. The new Miami Valley Racetrack in Lebanon, Ohio tried opening up for live racing on Friday, February 9 but the lights failed to work and thus had to wait until the next night to officially get underway. Sydney Weaver was the at the epicenter of the most potent demonstration of social media as a positive force in harness racing in early February  when her beloved mare Sydney Seelster was taken from her in a claiming race at Flamboro Downs. Trainer Guy Gagnon was pilloried on Facebook and Twitter for making the claim and soon cried uncle, agreeing to allow Sydney to claim her mare back. On March 28, two harness racing horses died on impact at Flamboro Downs after they collided head on in a tragic accident. The incident resulted in all tracks in Ontario having to install a siren alarm system by Jan. 1, 2015. April saw horseman Jack Darling take command when he heard that there was no funding to promote some of the sport’s biggest races on television and within a short time and through his own blog, helped raise over $100,000 and thus the Meadowlands Pace and the Little Brown Jug were able to be televised. In June a major tiff between harness driver Brian Sears and Meadowlands, Tioga, Vernon Downs owner Jeff Gural ended up with Sears being barred from competing in qualifying and overnight race events. After less than a week, Gural rescinded the ban. On June 28, harness racing fans saw the fastest trotting mile ever in history as the amazing European star, Sebastian K, win at Pocono Downs in 1:49, shattering the former record that was set on a larger track. With trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt, Sebastian K took harness racing in North America by storm with his amazing speed and racing barefoot with no horse shoes. On July 13, He’s Watching tied the world record on a mile track in winning the Meadowlands Pace in an amazing clocking of 1:46.4. With Father Patrick making a costly break at the start of the race, stable mate Trixton and trainer/driver Jimmy Takter grabbed all the glory in winning the early August Hambletonian Trot. At the Little Brown Jug it was Limelight Beach in straight heats and the same for Color’s A Virgin in the Jugette. Wild Honey became the fastest two-year-old trotter ever on a half mile track with a 1:55.2 triumph. The Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, revived the great Prix D’Ete stakes race with a purse of $200,000 and saw Sunfire Blue Chip and driver Yannick Gingras lower the all-age track record by two seconds with a 1:50.3. October started off with a bang as Mission Brief became the fastest two-year-old trotter in history with her 1:50.3 clocking at the Red Mile for driver Yannick Gingras. On October 4, Dayton Raceway in Dayton, Ohio opened its doors for harness racing with a full house as thousands came out to check the new racetrack. Nuncio and driver John Campbell captured a one-heat $435,000 Kentucky Futurity in 1:51.3, beating stable mate Father Patrick and then went to Yonkers Raceway to take the Yonkers Trot, winning two of the three Triple Crown of Trotting races. Natural Herbie, at odds of 9-1, posted his fourth straight win with a world record performance at Yonkers Raceway Saturday, Oct. 25 in beating many of the best trotters in the world in the $250,000 International Preview. On Halloween, October 31, harness racing’s great second trainer, Quebec’s Ami Choquette, who worked for Delvin Miller for over 50 years, turned 100 years old. Maven brought $750,000 at the Harrisburg sale and became the highest priced racehorse trotting mare sold at public auction in November. She was purchased by Herb Liverman. Yonkers Raceway and the SOANY broke the simulcasting barrier overseas and began simulcasting five races to France/Europe early Sunday mornings with great success and millions wagered on the USA product. The simulcasts will continue in 2015. Harness driver Dave Palone did the unthinkable years ago and caught Germany’s Heinz Wewering to become the sports winningest driver ever as he recorded his 16,754th career victory. This took place at his home track, The Meadows, on Friday, November 14. Palone has now increased his lead, has no plans of an early retirement and his lead may never be bettered. The Breeders Crown helped seal up a number of Dan Patch divisional awards in late November but perhaps the most impressive was that of world champion Commander Crowe coming over to the USA and stealing the limelight with his stakes record 1:51 triumph. He surpassed the $5 million mark in career earnings at age 11 and gave North American fans a thrill to see this world class performer in action. In late November, early December, just one week after Harnesslink exposed to the harness racing social media fans about the abuse that trainer Monica Thors was inflicting on horses in her stable, all