Betting Line won the 71st Little Brown Jug, presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association, with a world record performance in the $577,000 harness racing event’s second heat Thursday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. The Casie Coleman-trained Betting Line, who extended his win streak to 13 races with his Jug victory, stopped the timer in 1:49, equaling the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old pacer on a half-mile track. Wiggle It Jiggleit, a gelding, established that record last year at Harrington Raceway. Betting Line’s effort, though, was the fastest half-mile triumph ever by a colt. Betting Line, the 1-9 favorite in the second heat, took the lead from Western Fame just after the halfway point in the mile race for 3-year-old pacers and cruised to an eight length victory from there. Western Fame was second, followed by Dr J Hanover and Lyons Snyder. It was driver David Miller’s fourth career Jug win and the third for Coleman. “It was pretty easy,” Miller said after the second heat. “He was great both trips and I’m so glad for all the connections and the horse to win the Little Brown Jug.” Miller is among five drivers to win the Little Brown Jug at least four times. Billy Haughton and Mike Lachance lead the list with five apiece while Miller, Stanley Dancer and Ron Pierce have four. Coleman joined four other trainers with three Jug triumphs. Haughton tops the list with six victories. “I enjoy each and every one of them and this is really special,” Miller said. Earlier in the day, Betting Line and Western Fame won their respective first heats. Betting Line captured his division by 2-1/2 lengths over Lyons Snyder in 1:50.4 while Western Fame won by 1-1/4 lengths over Big Top Hanover in 1:50.1. But prior to the first heat, a controversy that had been brewing behind the scenes since early this morning came to a head. It involved a lost cell phone belonging to one of winning trainer Casie Coleman’s employees that was found on the backstretch with a message on it that trainers Ron Burke, Jimmy Taker and Tony Alagna brought to the attention of the judges because they interpreted it as a message directing her employee to give something to the horse this morning. Coleman explained that she was referring to yogurt that Betting Line gets twice a day. The three other trainers, who had nine of the 11 horses in the Jug, asked the judges to scratch the eventual Jug winner and protested Betting Line’s participation with a threat to scratch their horses if their protest was not accepted. As a show of their protest, the three other trainers demanded that Betting Line leave for the post parade five minutes earlier than the rest of the field for the first Jug heat. “The horsemen expressed their concerns to the Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC),” said the official statement from the Little Brown Jug following the race. “Little Brown Jug officials worked with the OSRC and the horsemen and we are pleased that the horsemen participated in our event. At this point it is an OSRC decision.” Betting Line has won 13 of 14 races this year and earned $1.37 million. He is owned by Coleman’s West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. “We’re just so excited he got the job done,” said Coleman, whose previous Jug victories came with Vegas Vacation in 2013 and Michael’s Power in 2012. “I love the Jug. Every single year I’ll be here supporting it as long as I have horses good enough. “Coming to Delaware, Ohio -- whether it be any horse, let alone a Jug or Jugette horse -- I’ve never seen a fan base this big. The crowd here deserves to see a good show and they do a great, great job here. I’m just fortunate that we’ve had horses good enough to compete in this race.” Betting Line is a son of 2001 Little Brown Jug winner Bettor’s Delight out of the stakes-winning mare Heather’s Western. He was purchased for $60,000 at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. The Little Brown Jug was the third jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown. The first, the Cane Pace, was won by Control The Moment while the second, the Messenger, was won by Racing Hill. "He is not probably the best horse, he is the best horse that I’ve ever trained," added Coleman. "There is no question and I have had a lot of nice horses. "I love all my horses. I don’t know what it is with this horse. It’s the wind he has. He just never gets tired after a race. There have been many times he has just been sitting, where I haven’t been a happy camper with where he has been sitting coming around the last turn and he just mows them down. "His heart. He just loves to win. I’ve never been able to train a horse this good and I don’t think many people have. Heart, intelligence, speed, it’s all a great combination. He’s just the perfect animal. "If there was one thing I could change on him, I would change nothing. He’s just an awesome animal. Ones like these don’t come along very often." Betting Line, Western Fame win Jug opening-round heats Betting Line won for the 12th consecutive time, capturing the first of two opening-round heats of Thursday’s Little Brown Jug by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:50.4 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Lyons Snyder was second, Dr J Hanover third, and Check Six fourth. Check Six set the pace for much of the mile, hitting the quarter in :27.1, half in :56, and three-quarters in 1:23.4. But by that time, first-over Lyons Snyder had pulled even and second-over Betting Line was ready to go three wide coming out of the final turn. Betting Line, who was fifth for the first three-eighths of the race before flushing the cover of Lyons Snyder prior to the halfway point, pulled away from his foes in the stretch and won comfortably for trainer Casie Coleman. “It worked out just kind of like I thought it would,” winning driver David Miller said. “(Check Six) left and I was able to pick up good cover. He actually took me farther than I thought he would. My horse was strong the whole way and anxious to go anytime I asked him. He finished up good. He was good and strong all the way to the wire.” Western Fame and driver Mark MacDonald controlled the race from post one, parking out favorite Racing Hill for much of the mile, on their way to a 1:50.1 win in Thursday’s second opening-round heat of the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old male pacers. Big Top Hanover, Racing Hill, and Manhattan Beach rounded out the top four. MacDonald hustled Western Fame off the gate and protected the inside spot from Racing Hill, who started in post two. After reaching the quarter in :26.4, Racing Hill challenged Western Fame for the lead, but was unable to get to the front. He briefly ducked back to third as the half was reached in :53.4, but soon thereafter was back on the move again. Western Fame rebuffed Racing Hill again as they hit three-quarters in 1:22.1 and then held off Big Top Hanover by 1-1/4 lengths for the victory. “It was kind of an all-or-nothing drive, I guess,” said a laughing MacDonald, who drove Western Fame for trainer Jimmy Takter. “The first heat, there wasn’t a whole lot of action so I wanted to give the crowd something to see. “We had the rail; it’s tough when you get stuck in the two hole at Delaware, not too many horses win out of the two hole. Jimmy had a lot of confidence in the horse. He thought he would be really good over this track and he showed some grittiness today. He never got a breather. When I called on him halfway down the stretch, he paced away for me. “It was the perfect opportunity for him to show his speed. He has always had it, but quite possibly today he could finally really show it. He has always raced well. You can see that from his last race in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final.” Western Fame is owned by breeder Brittany Farms. He was the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship runner-up to Check Six on Sept. 10. Racing Hill and Check Six were scratched from the second heat. -- Kim French also contributed to this report Ken Weingartner
DELAWARE, OH - Harnessracing.com reported today that Betting Line and harness racing driver David Miller won the 71st edition of the Little Brown Jug on Thursday afternoon, rolling to a commanding 1:49 victory in the second heat on a hot and sunny afternoon. Although there wasn't a cloud in the sky, the atmosphere for the Jug was not exactly picture-perfect as text messages allegedly sent by the winning trainer, Casie Coleman, prompted concerns that her horse could have been treated, in violation of the rules, the morning of the Jug. Trainers Tony Alagna, Ron Burke and Jimmy Takter said they were filing a formal protest with the Ohio State Racing Commission and made it clear they were racing their horses under protest. One of Coleman’s assistant trainers lost their phone sometime Wednesday night at the fairgrounds and when the person who found the phone tried to figure out who it belonged to, they found text messages. The content of the text messages compelled the person to contact the judges. Presiding judge John Yinger, who is employed by the Ohio State Racing Commission, decided the text messages did not contain evidence that Betting Line should be scratched from the Jug, but Takter, Alagna and Burke were so upset by what the texts said—and to them, implied--that they conferred with Yinger and the owners of their horses over the course of hours. Takter discussed the situation with Jeff Snyder, co-owner of Lyons Snyder, on the backstretch. At one point they agreed to scratch the horse. To read the rest of the story click here.
