On the Thursday card today at Harrah's Philadelphia, in addition to the winners-over trot and divisions of the 2PC PA Stallion Series as previously-reported -- there was the fastest harness racing dead-heat to win on the trot in the sport's history: a 1:53 tie between Crosbys Clam Bake and World Cup in a $20,000 conditioned event. Crosbys Clam Bake (driver Corey Callahan), from PP2, got away third, and World Cup (David Miller), from PP3, got away fourth behind pacesetter Whata Donato, who whacked out splits of 27.2 and 56.1. Crosbys Clam Bake moved first-up, with World Cup second-over, off the second turn, with Whata Donato still in command by the 1:24 3/4s. Whata Donato, in fact, carried the lead all the way to about the last 50 feet. Crosbys Clam Bake may have gotten a momentary nose advantage just before the wire, but World Cup was just to his right for the latter part of the lane battle, and he gained enough to force the dead-heat right on the money, with Whata Donato only 3/4 of a length back in third. Crosbys Clam Bake was the slight favorite at 2.00-1; World Cup was 2.10-1. The former fastest dead-heat on the trot in harness racing history had occurred just 23 days short of one year ago, on September 13, 2013, a lucky Friday the 13th, when Chris Oakes stablemates Classic Martine and Frau Blucher could not be separated at the end of their $260,000 3TF PA Sire Stakes Championship in 1:53.2 at The Meadows, 319 miles west of the Chester PA track. And this year Harrah's Philadelphia hosts the cream of the state-sired sophomores in the $1,240,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship Day for three-year-olds on Sunday, September 7. (What's ever happened to those two "former world recordholders," you say? Well, today at Harrah's, five races after the rewriting of the trot Deadheat record books, Classic Martine gave a sort of "stamp of approval" when she went out and won that $30,000 featured trot in 1:52, as reported earlier. As for Frau Blucher, she won Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, in 1:51.2 -- tying the world record for 4TM on a five-eighths mile track that she shares with ... her stablemate Classic Martine!)
A quartet of Kindergarten Classic events headline this Sunday (August 24) afternoon's card at Tioga Downs. Freshman trotting fillies contest races 8 and 10 on the 13-race card, with the latter division attracting Tompkins winner Allerage Star (post 2) and Merrie Annabelle winner Mission Brief (post 6). Four-time winner Mission Brief has amassed quite a resume already, taking the New Jersey Sire Stakes and Merrie Annabelle finals both in dominant front-end fashion, taking a mark of 1:52.2 with Yannick Gingras in the bike. Gingras is once again listed to drive the daughter of Muscle Hill for trainer Ron Burke. Allerage Star, the other multiple stakes winner in the field, drew off to a four-length win in her Tompkins division last week, taking a mark of 1:55.4 in rein to Corey Callahan. Her other victory came in a Kindergarten division at the Meadowlands, holding off Dynamite Dame for a 1:57.2 win. Scott Zeron has been nominated to handle the driving duties by trainer Jessica Okusko. The first division for fillies, carded as race 8, features George Ducharme trainee Bee the Queen (Donato Hanover), who was a chasing fourth in her prior Kindergarten effort at the Meadowlands, turning in a 1:55.4 effort. With two of her seven rivals making their career debuts, she looks to be the filly to beat. Two-year-old trotting colts and geldings contest races 4 and 6 , with the stakes-placed Wheels Ah Smokin a top contender in the first division. The Chuck Sylvester-trained son of Muscles Yankee most recently finished third in his Tompkins division at Tioga, and was fourth to Habitat in a prior Kindergarten Classic division at the Meadowlands. Ron Pierce has been nominated to drive Wheels Ah Smokin, who starts from post 5. The field also drew Jimmy Takter trainee Falk On Hill S (post 4), who looks to rebound from a break in his Kindergarten split at the Meadowlands earlier in the month. Takter sends Kindergarten winner French Laundry in the second Kindergarten division, kicking clear to an impressive 1:55.3 Meadowlands win earlier in the month. Usual driver Yannick Gingras is nominated to drive the two-time winner, and they start from post 4. Among French Laundry's six rivals is Party On the River (post 7), a Kadabra colt who took his 1:58.3 mark in an Ontario Sire Stakes event. Mark MacDonald is listed to drive for trainer Patti Harmon. Due to the Cane Pace drawing only eight entries, they will head directly to the $437,325 final on Labor Day (Monday, September 1). Meadowlands Pace and Empire Breeders Classic winner He's Watching leads the octet, along with North America Cup and Geers winner JK Endofanera. The pair will be joined by Beat The Drum, Bushwacker, Doo Wop Hanover, Luck Be Withyou, Lyonssomewhere and Stevensville. Sunday afternoon's card at Tioga is slated for a 1:30 p.m. EDT post time. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs
NICHOLS, NY - When nine of North America's top harness racing drivers compete at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs later this month in the 8th Annual All-Star Drivers Championship, they'll be racing for more than just prize money and bragging rights. They'll also be raising money for the charity of their choice. All nine drivers will donate their 5% driving commission to charity. The amount will be matched by Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs plus the tracks' owner, Jeffrey Gural. Last year, more than $9,000 was donated. "This event is the premier driving tournament in the country with a first place prize of $25,000," said Jason Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing and Simulcast at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. "Anytime we can use this big stage to raise awareness and money for some great organizations, we're happy to do it." Defending champion Jimmy Marohn, Jr. will be donating his earnings to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. Two-time champion Yannick Gingras and first-time participant Matt Kakaley will also support the SRF. Tim Tetrick and Scott Zeron will be competing on behalf of New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. Corey Callahan has selected the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. Canadian representative Jody Jamieson will be donating to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. Vernon Downs representative Chris Lems will be competing for locally based Sunshine Horses and David Miller has chosen to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Round 1 of the All-Star Drivers Championship takes place on August 29 at Vernon Downs and the final round moves to Tioga Downs on September 1. Both days will also feature a Jimmy Marohn, Jr. bobblehead giveaway, commemorative t-shirt giveaway and other fan-friendly promotions and contests. by Justin Horowitz, for Tioga & Vernon Downs
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 19 - The spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this Saturday night as two Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations, two Metro Pace eliminations and three She's A Great Lady eliminations will take centre stage. The Canadian Pacing Derby has a rich history as the oldest stakes race in Canada for standardbred racehorses and on Saturday night the sport's top stars will bring their talents north for a pair of six-horse eliminations. 2013 Pepsi North America Winner Captaintreacherous and driver Tim Tetrick will start from post five in the second $40,000 elimination. A two-time Pacer of the Year, Captaintreacherous has had to make the tough transition from age three to four this season, but has still shown his grit and determination facing the big boys. Last Saturday night, 'The Captain' won the $34,000 Preferred in prep for the Canadian Pacing Derby and trainer Tony Alagna was delighted with his performance. "I was happy with his effort, it was a confidence builder he needed going into this week's elimination," said Alagna. "We drew away from Sweet Lou, but we caught Bettors Edge who has been racing really well, so hopefully the short field helps and he gets a fair shot again." 'The Captain' is a big fan of Mohawk Racetrack as he has never lost in six career starts over the Campbellville oval. "He's always been his best up here," said Alagna. "We've had him up here for major races, so he's always been on his game when he came up here. He likes the atmosphere and he seems happy up here." 'The Captain' has two wins in seven starts this season and has never finished out of the money for seasonal earnings topping $176,000 The top horse this season on the WEG circuit, State Treasurer, will line up two spots inside Captaintreacherous. State Treasurer has won the WEG Preferred six times this season and has won seven of his 12 starts for earnings of over $296,000. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, State Treasurer will be driven by WEG's leading driver Chris Christoforou. The hottest horse in harness racing headlines the first elimination. The Ron Burke trainee, Sweet Lou, enters his elimination on a nine-race win streak and having won his last seven starts in 1:47.4 or better Sweet Lou has drawn post two in his elimination and will have his regular pilot Ron Pierce in the sulky. A five-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser, Sweet Lou has made over $3 million in his career, but joining him in his elimination is the richest standardbred in the history of the sport, Foiled Again. Also trained by Ron Burke, Foiled Again has earned over $6.3 million and continues to compete at the top level at the age of ten. Foiled Again, who will start from post six with driver Yannick Gingras, is also a previous Canadian Pacing Derby winner having won the 2012 edition. The top five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $650,000 final on Saturday, August 30. Elimination winners may choose their post position for the final. 15 of the sport's brightest freshman pacing colts and geldings have been split into a pair of eliminations for the chance to race in the $685,000 Metro Pace Final on Saturday August 30. Leading the group of 15 is the Alagna trainee, Artspeak, who is undefeated in four career starts and enters the Metro elim fresh off a victory in the Nassagaweya Stakes last Saturday night. Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron will start from post position five in the first $40,000 elimination. Alagna said he was happy with how Artspeak came out of the Nassagaweya Stakes. "Artspeak jogged back super, everything checks out good," said Alagna. "We are really happy with the way he drew and hopefully he has another good shot this week and takes another step towards the Metro final." The son of Western Ideal - The Art Museum was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase and is owned by the Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The GYM Partners. One of the top local rookies, Traceur Hanover, will meet up with Artspeak for the first time. Trained by Normand Bardier Jr., Traceur Hanover enters this weekend's elimination with three wins in four starts and is also coming off a victory in his Nassagaweya split. Randy Waples sits behind the son of Western Ideal - Transference for owner Richard Berthiaume, who bought Traceur Hanover for the same price as Artspeak at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The other $40,000 elimination appears to be a wide-open affair, with seven rookie pacers looking to be in the top five to secure a spot in the rich final. Sports Bettor, who will start from post position seven, is coming off a 69-1 upset victory in his division of the Nassagaweya last Saturday night. Trained by Mark Austin for owner-breeder