seven horses and one goat was taken away by the NJ SPCA. More than 14,000 people “liked” the Stop Monica Thors” page on Facebook and were relentless in going after state officials to do something. They are also raised money and services to care for the horses once they were taken away. In December Hall of Fame driver David Miller paid a $750 fine for dropping his foot and allowed McWicked to hit it numerous times around the final turn of the $301,000 Progress Pace final at Dover Downs. When asked about the penalty, Miller said he would do it again in trying to win the race. His comments set up major controversy in the harness racing social media venues and prompted Jeff Gural to issue a “no tolerance” rule at the Meadowlands, Tioga and Vernon Downs against any driver who drops their foot other than to pop ear plugs. When Appomattox crossed the wire first in the Free For All Handicap Trot on December 12 at the Meadowlands, harness horse trainer Ron Burke's season earnings moved to $28,118,465, surpassing the mark set by Thoroughbred trainer Todd Pletcher seven years ago. By the end of the year, JK She’salady was sensational with her undefeated season and capped it becoming the first two-year-old pacing filly to ever be name Harness Horse of the Year. But her triumph was unique as top older pacer Sweet Lou was voted the Pacer of the Year by one vote over JK She’salady, but the tables were turned in the final voting for Harness Horse of the Year as the filly beat out Sweet Lou by five votes! Both occurrences have never happened in the history of voting. The year sorta ended on a sour note as Balmoral Racing Club, Inc. and Maywood Park Trotting Association, Inc., two of the oldest horse racing venues in the country and the only harness racing tracks in Illinois, announced Christmas Eve that each has voluntarily commenced Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization cases in Chicago. Let’s hope for a bigger and better racing season in 2015. Happy New Year to everyone! By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Fabrice Theil published an interview with Brian Sears after his driving experience yesterday at Paris-Vincennes. An English translation is shown below: "You have to see it to believe it!" - Winner of over 9,000 races and some 160 million dollars in earnings, one of North America featured drivers made the discovery of Vincennes: So Brian, this trip was: "(Laughs) I had heard about the magical setting of Vincennes, but I was far from imagining that really existed. You have to see it to believe it. It's a whole other world. Two tracks, one of which looks like a roller coaster. North American tracks from Florida to Toronto via New York, they are identical. "   Most Impressive Observations "The density of the fields, departures without autostart..It is sure that this requires a long apprenticeship for a US driver. On the other hand, the stables.. it's a hotel luxury for horses. "   Saturday’s Racing Experience "On one hand, I'm glad I did enjoy his entourage who did not expect such a result (third), but on the other, I received two-day suspension… it's embarrassing, but I had a desire to take a vacation ... "   Prix d’Amerique "I think Muscle Hill (Hambletonian 2009) would have had no problems on this particular course. He knew everything. This is undoubtedly the best trotter I had to drive. Bee A Magician (five years in 2015 ), with which I have experienced great joy, could participate, as suggested by trainer Nifty Norman, but not before 2016. There is a strong chance that I would be in the stands in favor of a French driver. " by Fabrice Theil in France, translated from French

Brian Sears (USA) teamed 42/1 outsider Quebir de l’aube (10g And Arifant-Fee de’laube) to a quick finishing third in today’s €22,000 purse Prix des Recontres Internationale at Paris-Vincennes. Sears’ horse had posted only five career wins in 139 starts before today, albeit he was 81 times in the money for €340.260 earned. The race for drivers representing countries with pari-mutuel wagering and breeding agreements with France drew 15 starters with two entries, thus 17 betting interests. Sears patiently positioned his charge in the second tier well back in the pack before finding room late near the inside. Austria’s Gerhard Mayr scored the win easily in 1.14.3kr driving Radieux Begonia (9g Look de Star-Harmonie Begonia) at 11/1 odds. Tony Le Beller (FR) was second with 9/1 Quick Moubaz. The pace was even with 1.13.9kr recorded at the 1000meter and 500 meters to go posts. 1. Radieux Bégonia (1) Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 2. Quick Moubaz (12) Tony le Beller (France) 3. Québir De L'aube (6) B. J. Sears (USA) 4. Rio De Lou (13) R. L. Pools  5. Rocco Darche (8) Alan Wallace (Ireland) by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

