CAMPBELLVILLE, July 16 - Sebastian K's dominance may be overshadowing his competition, but Creatine is taking steps early in his four-year-old season to be a contender with the older trotters. Creatine and driver Mike Lachance will start from post seven in Saturday night's $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot final. A son of Andover Hall - Berry Nice Muscles, Creatine banked over $800,000 last year as a three-year-old, with his biggest victory coming in the Kentucky Futurity. This season, the Bob Stewart trainee has had to quickly make the transition from age three-to-four to compete with a talented group of older trotters led by Sebastian K In four starts, Creatine has yet to find the winner's circle, but has shown he can hang with the big boys by picking up a cheque in three of his four starts. In the Maple Leaf Trot elimination, Creatine finished second and four lengths behind winner Sebastian K., but the effort pleased his conditioner. "We were very happy with him, Mike (Lachance) actually never pulled the ear plugs," said Stewart following the elimination. "He saw he was going to be second and he was coming back in six days from a very tough trip at the Meadowlands, we couldn't be happier actually." Before the Maple Leaf Trot elimination, Creatine finished fifth in the Hambletonian Maturity, a race restricted for four-year-old trotters only. While Creatine has shown he can compete with the older trotters, Stewart said he would have liked to have seen more opportunities for the four-year-olds to compete against each other, rather than having to jump right in against the heavyweights. "It's very tough (transition from three-to-four)...they should have made that Hambletonian Maturity a series of three races and a final," said Stewart. "They had the money to do it and these four-year-olds would've been able to get their legs underneath themselves a little more." Creatine and the rest of the top older trotters may be wishing their was a stake race without Sebastian K as the "Scandinavian Powerhouse" has yet to be lose in five starts. Stewart said it was bad timing that this was the season he had a competitive older trotter. "It's just unfortunate that he had to come back as a four-year-old the year that Sebastian K showed up, any other year I would feel better about the situation." Heading into the Maple Leaf Trot final, Stewart admits Sebastian K will have to be off his game to get beat and hopes he can find some races down the road to avoid the world's fastest trotter. "To be realistic you don't see him every beating Sebastian K, unless Sebastian K slips some, but he's eligible to everything and hopefully for our sake there are some races at Indiana and a race in Ohio that hopefully Sebastian K won't go to," Sebastian K may hold down the spot as top older trotter, but Stewart is confident that Creatine is good enough to be right there in second. "He's going to hold his own against all the rest of them I think." by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
CAMPBELLVILLE, July 15 - A stellar 13-race card featuring the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot has been assembled for Saturday night (July 19) at Mohawk Racetrack. Sebastian K, the world's fastest trotter (1:49), highlights the field of ten for the 63rd edition of Canada's most storied trotting event, the Maple Leaf Trot (Race 9). The eight-year-old "Scandinavian Powerhouse" won his elimination last Friday (July 11) for trainer-driver Ake Svandstedt in 1:52.2. Upon earning the right to select his post position for the final, Svandstedt selected the rail as the starting spot for his prized trotter. Svandstedt, a top horseman in his native Sweden for many years, relocated his stable to North America this season and is in the midst of a successful campaign, thanks in large part to Sebastian K who is a perfect five for five on North American soil. The high point of the season thus far for Sebastian K was a seven-length victory in the Sun Invitational at Pocono Downs on June 28, in which he became the fastest trotter in the history of harness racing with a jaw-dropping mile time of 1:49. Before coming to North America, Sebastian K had victories in top events such as the 2013 Oslo Grand Prix, a heat of the 2013 Elitlopp and the 2012 UET Trotting Masters. The nine rivals who will look to knock Sebastian K off the top of the mountain, include the last two Maple Leaf Trot winners, Mister Herbie ('12) and Market Share ('13). Market Share won the second elimination last week in 1:53 with a last quarter of :26.4 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Linda Toscano. His connections selected post position two for the final. The five-year-son of Revenue - Classical Flirt is the richest horse in the field with over $3.2 million in career earnings. Market Share followed up his Maple Leaf Trot victory last year with a triumph in the Breeders Crown. His career highlights also include two million-dollar race victories in 2012 in the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands and the Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk. Leading the charge for the local horses will be Mister Herbie, who finished runner-up to Market Share in not only his elimination last week, but also in last year's final. The Jeff Gillis trainee won the 2012 edition of the Maple Leaf Trot in a stakes and track record clocking of 1:50.4 and was last year's O'Brien Award winner as top older trotter in Canada. Mister Herbie will start from post six and will be driven by Hall of Fame driver Steve Condren who won his first and only Maple Leaf Trot in 1988 with Natural Image. The seven other challengers in the field are a group of well accomplished standardbreds. Intimidate, a past Breeders Crown and O'Brien Award winner, will start from post three for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Luc Blais. Ron Burke, North America's leading trainer, will send out two starters. Archangel, post four, was the 2012 Yonkers Trot champion, while Wishing Stone, post five, has had success in both North America and Europe with victories in the 2012 Copenhagen Cup in Denmark and the 2013 Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah's Philadelphia. Creatine, last year's Kentucky Futurity winner, will start from post seven for the duo of Hall of Fame driver Mike Lachance and trotting conditioner Bob Stewart. Undercover Strike will leave from post eight and is a Preferred winner at both Mohawk and the Meadows. He is sent out by trainer Tony O'Sullivan and will be driven by Doug McNair. Flanagan Memory, who won last year's Goodtimes, Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final and an O'Brien Award, starts from post nine for trainer Rene Dion and Woodbine/Mohawk's leading driver Chris Christoforou. Modern Family, a multiple stakes winner, will start from post ten for trainer Daryl Bier and will have Ron Pierce, a two-time Maple Leaf Trot winner, in the sulky. The field of ten for the Maple Leaf Trot has combined for 188 career victories and career earnings of $13,837,506. The Maple Leaf Trot undercard will feature four Canadian Breeders Championships (Races 2,3,7,10) for three-year-olds. Trevor Ritchie, a three-time Maple Leaf Trot winning driver ('03 Rotation, '06 Peaceful Way, '07 