Frank Gentile, Sports Bettor broke his maiden in style with the Nassagaweya upset. Before his breakthrough in the Nassagaweya, Sports Bettor had finished second in three of his five career starts. Randy Waples will drive the son of Sportswriter - Shellys Delight. Also in the field of seven is this year's Battle of Waterloo winner, Go Daddy Go, who will start from post three for the Hall of Fame connections of driver John Campbell and trained Bob McIntosh. The top five finishers from both eliminations will advance to the $685,000 final on August 30, with elimination winners earning the right to select their post position for the final. The She's A Great Lady has attracted 25 rookie pacing fillies that have been split into three eliminations. Shakai Hanover, a division winner of last Saturday' Eternal Camnation Stakes, headlines the first $35,000 elimination. Trained by Carl Jamieson and driven by Jody Jamieson, Shakai Hanover will start from post position three and has won twice in four career starts. The daughter of Well Said - Shes A Fan set a new career mark with her Eternal Camnation victory of 1:52.4 and has earned just under $83,000. The second elimination features undefeated filly Band Of Angels from the Ron Burke barn. A daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven - Time N Again, Band Of Angels has won her first five starts of her career, with all five victories coming in New York Sires Stakes events. She will start from post six with driver Yannick Gingras and ships north with over $133,000 in earnings and a mark of 1:52.3. The final elimination stars another undefeated filly that will have Yannick Gingras in the bike. JK Shesalady won her division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes last Saturday to improve her record to four for four. Trained by Nancy Johansson for owners the 3 Brothers Stable, JK Shesalady has a speed badge of 1:52 and earnings exceeding $68,000. The top three finishers from each elimination and one third place finisher drawn by lot will advance to the $450,000 final on Saturday, August 30. All three rich finals will take place Saturday, August 30 at Mohawk Racetrack. The party will start at 6 p.m. and first race post time is 7:25 p.m. Here are the fields for Saturday night's stakes eliminations. PP/Horse/Driver Race 3 - Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination One - Purse: $40,000 1. Thinking Out Loud - John Campbell 2. Sweet Lou - Ron Pierce 3. Captive Audience - James MacDonald 4. Domethatagain - Ron Pierce 5. Sunshine Beach - Chris Christoforou 6. Foiled Again - Yannick Gingras Race 8 - Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination Two - Purse: $40,000 1. Ellis Park - Steve Condren 2. Bettors Edge - Matt Kakaley 3. State Treasurer - Chris Christoforou 4. Modern Legend - James MacDonald 5. Captaintreacherous - Tim Tetrick 6. Clear Vision - Brett Miller Race 6 - Metro Pace Elimination One - Purse: $40,000 1. Lyons Levi Lewis - Yannick Gingras 2. Trading Up - Scott Zeron 3. Go Daddy Go - John Campbell 4. Lone Survivor - David Miller 5. Dudes The Man - David Miller 6. Asap Hanover - Tim Tetrick 7. Sports Bettor - Randy Waples Race 11 - Metro Pace Elimination Two - Purse: $40,000 1. The Wayfaring Man - Jack Moiseyev 2. Pierce Hanover - Paul Macdonell 3. Amora Beach - Tim Tetrick 4. Some Power - David Miller 5. Artspeak - Scott Zeron 6. Lyons Again - Yannick Gingras 7. Traceur Hanover - Randy Waples 8. Rollin Ring Afire - Matt Kakaley Race 4 - She's A Great Lady Elimination One - Purse: $35,000 1. The Show Returns - Tim Tetrick 2. Bedroomconfessions - Scott Zeron 3. Shakai Hanover - Jody Jamieson 4. Strut My Stuff - John Campbell 5. Palette Tina - Yannick Gingras 6. Aria Hanover - Tim Tetrick 7. Bettor Be Steppin - Corey Callahan 8. Kays Dragon Lady - Matt Kakaley Race 9 - She's A Great Lady Elimination Two - Purse: $35,000 1. Solar Sister - Doug McNair 2. Divine Caroline - Corey Callahan 3. Missy Tap Tina - Tim Tetrick 4. Cashaway - Tim Tetrick 5. Jk Shesalady - Yannick Gingras 6. Well Hello There - Matt Kakaley 7. Southwind Mischief - Chris Christoforou 8. Shesastarreporter - Jonathan Drury 9. Ideal Nuggets - John Campbell Race 10 - She's A Great Lady Elimination Three - Purse: $35,000 1. Float On By - Tim Tetrick 2. Macarena Mama - Chris Christoforou 3. A Plus - Scott Zeron 4. Bin N Heaven - Doug McNair 5. Betty And The Jets - Doug McNair 6. Band Of Angels - Yannick Gingras 7. Happy Becky - David Miller 8. Dancin Caroll - Jack Moiseyev by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications.
While North America Cup winner JK Endofanera ($2.50) coasted home in 1:50.1 to win his $54,072 Geers Stake division on Sunday (August 17) at Tioga Downs, the top story of the afternoon saw Father Patrick gamely outkicked by Datsyuk ($52.00) in their $36,036 division of the Arthur Tompkins Memorial. After an uneventful start, Yannick Gingras sent Father Patrick to the fore, floating clear of Hillustrious (David Miller) with little effort involved through a :57 half mile. The 16-time winner accelerated up the backstretch through a :27.4 third quarter, but Hillustrious was able to keep with him from the pocket. Meanwhile Datsyuk, waiting in the wings thus far, commenced a two-wide rally on the far turn, taking a narrow lead in the final 100 yards en route to a hard-fought 1:53.1 victory. Father Patrick, whose next appearance is slated to be the Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs, was a narrowly beaten second, and Hillustrious held even for third off his pocket trip. Trainer-driver Charlie Norris co-owns Datsyuk with Leonard Buckner. The Explosive Matter gelding's 1:53.1 mile was the fastest ever at Tioga Downs trotted by a three-year-old gelding. The earlier Tompkins division for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings saw Nancy Johansson trainee Resolve ($4.40, Corey Callahan) elevated to a win after just missing Sumatra (Brett Miller) in a 1:54.1 mile, as Sumatra was found guilty of a pylon violation upon exiting the final turn. The Tompkins Memorial for three-year-old trotting fillies saw a field of three contest their $46,572 division off the pari-mutuel card, with Stephen Farrell's Mistresswithmuscle pulling clear for an 11-length win in 1:56.1. Yannick Gingras handled the driving duties for trainer George Ducharme. Additionally, Tompkins divisions were held for two-year-old trotters of each sex, with Jolene Jolene ($2.10, David Miller) taking her $28,571 split in a track record-equaling 1:55.2 mile. The Jonas Czernyson-trained daughter of Muscle Hill angled wide on the approach to the far turn, pulling clear of Crunchess Finale (Dan Rawlings) for a 4-1/2 length victory. Other two-year-old Tompkins winners included fillies Allerage Star (1:55.4, Corey Callahan) and Dynamite Dame (2:00, David Miller) while trotting colts Muscle Diamond (1:56.2, John Campbell) and Habitat (1:56.4, Yannick Gingras) prevailed in their splits as well. The Geers Stake for three-year-olds drew a lone division for each sex, with JK Endofanera posting a solid 1:50.1 win in the $54,072 colt division. The son of Art Major controlled the terms throughout, parrying a challenge from the first-over Doo Wop Hanover (Scorr Zeron) before holding off pocket rival Bushwacker (David Miller) by 1-1/2 lengths. Yannick Gingras handled the driving duties for trainer Ron Burke. The $50,572 filly division went to Katie Said ($6.70), who was sent three-wide on the far turn by Marcus Miller to pass the dueling Uffizi Hanover (David Miller) and 4-5 favorite Precocious Beauty (Doug McNair) for a 1:52.1 victory. Rockingcam Park (John Campbell) chased off cover to take second, while Empire Breeders Classic winner Precocious Beauty faded late to third. Julie Miller trains Katie Said, a three-year-old daughter of Well Said. Live racing resumes at Tioga with a special Monday (August 18) evening card. First post for the 12-race program is set for 6:15 p.m. EDT. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs
Many top three-year-olds have pointed to Sunday (August 17) afternoon's Tompkins-Geers Stakes at Tioga Downs as part of their summer campaigns, including top trotter Father Patrick and North America Cup winner JK Endofanera. Jimmy Takter trainee Father Patrick looks to rebound from the break he made as the 2-5 Hambletonian favorite, and has every chance to do so as the 3-5 morning line favorite in Sunday's $36,036 ninth race. The son of Cantab Hall won all six of his other races on the season, including a 1:50.2 triumph in the Beal Memorial at Pocono and a 1:51.3 score in the Dancer Memorial at the Meadowlands. The 16-time winner, looking ahead to the Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs to propel him into the sport's fall championship season, will be joined by usual driver Yannick Gingras from post 4. Fellow Hambletonian contender Datsyuk drew into the same division, and has been installed as the 5-1 second choice from post 3. Unraced at two, the Explosive Matter gelding earned wins in the first three of his eight races, finishing in the money in all save the Hambletonian. Trainer Charlie Norris will handle the driving duties once again. A third Hambletonian starter, Resolve, drew into the first division, starting from post 6 in the $36,536 sixth race as the 7-2 morning line second choice. Corey Callahan remains in the bike behind this Muscle Hill colt for trainer Nancy Johansson after a fifth-place finish in the Hambletonian. While two divisions were necessary for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings in the Arthur Tompkins Memorial, three-year-old pacers will contest the Geers Stake in a lone division for each sex. JK Endofanera headlines the $54,072 seventh race for pacing colts and geldings as the 8-5 morning line favorite, teaming up with Yannick Gingras from post 7. The North America Cup winner enters off a strong second-place effort behind He's Watching in last week's Empire Breeders Classic for trainer Ron Burke. The top filly in last week's Empire Breeders Classic, Precocious Beauty, has been installed the even-money morning line favorite in the $50,572 fifth race, which could shape up to be a duel with Fan Hanover winner Uffizi Hanover. Precocious Beauty, the Gregg McNair-trained daughter of Art Major, took the Empire Breeders Classic last week in 1:51.1, drawing clear in the final yards after sustaining an uncovered bid. Usual driver Doug McNair is back in the bike after last week's triumph, and the pair will start from post 2. Uffizi Hanover, a Jimmy Takter-trained Well Said filly, has been installed the 9-5 second choice on the morning line, and will retain the driving services of David Miller from post 1. Sunday's 11-race pari-mutuel card carries a 1:30 p.m. EDT first post, with a non-wagering $46,572 Tompkins event for three-year-old trotting fillies slated for twenty minutes earlier. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs
The 3 YO Maryland Standardbred Fund stakes started the evening with the non wagering filly trotters going for a purse of $28,900. Explosive Attitude(Explosive Matter) and Kelsey's Commando(Cr Commando) renewed their rivalry from July only this time Kelsey's Commando was able to catch Explosive Attitude coming down the stretch, stopping the clock in 2:00.2 last quarter in :29.2. Victor Kirby drove and trained the filly for new owners George and Rose Bonomo. The wagering card started with the 3 YO filly pacers. Driver Tony Morgan sent Ain't No Maybe So(Nuclear Breeze) charging right to the front with a first quarter of:27.1. The Lundell entry of Valentina De Vie and Rosie De Vie sat second and third just waiting for the right moment. Jonathan Roberts pulled Valentina De Vie(Bettor's Delight) in the last turn quickly overtaking the leader winning in 1:55.3. Ain't No Maybe So held on for second and Rosie De Vie finished third. Valentina