This Saturday’s Vincennes card includes the annual Prix des Recontres Internationales that includes drivers representing countries that have executed pari-mutuel and breeding agreements with France. Brian Sears represents the USA in country colors and will battle 14 other contestants including well known international drivers Gerhard Mayr, Christophe Martens and Tony Le Beller. The lineup is shown below (horse, driver, trainer, career earnings in closest thousand euro and best time). Prix des Recontres Internationales, purse €22,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 starters, claiming €22,000 price, grande and petite tracks) 1. Redieux Begonia, Gerhard Mayr, Mlle. M.A. Goetz, 330, 1.13kr 2. Quassia du Bon Air, Zydrunas Vasilionka, B. Marie, 460, 1.11.7kr 3. Rubelinos, Jean-Bernard Matthey, St. Provost, 329, 1.12.7kr 4. Quiqui Guillard, Edelbert Ohmer, P. Godey, 246, 1.12.9kr 5. Quel Instant, Rail Gabdrashitov, A. Laigron, 374,1.12.6kr 6. Quebir de l’Aube, Brian Sears, A. Laigron, 340, 1.12.1kr 7. Quick Viervil, Vito Sadl, Ch. Gallier, 464, 1.11.4kr 8. Rocco Darche, A. Wallace, V. Goetz, 307, 1.12.5kr 9. Quartino, Guillermo Andrea Adrover, V. Goetz, 329, 1.11.9kr 10. Requiem de Chenu, Christophe Martens, F. Pellerot, 219, 1.13.3kr 11. Qui Tar Biekte, Mme. Olga Bondar, St. Provost, 216, 1.13.1kr 12. Quick Moubaz, Tony Le Beller, L.De Groote, 212, 1.12.3kr 13. Roi de Lou, Rudolf L. Pools, E. Varin, 241, 1.14.6kr 14. Urai de Nganda, Tony Demanuele, Mlle. Alice Dubert, 232, 1.11.6kr 15. Quarto Trehenniere, Jiri Svoboda, Y. Hallais, 202, 1.13.3kr Quartino has won three of his last five starts and could be favored. A well-produced video summary of the Vincennes Winter-Meet that is worth watching is attached. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

On October 28th at Yonkers Raceway, Brian Sears did what only 14 previous drivers in the storied history of our sport have accomplished: He achieved his 9,000th driving win. Prior to making Yonkers his home, Sears was the leading driver several times at a quartet of tracks, including the Meadowlands. At Yonkers, Sears has impressed his peers, as well as the public, with his tenacity and professionalism. It's little wonder that he topped all Yonkers drivers in 2013, and boasts the highest UDRS of all drivers with more than 1,000 starts at the Hilltop Oval in 2014. SOA President Joe Faraldo stated: "At 46, there is no limit to Brian's career potential. He simply, and quietly, wins year in and year out. Call him the White Knight; call him the King; call him whatever, but don't forget to call him a winner. The SOA is proud to have Brian as a mainstay of our driving colony, and are even prouder that Brian will represent the United States this week at ''Trotteur Francais International Meeting 2014' to be contested at Vincennes in France. A special set of American colors are being readied for Brian as he competes with drivers from those other countries that have signed on to simulcasting and breeding agreeemnets with the French." From the SOA of New York  

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 23, 2014-The third rendition of Yonkers Raceway's "Matinee Madness" went postward during a downright balmy (mid-50's) pre-Thanksgiving Sunday. The 12-race card again began with five French-centric, overstuffed, mile-and-a-quarter trotting fields. A dozen were behind the gate for the opener (post time 11:12 AM), with favored Itzaziam (Brian Sears, $5.70) winning that event in 2:27.3 for the added distance. Included in the extra-distance extravaganza was the $46,000 Open Handicap, the 10-trotter test won by a backside-busting Dancehall Mistress (Sears. $25.60) in 2:26.1. The Sunday overseas numbers continue strong, with more than 1.2 million Euros (more than 1.5 million US dollars) wagered during the five exported events. The first three matinees have seen a total of more than four million Euros (or more than five million US dollars) wagered for 15 races by the French-hubbed audience (including Switzerland, Belgium, Spanish Basque community, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia and Malta). Sunday's Pick 5, buoyed by a double carryover of more than $7,000, attracted $16,710 of fresh lettuce. The winning combination of 4/4/4/1/2 paid $3,924.75 for every four bits. The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule continues through Dec. 14, with first post every Monday, Thursday (save for Thanksgiving Night), Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the fourth of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) next weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily (including Thanksgiving Day). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Breeders Crown $250,000 Open Mares Trot at the Meadowlands on Nov. 21 saw 2013 harness racing "Horse of the Year" Bee A Magician cut all the fractions to win in 1:51.4. Driven by Brian Sears for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman, Bee A Magician survived an inquiry as she flew home with favorite Classic Martine coming at her from the pylons. Classic Martine finished second and Handover Belle came through for third. As Mistery Woman shot for the lead from the outside, Bee A Magician got to the top and cut the first quarter in :26.1. Classic Martine kept Mistery Woman from getting into the pocket and followed Bee A Magician in second with a half in :55.3. Handover Belle made her move on the outside and the second tier came after Bee A Magician as she maintained the lead in a 1:24.2 three-quarters. Down the stretch, Handover Belle passed Charmed Life and was chasing after Bee A Magician on the outside, while Classic Martine tried to get up late on the inside. Bee A Magician strayed a bit but Classic Martine could not get to her on the inside and neither could Handover Belle make up enough ground on the outside. Bee A Magician won by a head. "It was a slow start this year but Niffty (Norman) did a great job with her," said Brian Sears. "Definitely it could have taken its toll (going opening quarter mile in :26.1), then we got a good middle half and she was really strong so I can't complain. She was trotting real strong to the wire." Bred by White Birch Farm, David McDufee, Melvin Hartman and Herb A. Liverman own Bee A Magician, who won a Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old division in 2014. She paid $7.40 to win. Bee A Magician by Ray Cotolo, for the Breeders Crown

MANALAPAN, NJ - November 19, 2014 - The dreaded 10-hole has landed on In The Arsenal like a 100 megaton bomb. It was the two-year-old pacing colt's fate in last week's Breeders Crown eliminations, and driver Brian Sears fired him off the gate, utilizing a 26.3 opening quarter to take the lead and cut the fractions. In the end, the 3-5 favorite tired and finished third by a length, snapping his winning streak at four. "It was a tough first quarter out of the 10-hole," trainer Kelvin Harrison said of the elimination race. "You get a lot of horses leaving, and it was a tough spot. He didn't really settle that well after that. He raced very well, considering. He was three-deep for most of it." So when the over-sized ping pong balls were pulled at Tuesday's post position draw, it was despair for Harrison, a long-time member of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey Board of Directors. Fate had stuck her finger in Harrison's eye. In The Arsenal will have to overcome post 10 again in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Colt & Gelding Pace, one of the eight divisions carded on Saturday night, November 22, 2014 at the Meadowlands. Four of the finals will occupy slots on the Friday night program. "When you draw a bad post, you have to depend on someone else's luck," Harrison said. "You've got to rely on the trip, the luck. You don't win the Breeders Crown from the 10." Occasionally, winners do overcome outside post positions, but everyone knew what Harrison meant. In The Arsenal, a son of American Ideal - LadyOTRA, was made the 4-1 third choice behind elim winners Go Daddy Go [5-2 from post five] and Traceur Hanover [7-2 from post two]. Bred by White Birch Farm of Allentown, NJ, In The Arsenal was bought back out of the Harrisburg Sale when he only drew $7,500 in the bidding. He was a smallish yearling, according to Harrison, and the 14th foal out of her 21-year-old dam. Michael Parisi's White Birch turned the colt over to Harrison to train and, thus far, it was fortuitous to be "stuck" with In The Arsenal as he has banked $271,318 this year. In The Arsenal has six wins in his 10 starts: the elims and final of the LB Sheppard at Yonkers in July, a division of the Bluegrass and the International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile in the early fall, a Goshen Cup division of the Historic Series at Harrah's Philadelphia on October 12 and the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs on November 7. In The Arsenal's 1:49.4 mile on September 27 in Lexington has made him the only sub 1:50 two-year-old this year. Harrison, 64, was born in Methuen, New Zealand, but is based in Bordentown, NJ and racing in New Jersey since the late 1970s. He is not new to this rodeo. He has had seven prior Breeders Crown entrants, including Born Storyteller, who was second in the Mares Pace Final in 2006, and Free, who was third in the Mares Pace Final in 2007. He is looking for his first Breeders Crown champion. Harrison trainees have earned nearly $12 million, including $560,419 this year, his best since 2008 when his stable exceed $900,000 in earnings for the second straight season. Some of his other top performers have included