Ray Hall aims to complete a sweep in the five-week Bobby Weiss Series for 3- and 4-year-old male trotters when he faces eight rivals in Tuesday's $30,000 final at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. A 4-year-old gelding, Ray Hall has won six of 11 races this year, with four of the victories coming in the Weiss. He starts the final from post four with driver Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer/co-owner Mark Harder. Tuesday's card also features the $30,000 Weiss Series final for 3- and 4-year-old female pacers. "He's just a nice little horse, doing everything right," said Harder, who began training Ray Hall in December and got a share in ownership earlier this month. "He's just hit a nice little groove. He came to me with a couple series in mind out here and it's just worked out. He got happy and a nice little schedule and he's racing good." Ray Hall, who also is owned by Ohio's Bruce and Patricia Soulsby, has won 12 of 28 lifetime starts and earned $91,144. He is a son of stallion Justice Hall out of the mare Comebyrail and his family includes standout female trotter Elaine Rodney, who won the 1960 Kentucky Futurity and later found success abroad. Last weekend, Ray Hall won his Weiss division by a neck over Time To Quit in a career-best 1:53.3. Time To Quit won the Super Bowl Series final in January, with Ray Hall finishing fourth. Ray Hall also finished fourth in the Charles Singer Memorial final in March, which was won by Perfect Alliance. "He raced good against some better horses, Perfect Alliance and a couple of those other ones," Harder said. "I think he's definitely improved since then with racing. He's got a lot of nervous energy, he's a little bit hot, and just with racing he's settled down and become more manageable, more drivable. That's made him a better horse." Sixteen Mikes, who won his first three divisions in the Weiss but was third behind Ray Hall and Time To Quit last weekend, starts the final from post five for driver Mike Simons and trainer Gail Wrubel. Time To Quit, who has one win in the series, leaves from post six with driver Matt Kakaley for trainer Ron Burke. Ray Hall is not staked to any major races, but Harder hopes the trotter can still keep adding to his bankroll. "He's got nothing really, just overnights," Harder said. "We'll probably hang around Yonkers, wherever we can race him. He's not a top, top horse, but he's a nice little horse that can make money knocking around some conditions. A trotter that can trot a small track and tries and stays at it, they can make a lot of money." HARNESS RACING NOTEBOOK: THE RETURN OF ARCH MADNESS Renowned pacer Foiled Again is a perfect 10 this season - as in an undefeated 10-year-old - and now trotting star Arch Madness is getting ready to try to join him. The 10-year-old Arch Madness won a qualifier last weekend at the Meadowlands in 1:54.3 and will return to the Big M on Saturday for another prep for the upcoming campaign. Last year, Arch Madness won three of 18 races and earned $425,427 for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and owners Willow Pond LLC and Marc Goldberg, who also were among the trotter's breeders. He won the Allerage Farms Open Trot at The Red Mile in Lexington, finished second overseas in Sweden's prestigious Elitlopp, and was third in the Breeders Crown. Arch Madness has won 34 of 107 starts and became the ninth trotter in history to surpass $4 million in career earnings when he won the Allerage. A week earlier, he won the Allerage elimination race with a 1:50.2 mile, a time that equaled his own world record for the fastest ever by a male trotter older than age 4. "He's going to qualify again, but I was happy with the first qualifier," Smedshammer said. "We'll go again on Saturday and then we'll start racing. He's a year older, but it doesn't seem like he's changed at all." Arch Madness' first stakes race is slated to be the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. Eliminations are scheduled for May 10 and the $180,000 estimated final is May 17. Another trip to the Elitlopp, where Arch Madness has twice been the runner-up, is not in the works. "He's going to need a start before the Cutler, a couple starts maybe, somewhere around here," Smedshammer said. "We have no plans at all (to go to Sweden). But he seems fine." * * * Two other trotting standouts are expected to head to qualifiers in the near future. Market Share, who was voted the sport's top 3-year-old male trotter in 2012 and the best older male trotter in 2013, is anticipated to qualify on April 26 and 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician is targeted for the first weekend in May. Bee A Magician was unbeaten in 17 races last season at age 3 and earned a divisional record $1.54 million. She became the first 3-year-old filly trotter to receive the Horse of the Year Award since Continentalvictory in 1996. Trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman and driven by Brian Sears for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee, Bee