De Vie is owned by the Joie de Vie Farm. After race 3 the Maryland Horse Industry Board presented Ocean Downs Racetrack with a Secretary's Citation from the State of Maryland in honor of the track's 65th Anniversary. MHIB also presented track owner William Rickman with a Secretary's Citation in honor of his many contributions to the harness racing industry over the year. In the colt/gelding trot Kandy Korn(Cantab Hall) got away 6th but driver Frank Milby pulled before the half, working his way up to the leader Whichwayrightorleft near the Â¾ pole. These two battled down the stretch with Kandy Korn crossing the wire in 1:59.4 for owners Bruce and Tanya Schadel. The most exciting race of the night was the 3 YO colt/gelding pace. In usual fashion driver Corey Callahan sent Tom's Titan(Cam's Rocket) to the lead with new comer Kingofthejungle(Well Said) getting the pocket trip. At the head of the stretch Tony Morgan pulled Kingofthejungle and the two charged down the stretch head and head with Kingofthejungle winning by a head in 1:53.4 last quarter in :27.4. Desyllas Racing LLC , William Beck and Carol Rieken own and Brandon Simpson trains. By Cheri Stambaugh
The two year olds were back at Ocean Downs for the Maryland Standardbred Fund races on a beautiful Sunday night with the super moon coming up over the backstreatch. The first of 7 stakes races on the card produced a new stakes and track record for 2 YO trotting fillies when Stories To Tell(RC Royalty) charged out of the gate and never looked back stopping the timer in 2:00.2 for driver and trainer Truman Gale. George Ducharme, Robert Guerrini and Paul Fontaine are the owners. Sign And Drive(Cr Commando) driven by Vic Kirby got up for place. The first division of 2 YO pacing fillies was up next. Corey Callahan picked up the drive on Smart Zone (Rocknroll Hanover) an Erv Miller trainee and he did not disappoint the crowd. Smart Zone left quickly from post six getting to the top and let everyone else eat her dust stopping the clock in 1:57.1 for owners Paymaq Racing and D & M Trading. Hillbillysweetshrk(Cam's Card Shark) finished second for Hillbilly Haven Farm. Maryland sired Toms Tornado (Cam's Rocket) and KJ Ben (Riggins) had a rematch in the first division of colt/gelding pacers and this time Toms Tornado came away the winner in 1:56, with Quick Art (Artzina) hanging on for second and KJ Ben crossing the wire in third. Roger Hans trains for owner Thomas Cooke and Jonathan Roberts was the reinsman. Broken Record(Muscles Yankee) a half brother to the great Vivid Photo remains undefeated in his two starts in the Maryland Standardbred Fund stakes for 2 YO trotting colts and geldings. With regular driver Ray Schnittker unable to be here, Corey Callahan picked up the drive and the win with a mile in 2:00.1. Ray Schnittker co-owns the colt with Theodore Gewertz. Maryland sired Doggone Slots (Doggone Yankee) was second. Driver Vic Kirby pulled Rumor Mill (The Panderosa) just passed the half, catching the leader Ideal Wedding (American Ideal) at the head of the stretch in the second division of 2 YO pacing fillies. Time for the mile was 1:59.2, Andi's Peanut (Bettor's Delight) got up for second. Jim King Jr. is the trainer for CC Racing and Joann Looney-King. In second division of 2 YO trotting fillies driver Tyler Raymer took Sherbert (Lucky Chucky) to the front when several of the young ladies misbehaved early in the race. Miss Jocelyn (Impel Hanover) also cleared the breakers getting away second but she was never able to catch the leader. Leigh Raymer owns and trains Sherbert. Time for the mile was 2:03. The final stake race of the night was the second division of 2 YO colt/gelding pacers. Toms Typhoon by Maryland sire Cam's Rocket remained undefeated winning his 4th start in 1:56 for owner Thomas Cooke, trainer Roger Hans and driver Jim Morand. Nuclear Dragon (Nuclear Breeze) finished second. By Cheri Stambaugh
Sunday's featured harness racing event at Harrah's Philadelphia was a winner's over $25,000 lifetime pace. It was a wide open wagering board, with John Dayton's Just a Jolt going off as the lukewarm 2-1 favorite. At the start, Yonkers invader Great Vintage fired out to the lead, but was collared by Handsome Henry K just beyond the quarter, which went in :26.4. It remained that way until just after the half, when Corey Callahan wheeled Emeritus Maximus first over. He was only able to muster a mild first over bid, as Handsome Henry K posted back to back 27.1 quarters to secure the victory, in an overall time of 1:49.3. Great Vintage finished second, while Voice of a Truth closed up the inside for third. It was Handsome Henry K's fourth win in his last five races, tying a lifetime's fastest mile. He is owned by Howard Taylor, trained by Doug Lewis, and was one of three driving wins for George Napolitano Jr. Ron Pierce also had three wins on the program. Michael Bozich
Dublin, Ireland – You could call it the “Little Brown Jug” of Ireland and most everyone at the track would know what you were talking about. There were horsemen, women and children from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales and they all have great passion for harness racing. Portmarnock Trotting Track is just fifteen minutes from the center of Dublin. The passenger train runs past the backstretch every 20 minutes or so, day and night. We started off the afternoon with a meet and greet featuring Hall of Famers Wally Hennessey (USA/Canada), Roger Huston (USA) Anthony Butt (New Zealand) Heather Vitale and myself. The tented area immediately became packed with nearly 200 race fans both young and old in attendance. After the introductions were made Roger Huston took charge and told some great stories that got the crowd in motion and questions to the guest started to fly. People wanted to know why they still used the Australian jog-cart styled long shafted race bikes down under instead of the American version. Fans