Brad Forward solidified his hold on the Dash and Percentage Driver of the year awards at Hanover Raceway. Its the 45 year old Newfoundland native’s first season as a full time harness racing driver at Hanover Raceway, and it was very successfull. His five wins on the night give Forward 32 on the season, more than double his nearest competitor. Forward also went into the night with a .394 UDR and those wins will surely boost that number giving his the top Driving percentage as well. One of Forwards wins was the CKNX Trot in Race 9. Forward steered 8 year old Fantastic Flirt for part owner Bill Rankin and trainer Jenn Rankin of Dundas. The daughter of CR Excalibur was quickest off the gate and controlled the pace past a quarter in 29.3 and a half in 1:00.1. Oaklea Torpedo owned and trained by Jayne Walker and Tom Smith got as close as 2nd at the 3/4’s in 1:31.2, but couldn’t close the gap and ended up finishing 3rd, behind Fantastic Flirt who won in 2:00.2, with Massive Muscles finishing 2nd for Paul and Julie Walker. After the Race the staff from CKNX drew the name of Betty Ross of Wingham who was a 58 inch high def TV courtesy of CKNX Radio and HDTV in Walkerton. Hanover Raceway wraps up its season next Saturday with its season ending awards and prizes for Race fans. Two people will win Lazy-Boy Recliners from Smitty’s Fine Furniture and someone will win a high def TV from HDTV in Walkerton. Post time next Saturday is 7:15pm.
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Strong Hope ($5.10) remained razor sharp and proved it by lowering his own track record in winning the $10,000 Open Trot in 1:56.3 over the fast harness racing track at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (June 17). He beat his own standard of 1:57.1 (aged 5+ colt) set this season on April 16. Strong Hope has now won four times in his last eight starts along with a trio of second place finishes. It was the sixth time this year a track record has been rewritten at Buffalo Raceway. With the field scratched down to five, Cold Certified tried to cut the mile with splits of 29.1, 59.0 and 1:28.0. But with a quarter mile to trot, Cold Certified called it a night and the first-over Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) powerfully took command and never looked back in the stretch, putting away the field with a 28.3 last panel. The battle for the minor spoils went to Serious George (Mike Caprio) who finished 3-3/4 lengths behind the winner while Northern Matador (Jim Morrill Jr.) took third. Owned and trained by Joe Agostino, Strong Hope (Cr Excalibur-Spring Lane Joanie) is a 9-year-old horse who has six wins in 20 attempts this season. The victory upped his 2016 winnings to $43,191 and $544,074 lifetime. Fisher Jr. and Drew Monti each had triples in the bike while Angelo Nappo and Agostino each doubled. Racing will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled. The Pick-5 has a $993 carryover starting in the fifth race. For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Sooner or later, Strong Hope is going to make believers out of the betting public. And after setting a new track record Friday night (April 22) in the $10,000 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway, at last he might get the well earned respect. For the third straight race, Strong Hope was shunned at the betting windows and proved his doubters wrong once again with an impressive victory in 1:57.1 over the fast track. The time shattered the old standard of 1:58.1 for aged trotting colts (5+) set in 2014 by Armed Dangerously. It was the third straight double digit win for Strong Hope who returned $11.80 for the comfortable 1-1/4 length victory over Northern Bullet. Strong Hope now has $17.40 and $53.50 win prices to his credit during his current streak. And while Strong Hope continued his winning ways, so did driver Jim Morrill Jr. He recorded another seven-bagger including a stretch of five in a row. Morrill Jr. now has posted 59 victories at Buffalo Raceway in 119 starts. It was the fourth time this season he has had seven wins on a card at the Hamburg half-mile oval. While flirting with the record, Kevin Cummings' mark of eight wins set on June 11, 2005 still stands. In the feature, Lutetium set some wicked fractions of 28.1, 57.1 and 1:27.1 which was a perfect set up for the hard-charging Strong Hope. Going first over past the half, Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) made steady progress toward the top and was in command at the top of the lane. Northern Bullet (Morrill Jr.) finished a non-threatening second while Lutetium (Todd Cummings) held on for third. Owned and trained by Joe Agostino, it was the fourth win in 14 starts this season for the 9-year-old Strong Hope (Cr Excalibur-Spring Lane Joanie). The victory upped his 2016 winnings to $25,941 and $526,824 lifetime. Trainer JD Perrin had three wins and Agostino two on the card. Ray Fisher Jr. doubled in the sulky. Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 6 p.m. For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After pulling a mild $17.40 upset at Buffalo Raceway last Friday night, it seemed only natural that the public would give Strong Hope some more respect at the betting windows this week. But that wasn't the case at all. Strong Hope was sent off at 25-to-1 odds this time around and proved his doubters dead wrong by posting a $53.50 victory over Northern Bullet in the featured $9,000 trot in 1:59.0 over the fast track. Being assigned the outside post, Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) managed to drop into fourth place as Lutetium played catch me if you can as usual. Strong Hope began his first over grind at the half, slowly chipped away at the lead and wore down eventual third place finisher Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) in the stretch. Northern Bullet (Jim Morrill Jr.) rallied late to take second place, a non-threatening length behind. Owned by Nancy Knockwood and trained by Joe Agostino, Strong Hope (Cr Excalibur-Spring Lane Joanie) is a 9-year-old horse that has now earned $20,581 this season and $521,824 lifetime. It was the third victory of the season in 13 tries for Strong Hope. Morrill Jr. finished the night with five wins, Fisher Jr. and Todd Cummings each doubled in the sulky while Agostino had a training double for the second Friday in a row. In other news from the Hamburg half-mile oval, current leader in the driver's standings Jack Flanigen will be out of action several weeks after suffering a broken arm in off-track mishap. Racing will continue on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway with an 11-race card set for 6 p.m. There will be a $991 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race. For more information including the latest news, race results, replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com. by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
It may have been April Fool's Day but Strong Hope wasn't joking around at all in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (April 1) as he registered a $17.40 surprise in a harness racing seasonal best 1:58.3. Lutetium did the dirty work on the front end, setting splits of 28.4, 59.2 and 1:29.1 over the fast track. Strong Hope cruised along in second and was just waiting for the race for home. That where things got interesting as Lutetium felt an onslaught coming from all directions. Northern Bullet and Justgottogetthere were coming on the outside while Strong Hope went inside. Driver Jack Flanigen gave Strong Hope some encouragement in the passing lane and he responded positively with a 29.1 last panel to draw off to a 1-3/4 length advantage over Northern Bullet (Jim Morrill Jr.). Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) and Justgottogethere (Jim McNeight) were in a dead heat for the show spot. Owned by Nancy Knockwood and trained by Joe Agostino, Strong Hope (Cr Excalibur-Spring Lane) is a 9-year-old horse that has produced two wins in 12 starts in 2016, putting $16,441 in the bank. The victory also upped his career earnings to $516,324. Beback Jr. finished the night with three victories in the sulky while Flanigen, Jim McNeight and Drew Monti all posted doubles on the card. Trainer Joe Agostino conditioned a pair of winners.. Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 12-race program scheduled for 6 p.m. There's a $1,129 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race. For more information including the latest news, race results, replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
WILKES-BARRE PA -- Two horses hit the wire virtually inseparable in the seventh race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday night. One was the even-money favorite, a daughter of Andover Hall out of Classical Flirt, the dam of world champion Market Share. The other was 198-1. Which one do you think won the photo? Well -- if the chalk had won, would you be reading a story about it? Lady Of The Lake, a daughter of CR Excalibur, proved a shade more photogenic than Amorous Flirt for trainer/driver Joe Antonelli in the contest, taking a new mark of 1:58.4 while breaking her maiden in her 30th lifetime start. And paying $398.60 for a $2 win ticket, having captured only $23 of a $5659 total win pool. Lady Of The Lake was undoubtedly helped by the fractions (57 to the half, 1:01.4 the second half in 41 degree temperatures), but still she had to come uncovered all the way from seventh at the half, hooking up with Amorous Flirt, who had brushed to the lead in the second quarter for driver Matt Kalaley, midway around the final turn, from which the two battled side-by-side until Lady Of The Lake got the winning headbob. Scarlett's Legacy was third, a neck off, at 26-1 ("just a piker," noted announcer Jim Beviglia), while two lengths further back to complete the Superfecta was 157-1 shot Dalmatinka. The across-the-board for Lady Of The Lake was $398.60, $61.80, and $13.80. The 9-1 Exacta