Delaware, OH --- Betting Line will put his harness racing 11-race win streak on the line in Thursday's (Sept. 22) 71st edition of the Little Brown Jug presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association, where he will start from post five in the first of two opening-round heats at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. A horse must win two one-mile races on the same day to capture the Little Brown Jug trophy. Eleven horses entered the $577,000 event for 3-year-old pacers and were divided into two $92,320 first-heat eliminations. Betting Line is the 3-5 morning line favorite in the first elimination while Racing Hill is the 3-5 choice in the second elimination. The top four finishers in each elimination advance to the $276,960 second heat. If one of the two elimination winners is victorious in the second heat, he is the Jug champion. Otherwise, the three heat-winners return for a $115,400 race-off. The last race-off was in 2000, when Astreos won the event. Betting Line, who was the 3-5 favorite in the first Little Brown Jug Future Pool, will have three-time Jug winner David Miller in the sulky for trainer Casie Coleman. The colt has won 11 consecutive races since beginning his season with a second-place finish against older horses. His victories include the North America Cup, Battle of the Brandywine, and Carl Milstein Memorial Invitational. He heads to the Jug off a win in the Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 10 at Mohawk Racetrack, where he rallied from an 8-1/4 length deficit on the final turn to beat Lyons Snyder by a half-length in 1:49.1. "I thought he was finally getting beat with the way the trip was working out -- he was in no-man's land, I thought anyway, coming off the last turn -- and Lyons Snyder is a pretty nice horse," Coleman said. "But somehow Betting Line got him at the wire. I was pretty nervous watching the race, but when we were in the winner's circle David said I had nothing to worry about. "Every time he's raced he's been pretty awesome. It's hard not to be happy with him. Hopefully everything goes good (in the Little Brown Jug). I don't see two heats bothering the horse at all. He always comes out of his races good and never seems tired. He looks pretty good coming into it." Betting Line, a son of 2001 Little Brown Jug winner Bettor's Delight out of the mare Heather's Western, has won 17 of 24 career races and earned $1.50 million for owners West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. Coleman has won the Jug twice in her career, with Michael's Power in 2012 and Vegas Vacation in 2013, and would join four other trainers with three triumphs if Betting Line is victorious next week. Billy Haughton holds the record for training wins with six. Stanley Dancer, with four Jugs, is the only other trainer with more than three. Racing Hill has won five of 11 races in 2016 and never finished worse than third in any start. He is the richest horse in the division this year with earnings of $1.21 million. His wins include the Messenger Stakes, Max C. Hempt Memorial and Delvin Miller Adios, and he finished second to Betting Line in the North America Cup and Battle of the Brandywine. He also finished second in the Meadowlands Pace. Brett Miller will drive the colt from post two for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Tom Hill. Racing Hill is a son of Roll With Joe, who finished second to Big Bad John in the 2011 Little Brown Jug, out of the mare Chasing Ideals. Trainer Ron Burke, who won the 2014 Little Brown Jug with Limelight Beach, will start five horses in this year's race including Check Six who will start from post four in the first elimination. Check Six has won seven of 15 races this year, including the Pennsylvania Classic and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and earned $751,033. He finished second to Racing Hill in the Adios. Yannick Gingras will drive Check Six, who is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Southwind Vanna. The colt is owned by Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, William Switala, and James Martin. He is 2-1 on the morning line behind Betting Line. Another of Burke's pupils will be Manhattan Beach, who is a full brother to Limelight Beach. Manhattan Beach has won four of 16 races this year and earned $260,853 for owners Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Geoffrey Lyons Mound, and Wingfield Brothers. Matt Kakaley will drive the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Benear from post four in the second elimination and will open on the board at 6-1 odds. Geoffrey Lyons Mound also is co-owner of Lyons Snyder, who is trained by 2006 Jug-winning trainer Jimmy Takter. Lyons Mound's partner on the horse is Jeff Snyder, who shares the record for most Jug victories by an owner (three) with Stanley Dancer and George Segal. Lyons Snyder will score from post three in the first elimination and is 8-1 on the morning line. The second Little Brown Jug future pool will be from noon Sunday (Sept. 18) through 11:30 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 21). For all of the latest news, photos and videos for the 71st edition of the Little Brown Jug, visit the Harness Racing FanZone's mini-site by clicking here. Below are the fields for the Little Brown Jug first heat eliminations, with listed drivers, trainers and morning line odds. Actual race numbers and estimated post times will be assigned when the full card is drawn on Monday. First elimination-Purse $92,320 HN-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Dr J Hanover - Somebeachsomewhere - Scott Zeron-Tony Alagna-6/1 2. Stolen Glimpse - Art Major - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-15/1 3. Lyons Snyder - Well Said - Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-8/1 4. Check Six - Somebeachsomewhere - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-2/1 5. Betting Line - Bettor's Delight - David Miller-Casie Coleman-3/5 6. Fernando Hanover - Dragon Again - Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke-12-1 Second elimination-Purse $92,320 HN-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Western Fame - Western Ideal - Mark MacDonald-Jimmy Takter-4/1 2. Racing Hill - Roll With Joe - Brett Miller-Tony Alagna-3/5 3. Big Top Hanover - Western Ideal - David Miller-Ron Burke-15/1 4. Manhattan Beach - Somebeachsomewhere - Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-6/1 5. Spider Man Hanover - Western Ideal - Andy Miller-Nick Surick-20/1 Paul Ramlow
If bettors like the "hot" horse, it is no wonder that the harness racing punters have made Betting Line as the 3/5 choice in the Little Brown Jug Future Pool #1. The son of Bettor's Delight has won eleven straight races including his last start on Saturday in the $157,111 Simcoe Stake at Mohawk from post #10. He has won the $780,000 North America Cup, the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine and the $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial during his win streak. Betting Line is owned by trainer Casie Coleman's West Win Stable, Christine Calhoun and Mac T. Nichol. Should Betting Line win the Little Brown Jug presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association on September 22, his backers will receive $1.60 on their $1.00 bet. Racing Hill is the second choice at 6-1 and Check Six and Manhattan Beach are third at odds of 9-1. Racing Hill has won $500,000 Messenger Stake and the $400,000 Adios Pace. He has been a model of consistency this season with all eleven starts resulting in on the board finishes and $1.2 million in seasonal earnings. Tony Alagna trains the son of Roll With Joe for Tom Hill. Check Six recently won the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final in a lifetime best 1:50. The Ron Burke trainee has seven wins on the season for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, William Switala and James Martin. The second future pool will be from 12 p.m. Sunday, September 18 through 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 21, the first three afternoons of Grand Circuit racing at the Delaware County Fair. 2016 Little Brown Jug Future Wagering - Pool #1 Will Pays HD Horse $1.00 Will Pay 1 American Passport $36.90 2 Another Daily Copy $53.70 3 Betting Line $1.60 4 Check Six $10.40 5 Control The Moment Scratched 6 Dr J Hanover $16.90 7 Fernando Hanover $34.30 8 JJ Flynn $58.90 9 Lyons Snyder $19.10 10 Manhattan Beach $10.60 11 Nocturnal Bluechip $54.90 12 Racing Hill $7.00 13 Voracity $85.30 14 Western Fame $74.90 15 Field (All Other Horses) $19.90 Jay Wolf