wanted to know what it was like for Wally Hennessey to drive Moni Maker all over the racing world and which Roger Huston’s favorite Little Brown Jug races was. Then there was a great live auction with the proceeds going to the Pieta House that is country-wide suicide prevention organization with 15 locations throughout Ireland. I was most proud that horsemen from the USA and Canada donated great items, driving colors autographed from Tim Tetrick, Corey Callahan, George Brennan, David Miller, Jody Jamieson and, of course, Wally Hennessey. Anthony Butt brought over a set of his colors and a special Inter dominion jacket were all bid for feverishly. Bobble heads too (Roger Huston, Jody Jamieson and Corey Callahan) and the Meadowlands sent over Hambletonian caps from last week’s race. The biggest item of all was a used UFO race bike used by Foiled Again from the Ron Burke Stable and that alone brought 3,000 euros ($4,000 US). The auction continues Sunday but I overheard that proceeds just for Saturday may have tipped the scales at over 6,000 euros and could surpass 10,000 after Sunday. Then the racing began and the crowds piled in more and more despite on and off rain showers throughout the day. Portmarnock is not that big a track. The infield is used during the day as a golf driving range so racing did not start until 5 pm. Up until 4 pm a tractor was in the centerfield scooping up golf balls. They race four on the gate and four trailers. Roger Huston called the races from the infield on the second floor of glass trailers. He was sitting on a swivel chair so he could swing around the see horses at the raced down the backstretch. But despite the rain the fans came out, maybe 1,000 strong for the races. And what I found to be the most interesting was the wagering on the races. There are no betting windows and pari-mutuel machines, no self-service bill accepting units. They have actual live bookies. Men taking bets, writing down first names and handing back a business card type voucher, shouting out the odds and parlays, checking their competition and if they were willing, raising their odds a fraction to entice others to come wager with them. A fistful of cash in hand to make quick change before the field lined up behind the starting gate. Some bookies had an LCD board and could change odds in a split second typing away on their keyboard. Others had dry erase boards that would smear in the rain so they had to wipe them with their sleeves in order to post the new odds. Some were dressed in nice suits with loud ties, one had a top hat. It just made the races more interesting than I had seen before. It was wagering at its grass roots. Legalized bookies encourage punters to come forward and try their luck. And everyone loved Roger Huston’s race calls. He had them cheering for the field at the half mile and the finish of each race. And the fans applauded the winners and losers after every event. And then once the races were over, the party did not stop. The bar at the track was packed from the start of the first race and was still going strong when I left to come back to the hotel at near midnight. Everyone was having a great time. I just hope some of them remembered to get a little rest because everyone was looking forward to the Sunday card and hoping for Mother Nature to provide them with a sunny, dry afternoon, especially for the final of the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial Pace Final. We started out Day 2 in Dublin, Ireland sorta on the wrong foot, perhaps even the wrong side of the bed. As some of us (me) overslept because of our 36-hour first day, I missed the trip to the Guiness Factory, so Stephanie (my wife) and I talked with the lobby desk people and they turned us on to a pleasant surprise. The Village of Malahide. We took a taxi and within 20 minutes was at the entrance to the Malahide Castle and its lavish 1,000 acres grounds. We walked up what seemed to be a half mile tree-laden drive, stopped to watch youngsters playing cricket, just like kids in America playing organized baseball, on the beautifully manicured lawns of the palatial estate. Then we reached the castle and its stunning four-acre walled gardens, all first built in the 12th century. The Talbot Family owned and lived there for almost 800 years. The castle is full furnished and magnificent. We then took a quick walking tour into the Malahide Village with its picturesque streets decorated with flower displays, lovely store fronts and boat marina. Then back to the hotel and to get ready for the harness racing at Portmarnock. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
WILKES-BARRE PA - No winner had a particularly easy time of it in their respective divisions of the $225,049 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes fourth and final preliminary leg for harness racing three-year-old filly pacers Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, but Katie Said, Sandbetweenurtoes, and Cinamony all had enough within them to make it back to the Pocono winners circle. Katie Said posted the fastest clocking of the three divisions, a new lifetime mark of 1:49.4, and she also had the shortest win margin, a nose, and the least amount of time spent in the lead, about 10 feet. Katie Said, a daughter of Well Said trained by Julie Miller for the Andy Miller Stable Inc and Black Horse Racing, rode the wave off cover provided by the "Beach"s - first-over Beach Story and second-over Beach Gal -- to get into the race after being last at the quarter. The raw Beach Story struck the lead into the final turn, was ground down by Beach Gal in midstretch, but then she in turn was just nipped in the last two strides by the game Katie Said and driver Marcus Miller. Not all that many horses rally from behind at the speed-favoring Pocono track, but nationally-ranked Sandbetweenurtoes made it two straight winning closers on the night when she won the second section