A Magician's wins included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly trotters, Hambletonian Oaks, Elegantimage Stakes, and Delvin Miller Memorial. Her $1.54 million in purses were the most ever for a 3-year-old filly trotter, breaking the record of $1.17 million set by Continentalvictory in 1996, and her winning time of 1:51 in the Miller Memorial at Meadowlands Racetrack is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old filly trotter. "She's in good shape," Norman said. "I'm very happy with her." Bee A Magician is expected to qualify twice and then head to Canada for the first round of the Miss Versatility Series in Ontario on May 19. * * * As mentioned earlier, Foiled Again remains unbeaten this year. Last week, he improved to 4-for-4 this season by winning for the fourth time in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. The 10-year-old pacer, who has won 80 of 202 career races, had never before started a season with four consecutive wins. Since last fall, Foiled Again has been the richest horse in North American harness racing history, and his $100,000 in purses in 2014 have pushed his career earnings to $6.13 million for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and JJK Stables. Foiled Again leads the Levy series standings, but he will be back in action Saturday night for the last of the five preliminary rounds. He drew post seven in a seven-horse field and is the 3-5 morning line favorite for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. "He's just really getting his legs," Gingras told Yonkers Publicity Director Frank Drucker after his 1:51 win last weekend. "Give the other horses credit, but they're going to have to do better to beat Foiled Again." On Wednesday, co-owner Mark Weaver added, "He's the exception. He really hasn't been pushed that hard yet." Burke's stable has five of the top six horses in the Levy standings and all will be racing Saturday. Mach It So, from the barn of trainer P.J. Fraley, is second in the standings followed by Burke's Bettor's Edge, Itrustyou, Clear Vision, and Easy Again. Hillbilly Hanover, who is No. 11 in the standings, Special Forces (12) and Aracache Hanover (14) also will be competing for Burke in Saturday's three Levy divisions. The conditions for the eight-horse $567,000 final and eight-horse $100,000 consolation, both on April 26, limit Burke to two starters in each. For the full Levy standings, click here. * * * The last preliminary round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for older female pacers is Friday at Yonkers. Series leader Yagonnakissmeornot, who has three wins and a second in the event, is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the first of two divisions. She will be driven by Daniel Dube for trainer Rene Allard. Somwherovrarainbow is the 8-5 choice in the second division for driver Brian Sears and trainer Joe Holloway. She skipped the third round of the series, but has two wins and a second in her Matchmaker starts. She is No. 5 in the standings, behind Angels Delight, Summertime Lea, and Rocklamation. Anndrovette, the three-time pick for harness racing's best older female pacer, is sixth in the standings, with Shelliscape and defending Matchmaker champion Feeling You rounding out the top eight. For the complete series standings, click here. The $371,400 Matchmaker final is April 26, along with the $75,000 Matchmaker consolation. * * * David Miller, who will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in July, needs 23 wins to reach 11,000 victories for his career. Miller ranks No. 8 in wins among all drivers in North American history and was the sport's Driver of the Year in 2003. He has won at least $10 million in purses in a season a record 12 times and his $178 million in lifetime purses trail only Hall of Famers John Campbell, Ron Pierce and Mike Lachance. Miller, a 49-year-old native of Ohio, has finished among the top seven drivers in seasonal purses each of the last 15 years. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
It has been such a downward spiral for the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs that this latest lowest of lows has harness racing driver Jody Jamieson contemplating switching allegiances to another NHL team. As for which team Jody might start cheering for, nothing has been decided but all of us Maple Leafs fans understand that at some point we must all move on or do we become the Chicago Cubs of the National Hockey League. "It's in my blood" says Jody, "I'm a diehard fan but this is getting out of hand." Jody's career in harness racing has been remarkable, with some comparing his success to the likes of hockey greats Wayne Gretzky or Sidney Crosby. As flattered as Jody is by the comparison, in no way does he consider himself to be painted with the same brush as the hockey legends. "It's a lofty comparison, and it's not something I am not comfortable with" Jody notes. Admittedly, Jody feels he was able to jump start his career thanks to his father, legendary trainer Carl