Wilkes-Barre, PA --- Casie Coleman has said previously that Betting Line is the best horse she's ever had. On Saturday, the colt gave the harness racing trainer another reason to believe it. Betting Line paced the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track, romping to a four length win over Racing Hill in 1:47.2 in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Control The Moment finished third and Boston Red Rocks was fourth. It was Betting Line's ninth consecutive victory. His only loss this year, a second-place finish, came against older horses in his first race of the season. In the Battle of the Brandywine, Racing Hill led to the opening quarter in :26.1, with Control The Moment second and Betting Line third. Driver David Miller fired Betting Line to the front prior to the halfway point, reached in :53.4, and led comfortably to three-quarters in 1:20.1. Betting Line, the 1-2 favorite, was never threatened in the stretch and coasted to the wire. "I wasn't real happy at first with getting away third with Racing Hill up front," Coleman said. "I wasn't sure what Brett (Miller with Racing Hill) would do because that horse loves the front and wasn't sure he might take us more than he did when we came. But :53.4 is pretty good to the half. Betting Line is better off a helmet, but it worked out. "It's cold, it's windy; I was not expecting a mile like that tonight, that's for sure. I knew he was going to be really good, but with the way it's cooled off, I didn't think we would go a world record. He was extremely impressive." The previous world record of 1:47.3 was held by a former Coleman trainee, McWicked. The clocking also was established at Pocono, in the 2014 Hempt Memorial. "Honestly, with all the horses I've had, and I've said this for a while, I think Betting Line is the best one I've had," Coleman said. "McWicked was a really nice horse. (World champions) Sportswriter and Betterthancheddar were better than what Wicked was. But this horse is showing he's even better than them." Betting Line has won 15 of 22 career races and earned $1.38 million. The son of Bettor's Delight-Heather's Western is owned by Coleman's West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. "He's always been a powerful colt," Coleman said. "He raced great all last season; he races like a gorilla every time he races pretty much. He went some tough trips as a 2-year-old, but he always gave everything he had right to the wire. Never once have I been disappointed with this horse." Betting Line Dr J Hanover, the impeccably-bred (Somebeachsomewhere-So Perfect) $300,000 yearling, streaked to his fifth straight victory in taking the $200,000 Consolation I in 1:50.1, lowering his mark by over a second and a half. Scott Zeron sent the late-developing colt to the lead well before the 26.1 opener, then let quarter-mover JJ Flynn brush around him to the top in front of the stands, that one putting up middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:23. Zeron had Dr J Hanover out and on the bit just past mid-turn to go after the pacesetter, with third-inside Safensound Hanover dipping down to the Pocono Pike as JJ Flynn backed off a bit, giving Dr J Hanover his biggest challenge. But the good Doctor, at 3-1 the third choice here, stayed strong to the wire, winning by a length, with JJ Flynn another 1-3/4 lengths back in third. Tony Alagna conditions the winner, improving greatly with every start, for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, John Cancelliere, and Dr J Partners. Nocturnal Bluechip was hustled out of the gate by driver Tim Tetrick, yielded to favored Spider Man Hanover to sit the pocket, then stormed up the famed Pocono Pike to be an easy winner in the $100,000 Battle of the Brandywine Consolation II in 1:51.2. After opening in 26, Spider Man Hanover got a relative breather on the lead, posting middle fractions of :55.1 and 1:23, but he came up empty in the lane and Nocturnal Blue Chip stormed up the inside to win by 1-1/4 lengths. The 35-1 shot Inspiration View, four-wide headstretch and still sixth 100 feet out, was along for second, a half-length ahead of last year's PA Sire Stakes champion Ideal Jimmy, who also shot up the Pike. A son of Bettor's Delight, Nocturnal Bluechip was sent off as the 5-2 second choice and delivered his first victory of the season for trainer Mark Steacy, also co-owner with NLG Racing Stable. PHHA/Pocono also contributed to this report Ken Weingartner
Betting Line will put his eight-race win streak on the line in Saturday's $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where harness racing multiple-stakes-winners Control The Moment and Racing Hill await the opportunity to challenge the Casie Coleman-trained standout for the first time since the North America Cup nearly two months ago. Canadian-based Betting Line won the North America Cup on June 18 at Mohawk Racetrack, with Racing Hill finishing second and Control The Moment finishing third. Since then, Betting Line has won three times on the Ontario Sire Stakes circuit and won last week's Carl Milstein Memorial Invitational. Racing Hill has won four of five starts, including the Max C. Hempt Memorial and Delvin Miller Adios, and finished second to Control The Moment in the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. Control The Moment, who finished fourth in the Hempt, has won three consecutive races including the Meadowlands Pace and Cane Pace. "It will be a great race for the fans and everybody involved," Coleman said. "I'm looking forward to it. I think my horse is good coming into it and I'm sure the others will have their horses real good too. It will be a real good race." The Battle of the Brandywine, for 3-year-old pacers, is part of Pocono's Super Stakes Saturday, which also includes the $500,000 Colonial for 3-year-old trotters and $350,000 Valley Forge for 3-year-old female pacers. Betting Line and driver David Miller will start the Battle of the Brandywine from post No. 1. Betting Line, who has accumulated $1.13 million in career purses thanks to winning eight of nine races this year and 14 of 21 lifetime, is the 5-2 morning line favorite. In his most recent start, Betting Line raced first over from prior to the halfway point until the top of the stretch, overcoming a brief break of stride on the final turn, to win the Milstein by four lengths over filly Pure Country in 1:51 on a surface labeled "good" at Northfield Park. "He was phenomenal," said Coleman, whose West Wins Stable is among the colt's owners along with Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol. "I wish he didn't put in that bobble in the last turn, but we think we've got it rectified. I had his hobbles too long and I'm going to bring them in. But when David hit the turbo button, he was just gone. His speed is unbelievable and his desire to win is unbelievable." Control The Moment won the Cane Pace on Aug. 6 and Meadowlands Pace on July 16. Control The Moment, trained by Canada's