paid $2339.60 for $2 (with the even-money chalk second, remember). Nobody got further than the first two in the Trifecta, with a 9-1-ALL listing worth $766.80 for $2, while the 9-1-8-ALL Superfecta extrapolated out to $8023.00 for $2 ($2 payout listings are mandatory in Pennsylvania; with the takeout, there was just short of $1 worth in 9-1-8-A Superfecta tickets based on the pool size.) Lynn Antonelli, Jane Capone, and Jane Farkas finally got to get a picture taken with Joe Antonelli and Lady Of The Lake, who with the win raised her lifetime bankroll to $25,930 -- not bad considering she had never won going into the race. The winner's breeder was Winbak Farm -- maybe producing $398.60 winners helps you get to the Hall Of Fame, as Winbak's Joe Thomson was inducted this summer. PHHA / Pocono
WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 15, 2015 -- Dough Dough made the front with a quarter-pole move and held firm from there as she captured Tuesday's $15,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life trot. Dough Dough was away third when Dick Stillings sent her to the lead. The 5-year-old daughter of CR Excalibur-Rising Dough easily thwarted the first-over bid of Broadway Socks and rolled home in 1:54.4, 1-1/4 lengths better than Kandian Club. The pocket-sitting Whata Donato earned show. J.W. Miller trains Dough Dough, who collected her third win in her last four starts and extended her career bankroll to $117,115, for owner/breeder En Mar Stable. Dave Palone piloted four winners and Aaron Merriman three on the 14-race card. Wednesday's program at The Meadows features the $170,000 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers. Among the competitors are Bettor Be Steppin, who took the $350,000 Valley Forge, and Safe From Terror, 45-1 upset winner of the $350,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship. The Nadia Lobell goes as race six, with first post at 12:55 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
Pompano Beach, FL...June 10, 2015...Mach Me Not and Mc Tiny's Hope shared the spotlight at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (June 10), each reaching the winner's circle in their respective co-featured harness racing events. Mach Me Not, the rugged nine year-old daughter of Mach Three, turned the tables on her stablemate, Artful Impulse, in the $9,000 "Winner's Over" pace for the mares, using a quarter move to the top after Artful Impulse, zipped out of the gate from her outside post to take the field through an opener of :27.4. With Bruce Ranger handling the lines for trainer Jim Mc Donald and the S S G Stables, Mach Me Not, once reaching the top spot, proceeded to clock panels of :57.3 and 1:25.3 before using a :28.3 finale to hold her stablemate, driven by Andy Santeramo, safe by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:54.1. Real NIce Girl finished third for Joe Sanzeri while Keystone Christa finished fourth after a menacing backside brush brought her to the flank of Mach Me Not turning for home. Goldstar Rockette finished fifth in the quintet. After the event, driver Bruce Ranger remarked, "Last week, this mare was full of pace the entire last lap, grinding forward from the back to finish third. In this shorter field, I thought it might be prudent to try and control things, just hoping that Andy (Santeramo) would yield to me so his mare would get the garden trip. It worked out well." Mach Me Not won for the sixth time in 21 starts, sending her 2015 bankroll to $40,024. She's banked $336,046 lifetime on the strength of 33 career wins to go along with a mark of 1:51.1. As the very slight favorite at 4 to 5, Mach Me Not paid $3.60 to win. Despite rain showers in the area, along with some lightning bolts and thunder claps, Mc Tiny's Hope, the only mare in the "Winner's Over" trot, showed impeccable manners in extending her victory streak to three with a 1:55 performance for Ben Mc Neil. This seven year-old daughter of CR Excalibur, trained by Jack Mc Neil for Ellen Mc Neil, zipped to the lead from her outside five post and broke her first three light beams in :28.3, :57.2 and 1:25.3 before striding home an easy winner on the strength of a :29.2 finale while dodging raindrops all the way home. Dominum Deo finished second for Bruce Ranger while My Revenuer was next in the quintet. Gold Savage, close up the entire route, finished fourth while On The Tab picked up the nickel. In a post race interview, the soft-spoken Ben Mc Neil said, "What can I say? She's just very good right now and I certainly wasn't going to fool around changing tactics since she's won the other two in this streak the same way!" In earning her sixth win of the year in 21 starts, Mc Tiny's Hope sent her bankroll to $44,496 this semester, vaulting her over the $150,000 lifetime--$153,270 to be exact. This was her 27th lifetime victory to go along with her Meadowlands mark of 1:53.3. As the 1 to 5 post time favorite, Mc Tiny's Hope paid $2.40 to win. Ranger and Mc Neil were the two driving stars on the program with the Ranger winning three on the card, including the early Daily Double and young Ben Mc Neil sweeping both halves of the late Daily Double. Racing continues on Saturday with Northern Companion looking to extend his winning streak while Raji's Blue Line, No Bad Dreams, Who's Your Maddy and G P S Legacy seek to knock last week's winner off his perch as current king of the hill." Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