Jamieson. "My father is a hall of fame horseman and I had probably one of the best starts anybody could have in this business, by having him back me up." Jody says. A key piece of advice given to Jody by his dad is to always be respectful, regardless of whom that person is. It doesn't matter if it's a groom or a racing official, everyone matters. Jody Jamieson's name is up there with drivers such as Tim Tetrick, Mike Lachance, Chris Christoforou and Brian Sears and even after all the wins and accolades, Jody's focus hasn't changed. There's never a race he takes for granted and Jody admits he's human and makes mistakes, like everyone else. "I'm out to win every possible race I'm in... it's never lack of trying or being prepared but I make mistakes. Thank God there is another race right after that one where I can try and redeem myself." Jody says. With any sport, competition is extremely fierce and the guys who lead the standings are always battling between themselves and new comers. The saying goes, if you're going to win, you want to beat the best and Jody acknowledges everyone on the track wants to make a name for themselves. "That's what makes this game so fun, in one moment you're king of the castle but twenty minutes later you're knocked off." Jody adds, "It's very competitive, every twenty minutes, every night of the week." All drivers and trainers have been through dry spells, going through stretches of time without positive results. A piece of advice Jody was given is you need to learn to lose well before you learn to win well. "Don't get to high with the highs and don't get to low with the lows" is Jody's approach to keeping a level head to remain mentally grounded. "If you look at my record, I have way more losses than I do wins and I've learned to deal with it and keep it on the track as much as possible." With people having hard days or rough spells, it's amazing how well the horsemen are able to cope and still keep it classy amongst them. "I find in Canada and Ontario, it's the kind of people we are." Jody says. "We all try to get along off the track; there is no reason to be enemies off the track and not like each other. But when we go to the gate, it's on! I think that's taken for granted in other places, with people taking issue of being beat in a race." "Not only is life too short, our careers are too short to be hung up on every last thing, so you have to keep it light." Jody says. "I think I can relate to almost anybody, I enjoy busting (chops) and I can handle having my (chops) busted as well." Speaking with Jody, the biggest take away I got would be understanding how tough it is to mature in such a highly competitive sport. Yet in an odd way it can still be very easy. Yes I am aware there is a contradiction to what I have just written but the difficulties I perceive is being young with an ego. At this point I am not speaking for a driver, I am thinking of myself as a young one who is 18 or 20 and all I focus on is me and my success. If something were to come in between, I can honestly admit I would of taken issue from the get go. However, through it all in any sport, life hands you a constant wave of highs and lows and the earlier you notice these waves, the easier it is to 'ride it out' so to speak. Things can't always go your way, if they did, how would anyone learn? Over the last couple of years, Jody admits there have been some up and downs and this year he is more driven because of that. "Last year it took me until December to win a Classic race. It was the Cleveland Classic with Apprentice Hanover." Apprentice Hanover is trained by Benjamin Wallace and won the race in a time of 1:52.1 at Northfield Park. "There were big races where I came in second or third, but it wasn't the win." Jody admits. Jody is happily married to Stephanie and Jody has a daughter Hailey who is 11, a son Jett who is 2 and a baby girl on the way who is due in July. As much success as Jody's had over the years, he is now racing for his family, not just for him and this means ensuring his family can live happily. "I have a young family and I am recently married and I want to be a part of their lives to... I'm going to spend the best time with my family and I am not going to change anything. I'm going to be prepared as ever, more prepared than I've ever been to go on the race track every night." Jody says, "Before it was about wins and putting up big numbers, now it's about making a great living and being able to provide for my family down the road." "I had the one year where I broke the wins records in Canada. I drove right until the end of the year and then I quit for a month and just relaxed, it gets really stressful.... I had that one (great) year and I thought I want to treat myself a little bit." Jody adds, "I want to be the top guy and make enough money to enjoy life." Jody also missed some time away from the track to attend the O'Brien awards and Jody flew to Finland to be the ambassador of Canadian harness racing. To add to Jody's time away was the volcano eruption in Finland