Brad Maxwell, has won four of eight races this year and 12 of 17 in his career, good for $1.02 million in earnings. He is owned by the Control The Moment Stable. Brian Sears will drive Control The Moment, who will start the Battle of the Brandywine from post eight. Control The Moment is 3-1 on the morning line. "He's got his work cut out for him," said Sears, who is undefeated in three drives behind Control The Moment. "Our chances definitely would have been better with a better starting spot, but I wouldn't rule us out, that's for sure. But that track is a speed track and you've got to be up close. That's the bottom line. It's just go, go, go. "He is versatile. He can race off the pace. He's got a good mouth. You've got to have a horse that will work with you. This horse, he will let me do my job." Racing Hill will enter the Battle of the Brandywine off a three-week respite following his 1:48.4 win in the Adios on July 30 at The Meadows. Racing Hill was put through quick early fractions of :25.2 to the opening quarter and :52.1 to the half as he wrested the lead from Check Six. For the year, Racing Hill has won four of nine starts, good for a division-leading $836,702 in purses. For his career, the colt has won nine of 19 races and $970,028 for owner Tom Hill. Racing Hill will start the Battle of the Brandywine from post three with Brett Miller at the lines for trainer Tony Alagna. Racing Hill is 4-1 on the morning line. "My colt has been roughed up a few times, but Tony gave him three weeks off and I think that will help," Miller said. "I'd love to be able to give my colt a trip and not get torched like I did in the Adios. I've always loved this horse and had a lot of confidence in him, but that day he showed me what kind of heart he has. I don't know if I've ever sat behind a horse that got parked that hard and went on to win. He really impressed me. "This race is definitely going to be a tough one. With Betting Line having the rail, in my opinion, he's going to be able to do whatever he wants. He does have gate speed, but he doesn't have to use it. With Control The Moment having the eight hole, I kind of feel like he's forced to go forward out of the gate. With my post position, I think I am in a good spot; I think I can see what's going on leaving the gate and hopefully work out a trip." First race post time is 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. Below is the field for the Battle of the Brandywine, followed by the fields for the Colonial and Valley Forge. $500,000 Colonial 3-year-old trotters Race 12/Post - 10:35 p.m. PP-Horse-Sire--Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Dayson - Conway Hall - David Miller - Ron Burke - 5/1 2. Marion Marauder - Muscle Hill - Scott Zeron - Paula Wellwood - 5/2 3. Milligan's School - Yankee Glide - Brian Sears - Julie Miller - 12/1 4. Hititoutofthepark - Yankee Glide - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen - 15/1 5. Love Matters - Explosive Matter - Mark MacDonald - Jimmy Takter - 20/1 6. Southwind Frank - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 3/1 7. Sutton - Donato Hanover - Andy Miller - Julie Miller - 6/1 8. Bar Hopping - Muscle Hill - Tim Tetrick - Jimmy Takter - 4/1 9. Waitlifter K - Muscles Yankee - Matt Kakaley - Andrew Harris - 10/1 $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine 3-year-old pacers Race 13/Post - 11:00 p.m. PP-Horse_Sire--Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Betting Line - Bettor's Delight - David Miller - Casie Coleman - 5/2 2. Boston Red Rocks - Western Ideal - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott - 6/1 3. Racing Hill - Roll With Joe - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna - 4/1 4. Another Daily Copy - Somebeachsomewhere - Corey Callahan - Nicholas Devita - 15/1 5. Check Six - Somebeachsomewhere - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 5/1 6. Western Fame - Western Ideal - Mark MacDonald - Jimmy Takter - 10/1 7. JK Will Power - Somebeachsomewhere - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 12/1 8. Control The Moment - Well Said - Brian Sears - Brad Maxwell - 3/1 9. Big Top Hanover - Western Ideal - Scott Zeron - Ron Burke - 20/1 $350,000 Valley Forge 3-year-old female pacers Race 11/Post - 10:10 p.m. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Call Me Queen Be - Somebeachsomewhere - Scott Zeron - Ross Croghan - 12/1 2. Lindwood Beachgirl - Somebeachsomewhere - Yannick Gingras - Mark Steacy - 4/1 3. Kiss Me Onthebeach - Somebeachsomewhere - John Campbell - Chris Ryder - 5/1 4. JK Fannie - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - Nancy Johansson - 15/1 5. Shezarealdeal - Western Ideal - Marcus Miller - Ross Croghan - 20/1 6. Darlinonthebeach - Somebeachsomewhere - David Miller - Nancy Johansson - 3/1 7. Blue Moon Stride - Rocknroll Hanover - Andrew McCarthy - Mark Harder - 6/1 8. I Said Diamonds - Well Said - George Napolitano Jr. - Matias Ruiz - 10/1 9. Pure Country - Somebeachsomewhere - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter - 5/2 Ken Weingartner
Betting Line with harness racing driver David Miller in the sulky, won the $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park in 1:51 on Saturday (August 13). He started from post two and sat third through a :25.4 opening quarter. Miller pulled first over in the second turn and pressed the leader, Mr Wiggle Pants, through fractions of :54.4 and 1:22.3. Betting line bobbled around the final turn, but sprinted away after regaining composure, and bested his competition by four lengths. "I was just riding along with him up the backstretch and he started bearing in on me around the turn," explained Miller. "He got pinched and threw in a step or two. He proved again tonight that he has a high turn of speed and he can carry it a long way." Saturday's win is Betting Line's eighth consecutive victory. His lone loss this year was a runner-up performance in his 2016 Mowawk Racetrack debut. Betting Line (Bettor's Delight-Heather's Western-Western Hanover) increased his career bankroll to $1,427,422 for owners West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol. Casie Coleman trains Betting line and was relieved her horse overcame many obstacles to win. "Tonight was the first time he was ever shipped a long way, it was his first time on a half and it was his first time leaving Canada," said Coleman. "I feel really good about how things turned out. I have to get his turns corrected before he goes to Delaware for the Jug, but he has all kinds of speed. He is just awesome." Completing the 2016 Milstein field were the filly Pure Country, Magnum J, Mr Wiggle Pants, Sintra, Duel Of Truth and Don'tcallmefrancis. Boston Red Rocks was scratched from the race. Leading up to the Milstein, the inaugural $50,000 Myron Charna President's Pace was won by Dancin Yankee in 1:51.3. Dancin Yankee was driven by Brett Miller for trainer Josh Green and owners Richard Lombardo and L&J Racing. The Charna will be an annual event for four year old and up Ohio sired pacers. Ayers Ratliff