Equinox Bi), recently announced his retirement from driving. Ritchie will be on hand Saturday night to present the trophy to this year's winner and will be a special guest on Mohawk Racing Live's pre-game show beginning at 6:45 p.m. Post time for Saturday's Maple Leaf Trot card is 7:25 p.m, with the Maple Leaf Trot expected to go behind the gate at 10:05 p.m. Here is the field for the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot. Race 9 - Maple Leaf Trot - Purse: $603,000 PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer/Morning Line 1. Sebastian K - Ake Svandstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 2/5 2. Market Share - Tim Tetrick - Linda Toscano - 6-1 3. Intimidate - Sylvain Filion - Luc Blais - 12-1 4. Archangel - Jody Jamieson - Ron Burke - 10-1 5. Wishing Stone - Randall Waples - Ron Burke - 20-1 6. Mister Herbie - Steve Condren - Jeff Gillis - 15-1 7. Creatine - Mike Lachance - Bob Stewart - 15-1 8. Undercover Strike - Doug McNair - Tony O'Sullivan - 25-1 9. Flanagan Memory - Chris Christoforou - Rene Dion - 25-1 10. Modern Family - Ron Pierce - Daryl Bier - 20-1 AE: Wheeling N Dealin - Jody Jamieson - Luc Blais - N/A by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
MARKET SHARE WINS HIS ELIM IN 1:53
R I P Tony Chiaravalle. He owned the 1993 Pace winner Presidential Ball and was the original owner of the third place finisher that year Riyadh. R I P Matts Scooter-1988 Meadowlands Pace winner-sire of Mach Three 2002 Pace winner. Grandsire of Somebeachsomewhere-THE most prohibitive Pace favorite of the 21st century/ R I P Joe Muscara. He owned the 2002 Pace winner Mach Three and his Muscara Trust co-owns elim divisional winner He's Watching, one of the favorites in this Saturday's race. $776,000 Pace Purse. Not counting the two years with a supplemental entry, (2000 and 2008), this is the first time since 1990 that the purse is at least $100G higher than the previous year: 1989 $852,000 Dexter Nukes 1990 $1,153,500 Beach Towel Sire Well Said looks to do-with two chances-what has been done SEVEN TIMES in Meadowlands Pace history. Win the Pace with his first crop. (Sometimes Said, Tellitlikeitis) 1984 Happy Motoring sired On The Road Again 1985 Niatross sired Nihilator 1997 Artsplace sired Dream Away 1998 Life Sign sired Day In A Life 2005 Western Ideal sired Rocknroll Hanover 2008 Art Major sired Art Official 2013 Somebeachsomewhere sired Captaintreacherous If you're betting either He's Watching or Luck Be Withyou, you have recent history on your side. Tim Tetrick and Ron Pierce have won 6 of the last 7 editions of the Meadowlands Pace, THE most dominant TWO-driver run in the races 37 year history. (Of those 6 wins between them, 3 each, 4 of those 6 were NOT favored) Ron Burke will try and do what has been done THREE TIMES before. Be the Leading trainer at the Meadowlands for the meet AND win the Meadowlands Pace. J K Endofanera 1993 and 1994 Bill Robinson did it with Presidential Ball and Cams Card Shark 1997 Brett Pelling did it with Dream Away 2004 Mark Harder did it with Holborn Hanover, who was 2-22 lifetime coming into the race and lit up the board at 58-1 "MILLER TIME?" Maybe. There are three driving "MIllers" in the race-Dave and Brett and Marcus. That doesn't even count trainer Erv. The first ever TRAINER named Miller to be in the Pace-as well as the first ever drive-BOTH finished 3rd. Del Miller trainer 3rd 1980 Tyler B Jim Miller driver 1979 3rd with Tijuana Taxi THROWBACK TIME? Some Pace participants in 2014 were prominent at the Meadowlands in the 1980s. Val D'Or Farms (Always B Miki) 3 times made a 1980s Pace final. 4th with Masquerade in 1986, 7th and 11th with Ringaleevio and Paladium Lobell in the 1988 edition Steve Elliott was 10th with Souffle in the 1986 final of the Pace, and was 3rd and then 2nd in the 1988 and 1989 Trainer Standings here Joe Holloway won FOUR races at the Meadowlands in the 1970s-including twice with a pacer named Pentagon as a DRIVER. In the 1980s, Joe became the first ever Meadowlands trainer to win as many as 106 races in a singe meet-1988 Jim Campbell was the 1989 Meadowlands Training Leader. He also started in the Pace with a pair in 1987-3rd with Run The Table and 12th with Dictionary Peter Blood is one of the owners of Doo Wop Hanover. As a trainer here-he was second in the 1988 Wilson-the LAST one to go for $1 Million-with Nukes Image to Kassa Branca. The following year, he went 1-2 in the Wilson conso. Pierce Pace Potpourri Ron Pierce drove the shortest priced Pace winner of the new millennium-$2.80 Well Said 2009. Ron Pierce UPENDED the shortest priced Pace STARTER of the new millennium-Somebeachsomewhere-10 cents on the dollar-in 2008 with Art Official. (Art Official-incidentally-sold as a $4,000 WEANLING at a Meadowlands January sale) NUMBERS 17 of the 37 Pace winners were sired by a horse who himself raced in the Pace final. ONLY ONE-Real Desire is the ONLY horse to win $3 Million-be Horse Of The Year and win the Meadowlands Pace and NOT be in the Hall Of Fame ONLY ONE Pace winner won from the second tier-On The Road Again 1984 Post 12 THREE Homebreds in the Pace final field. The 2013 Hambletonian had three homebreds win all three eliminations and then the final. Creatine, Smilin Eli and Royalty For Life 20-1 or better-Tellitlikeitis will surely be one of the longshots in the 2014 Pace final field. Rarer than rare for the North America Cup FAVORITE-ALSO the Meadowlands Pace elimination FAVORITE, to be an also-ran in the wagering in the Pace final. FIVE catch-drivers have gone into the Hall Of Fame the past TWO decades. Only five. ANNIVERSARY 23 years to the day of Precious Bunny winning the 1991 Meadowlands Pace. July 12, 1991. That marked the first time in history a horse won TWO million $ races in the same year (Nihilator did it in 1984 and 1985) John Campbell drove him in the North America Cup to victory, but opted off for Artsplace in the Pace final and Jack Moiseyev won with the Cam Fella colt. HOY. It was also the first of four STRAIGHT Pace winners for Cam Fella as a stallion-ironic when you consider that Cam Fella finished his career 57 straight times on the board-the last time he MISSED the board? 1982 Meadowlands Pace elimination!! 7th Ron Pierce is on top in North America in $$$. 58 Years of age. This stat is especially interesting when you consider that-in 2006-he was and is the ONLY 50 Years Old to EVER lead the way, and now at 58 is threatening to do the same Golden Receiver's barn change-AFTER winning $2 Million-brings back memories of possibly the two greatest horses to ever undergo a barn change. Seatttle Slew and Artsplace. WIDE OPEN PACE?-2013 TOLD US EXACTLY THAT Many live candidates to win the 2014 Meadowlands Pace. And why not. In 2013-the LEADING 2 YO colt pacing earner made $390G-Arthur Blue Chip. This marked the first time since 1977 that the leading $$-winning freshman pacing colt did NOT have at least $400G on his card. No No Yankee had $211G in 1977 (Ironically-the FIRST year of the Pace) Dave Miller-John Campbell Dave Miller-6 days after entering the Hall Of Fame, hopes to do what only John Campbell has done prior. Go into the Hall Of Fame and win either the Hambletonian or the Meadowlands Pace the SAME year. 1990-John Hambo Harmonious. Dave handles Always B Miki IF Marcus Miller wins the Meadowlands Pace-he WILL become the YOUNGEST driver ever to do so. Tetrick also did it at 25 in 2007 with Southwind Lynx, Marcus a few months younger. Canadian Influence 5 of the 6 inside posts in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace have Canadian ownership. 