Direct Flight, 1991 Interdominion winner Dare You Too, 1989 Woodrow Wilson winner San Francisco Ben and Frightening P. White Birch Farm is no stranger to the Breeders Crown winner's circle. It bred two of the 2013 winners, Horse of the Year Bee A Magician and two-time Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous. In The Arsenal is driven by Brian Sears, who has a record of 24 Breeders Crown wins - 44 of 107 on-the-board -- for $9.7 million in purse money. The Two-Year-Old Colt Pace will be the seventh race on the 13-race card. The draw, with driver, trainer and morning line, prior to scratches and changes: 1-Cooperstown-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke- 20-1 2-Traceur Hanover-Andy Miller-Corey Johnson-7-2 3-Lyons Levi Lewis-Ron Pierce-Ron Burke-8-1 4-Franzo-Scott-Zeron-Jimmy Takter-20-1 5-Go Daddy Go-John Campbell-Robert McIntosh-5-2 6-Sicily-George Brennan-Nikolas Drennan-20-1 7-Tomy Terror-Corey Callahan-John Butenschoen-8-1 8-Soto-Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-30-1 9-Lost For Words-David Miller-Brian Brown-9-2 10-In The Arsenal-Brian Sears-Kelvin Harrison-7-2 By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

In The Arsenal has stamped himself as a contender to challenge Artspeak for top harness racing honors in 2014 as the two-year-old pacing colt notched his fourth straight win with an impressive 1:51 triumph in the $193,200 Matron Stake at Dover Downs Thursday. It was the longest shot on the board, 99-1 Lyons Levi Lewis and driver Ron Pierce who shot out of post seven to take early command. But then In The Arsenal and driver Brian Sears was grinding it out and after the opening quarter mile in :26.4 they took command for good. No one was willing to take a shot at In The Arsenal as he sped to the half mile in :55.1. Then Tomy Terror (Corey Callahan) came first-over with Cartoon Daddy (Yannick Gingras) following their cover but they could gain no ground on In The Arsenal. After the three-quarters in 1:22.4, Cartoon Daddy tried coming three-wide and Yankee Bounty (David Miller) four-wide but their moves were to no avail as In The Arsenal sped away to a two length triumph. Lyons Levi Lewis held for second with Bet You (Brett Miller) third. “He’s got a lot of go in his engine,” said Brian Sears, “He may still be a little green but he is figuring it all out. He will fight you a little but when he throws that engine into another gear he can go.” Sired by American Ideal, In The Arsenal posted his sixth win of the year in nine starts and now heads to the Breeders Crown as the race favorite. He is trained by Kelvin Harrison and was bred and is owned by White Birth Farm of Allentown, NJ. He paid $4.80 to win. In The Arsenal Yannick Gingras put on a driving clinic at Dover Downs as he made it three-for-three early on the program in the Matron Stakes, winning the $199,600 division for two-year-old pacing fillies with Sassa Hanover. Gringras took no chances having to start from the far outside with Sassa Hanover in post eight and left after the lead. Bettor Be Steppin and driver Corey Callahan were the first on the lead to the opening quarter mile in :26.2. But Gingras had Sassa Hanover already on the move and then on the lead. With the track upgraded from sloppy to good, Sassa Hanover led to the half mile in :55 as Ideal Nuggets (David Miller) came first-over, flushed out by Heavenly Bride (Brian Sears). By the three-quarters in 1:23.4, Gingras and Sassa Hanover still held the field at bay as Heavenly Bride came three-wide on the final turn to try and mount a challenge. But Sassa Hanover proved to be the tough horse, holding off all contenders to win by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:52.3 Bettor N Better (Ron Pierce) closed well to be second with Well Hello There (Matt Kakaley) third. The first three finishers in the race are all trained by Ron Burke, who had four of the eight starters in the race. Southwind Roulette was fifth for the Burke Stable. “I had my options opens at the start,” said Yannick Gingras,” but I was not going to get away in last place from the eight hole. I knew the move we had to make was to go to the front and she was great.” Sired by Rock N Roll Heaven, Sassa Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Panhellenic Stable, Weaver Brucemi and Larry Karr. She paid $8.40 to win in scoring her ninth victory on the year in just eleven starts. Sassa Hanover By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 28, 2014-Brian Sears won the 9,000th race of his illustrious career Tuesday night, the milestone coming The Way I Am ($9.80) in the fifth race of Yonkers Raceway's 12-race program. The 3-year-old Muscle Mass gelding went wire-to-wire from post position No. 3, winning the mile-and-one-sixteenth event trot by 8¼ lengths in 2:05.4. Sears began his work