Casie Coleman and the fellow owners of Betting Line decided to skip several of harness racing's big-money events for 3-year-old male pacers this summer, but the group is pleased with the results and betting it pays off down the road. The Canadian-based Betting Line won the North America Cup on June 18 at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. Since then, he has raced three times, all on the Ontario Sire Stakes circuit, and posted three victories. He was not staked to the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial, $732,050 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios, or $320,000 Cane Pace. Racing Hill won the Hempt and Adios; Control The Moment won the Meadowlands Pace and Cane. Betting Line, who has won seven of eight races this year and earned $571,830, will leave Canada for the first time in his career when he competes in Saturday's $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial Invitational at Ohio's Northfield Park. Betting Line is the 3-5 morning line favorite in the eight-horse field, which includes filly Pure Country, Dan Patch Award-winner Boston Red Rocks, and Ontario rival Sintra. "He was good each start (following the North America Cup) and I'm glad I was able to give him a bit of a break," said Coleman, who trains Betting Line. The colt is owned by Coleman's West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. "A lot of these other horses have been racing tough week in and week out. I know he's going to get busy in the next several weeks. "It's hard to be upset with the money he's made. The Ontario-sired horses go for such good money right here in his backyard. We decided to try to hit all the Ontario Sire Stakes we could and work his open stakes races around them. Our program is so good it's just hard to say no. We decided to go this route and we're all happy with the money he's racking up doing it this way." Following the Milstein, Betting Line will head to the Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Aug. 20. He has an Ontario Sire Stakes event on Sept. 3 at Mohawk and the Simcoe Stakes a week later at the same venue. Next on his schedule is the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 22 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. He is not staked to the Tattersalls Pace at Lexington's Red Mile, but could be supplemented. Coleman, though, is focused on the Ontario Sire Stakes championship on Oct. 15 at Mohawk and the Breeders Crown eliminations a week later at the Meadowlands. If all goes well, Betting Line would make a trip to the Breeders Crown final on Oct. 29 and end his season with the Progress Pace at Dover Downs in November. For now, Coleman is only concerned about the Milstein. Betting Line and driver David Miller will start from post No. 2 on the half-mile oval and bring a seven-race win streak to the event. Pure Country, who finished fourth in the Cane Pace, is the 9-2 second choice from post six. Sintra, who in 10 races this year has posted seven wins and three second-place finishes to Betting Line, is 6-1 from post four. "It will be the first time Betting Line will be on a half-mile track, but it's really well banked and a good surface," Coleman said. "Any inside post is good, so I'm happy with that. It's a tough enough field. You're going for $300,000 so it's always going to be tough. "Sintra, we've beaten him every time so far, but he's a really good horse, so he's one to worry about. Pure Country, she's been just unreal, so you have to worry about her. I don't know some of the horses coming from Indiana and Ohio, but from their lines it looks like they've been racing quite good. He's definitely going to have his work cut out for him, but he seems good and sharp coming into the race." Betting Line won six of 12 races last year, including the Ontario Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers. He finished second in the Metro Pace and fourth off a tough trip in the Breeders Crown. Coleman prepared Betting Line for his 3-year-old season by training him with 4-year-old Reverend Hanover, a two-time Ontario champion. It was more out of necessity than by design. "I've just got a small barn and didn't bring back many 3-year-olds," Coleman said. "Reverend, when he trains, he wants to rattle and roll. He's a little bit of an aggressive trainer. Betting Line definitely had to train back with tougher competition than I would have liked, but that's what we had to do.a "He raced great as a 2-year-old, but that last start when he went a tough trip in the Breeders Crown final I was quite worried. You don't want to see a horse end the year with a start like that. I was worried if it would hurt him at all coming back at 3, but he seemed to forget all about that." Coleman is more than happy with Betting Line's attitude, and it's tough to put a price on that. "Every time I put him behind the gate he always gives me everything he's got," Coleman said. "It's always exciting racing him." Ken Weingartner
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 4 - Candlelight Dinner appears to be on the path to stardom after another fabulous harness racing performance in the Whenuwishuponastar Series final Thursday at Mohawk Racetrack. The Casie Coleman trained filly was clearly the horse to beat in Thursday's final after an outstanding six length victory in the opening leg. A field of eight went behind the gate for the $39,800 event with $75,759 of the $83,172 in the Win pool wagered on Candlelight Dinner. The American Ideal filly didn't appear to break a sweat, as she jogged to a five length victory in 1:52.2. Driven by Jonathan Drury, Candlelight Dinner got away fifth, before making a brush to the front at the half in :56.3. The Coleman trainee made a :27.2 third-quarter look easy, before cruising home in :28.2 for the victory. Black Jack Pat, who won the second leg, finished second, while Moment To Ponder was third. A $110,000 purchase at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Candlelight Dinner is now three for three to start her career for owners Mac Nichol, Let It Ride Stable and Howard Taylor. "Right from the get-go she has just been a sweetheart," said Coleman. "She got a little hot on me like most American Ideal's can, but we taught her out of that right away, that's why J.D.'s (Jonathan Drury) been racing her the way he is. "He's handled her really well, teaching her how to race when she is a dead favourite." Through three starts, Candlelight Dinner's smallest margin of victory is four and a half lengths. Coleman noted that the filly will be aimed towards the upcoming Grand Circuit events at Mohawk. "I have no plans to take her to New York for Sires Stakes," Coleman said. "She'll have a week off and then she is in the four stakes in a row here with the Eternal Camnation, (Shes A) Great Lady and stuff like that." Candlelight Dinner's Whenuwishuponastar victory gives Coleman two victories in the last three editions of the event, as Happy Becky captured the 2014 edition for the five-time O'Brien Award winning Trainer of the Year. Candlelight Dinner While the Whenuwishuponastar Series concluded Thursday, the Define The World Series got underway. A scratched down field of five rookie trotting colts and geldings met up for the $14,000 first leg. Tom Durand trainee Seven And Seven powered by a pair of rivals in deep stretch for a 1:57.4 victory. The son of Chapter Seven followed along closely, as Cant U Spell led the compact group through fractions of :29.4, 1:00.2 and 1:29.1 In the stretch, the favourite Awol Hanover came off the back of the leader looking to score the victory, but Seven And Seven had the most trot on the far outside and got up for trainer/driver Durand to win by a length. A $17,000 purchase at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Seven And Seven is owned by June & Tom Durand and Allan Smith. The rookie trotting colt was making his second career start Thursday after a fourth place finish in his debut on July 14. Seven And Seven The second leg of the Define The World Series will take place next Thursday (August 11). Live racing continues Friday evening at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie
JULY 23, 2016 - Reigning division and North America Cup champion Betting Line captured his sixth straight harness racing victory in the second of two $105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening. Starting from Post 8 in a skirmish that also featured the number one and two point earners in the three-year-old pacing colt division, Magnum J and Sintra, Betting Line eased away from the starting gate and watched from sixth as Magnum J and Arsenic duelled to a :26.3 opening quarter. Magnum J was still in control at the :55.2 half, but Semi Automatic, Sintra and Betting Line had shifted into the outer lane and were threatening by the 1:22.1 three-quarters. Rolling off the turn driver Jonathan Drury of Guelph shifted Betting Line into overdrive and, in spite of a few wonky steps, the colt laid down a :26.4 final quarter to claim his sixth straight victory and second straight in Gold Series action. Sintra was three lengths back in second and Magnum J held on for third in the 1:50 mile. "We're not exactly sure what he did just quite yet," said trainer Casie Coleman of Betting Line's awkward stretch drive. "JD (Drury) said he couldn't have felt any better, he was just jogging, and he never spoke to him, just sitting there on him like a passenger and all of a sudden he just got all out of gear. "We don't see anything on the track, and I don't see any marks on him where he touched himself or nothing, and JD said once he gathered him out of it he was perfect and pulled up good," Coleman continued. "It's kind of a head scratcher for us, but he has had a tendency in the past, when he gets all by himself alone on the front he just kind of looks at stuff - that's why he wears that big shadow roll - but every once in a while he sees something. He did do it right at the wire in the Somebeachsomewhere, not near as bad as that tonight, but yeah, I wish we could, obviously, 110 per cent correct whatever that problem is, but we really don't know." Overall Coleman was very pleased with the way Betting Line raced in his first start since having a splint treated in early July. "I was really, really happy with the way he was steering tonight," said the Cambridge resident, who shares ownership of Betting Line with Ross Warriner of Burlington, Christine Calhoun of Chatham and Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON. "That splint actually took me almost two weeks before I could even train him." The son of Bettor's Delight and Heathers Western will enjoy one more week of relative leisure before his schedule shifts into high gear. Following the fourth Gold Series Leg at Georgian Downs on August 7, Betting Line heads to Northfield Park for the August 13 Carl Milstein Memorial, followed by the Battle of Brandywine at Pocono Downs on August 20. The final Gold Leg goes postward Sept. 7 at Mohawk and the Campbellville oval also hosts the Simcoe Stake on Sept. 10, before Betting Line heads back to the U.S.A. for the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 22. "He gets pretty busy now, so I was glad to be able to give him a little bit of a break, in this little gap," said Coleman of the winner of $1,224,922. "He needed that time." Betting Line Betting Line will be joined in the Carl Milstein Memorial by his Ontario rival Sintra, who has also been invited to the August 13 event. "Instead of being a 'paid into' event, this year it's an invitational and Sintra's been invited to that, so that's going to fit pretty big on his radar," said trainer Dave Menary of the Mach Three colt he owns in partnership with Brad Gray of Dundas and Michael Guerriero of Brampton, ON. While Sintra settled for his second runner-up finish behind Betting Line, his stablemate Nvestment Bluechip took home the Gold Series trophy from the first division. Starting from Post 5 driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat fired Nvestment Bluechip off the gate and reached the opening quarter in :26.3. The pair then settled in behind fan favourite Gerries Sport, who led the field to a :55 half and 1:23.3 three-quarters. Jamieson tipped Nvestment Bluechip out as the colts turned for home and the Shadow Play son was able to reel in the favourite and grab his first win of the season in a personal best equalling 1:51.1. Gerries Sport finished a neck back in second and Nocturnal Bluechip was three-quarters of a length back in third. "Tonight's, I think, a pick me up for the horse and our ownership group, and Jody and I," said Menary. "I mean he was supposed to be the star of the barn this year, where Sintra's had the limelight so far. "He come back so good, and maybe he got thrown to the wolves a little bit early," added the trainer. "He was in pretty tough, and he had the odd bad post, and nothing really lined up, but the money's in the bank, he's a good horse and hopefully this is a step in the right direction, that he's turned the corner." The win was the first in seven sophomore starts for Nvestment Bluechip, who won four of 11 outings at two, including three Gold Legs and his Champlain Stakes division, in addition to finishing second in the Super Final and third in the Breeders Crown. "He was just a good horse, he just did it week-in-week-out. He did it on the five-eighths, seven-eighths, he did it in the pocket, off the pace, locked in, on the front end," said Menary. "Now, there's so many good horses. When you're two you're able to win a little bit slower, you can get by with a few flaws and little bit of bad luck, but when you're three they can all go so fast, there's so many good horses, you can't get by with bad luck or flaws." Cambridge resident Menary shares ownership of Nvestment Bluechip with Michael Guerriero of Brampton, Denis Breton of Welland and Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON. Saturday's win boosted the colt's lifetime earnings to $452,303 and he will be looking to pad that total further when the three-year-old pacing colt titans gather for the fourth time on August 7 at Georgian Downs. Nvestment Bluechip The Ontario Sires Stakes returns to Mohawk on Monday, July 25 with Gold Series action for the two-year-old trotting colts. The colts will make their second Gold Series appearance in Races 2, 3, and 8, with the Campbellville oval's first race rolling in behind the starting gate at 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing
CAMPBELLVILLE, July 21 - Art Major filly Candlelight Dinner turned in an impressive six-length victory in the opening leg of the Whenuwishuponastar harness racing series Thursday at Mohawk Racetrack. A field of seven rookie pacing fillies met up for the $14,000 first leg of the Whenuwishuponastar. The annual series has produced many top fillies, including last year's winner L A Delight. Casie Coleman trainee Candlelight Dinner entered the opening round off a strong 1:54.1 victory in her career debut July 5. With a strong debut to go with a pair of impressive qualifiers, the betting public made the Art Major filly 1/9. Driven by Jonathan Drury, Candlelight Dinner left from post five and was unhurried into the first turn. The Coleman trainee was parked around the opening bend, but cleared to the front with ease before three-eighths. After reaching the half in :58.3, Candlelight Dinner surrendered the lead to a blasting Touching Thought, who paced up from sixth to first. The new leader's time on the front end was short-lived, as Drury angled the heavy-favourite to the outside at the three-quarter pole in 1:27. Retaking the lead at the top of the lane, Candlelight Dinner pulled away from her rivals with ease and cruised home in :27.2 for a 1:54.2 victory. Black Jack Pat, who sat on the back of the favourite, finished second. Moment To Ponder was third, while Touching Thought dropped back to finish fourth. A Lexington Selected Yearling Sale graduate, Candlelight Dinner was purchased for $110,000 last fall. She is the eighth foal out of Jate Lobell mare Time N Again and a full-sister to millionaire pacing mare Romantic Moment. Candlelight Dinner is owned by Mac Nichol, Let It Ride Stables Inc., and Howard Taylor. She now has two wins in two starts and $14,000 in earnings. The second round of the Whenuwishuponastar Series will take place next Thursday (July 28). Live racing continues Friday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie
Betting Line returned to Ontario Sires Stakes action at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night and the North America Cup champion powered to a one and one-quarter length Gold Series victory in 1:49.4. Starting from Post 4, driver Jonathan Drury of Guelph, ON eased Betting Line away from the starting gate and settled into fourth as Nocturnal Bluechip and Sintra sprinted out to a :26.3 opening quarter. Heading for the :55.1 half Drury and Betting Line advanced up the outside on Sintra and driver Jody Jamieson, but Jamieson put his foot on the accelerator and Drury opted to hold his position rather than battle for the front end. Sintra led the field to the 1:22.3 three-quarters, but Betting Line was able to power by the pacesetter in the stretch, leaving Sintra to settle for second. War N Munn closed hard to be third in the $105,000 contest. "He raced good, as he always does," said trainer Casie Coleman of her star pupil. "JD (Drury) did a good job with him because he had a live splint bothering him and we were too close to the race to treat it." Coleman added that Betting Line is scheduled for a visit to the veterinarian on Monday to treat the splint, which caused the colt to run in slightly in the stretch, and should be back in fine form for the July 23 Gold event at Mohawk. "He's done that (run in) to me before with splint issues," noted the Cambridge, ON resident. "But we'll get it fixed up for the next Gold in three weeks' time." Following the July 23 Gold Series event, the reigning Ontario Sires Stakes champion heads south of the border for the Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park on August 13 and the Battle of Brandywine at Pocono Downs on August 20. Saturday's victory extended Betting Line's win streak to five, with his only loss of the season coming in his May 14 debut, where he was second. The Bettors Delight son has banked $1,172,422 in his career to date for owners Coleman, Ross Warriner of Burlington, Christine Calhoun of Chatham and Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON. Magnum J captured the other Gold Series division, controlling the tempo for much of the race before cruising home a two and three-quarter length winner in 1:51. The mile time was a new personal best for the Big Jim son. Nvestment Bluechip and Voracity finished second and third. Doug McNair of Guelph piloted Magnum J to the win for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and his partners Tony Lawrence and William Brown of Hanover. The partners also raised a Gold Series trophy in the season opener at The Raceway at Western Fair District on May 27. With two Gold Series victories Magnum J has sole ownership of top spot in the division standings with 100 points and will look to pad that lead when the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings return to the Campbellville oval on July 23. On Monday, July 4 Mohawk Racetrack will kick off the Ontario Sires Stakes two-year-old season with two Gold Series divisions for the freshman pacing colts. The newcomers to the provincial program will make their debuts in Races 2 and 3. First race post time is 7:30 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
JUNE 30, 2016 - North America Cup champion Betting Line makes his return to the Ontario Sires Stakes program on Saturday evening and if the talented three-year-old pacing colt can extend his four-race win streak one lucky Mohawk Racetrack fan could find themselves in the winner's circle with a champion. Trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge, ON says the colt enjoyed an easy week following his June 18 North American Cup triumph and has been gearing back up for Saturday's test. "I gave him an easy week the week after the NA Cup. He just went about four or five miles a day jogging," said Coleman, who shares ownership of the Bettor's Delight colt with Ross Warriner and Mac Nichol of Burlington, and Christine Calhoun of Chatham, ON. "Then I trained him up a couple trips on Tuesday and he's in to go Saturday in the Gold." Betting Line and driver Jonathan Drury of Guelph, ON will start from Post 6 in the eighth race, which is the featured race for the Ontario Sires Stakes "Be A Winner" contest. Fans can place their "Be A Winner" ballot in the box representing Betting Line or one of his rivals (from the rail out) Carolina Hurricane, War N Munn, Gerries Sport, Nocturnal Bluechip, Cruise Patrol, Sintra and Piranha. One ballot will be selected from each horse's box and those "Be A Winner" finalists will be treated to an OSS t-shirt, ball cap and lanyard badge, and a $15 win-place-show wager on their chosen horse. After cheering their horses home the finalist representing the winning horse will be welcomed into the winner's circle where they will have their picture taken with the horse and his connections and receive a trophy, an OSS jacket and golf shirt, and a $50 wagering voucher. Should Betting Line prevail in his first OSS start of the season the lucky "Be A Winner" contestant could have a memorable souvenir of the colt's sophomore campaign. Just the third Ontario Sired colt to win the North America Cup, Betting Line has stakes engagements on both sides of the border this season after racing exclusively in Ontario as a two-year-old. "He actually has a three week break after Saturday and then he'll go to the Gold again - it's at Mohawk again - and then after that he has two in the States. He's invited to a race at Northfield Park, it's called the Milstein (Memorial) I believe, and then he goes to Pocono Downs the following week for the (Battle of) Brandywine," noted Coleman. "Then he comes home I believe there's another Gold, the Simcoe and then the (Little Brown) Jug. "Going his fifth start of the year in 1:47.4 there the other day, I think he's definitely ranking right up there with my best ones I've had," added Coleman, who also trained 2010 North America Cup winner Sportswriter. "We'll see what he does as the season keeps progressing, but he's pretty talented." Mohawk Racetrack's Saturday evening program begins at 7:30 pm and the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will make their second Gold Series starts in Races 6 and 8. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Elkton, MD --- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica has an action packed harness racing show lined up for Thursday night (June 23) starting at 7 p.m. Trainer Casie Coleman will join the program to talk about her Pepsi North America Cup win with Betting Line. Ocean Downs Director of Racetrack Operations Pete Szymanski will be on to talk about the summer meet at the ocean side oval. Also joining the show will be USTA contributor Bob Carson. He writes the monthly "Outside The Box" article about ideas to help expand the fan base of harness racing. Pocono Downs Track Announcer Jim Beviglia will also join the festivities to preview Sun Stakes eliminations this week at the 5/8ths oval. Plus, Post Time w/Mike & Mike will continue their series on Racing Under Saddle. Michele Kopiec joins the program to talk about some of the rules and regulations dealing with the sport. In another continuing series, Running Aces Track Announcer Darin Gagne sits down with Nick Roland to talk about his driving career. Post Time with Mike and Mike's mission is to positively promote the sport of harness racing. Every hoof that hits a racetrack has a story to tell, whether a claimer or a stakes horse, and we plan on telling those stories. You can listen to the show at www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com, or on demand at https://extra.betamerica.com/category/barn/.