6 of the first 12 Meadowlands Pace winners (1977-1986) had Canadian ownership. "Hall" Pass-OOPS Pace Five of the first 10 winners of the Meadowlands Pace had trainers who were Hall Of Famers. BUT-only ONE of the last 27 training winners of the Meadowlands Pace did it. Ray Remmen 1990 Beach Towel. Jimmy Takter has two shots at ending that 24 year 0-fer. Coyne-Operated Ron Coyne (National Debt) has been in the Pace before. 1999 with Washington VC. 8th. That colt then sired a $3 Million career earner by the name of Themightyquinn If either John Campbell or Ron Pierce win the Meadowlands Pace, they will be the oldest to do so. 59 and 58. Cat Manzi at 56 in 2006 with Artistic Fella currently holds than distinction. Steve Elliott is the ONLY trainer in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace field who has won this race before. And he did it twice. 2006 and 2009. There are only two trainers in Meadowlands Pace history who have won the Pace multiple times and were FAVORED in all of their wins: Elliott, Billy Haughton Billy Did it with Falcon Almhurst in 1978-9/5 choice over eventual HOY Abercrombie-and with Nihilator at 1-9 in 1985 heading a prohibitive 5 horse entry. "Starter" Kit NO 2014 Pace finalist has more than 8 starts in 2014. Yet 16 of the first 24 Meadowlands Pace winners had at LEAST NINE starts on the season entering the Pace final. Jimmy Takter (Tellitlikeitis and Lyonssomewhere) will try and do what Brett Pelling did last. Go 1-2 in the Pace. Pelling did it with Rocknroll Hanover in 2005 and Village Jolt second. He's Watching's June 13 foaling date would be THE latest ever for any Meadowlands Pace winner. (TWO of the more famous JUNE foals of all time used to be stablemates-Art Major and McArdle) SLOW STARTS? NO PROBLEM IN THE PACE Your year isn't going the greatest going INTO the Meadowlands Pace? This doesn't mean a whole lot-or at least it didn't to these brand names: 2001 Real Desire 1 for 5 going into the Pace 2000 Gallo Blue Chip 5 for 10 entering the Pace 2010 One More Laugh 2 for 6 going into the Pace 1988 Matts Scooter Just 2 for 9 entering the Pace (NOTE-the 2 YO Champion (He's Watching 2-5)-and the 2YO Breeders Crown winner (Luck Be With You 1-5)-are a combined 3/10 entering the 2014 Pace) The "OUTSIDERS?" The three outside horses in the Pace were all sired by a Pace favorite: Post 8 Sometimes Said (Well Said 2009) Post 9 Always B Miki (Always A Virgin 2007) Post 10 Doo Wop Hanover (Rocknroll Hanover 2005) Takter's Pace Breakthrough? NO Trainer in the 21st century who's campaigned a Horse Of The Year has made it to the Hall Of Fame. Jimmy Takter is the last trainer to do both-having won the HOY titles in 1997-1998-1999. Bob McIntosh went into the Hall Of Fame in 2002-and a full decade later-won his first MILLION $ race going 1-3 in the 2012 NA Cup. Jimmy Takter is looking for his very first Pace score. Ron Burke just scored his first Million $ win taking the NA Cup with J K Endofanera. The Two oldest drivers to hit the board in the Meadowlands Pace? 1978 Joe O'Brien 59-thid with Flight Director 1982 Billy Haughton 58 3rd with McKinzie Almahurst John Campbell is 59 and Ron Pierce 58 Campbell-Meadowlands Pace-Post 10 The man is amazing. Post 10 in the Meadowlands Pace in 2014 with Doo Wop Hanover. His history from post 10 in the Pace is almost beyond belief. ALL of the following are from Post 10-IN The Meadowlands Pace: 1982 Hilarion winner-first ever catch-driver to win a Million $$ race. 1997 At Point Blank second at 14-1 the colt was WINLESS (0-15) on the year!! 1999 The Panderosa got post 10 initially-AND on the redraw-and still dominated with a 26 flat final quarter in 1:49.3-then a record mile in the Pace and thus becoming the first horse ever to win TWO million $$ races BOTH in sub 1:50) 2004 3rd with Metropolitan from post 10 2007 third with Artriverderci from post 10. 5 different trainers from post 10-five times on the board. Consider that in the other 30 times any driver raced in the Pace from post 10-combined-those drivers were 3-30 ON THE BOARD! OTHER Post 10 notes...... Dave Miller's Pace debut-1995-Cinder Lane Sam came from post 10-5th-flying home in 26.1.....Pat Crowe drove exactly once in the Pace-from post 10-in 1984 12th with a colt by the name of Greener Pastures.....Brett Pelling made his Pace debut in 1993 from post 10 (No check)....Pinocchio raced in the Pace-from post 10 for Neal Shapiro... 15 times in history the Meadowlands Pace winner has been THAT YEAR'S Leading $$ winner among ALL Pacers.(MOST common of any race of the leaders) Just HOW tough is it to WIN The Meadowlands Pace? This stat might tell it best. The last THREE Triple Crown winners in the sport-NONE of those three finished first OR second in the Meadowlands Pace!! 2003 No Pan Intended 4th 1999 Blissful Hall 7th 1997 Western Dreamer 3rd Who are the three richest ever horses to have participated in the Meadowlands Pace final and NOT gotten a check? Boulder Creek $3,425,853 8th 2003 Red Bow Tie $2,673,920 9th 1997 Western Hanover $2,541,647 7th 1992 Super Tough Quiz: Can you name the three colts who led all pacers in year end earnings but did NOT compete in the Meadowlands Pace final? 1977 Governor Skipper $522,148 1998 Shady Character $1,070,569 2002 Art Major $1,562,779 Compiled by Bob "Hollywood" Heyden
The world's fastest trotter is set to make his Canadian debut this Friday as Sebastian K is one of 12 horses entered in the 2014 Maple Leaf Trot. Sebastian K drew Post 6 in the first six-horse elim, Race 3 on Mohawk Racetrack's Friday night card. The European-bred superstar, owned by Knutsson Trotting of Vero Beach, Fl., has been unbeatable in his four North American starts, two of which have been in world record speed. Trained and driven by Sweden's Ake Svanstedt, Sebastian K's most recent effort was a scintillating 1:49 effort at Mohegan Sun Pocono -- the fastest trotting mile in harness racing history. Svanstedt's hope that Sebastian K could get another week's rest with no elimination divisions needed was not to be had with 12 entered in the rich stake. A number of O'Brien and Dan Patch Award winning trotters will look to knock off the top-rated horse in North America, including two in his elimination race. Wheeling N Dealin (PP1, Jody Jamieson), 2012's top two-year-old trotter looks to be returning to form and 2013 three-year-old O'Brien winner Flanagan Memory (PP5, Chris Christoforou) has solid recent form. Both, however, will have to up their game to knock off the Swedish superstar. In the second elim, back-to-back O'Brien Award winning Older Trotting Horse Mister Herbie (PP5, Steve Condren) is the fastest trotter ever on Canadian soil by virtue of his 1:50.4 effort in the 2012 edition of the Maple Leaf Trot. Another O'Brien Award winner, Intimidate (PP1, Sylvain Filion) is no stranger to big stage heroics. His 2012 Breeders Crown win (over Market Share, also entered in this race) helped propel him to divisional honours two seasons ago at age three. Race 3 -- 1st Maple Leaf Trot Elim - Purse: $40,000 1. Wheeling N Dealin - J. Jamieson - L. Blais 2. Creatine - M. Lachance - R. Stewart 3. Wishing Stone - To Be Announced - R. Burke 4. Archangel - To Be Announced - R. Burke 5. Flanagan Memory - C. Christoforou - R. Dion 6. Sebastian K - A. Svanstedt - A. Svanstedt Race 8 -- 2nd Maple Leaf Trot Elim - Purse: $40,000 1. Intimidate - S. Filion - L. Blais 2. Market Share - Ti. Tetrick - L. Toscano 3. Modern Family - D. Palone - D. Bier 4. Dws Ny Yank - To Be Announced - R. Burke 5. Mister Herbie - S. Condren - J. Gillis 6. Undercover Strike - D. Miller - T. O'Sullivan Friday's card also features Canadian Breeders Championship elimination races for three-year-old trotters as well as an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg for two-year-old pacing fillies. (With files from Mohawk Raceway and Standardbred Canada)