night needing two wins for the latest plateau. He took the $11,000 pacing opener with Wayward Son ($7.80), pacing the mile-and-one-sixteenth in 1:59.2. "It's great to win (No. 9,000) here, because Yonkers Raceway is my home now," Sears said, congratulatory sign in tow. "I'm really happy to win it for (trainer) Buzzy (Sholty), because our families have known each other for years and we grew up in the business together." Sears is the 15th driver in harness racing history to win 9,000 races. A 46-year-old native of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Sears-the Raceway's defending driving champion---has career purse earnings in excess of $158 million. Prior to relocating his base to Westchester last season, Sears was the leading driver at Vernon Downs, Pompano, the Meadows and the Meadowlands. His escorts have made at least $10 million in purses in all but one of the past 10 full seasons. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Monday, October 27, 2014--Brian Sears began his work night needing six wins to turn over the odometer yet again, and he nearly did just that. Sears sat in the waiting room of the 9,000 win plateau Monday night, winning four of his 10 drives during Yonkers Raceway's 12-race card to get within two of that milestone. He began the evening with a pair of odds-on halves of a chalky, $7.80 early daily double, Bettor Business ($3.30) in the $9,000 pacing opener (1:56.2) and Do it For Annie ($3.20) in the $9,000 second-race trot (1:58.4). After having the gall not to win either of the next two races, Sears strolled with favored Annapolis ($4.90) in the fifth-race trot (2:04.4 for the mile-and-one-sixteenth). Win No. 4 came when Supplemental Income ($6.30) nailed the leader late in the sixth-race pace (1:55.2). He next four assignments finished sixth, fifth, fifth and second, respectively. A 46-year-old native of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Sears--the Raceway's defending driving champion---has career purse earnings in excess of $158 million. Prior to relocating his base to Westchester last season, Sears was the leading driver at Vernon Downs, Pompano, the Meadows and the Meadowlands. His escorts have made at least $10 million in purses in all but one of the past 10 full seasons. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Brian Sears, Jody Jamieson and Chris Christoforou, three of harness racing’s top reinsmen, are nearing major milestones in their career dash totals. With their busy race schedules, all three drivers should be able to hit their milestone marks by this coming weekend. Sears leads the way with 8,994 wins as of today and thus is just six away from #9,000. When he hit that milestone, Sears will become only the 16th driver in the history of harness racing in North American to achieve 9,000 wins. Jody Jamieson currently has 6,995 career wins and is just five away from #7,000 while Chris Christoforou is at 5,994 wins and six away from #6,000. Good luck to all three drivers this week! By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 17, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $35,000 co-featured Open Handicaps-one for distaff pacers and one for any trotter with letters of reference-were won by a down-the-road Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett, $2.90) and a storming-home Obrigado (Brian Sears, $10.80). The week's fairer-sex feature was strictly a two-speed number, with odds-on Krispy Apple leaving around Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton). The people's preference sent pokey early fractions (:28, :57.2) before Summertime Lea (George Brennan) tried her luck with a second move. "Lea" second came close in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters as Krispy Apple opened a couple of lengths entering the lane. She held sway, defeating Robin Cruiser by a length-and-a-half in 1:53.2. Coffee Addict, Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter) and Campanile (Austin Siegelman) rounded out the payees. For Krispy Apple, a 6-year-old millionaress daughter of Western Ideal trained by PJ Fraley for co-owners Bamond Racing and Joseph Davino, it was her third win in 21 seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $10.40, with the triple returning $70.50. The week's marquee trot saw last week's winner-and this week's eight-hole assignee-Somebody AS (Dan Dube) intent on the lead. He found it, vaulting over 8-5 choice DW's NY Yank (Brennan) right a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.4 intermission, Melady's Monet (Bartlett) moved from fourth...and move his did. "Melady" went right up and over a stopping leader, opening nighttime daylight by the 1:25.3 three-quarters. Lorenzo Dream (Brent Holland), given a perfect tow, was losing ground, while DW's NY Yank was shuffled out. Melady's