DOVER, Del. ---- Powerful Charger, piloted by Tim Tetrick, pulled a 10-1 upset in the $18,000 Open/Handicap trot, the Wednesday feature at Dover Downs on March 11. Tetrick finished with four wins. Wagering favorites, Tough Mac (Corey Callahan) and newcomer Sevruga (Andy Miller) finished off the board after Powerful Charger roared down the lane for his third win of the year in his last four starts. Tim Tetrick and Jim King own the seven-year-old altered son of Powerful Emotion - Fox Valley Poetry who set a lifetime best clocking of 1:53.4 winning for the 25th time upping his career earnings to $05,840. Baximum, in now usual style, closed well to take second-place honors with Allan Davis driving. Tirade Hanover and Vic Kirby, after pushing the early fractions on the lead, held on for third. Meet leading driver Corey Callahan took the classy four-year-old mare Classic Belisima into the lead and never was headed in a 1:55.3 triumph in a $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot. John Cabot conditions the daughter of Crazed - Classic Yankee who won for sixth time this meet for owner Bill Cantrell. Derby (Allan Davis) raced well finishing second in front of Striking Charisma (Trace Tetrick). Prayer Session dropped down from the Open Class and overpowered six foes in a 1:54.1 score in an $11,500 Conditioned trot. Corey Callahan was at the controls for the Like A Prayer - ENS Tag Session geldings third win of 2015 and 20th lifetime good for $594,011 in purses. Enrico AS (A. Davis) led early and held on for second for the third consecutive time. Spunky Jack (Roger Plante) finished third. Carlo Poliseno steered 10-1 shot Oh Sweet Penelope, a four-year-old CR Excalibur - Oh Sweet Pea mare he owns and trains to a 1:57 win in an $11,000 4&5-Year-Old trot. It was her first win of the year. Overnight Hit (Art Stafford Jr.) closed well for second with Red Dress Baby (Vince Copeland) third. Tim Tetrick drove four winners, Corey Callahan, three, Trace Tetrick had two as did Tony Morgan and trainers Jim King and john Cabot and owner Bill Cantrell. Thursday at Dover Downs Mustang Art and Movie Idol, winners of the last two Delaware Special/Handicap paces are among the nine starters this week going for a $26,000 purse on Thursday, March 12 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Mustang Art, owned by Max Walton and Greg Papaleo's Mustang Art won last week's pacing feature while Movie Idol, after chalking up a 1:50 lifetime best two weeks ago. The sharp Just A Jolt has finished second in three of the last four Del. Specials. Vic Kirby will drive for owner Janet Hudson. The surprise horse of the top class this meet, Jebswesternshake, after stepping up from the claiming ranks won five races including two Specials for driver George Dennis and owner Frank Chick. Another local favorite, Mary Ann Larrimore's Believe This Bob has won this event twice and will be piloted by Trace Tetrick. The rest of the field is led Doug Lewis' Mojo Terror who made his first local start last week and has the services of Corey Callahan. Brit Evans and Foulk Stable's Full Of Sand leaves from the rail with Jonathan Roberts. Sunshine Superman, owned, trained and driven by Toby Lynch, is alongside. Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing's Papa Ray, an early meet standout, is reined by Eddie Davis Jr. An $18,000 and three $16.000 Opens head a strong undercard. Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday are "dark" days. This Sunday, March 15 is the last Sunday card of the season with post time at 5:30 p.m. Marv Bachrad
Mopey Corey prevailed in a three-across finish in Sunday's featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Handicap Trot at Georgian Downs. Driver Bob McClure moved 8-1 shot Mopey Copey from the pocket and collared pacesetter Justasmalltowngirl (Scott Young) at the wire in 1:56.1 with Money Maven (Daniel O'Brian) sprinting into the win photo. The eight-year-old Southwind Lustre gelding earned his 30th career win (and sixth this year). Sent postward as the second longest shot on the board, he returned $19.60 to his backers at the betting windows. Thomas Riley trains the winner for Amanda Riley of Roseneath, Ont. Fantastic Flirt, one of two mares in the field and the longest shot in the race, pulled off a 25-1 upset in the $7,000 Preferred 3 as she rallied home from the backfield to win in a new lifetime mark of 1:57.1 for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Brenda Lane. The six-year-old CR Excalibur mare paid $53.50 to win.