Bee A Magician will try to return to her winning ways when she faces 13 male rivals - including last year's Hambletonian Stakes winner Royalty For Life - in Saturday's $484,850 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. Last year, Bee A Magician won all 17 of her starts and was named Horse of the Year in the U.S. and Canada. This season, the mare is winless in three races and coming off a ninth-place finish in the Armbro Flight Stakes on June 14 at Mohawk Racetrack. It was her first off-the-board finish since going off stride in her second lifetime start in July 2012. Trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman said Bee A Magician scoped sick following the Armbro Flight. Bee A Magician, who has won 27 of 33 career starts and $2.33 million, prepped for the Hambletonian Maturity with a 1:53.1 qualifier win on June 27, trotting her final quarter-mile in :26.3. She will start the Hambletonian Maturity, to be contested at 1-1/8 mile, from post No. 13 with regular driver Brian Sears. "She qualified really good and she's acting fine, so it looks good now," said Norman, who trains Bee A Magician for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. "I was really happy with her qualifier and Brian thought she was back to her old self, so hopefully we're good. "It was a bit of a shock," he added about Bee A Magician's finish in the Armbro Flight. "I've never seen her stop before. But these things happen. She's never really had any setbacks before, so we weren't used to it. But she got over it, so we're OK. At least we knew there was something wrong." Joining Bee A Magician in the Hambletonian Maturity field are Your So Vain, Sweet Justice, Bambino Glide, Fico, Wheeling N Dealin, Royalty For Life, Flanagan Memory, Spider Blue Chip, High Bridge, Master Of Law, Major Athens, Possessed Fashion, and Creatine. Conditions for the Hambletonian Maturity allowed for up to 16 starters rather than the traditional 10. Royalty For Life, who is making his 2014 debut, won last year's Hambletonian Stakes while Spider Blue Chip was the Breeders Crown champion and Creatine captured the Kentucky Futurity. Wheeling N Dealin was the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. "I think it will be OK; I think we'll be alright," Norman said about facing the boys. "We'll see how some of those colts are." Also on Saturday's card at the Meadowlands are two eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace and one elimination for the Mistletoe Shalee. The first elimination for the Meadowlands Pace features North America Cup winner JK Endofanera. The second division includes He's Watching, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer, and last year's Breeders Crown champion Luck Be Withyou. The top five finishers from each elim advance to the July 12 final. As for Bee A Magician's future schedule, she is being pointed to the Ima Lula Series at the Meadowlands, which is for trotting mares, following the Hambletonian Maturity. "I think I'll try to keep her at home as much as possible, race her close to home," Norman said. "It's a long year and I don't want to over-race her. We'll see how it goes. If we can do some good on Saturday and get some money there, that's a big purse, it would make the rest of the year a lot nicer." Following is the field in post order for the Hambletonian Maturity with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Your So Vain, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt; 2. Sweet Justice, Corey Callahan, Bruce Saunders; 3. Bambino Glide, Marcus Miller, Julie Miller; 4. Fico, Tyler Smith, Staffan Lind; 5. Wheeling N Dealin, Jody Jamieson, Luc Blais; 6. Royalty For Life, David Miller, George Ducharme; 7. Flanagan Memory, Ron Pierce, Rene Dion; 8. Spider Blue Chip, Ron Pierce, Chuck Sylvester; 9. High Bridge, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 10. Master Of Law, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci; 11. Major Athens, John Campbell, Rich Gillock; 12. Possessed Fashion, Tim Tetrick, Tom Fanning; 13. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman; 14. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart. by Ken Weingarter, for Harness Racing Communications
If it seems like a while since world champion trotter Sebastian K went to the racetrack, that's because it is. The No. 1-ranked harness racing horse in North America last appeared on May 17 when he won the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial in a stakes-record 1:50.2. His connections hoped to race last week in the third round of the TVG Free For All Series for older trotters, but the race failed to draw enough entries. So Sebastian K's return was delayed until Friday's $50,000 TVG leg. But gaps in Sebastian K's schedule are nothing new. After all, when he competed in the Cutler Memorial eliminations and final, it marked the first time he ever raced in consecutive weeks. "He's been off a month before and come back racing very good without training him too hard," said Bernie Noren, top assistant to Sebastian K's trainer-and-driver Ake Svanstedt. "We don't go on the round track, but we've been training regularly on the sand track and doing intervals. He's doing very good, training very well." Sebastian K is the 4-5 morning line favorite in Friday's race. He will leave from post five. The remainder of the field features DW's NY Yank, Archangel, Market Share, Arch Madness, Creatine, and Sevruga. Following the TVG Free For All Series start, Sebastian K is expected to head to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on June 28 for the $100,000 Mohegan Sun Invitational Trot. "It would have been nice to have gotten to race last week because then he would have had two weeks for the next race," Noren said. "He's going to race in the Pocono Invitational next Saturday. It would have been nice not to race two weeks in a row because he's going to have a busy schedule in July. But it is the schedule and he'll have eight days between the races." Owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc., Sebastian K was the U.S. Trotting Association's Horse of the Month for May after winning his Cutler Memorial elimination in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1 and capturing the Cutler final a week later. The Cutler elims and final counted as the first two rounds of the TVG Series. Those two starts were the beginning of Sebastian K's North American racing career. The 8-year-old trotter was Sweden's Horse of the Year in 2012 and has won 28 of 65 lifetime starts and earned $2.39 million. Svanstedt, Sweden's five-time Trainer of the Year and three-time Driver of the Year award winner, moved his stable to the U.S. late in 2013. Sebastian K has generated excitement on this side of the Atlantic and added depth to an already talented division of older trotters. "We're very happy that people are excited to see him and come forward and say it was nice to show up with a nice horse," Noren said. "I'm a big harness fan, always have been all my life, so to give harness racing a boost so that we can go forward with this sport that we love, it's a great thing to do. I know it's a lot of money to be a stallion, but everybody loves racing. We don't like to see good horses in the breeding shed too early." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