CAMPBELLVILLE, June 18… Betting Line, driven by David Miller, demonstrated his off-the-pace talent by flying from fifth to first to win the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, the richest harness racing pacing event in the world, Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack, by one length in a stakes, track and Canadian record equalling score of 1:47.4. The stakes record was originally lowered at Mohawk by Thinking Out Loud in 2012. Betting Line’s win in the 33rd edition of the Cup is also 19th time that an elimination winner has also won the final. With the win, trainer Casie Coleman, who just celebrated her 36th birthday, earns her second career North America Cup title. “This was all I wanted for my birthday and Betting Line made it come true,” said the Cambridge, Ontario resident, who won her first Cup in 2010 with Sportswriter. Betting Line, the even-money favourite, settled into fifth, while driver Randy Waples marched Control The Moment off the gate from post nine towards the front. The Brad Maxwell trainee made the front ahead of Racing Hill to post a :26.4 opening-quarter. Heading to the half, driver Sylvain Filion took a shot at the lead with Lyons Snyder from third, but Waples kept the tempo hot and parked the first-over challenger to the half in :53.4. Around the final turn, Lyons Snyder began to fade away first-up while Control The Moment continued to power along on the lead. Racing Hill circled around the tiring Lyons Snyder as Betting Line was moving up into the action on the outside from fifth. After a three-quarter clocking of 1:20.3, Control The Moment brought the field into the lane with a pair of challengers ready to battle. Racing Hill overtook the lead with less than an eighth of a mile to go, but Betting Line was in striking range pacing powerful strides just a few lengths back. Betting Line surged by Racing Hill in deep stretch to win. Control The Moment faded to third. “I always said I wanted to see him get a trip from off-the-pace where he had cover and that worked,” said Coleman. “Dave drove him perfect and they were going all kinds of quick fractions. I was a little worried that he was a bit too far back, but I saw the clock pop up 1:20 and a piece so I was kind of happy.” After 16 attempts at Cup glory, Hall of Fame driver Miller can now say he has captured his first Cup. “The first time I drove a horse in this race was Falcons Future, I mean that was in ‘94 so, yes, this is very sweet,” said the Ohio native. “He has been very impressive both weeks and I like his never give in attitude.” The son of Bettor's Delight, notched his 10th victory in 17 career outings and earned $500,000 for the win. The brown colt lifted his lifetime purse earnings to $1,119,922 for owners West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Christine Calhoun, of Chatham, and Mac Nichol, of Burlington. Betting Line paid $4.20, $2.90 and $2.40, combining with Racing Hill ($3.70, $3.30) for a $116.30 (3-6) exactor. A 3-6-9 (Control The Moment, $4.10) triactor was worth $77.60, while a $1 Superfecta [3-6-9-4 (Boston Red Rocks)] Superfecta came back $121.75. Mark McKelvie
Harness racing driver Doug McNair will be making his NA Cup driving debut and trainer Casie Coleman will be looking for her second Cup triumph when they send out Ontario Sired pacers Magnum J and morning line favourite Betting Line, respectively, in the $1 million race. Casie Coleman said she isn't the least surprised there are two Ontario Sired horses in Saturday's (June 18) $1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack, including her trainee Betting Line, the 5-2 morning line favourite, and Magnum J trained by Gregg McNair. "We've got great stallions, we've got great broodmares. We've got a really good program," Coleman said of the Ontario Sires Stakes program. "Here we are with two Ontario Sired horses in the final of the $1 million North America Cup -- two out of 10 with all those Somebeachsomewheres and other American sires that are very, very expensive... Hopefully, they show themselves well and people are wanting to buy Ontario Sired more." Betting Line, a son of Bettor's Delight out of Heather's Western, won the faster of the two NA Cup eliminations on Saturday, June 11 with a 1:49.1 victory that was three-quarters-of-a-length better than Lyons Snyder. Winning the elimination gave Coleman the right to pick her post for the final. She selected the post three on behalf of driver David Miller and her fellow owners Ross Warriner, Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol, all from Ontario. They purchased Betting Line for $60,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sales Company's 2014 yearling sale in Harrisburg, PA. Coleman, a resident of Cambridge ON, won the 2010 Pepsi North America Cup with Sportswriter, now a leading stallion in Ontario that stands at Tara Hills Stud in Port Perry, ON. "I'm lucky enough that I've been in enough of these big races now that it's just another race," she said when asked about the pressure a trainer feels the week of a big race. "Obviously, it's a million-dollar race, so it's a big one and we want to make sure we don't mess anything up, but it's the same daily routine that we always go through." Coleman said Betting Line, the winner of his Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Super Final a year ago, is primed and ready for Saturday's $1 million final. "He had a really good week," she said Thursday. "I trained him on Tuesday a couple of trips. He trained great and I went into the vet after he trained and everything looked really good. Blood was good and he's sharp, sound and healthy. Everything seems A1 right now." Magnum J will have a tougher assignment for the father-son training and driving team of Gregg and Doug McNair of Guelph, ON. The son of Big Jim out of Jamirotoy will start from post 10 in the 10-horse field. Doug will be making his North America Cup driving debut. "First or last it's going to be a good experience," Doug said. Even though the pressure's off having the outside post, Doug said he would "rather have had the pressure of having the one or two or three hole... than to have to come from the outside. But, I guess, it's only where you're starting from." Magnum J was purchased for $10,000 by Gregg McNair and Hanover, ON residents Tony Lawrence and William Brown at the 2014 Forest City Yearling Sale in London, ON. In 2015, the gelding won one of the premier events for Ontario Sired horses when he captured the $200,000 Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway in Elora, ON. The pacer was saddled with the seven-hole in that race and Doug said Magnum J has been particularly unlucky with post positions. In Magnum J's last two starts, Doug has had to craft money-winning trips from far outside starting spots. Magnum J was fourth in his $75,000 Somebeachsomewhere division at Mohawk on June 4 from the 10-hole. A week ago, he started in the closed from eighth at the top of the stretch to be fourth in his $50,000 NA Cup elimination. "He couldn't race any better than he did the last two starts. He came home in :25.4 one day and he was probably six, seven wide in the stretch. Then last week he came home in:26.2 into a big, strong headwind," Doug said. As for working out a winning strategy in the $1 million final, Doug said he'll have to see how things unfold off the gate. "He can leave as fast as you want him to leave, but going for a million dollars you know they won't leave you alone on the front end. Everything is different behind the gate. It would be nice to get away at the back and have them go big fractions, but sometimes that's not the way it goes either. Play it by ear and hopefully we get lucky," he said. "It's just a bad post. He's as good as any horse in there, I think." Regardless, Doug said he's determined to make his first NA Cup drive a good experience. "I've got a bunch of my buddies coming out to watch. I still have a lot of high school buddies around. They don't understand racing, but they'll have fun being there. The race is on TSN2 and (Magnum J) is in the race. You've got no shot if you're not in it. It's the 10-hole, but it's better than being also eligible." Doug said he's also looking forward to driving Ontario Sired four-year-old pacing mare Solar Sister (Mach Three--Cabrini Hanover) in the $370,000 Roses Are Red final for owners and breeders David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Horner of Toronto. Solar Sister won her Roses Are Red elimination on Saturday (June 11). "She's been really good, but that's a tough race. There's some good mares in there, but I got lucky and won it last year (with Lady Shadow) so it would be nice two years in a row," Doug said. As for Coleman, she said she is relishing Betting Line's success even more after deciding to downsize her stable. "Right now these smaller numbers are working for me. I'm actually making more money on my bottom line with smaller numbers. It's a lot less stress, less staff, fewer owners and fewer horses. I'm really enjoying how I'm doing it now," she said, adding she will enjoy herself even more if Betting Line wins the big one on Saturday. "Now he just needs the trip to work out and we'll see if we can get out picture taken," she said. by Dave Briggs Standardbred Communications Ontario Racing