in 1:50. The Larry Remmen-conditioned Sandbetweenurtoes was put on her toes by driver Brett Miller swinging wide off the last bend, and the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere outrushed passing lane shooter Allstar Rating to get the decision by a half-length. The Mistletoe Shalee winner remains perfect after eight seasonal starts for owner Bradley Grant. The Pocono faithful thought that it would again be "Miller time" in the third cut, hoping driver David Miller could follow Marcus and Brett to Victory Lane with the 2013 Breeders Crown winner (at this track) Uffizi Hanover, but Uffizi's late rally was 1 ¾ lengths short of Cinamony and driver Corey Callahan at the wire in 1:50.2. The phrase "speed-favoring Pocono track" normally is not complemented by the phrase "parked to the half for the lead," but that's the 26.3 / 53.3 fate that befall the victorious daughter of Art Official, making her victory even more notable. Trainer Alexander Rice Jr. and the owning partnership of Alexander Rice Sr . and Michael Horn saw their $3500 Harrisburg yearling purchase also lower her mark a tick with the triumph. With the four preliminary legs of the Sire Stakes completed, the points (earned on a 35-25-15-10-8-5-4-2-1 finish basis) were *unofficially* added up, and came out this way: 1. (tie) Cinamony and Sandbetweenurtoes, 105 points each (ties in the top eight don't matter because you get in if you declare); 3. (tie) Allstar Rating and Also Encouraging, 90; 5. Beach Gal, 85; 6. Weeper, 70; 7. Someislandsomwhere, 64; 8. Southwind Silence, 52. Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship rules call for eight starters, so AE1 would be Katie Said, raising her total to 48 with the win tonight, and AE2 would be Tyra at 43. The PA Sire Stakes Championship for this group will be held Sunday afternoon, September 7 at Harrah's Philadelphia. *Official pointtotals will be calculated by the Harrisburg Office of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission.* Pennsylvania Harness Horsemans Association
The field for the 2014 Tioga / Vernon Drivers' Championship is taking form, with 2013 champion Jim Marohn, Jr. poised to defend his title against some of the top harness racing drivers across North America. "We are excited to unveil a new format for this annual event," said Jason Settlemoir, Regional Vice President of Racing at Tioga and Vernon Downs. "With top drivers from circuits across North America taking part, we're truly showcasing some of the best drivers in the world." In addition to Marohn, top Meadowlands drivers Yannick Gingras, David Miller, and Tim Tetrick return to the Drivers' Championship. Jody Jamieson, the winner of this event in 2011 as well as the 2011 World Driving Championship, will represent the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit. The aforementioned quintet will be joined by newcomers Chris Lems (Vernon Downs), Scott Zeron (top driver aged 25 or younger), and Matt Kakaley (Harrah's Philadelphia/Pocono Downs). Corey Callahan, who represented the USA in the 2011 World Driving Championship en route to a second-place finish, has been named the sponsor's exemption, and will complete the field of nine. The Championship kicks off on Friday, August 29 at Vernon Downs, sharing the spotlight with the Zweig Memorial and Crawford Farms trotting events. The second round is slated for Monday, September 1 at Tioga Downs, as part of the Cane Pace program. As in past years, the overall winner will take home a $25,000 check, and the leader after the first round will win $10,000. Second place overall earns a driver $5,000, while third place $4,000. No driver will leave with less than $1,500 in the two-day Championship. All nine drivers will also be competing for a charity of their choice, with their 5% commission from their Championship drives going directly to charity. Tioga and Vernon Downs will match each driver's charity commission, as will Jeff Gural. The Drivers' Championship is made possible thanks to the following sponsors: Allerage Farms, the Binghamton Mets, the Binghamton Senators, Bow River Jewelry, Bud Light, Cameo Hills, Ltd., Capital OTB, LP Ciminelli, Climans Green Liang Architects, Inc., Community Press, Coon & Sons, L. V. Harkness & Co., Ferris, Finn Tack, Global Graphics, The Horseman and Fair World, HUB International, Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, the Little Brown Jug, Maine Source Food & Party Warehouse, McCullagh Coffee Roasters, Roberts Communications Network, the Southern Tier Harness Horseman's Association, Tioga Downs, Tioga State Bank, V.I.P. Structures, Vernon Downs, and Winner's Choice Racing Programs. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs Racing Media
East Rutherford, New Jersey - While the featured race at The Meadowlands Saturday, August 2 was the million-dollar Hambletonian, the first race of day was one of the best, resulting in a photo finish. That race, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation final, saw three teens driving Trottingbreds at their standard half-mile distance. Sophie Norton, 13, driving Royal Attire and assisted by Ron Pierce, got up at the wire to collar pacesetter Little Hicktown, who was driven by 14-year-old Lauren Permenter, assisted by HHYF Trustee Corey Callahan. Norton, of New Hartford, NY represented the HHYF Vernon Downs camp. Permenter, of Chesapeake City, MD represented the Harrington Raceway camp. Third place finisher Jennifer Mehlig, 14, represented the camp at Pocono Downs. She was assisted on the lines of LR Trixie by Tim Tetrick. Time for the half mile dash was 1:19.1 after an opening 38.1 first quarter. The race was the culmination of HHYF’s summer camp season, which covered eight states. A video of the HHYF race is posted on the HHYF website at www.hhyf.org/News.aspx. The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people’s lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org.