Dough Dough and Clementine Dream each controlled matters on the front end as heavy favorites to win races in the Bobby Weiss series at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Wednesday night. There were two Weiss divisions held for three and four-year-old fillies and mares on the trot, each carrying a purse of $15,000. Dough Dough (CR Excalibur-Rising Dough), trained by Gail Wrubel and driven by Mike Simons, won his second straight Weiss race, this one coming in 1:55:4. Clementine Dream (Infinitif-Catch Fortuna), with Scott Zeron driving for trainer Mark Harder, won his split in 1:55:3. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review Although the weather wasn’t always balmy in the past week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, at least it was dry on live racing nights. That led to our first week of exclusively fast tracks, and, as you might imagine, the action had a little extra spice because of it. There were a lot of thrilling races and some extraordinary performances, the best of which we’ll now honor by handing out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: DOVUTO HANOVER Saturday night marked the first time this season that we’ve had a Preferred race on the pacing side, and the $25,000 purse brought out an excellent field of six. Among those, Sparky Mark and Blatantly Good had already established themselves at Pocono with three condition wins between them in the meet, and, with inside posts, figured to be strong contenders. Add in Dovuto Hanover, who came in with wins in two of his last three against tough company at The Meadowlands, and it figured to be quite the battle. It’s always nice when a race lives up to the expectations. Sparky Mark went out and set the pace, but faced a stiff first-over test from Blatantly Good on the back stretch. Dovuto Hanover, the 4-5 favorite from the Darran Cassar barn, followed the cover of Blatantly Good on the outside before kicking out three-wide on the final turn. That meant all three horses were in prime spots at the top of the stretch, setting up a thrilling battle. For a moment, it appeared that Sparky Mark would cling to his lead all the way home, as Dovuto Hanover’s momentum seemed to be stilled. Yet driver Tyler Buter coaxed a sudden burst of energy from the favorite, and the 4-year-old gelding came up in the nick of time by a nose in 1:50:4. Great horse, great finish, and a great representation of how the Preferred pacers will compete at Pocono in the upcoming season. Other top pacers this week include: Drive All Night (Anthony Napolitano, Rene Allard), the veteran pacer who scored his second straight $15,000 claiming victory on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:51:3; Donna Party (Brett Miller-Kent Sherman), a mare who scored her third straight win in a tight claiming handicap battle on Wednesday in 1:53; and Cypress Hill Suds (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who picked up a win against the $10,000 claiming mares on Wednesday, her second straight victory, in a career-best 1:52:3. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: FIRST AQUA There hasn’t been a trotter on the Pocono grounds anywhere near as dominant so far in the meet as this seven-year-old gelding. Arriving from Freehold on March 25, he immediately scorched a claiming group by seven lengths in 1:53:3. He followed that up by moving up in class the following week to handle the $20,000-$25,000 claiming handicap group, again by a comfortable margin, in 1:54. By that time the secret was out, and First Aqua was claimed from that race. He went from one hot trainer (Gilberto Garcia-Herrera) to another (Rene Allard) in the exchange, but he kept George Napolitano Jr. as his driver to face off with that same top claiming group on Wednesday night as a heavy 1-5 favorite. First Aqua made the same swooping move to take over the lead on the front stretch as he did in his previous two wins. This time out he got a decent challenge from pocket horse Maravich, but he was more than up to that challenge, holding him off to win by a length-and-a-quarter. And although the margin of victory was the smallest of his winning streak, the time of 1:53:2 set a new career mark for First Aqua. That proves he’s still getting better, which is a scary thought for his future competition to entertain. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Smokin Dabra (Brett Miller, Brewer Adams), who rolled on the front end on Tuesday night to his second straight $10,000 claiming victory, this one in 1:54:4; P L Fantastic (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who took a huge step up in class and won his second straight condition trot at Pocono and his third straight overall, posting a winning time of 1:53:1; and My Leap Of Faith (Simon Allard, Brian Seidel), who rallied late for a condition win on Wednesday night in 1:54:4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: LATE NIGHT JOKE Driver Andrew McCarthy has a way with the long shots, and he showed it by rallying this claiming pacer to an improbable victory Saturday night at 35-1 for a $73.60 win payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MARCUS MILLER Young drivers sometimes struggle to find a place at Pocono, but Miller showed this week that he belongs, scoring driving doubles on Sunday and Tuesday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: BREWER ADAMS He’s been a consistent force for several seasons at Pocono, and Adams scored big this week with five training wins, including doubles on Sunday and Tuesday. That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs
Driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller continue to dominate the Bobby Weiss series for distaff trotters at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as their mares Take The Money and Perfect Alliance, stayed unbeaten in 2014 with easy victories on Wednesday night. There were three Weiss divisions for three and four-year-old fillies and mares on the trot contested on Wednesday, each carrying a purse of $15,000. Take The Money (Donato Hanover-Repititions) got away with soft fractions on the engine and coasted to the victory in her split by five lengths in 1:56:2, making her four-for-four in 2014. Perfect Alliance (Credit Winner-Yalta Hanover) then moved to seven-for-seven on the year with a romping victory in her division by four lengths in a scorching 1:53. In the other Weiss division, Dough Dough (CR Excalibur-Rising Dough), trained by Gail Wrubel and driven by Mike Simons, cashed in on the front end in 1:56:4. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review March 29-April 4, 2014 We saw a little bit of everything this past week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There was persistent rain on Saturday night, a wintry mix that made a real mess on Sunday night, and then, finally, some springlike weather on Tuesday and Wednesday. The one constant was excellent racing the entire week through, which we’re about to highlight with our Weekly Awards. Pacer of the Week - BLATANTLY GOOD Saturday night marked the beginning of our second week of racing, which meant that horses that won their first time out in the meet would get a chance to establish themselves as more than just one-week wonders. One of those horses was Blatantly Good, a 10-year-old stallion from the barn of trainer PJ Fraley, whose first start of the ’14 campaign at Pocono resulted in a sizzling condition victory in 1:49:4. Coming off that, he moved up a notch in the condition wars on Saturday night to face off with a group of non-winners of $20,000 in the last five starts. As if the tough foes he was facing in the race weren’t enough of a collective obstacle, he also had to deal with seriously sloppy racing conditions that made it a tough night for favorites on the whole. Several horses battled for the early lead, leaving Blatantly Good far back in the back. But driver Brett Miller never panicked and brought him to the outside to begin picking off horses on the back stretch. With one sweeping move around the final turn, the standout stallion blew by his competition on his way to a win going away. The winning time of 1:53:4 was obviously affected by the track condition, but it was nonetheless another impressive victory for this stellar veteran. Other top pacers this week include: Donna Party (Brett Miller, Kent Sherman), who stepped up to a tougher group of claiming handicap mares on Wednesday night and still won her second straight, this one coming in 1:52:3; So Take That (Tyler Buter, William Adamczyk), who moved to two-for-two on the meet with a first-over grind to victory in 1:52:2 on Saturday night against our highest claiming group; and Leaveumlady (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), a mare who won her second straight condition on Wednesday, stepping up in class for the victory in a career-best 1:51:1. Trotter of the Week - DAYLON MIRACLE This 5-year-old mare from the barn of trainer William Bercury had an incredible hot streak earlier this season at The Meadows. In February and March, she rolled to four consecutive victories. Those races were all against her own gender, however, which might have led to some skepticism about her chances when she faced the toughest male trotters at Pocono. On March 22 at MSPD, she took on Modern Family, one of the top older trotters in the country, and battled him all the way before coming up just short in 3rd. Without that star in Saturday night’s $25,000 Preferred Handicap field at Pocono, the fans were on board Daylon Miracle, making her the even-money favorite. It was just a matter of going out and delivering. It wasn’t easy, as the mare had to grind it out first-over to get by Tober, the race pacesetter. In the stretch, Coraggioso, who had been placed perfectly in the pocket, closed to try to steal the win. But Daylon Miracle answered the challenge, digging in for the victory by three-quarters of a length. The winning time of 1:56:1, skewed by the sloppy track, doesn’t reflect the outstanding effort of this distinguished distaffer. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Extracurricular (Simon Allard, Marty Fine), who delivered a thrilling condition win on Wednesday night, his second straight, and matched a career-best of 1:54:3 in the process; First Aqua (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who moved up in class to beat the top claiming handicap group on the grounds in 1:54, giving him two straight impressive wins to start the meet; and Wind Of The North (Mike Simons, Clifton Green), who moved to two-for-two on the meet with a condition in on Wednesday night in 1:54:2. Long shot of the Week - CEE PEE PANIC In a $20,000 claimer on Saturday night, this gelding, with Tyler Buter in the bike, came swooping through the slop in the stretch for a win at 30-1, paying off $62.80 on a $2 win ticket. Driver of the Week - BRETT MILLER Miller is making Pocono his permanent home so far in the meet, and it’s paying off. On Saturday night, he had his best night yet by reeling off four victories. Trainer of the Week - WILLIAM ADAMCZYK Adamczyk sent out just two horses on Saturday night, but they were both winners, one of whom was out long shot of the week, Cee Pee Panic. That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs
A group of seven went postward in Thursday’s $7,000 Preferred 3 for trotters, and despite a first-over trip Strong Hope proved to be much the best. The Joe Agostino-trained Strong Hope was fourth away for driver Trevor Henry while Action Image Hall and M Douglas took turns on the lead through panels of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:28.2. Henry Wheeled first-over on the way to the mid-way point with Strong Hope, and despite the rugged trip the seven-year-old son of CR Excalibur-Spring Lane Joanie drew clear to win by 3-1/2 lengths over Jetcrest in 1:59.3. Action Image Hall rounded out the Triactor ticket. Sent off as the 2-1 second choice in the wagering, Strong Hope racked up his second win of the season for Agostino and partner Bert Harris of Whitby, Ontario. The 21-time winner has stashed away more than $436,000 in career earnings. To view results for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Flamboro Downs. Reprinted with permission from www.standardbredcanada.ca
As a 12-1 shot, In Your Room not only upended a field of condition trotters on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs but she also matched a world record in the process. The race, a condition for non-winners of $25,000 in the last five starts, carried a purse of $21,000. Leaving from post position #2 in a field of seven, In Your Room (CR Excalibur-Chris Image), a five year-old mare trained by Gail Wrubel, found a spot on the inside not too far off the scorching pace set by Money On My Mind. Other horses faltered in the chase, but In Your Room stayed close enough to rally under the urging of Mike Simons in the stretch and upend the very game Money On My Mind by three-quarters of a length. Smoother Rode finished 3rd. The winning time of 1:51:4 matched the track and world record for aged trotting mares on a 5/8-mile oval. That mark was set earlier this season at Pocono by Beatgoeson Hanover. In Your Room, owned by Classico Stables, won for the seventh time in 25 races this season. It was her 15th career victory and pushed her career earnings to $185,302. Jim Beviglia
Mymomsablizzard has been a winning machine over the past couple of seasons and she continued her winning ways on Friday night at Saratoga. The defending Horse of the Year at the Spa won in the local Open Two two weeks back and scored an impressive victory at Monticello last week. On Friday night, Austin Siegelman moved Mymomsablizzard (CR Excalibur) to the early lead in the $18,000 feature and they would never look back. The Allan Johnson trained mare won for the eighth time of the year with her score that came in 1:56.2. Slugfest (Jim Devaux) battled gamely before finishing second while Count Speed (Wally Hennessey) closed for third. Mymomsablizzard was a rare favorite to win on the night as some big tickets were punched with several longshots prevailing in the first half of the card. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella for Saratoga Raceway
JS Trotting Bob (CR Excalibur) continued his sensational freshman season on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as the New York Sire Stakes for two year old colt and gelding trotters took center stage on the fifteen race card. JS Trotting Bob was acquired by the KJ Stables of Baldwinsville, NY a little over a month ago and has since gone four-for-four after his Friday night romp at the Spa in the $90,863 Sire Stakes race. Jim Morrill Jr was in town to pilot the freshman trotter for trainer Tracy Brainard and sat patiently in midpack before unleashing his attack heading to the three quarter pole. The race’s 1-9 betting favorite, JS Trotting Bob prevailed in 2:00.3 over an off track that followed a day full of rain. The two year old standout is now seven for eight in his young career and will head into the Night of Champions as the two year old colt to beat. The other $90,863 Sire Stakes race went to Jim Doherty’s Mister Anson (Conway Hall), who benefited from a disqualification of first place finisher Cash Me Out. It was the first career victory for Mister Anson who may have punched his ticket to the Sire Stakes final with the win. Live racing continues on Saturday at the Spa with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella for Saratoga Raceway