Monet, widening to two lengths off the final turn, looked home, but Obrigado never received the memo. Eighth at the half and seventh turning for home, Obrigado did something unheard of. He made up 7¼ lengths to snap the Melady's Money by a head in 1:55. "Lorenzo," Traverse Seelster (Tyler Buter) and "DW" came away with the minor awards. For third choice Obrigado, a 4-year-old Boy Band gelding co-owned by (trainer) Paul Kelley, William Weaver III, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45, he's now 9-for-20 this season (30-for-43 lifetime). The exacta paid $80, the triple returned $325 and the superfecta paid $2,148. Note that since no one went home with Friday night's Pick 5, Saturday's gimmick begins with a $3,060.97 carryover (50-cent base wager on races 5 through 9). Saturday night features two eliminations for Yonkers Trot No. 60 and one for Messenger Stakes No. 59. Also, a tribute to recently-retired Cat Manzi, who shall make the sixth race presentation, then autograph photos for fans. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

MANALAPAN, NJ - October 16, 2014 - Sumatra made it two straight trips to the winner's circle with a two-length tally in the $25,000 New Jersey Futurity for three-year-old New Jersey-sired trotters on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The gelded son of Muscles Yankee - Lola Seelster covered the non-wagering mile in 1:57.2 with Brian Sears in the sulky. Angels Ransom [Revenue] was second with Choco Sun [Chocolatier] two and a half lengths back in third. Sumatra, trained by Tom Fanning, now has back-to-back stakes wins, having captured the Old Oaken Bucket at Delaware, OH on September 18. This year's record features three wins, two seconds and two thirds from 13 starts for earnings of nearly $170,000. Lifetime, he has finished in-the-money in 16 of 24 starts, banking $277,339. The $9,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase by Joseph Smith of Vero Beach, FL, was bred by Perretti Farms of Cream Ridge, NJ and Black Horse Racing of Lebanon, NJ. The New Jersey Futurity is sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

For the second straight week, In The Arsenal has become the official harness racing “dragon slayer” of unbeaten top two-year-old pacing colts. Last week it was the top rated Artspeak in the $72,000 International Stallion Stake at Lexington’s Red Mile. Artspeak was going for his eighth straight win and just as In The Arsenal started to come up on Artspeak, Artspeak went off-stride and finish third. Sunday it was the unbeaten Yankee Bounty who suffered his first defeat after eight straight wins as In The Arsenal collared him at the top of the stretch and blew him away in the $34,126 Historic Series Goshen Cup at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Who may be next? Driven by Brian Sears, In The Arsenal left from post two and parked out Yankee Bounty (Yannick Gingras) to the opening quarter mile in a speedy :26.2. Then with no one willing to try and come first-over, Yankee Bounty cut fractions of :54.2 and 1:22.3, but it was all to no avail. As soon as Sears pulled In The Arsenal from the pocket, they tore after Yankee Bounty and then pulled away in the stretch to win by two and one-quarter lengths in 1:50.4. It was the third straight win for the son of American Ideal, who is trained by Kelvin Harrison and was bred and is owned by White Birch Farm of Allentown, NJ.  In The Arsenal paid $11.40 to win. In the $34,626 second division of the Goshen Cup, ASAP Hanover and driver Tim Tetrick were stung early to the opening quarter mile in :27 by Lone Survivor (Ron Pierce) and once on the lead was collared by Hall Of Terror (Marcus Miller), but then regained the lead by the three-quarters and pulled away for a seven and three-quarter length romp in 1:51.3. Stover (Brett Miller) was second with Yankee Heaven (Brian Sears) third. Sired by Somebeachsomewhere, ASAP Hanover is trained by Linda Toscano, owned by John Mehlembacher of Ontario and paid $3.60 to win. Tom Fanning’s Betting Exchange won the $24,126 third Goshen Cup division for driver David Miller in 1:52.2 over My Hero Ron (Marcus Miller) with Dragon Eddy (Mike Simons) third. Fanning trains the son of Bettor’s Delight and co-owns him with Howard Taylor and Susan Kajfasz. The $51,190 Harriman Cup for two-year-old trotting colts saw No Reason At All and driver Tim Tetrick win the first division in 1:57 over Don’t Mind Me (Howard Parker) and Mesmerized (Scott Zeron). Mike Simons drove Explosive Drama to victory in the $51,190 second division with a 1:56.1 triumph. They took command of the race after the opening quarter mile and went on to win by one length over Ralph R (Marcus Miller) and Commentary (Yannick Gingras). By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

1 to 16 of 805
1 2 3 4 5 Next »