August 1-7, 2014; At this point in the season, it's typical for 3-year-old horses at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to be battling against others of their own age in Stallion Series or Sire Stakes action. Yet our two top performers of the week that was at Pocono dared to take on older horses. Not only did they survive, but they thrived. Here are the details of both their exploits and those of the other top performers as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: LUCK BE WITHYOU This 3-year-old colt from the Chris Oakes' barn started the season in Canada but quickly found a home at Pocono with a condition win on June 28 in 1:50:1. He then battled his way to a 7th in finals of the prestigious Meadowlands Pace before returning for an even more impressive victory in a blistering 1:48 on July 19. On Saturday night, Luck Be Withyou faced his sternest test yet by going up against the non-winners of $22,500 in the last five races grouping. Among the competitors he would have to face were Meirs Hanover and Bolt The Duer, a pair of veterans as talented and as tested as there are in the sport. If the relative inexperience of Luck Be Withyou was ever going to be a factor, this was the race. At the top of the stretch, the 3-year-old was staring at the tail of Bolt The Duer, who had set the pace and done so in reasonable fractions. Yet Luck Be With You was ready for the challenge when driver George Napolitano Jr. asked for another gear. He sped by a stunned Bolt The Duer and held off fast-closing E Street Plan for the win in 1:49:2. Even though the time wasn't as flashy as his previous win, this victory was the best evidence yet of this sophomore's incredible talent. Other top pacers this week include: Show Runner (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), a mare whose victory in Friday night's featured condition pace in a career-best 1:50:3 was her second straight win; Gold Deuce (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who powered to a win over $10,000 claimers on Saturday night in 1:50:4, a career-best and his Third Straight win; and Mach It So (Andrew McCarthy, PJ Fraley), who picked up a win in Saturday night's featured Preferred Handicap pace in 1:48:2, a new career-best and the fastest time posted this week at MSPD. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: REVRAC HARBOUR This award was probably a little overdue for this 3-year-old colt from the barn of trainer Tony Alagna. From June 3 to July 1, he ripped off four consecutive wins at Pocono, topping out with a back-to-back career-best miles of 1:54:1 in wins over the non-winners of four condition. He traveled to the Meadowlands after that and struggled against some of the top trotters in the country in a pair of stakes races. Revrac Harbour returned on Tuesday night to face all older horses in a non-winners of $13,000 in the last five starts condition trot. Back at Pocono again, he found his stride quickly by making a move to the front end early in the race. Yet Picture This, the race favorite, lurked behind him In The Pocket for much of the mile and enjoyed a much better trip. In the stretch, Picture This took to the inside passing lane and briefly seemed like he was about to get past. That's when driver Scott Zeron coaxed just a little extra effort from an already-taxed Revrac Harbour, who dug in and surged back in front in the final strides in 1:55:4 on a sloppy track. That makes it five wins in the last five races he's started at Pocono, with this maybe the gutsiest yet. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Zooming (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter),who shipped in from New York for a condition win on Saturday in 1:51:4, easily the week's fastest trotting time; Waldorf Hall (Corey Callahan, Jim Raymer), who churned through the slop for a condition win on Tuesday in 1:53:4; and Swiss Lightning (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Lare), who ripped off his fourth straight claiming victory on Wednesday night in 1:54:4, matching his career-best in the process. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: RESCUE PLAN It's not often George Napolitano Jr., the meet's leading driver, pilots a long shot, but this condition pacer was at 42-1 when G-Nap steered him to victory on Tuesday night for a $87.60 win payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. Who else could it be this other than George Nap, considering that he won seven of the thirteen races on the card on Saturday and nearly pulled off a 20-win week. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: CHRISTIE COLLINS Collins' barn has been steadily gaining momentum in the summer months, and her trainees picked up three more wins this week, including a double on Friday. That will do it for it this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com. Jim Beviglia
Ten of the best drivers in the sport of harness racing will take to the track at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for the inaugural $20,000 East Meets Midwest Drivers' Challenge on Friday, August 8. The first of its kind at Hoosier Park, the challenge will pit the top-five drivers based upon wins, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. Harness racings' all time leading money winning driver and Hall of Famer, John Campbell returns to Indiana and will headline "Team East". Campbell far exceeds any driver when it comes to purse earnings with over $287 million in the bike and victories in nearly every major stake to date. He is a member of both the Canadian and United States Hall of Fame and is one of only 10 drivers in North America with more than 10,000 career wins. Campbell will be joined by the nation's current leading dash-winning driver Aaron Merriman who leads North America in wins with 464 victories to date. Also included on the stellar cast of entrants for "Team East" are Ron Pierce, Corey Callahan, and Tyler Buter. Hoosier Park's leading driver Trace Tetrick will lead "Team Midwest" after he secured his number one position with 170 victories. "Team Midwest" will also include Tyler Smith, Sam Widger, Peter Wrenn and Ricky Macomber Jr. "This is going to be a lot of fun," driver Peter Wrenn said of the challenge. "They are going to be tough to beat that is for sure, but it's going to be a great night of racing the entire night. I know we are all looking forward to it." Each team will have five participants in three consecutive races of the challenge and will be awarded points based upon their placings. At the conclusion of the final race of the challenge, race nine, the points will be tallied and one team will be crowned the winner. The East Meets Midwest Drivers' Challenge will compliment one of the most highly anticipated days on the harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino with the 21st edition of the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational slated as the twelfth race of the evening with a post time of 9:30 p.m. Racing fans will also have the opportunity to participate in a special wager offered for the East Meets Midwest Drivers' Challenge with a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 Pool. The wager will offer a minimum bet of 50 cents, and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, and the Indiana Standardbred Association. All of the drivers competing in the East Meets Midwest challenge will kick-off the evening with an autograph session near Hoosier Park's winner circle beginning at 4 p.m. In what is being called the "Dan Patch Festival Weekend", Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, a fireworks display, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as part of Hoosier Park's summer concert series line-up. . Emily Gaskin
Angel Of Terror posted the fastest winning time among the winners in Stallion Series harness racing action on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were six $20,000 divisions of the Stallion Series held for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Angel Of Terror (Western Terror-Angel Falls), driven by Jason Brewer and trained by Brian Brown, won her split in 1:54:2. Other Stallion Series winners on the night were: Icapella Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-I'm Sassy), driven and trained by Joe Pavia Jr., in 1:55:2. Angel Plus (Quik Pulse Mindale-Crew Angel), driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Steve Cook, in 1:55:3. Terror Ain't A Fool (Western Terror-Aint A Fool OK), driven by Corey Callahan and trained by Douglas Lewis, in 1:55:2 Serious Filly (Somebeachsomewhere-Seriously), driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Brian Brown, in 1:55:3. Hillary's Style (Somebeachsomewhere-Style), driven by David Miller and trained by Danny Collins, in 1:54:2. Jim Beviglia