This Week: North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red, Goodtimes and Armbro Flight finals, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Meadowlands Maturity, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this weekend as the Ontario oval hosts five lucrative stakes finals on Saturday night (June 14) led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on the card will be the C$457,500 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers, the C$330,000 Roses Are Red for older mare pacers, the C$272,100 Goodtimes for 3-year-old colt trotters and the C$266,000 Armbro Flight for older mare trotters. Friday night (June 13) will see Meadowlands Racetrack host the $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity or 4-year-old pacers. Two-time defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous makes his seasonal debut in that race. Complete entries for the Mohawk races can be found by clicking on this link. Meadowlands entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters at Scioto Downs and second choice Modern Family prevailed in an all-age track record-equaling clocking of 1:52.2. Modern Family left alertly and took the front end from Creatine at the opening quarter in :27. The order remained intact with a very soft half-mile time in :56.4. At that point Arch Madness began to turn up the heat with a first-over move and gave the winner all he had to offer down the backstretch. He was followed on the rim by DW's NY Yank and favored Market Share. Driver Dave Palone asked Modern Family to trot in the third quarter and he responded with a :27.3 panel to gain some separation. From there the Daryl Bier trainee trotted away and won in 1:52.2 by 1-3/4 lengths over longshot Archangel and Creatine. Market Share finished a disappointing sixth. Five sets of eliminations for this weekend's Mohawk stakes finals were also part of last week's Grand Circuit action. Leading the way were the finest 3-year-old pacing colts on the continent facing off in three Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. Lyonssomewhere, McWicked and Tellitlikeitis all turned in impressive victories heading into this weekend's C$1 million final. Lyonssomewhere and driver Corey Callahan shot through an opening in deep stretch to take the first of three C$50,000 eliminations June 7 at Mohawk. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the son of champion Somebeachsomewhere kept his racing record perfect, now five-for-five, as he scored by 1-3/4 lengths in a career best 1:50.1. Beat the Drum wound up second, with JK Endofanera fading to third. McWicked and driver David Miller rallied from third in mid-stretch to haul down Sometimes Said and take the second C$50,000 Pepsi North America Cup elimination by two lengths in 1:48.3. Sometimes Said, with driver John Campbell, appeared headed to victory but Miller eased McWicked out from third and blew by the pair for the win. Sometimes Said wound up second, Let's Drink On It was third and Ideal Cowboy was fourth and also advanced to the final. The third and final Pepsi North America Cup elimination looked to be the toughest on paper, with He's Watching, Luck Be Withyou, Tellitlikeitis and Doo Wop Hanover all highly-regarded contenders. But at the finish, it was the Jimmy Takter-trained, Brett Miller-driven Tellitlikeitis who rolled by the odds-on choice, He's Watching, to win by a comfortable 2-1/4 lengths in 1:48.4, just a tick slower than McWicked's time in the second elim. He's Watching, the 3-5 favorite, took over from Luck Be Withyou before the half was reached in :54.2, while Tellitlikeitis was tucked in third along the rail. He's Watching hit the three-quarters in 1:21.4 and appeared capable of holding off a bid from Luck Be Withyou in mid-stretch. But Miller moved out from third with Tellitlikeitis and came motoring home for the emphatic win over He's Watching, with Luck Be Withyou third. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 313; 2. Tim Tetrick - 276; 3. Ron Pierce - 205; 4. George Brennan - 164.5; 5. Brian Sears - 135. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 502.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 175; 3. PJ Fraley - 169; 4. Joe Holloway - 122; 5. Julie Miller- 100. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 136.5; 2. Burke Racing - 112.3; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 104.8; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 62; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Next weekend will see Grand Circuit action taking place at Meadowlands Racetrack and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The Meadowlands will host a leg of the TVG Free For All series for older trotters on Friday (June 20), while Pocono will have eliminations for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old colt trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old colt pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 21). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
Modern Family was his best Saturday in the $200,000 inaugural Charlie Hill Memorial FFA Trot at Scioto Downs as he led from start to finish over a field to top performers with total lifetime harness racing earnings of more than $10 million. Sent off as the 9/5 second choice in the race, Modern Family was driven for the very first time by Hall of Famer Dave Palone. They won the race by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:52.2, which set the track record for older horses and tied the all age trotting record. The tenth race feature saw Creatine (Mike Lachance) go out quickly to the early lead but on the move was Palone with Modern Family and they took command after the opening quarter mile in :27. Modern Family then led the field past the half mile marker in :56.4 as Arch Madness and driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. moved first-over to challenge with DW’s NY Yank (Josh Sutton) following second-over and world record holder Market Share (Tim Tetrick), the betting favorite, third-over on the outside. The action really heated up after the three-quarters in 1:24.2 as DW’s NY Yank fanned three-wide and carried Market Share four-wide as they geared up for the stretch drive to try and beat Modern Family. But Modern Family and Palone would hear or see nothing of that as they skirted away from the field to win with ease over Archangel (Chris Page) with Creatine third. Market Share was a disappointing sixth place finisher. “Daryl (Bier) said he was a beautiful horse to drive,” Dave Palone said. “That he had plenty of gate speed and that was all we needed. I had never driven him before but I am a fan of the horse. I have seen him racing against Sebastian K and can see how great a horse he is. He has a really nice way of going. I was lucky enough to get a call from Daryl asking me to drive him. Daryl and I have been friends for over 25 years. It’s just nice to do good for good people.” Trained and co-owned by Daryl Bier of Smyrna, DE with Charles Dombeck of Davie, FL and Richard Pollucci of North Easton, MA, it was the sixth win in twelve starts this year for Modern Family. The five-year-old stallion by Cantab Hall now sports earnings this year of $241,150. Modern Family paid $5.80 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
This weekend the bulk of the racing action is at Mohawk Raceway both Friday and Saturday as they host the eliminations for five major stakes events headlined by the North America Cup for three-year-olds pacers. The big stakes event of the weekend is Saturday at Scioto Downs with the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial FFA Trot plus on Sunday Vernon Downs hosts two rich ($217,000/$215,00) finals of the Empire Breeders Classic. Good Luck! $35,000 Trot Armbro Flight elims Older F&M Mohawk Raceway 2nd race FRIDAY – Very tough to go against perfection, as in Perfect Alliance, who is perfect this year with ten straight wins. She is the first to have beaten Bee A Magician and should be able to lay over this field with her front end dominance. Use Ma Chere Hall and Rocking With Dewey in exotic plays. $35,000 Trot Armbro Flight elims Older F&M Mohawk Raceway 3rd race FRIDAY – She may have tasted defeat for the first time in over a year, but Bee A Magician is still the best there is and may not get beat again this year. She was a game second to Perfect Alliance in her first start back and now gets tested again but should prevail. Use Classic Martine and D’Orsay in exotic plays. $30,000 Trot Goodtimes elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 5th race FRIDAY – This is the tougher of the two divisions tonight but I think that Flyhawk El Durado will end up being the best in here. He easily handled his division of the NYSS last week with a sharp 1:55.1 triumph at Tioga Downs and now seems primed to cut loose in here. Use Verdi and Hitchin A Ride in exotic plays. $30,000 Trot Goodtimes elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 8th race FRIDAY – Here comes on of the dynamic Jimmy Taker’s three top Hambletonian prospects. Trixton has been nearly perfect this year with three wins in his four starts this year, including a sizzling 1:51.2 lifetime mark. Once he gets rolling he should not be beat. Use Speak The Truth and Harper Blue Chip in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Fan Hanover elims 3YO Fillies Mohawk Raceway 1st race SATURDAY – With five return winners in this field there is no clear standout so I am going with Nat A Virgin. This filly was decent last year and is coming off a sharp win here last week in 1:50.3 with a final quarter mile in :26.3. All she really needs to do is repeat that effort to win again. Use Beach Gal and Uffizi Hanover in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Fan Hanover elims 3YO Fillies Mohawk Raceway 2nd race SATURDAY – Here comes the Dan Patch winning two-year-old pacing filly of the year in 2013, Precocious Beauty. She started off the season with an easy win in the NYSS at Vernon Downs in 1:52.4 and should be ready to cut loose against this field. Use Lady Shadow and Major Dancer in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace N.A. Cup elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 3rd race SATURDAY – Here is the first of three great preliminary round divisions. JK Endofaneara is undefeated in his three starts this year, can cut the mile of come from off the pace and is super razor sharp. He will be very tough to beat. Use Western Vintage and Limelight Beach in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace N.A. Cup elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 5th race SATURDAY – This is the toughest of the three divisions as a good case can be made for just about everyone in this field. I am going to go with Let’s Drink On It because last week he faced He’’s Watching and went first-over against him in a valiant second place finish. Same effort will make him a winner in here. Use Always B Miki and McWicked in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Rose Are Red elims Older F&M Mohawk Raceway 8th race SATURDAY – This will be a real slugfest as some top mares will be going to post in this first division. Some are worried that Shebestingin was not at her best in her last start. Well, horses, especially mares, can have off days and I think this was one of them so watch her warm up and then you will see how great she really is. World champion mare will make amends. Use Anndrovette and Drop the Ball in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace N.A. Cup elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 9th race SATURDAY – Looks like He’s Watching is back into the swing of things after being choked down in first start in the Rooney elims. He came right back last week and smoked’em with a 1:49.3 romp and will most likely repeat that same effort tonight. Use Tellitlikeitis and Doo Wop Hanover in exotic plays. $200,000 Trot Charlie Hill Memorial Older Horses Scioto Downs 10th race SATURDAY – The older trotting ranks this year will be a sensational division. Tonight we have the return of $800,000 winner Creatine to the mix of outstanding squaregaiters but all eyes will be on the continuing world champion Market Share. With Sebastian K not yet in the traveling mood, Market Shares looms the horse to beat and rightly so. He made amends for his costly break two starts back with a world record effort last time out. Use Modern Family and Arch Madness in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Rose Are Red elims Older F&M Mohawk Raceway 11th race SATURDAY – Another world record holder heads this field as Somwherovrarainbow comes to Mohawk off her amazing 1:48 mile in her last start. She has been tops this year with six wins in eight starts for the Joe Holloway Stable and should be able to continue her winning ways. Use Camille and Moneky On My Wheel in exotic plays. $217,725 Trot Empire Breeders Classic 3YO Fillies Vernon Downs 6th race SUNDAY - Looks like it will pay big time for a couple of horses to be New York sired with these two rich stakes. The filly field is headlined by the Leigh Raymer entry of Avalicious/Winning Pursuit for the Crawford Farms. They have each won recent starts and provided winning Pursuit can mind her manners, can take this field. Use Glowngold and Annies List in exotic plays, $215,125 Trot Empire Breeders Classic 3YO Colts Vernon Downs 9th race SUNDAY - Tough to not like Expressive Action in here. Undefeated early on with two straight wins against this same company. Look for him to either cut the mile or come from off the pace and win once again. Use Karets and Cash For Gold in exotic plays.
Market Share has visited six different states and the Canadian province of Ontario during his award-winning harness racing career, but has never been to Ohio. That will change this weekend. Coming off a world-record performance 10 days ago, Market Share heads to Scioto Downs for Saturday's $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters. Market Share drew post four in a field of 10 and will be driven by Jeff Gregory for trainer Linda Toscano. The Charlie Hill Memorial field also features Arch Madness, Archangel, Creatine, Undercover Strike, Modern Family, Fusion Man, Major Athens, Rompaway Beau, and DW's NY Yank. Toscano said she was "on the fence" whether to go to the race, particularly because Market Share's regular driver, Tim Tetrick, would be unavailable due to commitments in Canada, but made the decision after talking with owner Richard Gutnick. "We sat down yesterday and talked about it," Toscano said. "We made a 'pro' and 'con' list and the only thing on the 'con' list was we're not going to have our driver. But we're very fortunate to have Jeff Gregory in the barn and there's a break from Yonkers and the New York Sire Stakes this week, so he can go and drive the horse. "Our next main goal is to have him as good as we can for the Maple Leaf Trot (in mid-July). I think this race fits his schedule nicely and he seems good. I understand the track is great out there, so we're going to take a shot." Gregory drove Market Share to a 5-for-5 season as a 2-year-old in 2011. For his career, the 5-year-old Market Share has won 23 of 42 races and earned $3.26 million. He was named the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter and the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter. He is owned by Gutnick, TLP Stable, and Bill Augustine. Market Share's victories include the 2012 Hambletonian Stakes and Canadian Trotting Classic, the 2013 Breeders Crown and Maple Leaf Trot, and this year's Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational. In winning the Maxie Lee on May 25 at Harrah's Philadelphia, Market Share trotted history's fastest mile on a five-eighths track, sto "He came out of the Maxie Lee really, really well," Toscano said. "He had a nice easy week last week and should be ready to go." Market Share is not the only star in the Charlie Hill Memorial. Ten-year-old Arch Madness is one of just nine trotters to earn more than $4 million in career purses. He has won 34 of 111 lifetime races, including the 2007 Breeders Crown, 2008 Maple Leaf Trot, and 2011 Oslo Grand Prix. He is a two-time runner-up in the international invitational Elitlopp in Sweden. Archangel and Creatine both won Trotting Triple Crown races at age 3; Archangel capturing the 2012 Yonkers Trot and Creatine the 2013 Kentucky Futurity. Modern Family is coming into the Charlie Hill off a second-place finish in the Cutler Memorial on May 17 and has finished no worse than third in 11 starts this year. He has won five times. DW's NY Yank leads the field in earnings this year, with $171,600, and has exceled on smaller tracks. He has won nine of his last 14 starts around five-eighths-mile ovals and failed to hit the board only once. "It's going to be a good race," Toscano said. "It all goes to promoting the horse and promoting the industry. That's the beauty of the older horses. I think we're going to find that the older horses really develop a following. People really like watching quality horses race. "Years ago, the horse was the star. I'm all about making the horse the star. I believe in it. I love that." Racing in Ohio has enjoyed a resurgence since the introduction of video lottery terminals in 2012 and has attracted some of the sport's best horses for Grand Circuit events. "It's nice to see Ohio is getting back on the map again," Toscano said. "They've always been good fans. Probably the single-biggest turnout every year is the Little Brown Jug, so Ohio has been very good to Standardbred racing. It's kind of fun to be able to pay back a little bit and go out there and race." Here is the field in post order for the Charlie Hill Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Arch Madness, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Trond Smedshammer; 2. Archangel, Chris Page, Ron Burke; 3. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart; 4. Market Share, Jeff Gregory, Linda Toscano; 5. Undercover Strike, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Tony O'Sullivan; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier; 7. Fusion Man, Dan Noble, Jeff Smith; 8. Major Athens, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock; 9. Rompaway Beau, Don Harmon, Krista Harmon; 10. DW's NY Yank, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Ron Burke. DW's NY Yank will start from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
Captaintreacherous vs Foiled Again led the Friday qualifying parade at The Meadowlands. They left the gate with Matt Kakaley insisting on the lead with Foiled Again from post one and "The Captain" taking a tuck around the first turn. That order continued through fractions of :28, :56.4 and 1:25.1 when Foiled drifted into the two or three path as the turned home and Tim Tetrick steering Captaintreacherous though on the inside as they sprinted home in :26.1. Foiled held sway to the wire in the 1:51.2 work. Both horses were quite willing and encouraged only by the spirit of the competition. It's going to be a fun summer watching these two and the rest of the top older horses square off. Overall, conditions were fair for the qualifiers held under overcast skies with little wind and temperatures in the mid 60's, the track was fast. The enigmatic Quick Deal had to get a flat line after a pair of gate breaks and he did so in 1:54 with Matt Kakaley in to drive some Burke horses with Yannick Gingras abroad for Sunday's Elitlopp. Quick Deal has spotted top trotters considerable ground a number of times with his antics and gone some incredible uncharted fractions in pursuit of the field in those races. He barely raised a sweat today. Boadicea Hanover, also from the Burke barn with Scott Zeron driving, tracked the winner and was a good second. Creatine made his seasonal debut this morning for trainer Bobby Stewart. The 2013 Kentucky Futurity winner was strong riding along In The Pocket behind Celebrity Secret through easy numbers, then responded willingly when Mike La Chance tipped him out in the stretch to win by a length in 1:54.3 / 28. Celebrity Secret went a good mile and held the place over a closing Money On My Mind. The talented sophomore pacing filly Gallie By The Beach flashed a glimpse of what she's capable of with a 1:52.2/ 26.4 off by herself for John Campbell. She is the result of mating the champion mare of a decade ago Galleria to the current king of pacing sires Somebeachsomewhere and she's the goods. Jim Campbell trains her for Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms. Two from Tony Alagna's fleet of sophomore pacing colts sprinted home together in 27 flat on the end of a 1:53 mile with Ideal Magic and Tetrick edging Journeyman and Scott Zeron. They both looked sharp in preparation for upcoming stakes engagements. Lord Of Misrule was a closing third as the Antonacci stable made its first appearance of the spring. Find results and replays of the day's events here. Live racing returns tonight at 7:15 with the New Jersey Sires Stakes trotters on the bill. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands
Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 26 – 11/19/2013 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Bee A Magician (28) 3tf 16-16-0-0 $1,420,804 340 1 2 Captaintreacherous (7) 3pc 15-13-2-0 $2,055,033 308 2 3 I Luv The Nitelife 3pf 15-13-1-1 $1,253,757 276 3 4 Father Patrick 2tc 11-10-1-0 $744,057 242 4 5 Maven 4tm 14-10-2-0 $509,220 183 5 6 Foiled Again 9pg 27-9-6-7 $1,123,984 141 6 7 Pet Rock 4ph 17-6-4-1 $972,820 121 7 8 Royalty For Life 3tc 14-7-2-0 $1,277,130 86 8 9 Market Share 4th 12-5-1-4 $821,356 78 9 10 Shake It Cerry 2tf 10-7-2-0 $599,694 51 10 Also: Vegas Vacation (25), He’s Watching (24), Spider Blue Chip (18), Shebestingin (8), Creatine (6), Anndrovette (5), Charisma Hanover, Smilin Eli (3), Lucan Hanover, Sam Hill, Sevruga (2), Precocious Beauty (1). by Ken Weingartner for Harness Racing Communications
Freehold, NJ --- Two-year-old filly trotter Shake It Cerry moved into this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10 after her seven length win in her Matron Stakes elimination Sunday at Dover Downs. It was the third consecutive victory for Shake It Cerry, who has won six of nine starts overall. Bee A Magician and Captaintreacherous, both coming off wins in their respective divisions of the American-National Stakes on Saturday at Balmoral, remained 1-2 in the poll. Pet Rock and Market Share also won American-National Stakes last weekend and improved one spot in the rankings, with Pet Rock moving to seventh and Market Share to ninth. Spider Blue Chip dropped out of the Top 10 by one point. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 25 – 11/12/2013 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Bee A Magician (28) 3tf 16-16-0-0 $1,420,804 338 1 2 Captaintreacherous (7) 3pc 15-13-2-0 $2,055,033 306 2 3 I Luv The Nitelife 3pf 15-13-1-1 $1,253,757 277 3 4 Father Patrick 2tc 11-10-1-0 $744,057 246 4 5 Maven 4tm 14-10-2-0 $509,220 183 5 6 Foiled Again 9pg 27-9-6-7 $1,123,984 140 6 7 Pet Rock 4ph 17-6-4-1 $972,820 108 8 8 Royalty For Life 3tc 14-7-2-0 $1,277,130 97 7 9 Market Share 4th 12-5-1-4 $821,356 77 10 10 Shake It Cerry 2tf 9-6-2-0 $529,644 29 -- Also: He’s Watching, Spider Blue Chip (28), Vegas Vacation (17), Shebestingin (10), Creatine, Precocious Beauty (8), Sunshine Beach (7), Anndrovette, Charisma Hanover (4), Lucan Hanover, Sevruga (3), Luck Be Withyou (2), Arch Madness, Sam Hill (1). by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications
Lindy’s Tru Grit ($25.00) scored a minor upset in the $235,000 American National 3-Year-Old Colt Trot at odds of 11-1, stopping the timer in a new lifetime mark of 1:53.3 for driver Tim Tetrick. The 3-year-old son of Cantab Hall is trained by Frank Antonacci for the Lindy Racing Stable & Robert Rudolph. The brown colt notched his fifth career victory in 14 starts and pushed his career earnings to $288,881. Lindy’s Tru Grit returned $25.00 on a two dollar ticket. Creatine (Mike Lachance) took the lead to the :27.3 first quarter before Spider Blue Chip took (Ron Pierce) over at the :55.2 half, with Rossini (Peter Wrenn) first over and Pine Credit (Marcus Miller) second over. Spider Blue Chip kept the lead to the 1:25 three-quarters with Pine Credit drawing even, before Lindy’s Tru Grit shook loose and flew home to win easily for Tetrick by a length. “There was a lot of speed early and the speed isn’t holding up,” said winning driver Tim Tetrick. “My horse is fresh at a time in the season when a lot of horses have been racing hard and aren’t fresh. I wanted to make sure my horse didn’t run and tonight he was super solid.” Creatine held on for second, while Lauderdale (David Miller) close well to be third and EL Rocket (Yannick Gingras) got up late to be fourth. Video attached by Kimbery Rinker for Balmoral Park
I went four for seven last week, which should be really good but when only chalk comes in you barely break even. I actually lost $0.70 cents (based on $2 win bet each race). We are still in the minus earning column at -$24.80 going into this weekend and we will try once again to bring that number down more. We have a giant of a card at Balmoral Park Saturday with eight of the top rated horses in the nation competing in the American National Stakes. Then on Sunday another top program with the elimination races for the Matron Stakes. So many stakes to choose from so I went with ten big races. $115,000 American National 2YO Filly Pace 3rd race Saturday, Balmoral Park – Gonna be a tough mile this week for Sweetnsinful having to start from the outside in post eight but this filly has been super sharp, first or second in eight of her nine starts this year and she has the gate speed to overcome the outside post. $113,000 American National 2YO Colt Pace 4th race Saturday, Balmoral Park – Once again the best in the field has the worst post position. Bushwacker starts from post ten but this is a late bloomer, only five starts so he is very fresh and based off his impressive back-to-back victories, sizzling at Balmoral last week in 1:51.4, I think he can overcome outside position and work out another winning trip. $235,000 American National 3YO Colt Trot 5th race Saturday, Balmoral Park – Last week Creatine turned the tables on Spider Blue Chip, giving him a perfect two-hole trip but Creatine would not let him catch him. I see the exact same mile shaping up in here with the exact same results. $200,000 American National Open Trot 6th race Saturday, Balmoral Park – Now we have a brand new scenario to contemplate. Maven, an outstanding world champion mare is going against the boys for the first time. She comes into this great match-up on a four-race winning streak. The program says that Market Share is the horse to beat but I think that Maven may be able to work out some live cover and she can grind it out, if necessary, against the boys and beat them. $161,000 American National 3YO Filly Pace 7th race Saturday, Balmoral Park – World champion I Luv The Nitelife returns from a nice rest off her Breeders Crown victory and takes on rival Charisma Hanover who is on an impressive four-race winning streak. But what the program lines don’t show is that I Luv The Nitelife has beaten Charisma Hanover all four times they faced each other earlier this season and thus should not have a problem beating her again. $118,500 American National 3YO Filly Trot 8th race Saturday, Balmoral Park – How can anyone even think of going against perfection? Bee A Magician is 15 for 15 this year and shows no signs of ever letting up. She is the top rated harness horse in the nation and rightly so. $256,000 American National 3YO Colt Pace 9th race Saturday, Balmoral Park – Whether his blood count was way low last week or he never heard or saw the other horse coming, Captaintreacherous did get beat but only by a half length. He comes back to winning form in here against what should be an easy field for him to beat. But we all thought that last week too. $200,000 American National Open Pace 10th race Saturday, Balmoral Park – Last week Pet Rock made good use of his inside post position and wired the field. But here he has post nine and he has never done well from an outside post. Thus I am going back to Foiled Again to win. The “old man” of the field has been super game all season long and Ron Burke has him primed and ready to go again. Week in and week out this game son of Dragon Again does not know where the end of the mile is. $53,462 Matron Stakes elimination 3YO Colt Pace 10th race SUNDAY, Dover Downs – Large field of 11 starters will make this race very interesting. Dedi’s Dragon comes in off beating Captaintreacherous, Sunshine Beach missed beating Captaintreacherous by a neck in the Breeders Crown, Ronny Bugatti comes in having upset in the Messenger Stake, but the horse I pick to win is Vegas Vacation. Despite starting from post ten in the second tier he is the class of the field and if fit and ready to go he will find a way to win. $54,750 Matron Stakes elimination 3YO Filly Trot 11th race SUNDAY, Dover Downs – Another large field of 11 starters but with her early gate speed I see Ma Chere Hall being able to leave, get out of the way of the bulky field and mind her manners as she works her way to the front and trots on home as she has already done seven times this year.