where the dust had to settle before Jody could fly back home. So at what point did Jody change his outlook? Or at what point did a light go off where Jody realized it was more than just about him? "When you're in it, running from track to track winning races and having some success, you don't think of anything until you're laying on a beach in Mexico... you don't think of it until then." Jody points out. Throughout his career, Jody has grown close to many people who have supported him and who always believe in his talents. "Mark MacDonald and I used to be thick as thieves and as best friends off the track and fierce enemies on the track." Jody continues, "We'd do anything to beat each other and Mark moved away and we haven't kept in touch as much, but definitely Mark was a huge influence in my career. He helped me learn my craft and have a better mindset on the race track for sure." Jody loves what the new Meadowlands racetrack is doing, "they're doing incredible work" he says and at one point in Jody's career, the idea to go to the big M did cross his mind, but home is where the heart is. "I'm from Moffat, Ontario, Canada and this is where my family is and this is where my family's family is. This is where I'll be unless something worse happens like what is happening with this Liberal government." "In 2011 the Standardbred industry received $176 million dollars to operate harness racing in Ontario. In 2014 harness racing will be lucky to have $70-$80 million." Jody points out. The money the racing industry received is from an agreement between the racetracks and the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation, (OLG) which is a Government entity, based on revenues brought in from the creation of the SLOTS programs at each racetrack. With the racetracks already established, the OLG agreed to give a percentage of all revenue to the racetracks so the OLG could put in slot machines and the money given to the tracks would go towards purse money to create a higher level of competition within the province. Anthony Macdonald, who is a horseman, is running as a PC provincial candidate hoping if an election takes place, the standardbred industry will have a stronger voice at Queen's Park, (the provincial legislator). Jody is a strong advocate and supporter of Anthony and his efforts to bring more awareness to the standardbred community and Jody is willing to help anywhere he can. "Anyone who knows Anthony, you can't tune him out and I am going to campaign hard to help get him elected." Jody states. "We have 3 or 4 candidates who are pro harness racing on the Conservative side." Jody feels strongly that the Liberal government has messed up several industries outside of harness racing, such as the gas industry, the powers sector and even the teachers union. "Horses don't speak" says Jody, "they are nice to look at and people love them but they don't speak. We need to do a better job speaking for them.... The OLG's revenue was around a billion dollars and we were only getting around 20 percent, maybe less. Now the OLG is taking in the full 100 percent in revenue. We are in trouble and this money, (the $500 million/5 year proposal from the Liberals), it has kept racing open but we are on a life line and we are bleeding badly." Away from the politics and the tracks, Jody is the type of guy who likes to help others where and when he can. Jody would love to help the Toronto Maple Leafs, maybe try and get them a Stanley Cup sometime soon! "I'm so aggravated with this season, I like Randy Carlyle. He's a horse guy who started in the horse racing business before he was drafted." As you can tell, Jody is a massive hockey fan and aside from the Leafs, his favorite team is the Jamieson Jets, an adult men's hockey team. One thing to point out is Jody's son Jett was not named after the hockey team, even though some people make that connection. However if the dad who named the son said it wasn't, there's nothing to discuss. If Jody had a man cave, it would be filled with Toronto Maple Leaf paraphernalia and his entire top win photos including the North America Cup pictures, the Battle of Waterloo and Breeders Crown pictures. To date, the second heat of the 2007 Little Brown Jug is Jody's most memorable race. In that race he was driving great horse Tell All. "I could remember my heart beating the whole time."Jody says. "The half was in 56.1... I kicked the ear plugs on him around the last turn and he dug in, but he really didn't dig in like I thought. Brian Sears slipped off of David Miller's back going three wide in the stretch and I didn't know half way down the stretch if I could hang on. So I hit the wire not knowing if you have a clear cut win. It was the best ever (feeling)... I'll never forget him." "I would love to win the Hambletonian. I've been fortunate to win big races and I'd love to win them all again. Just because I won them, doesn't mean they're off my bucket list." Jody adds, "It would mean a lot to me to win any of those races again, they're special, special races." Jody enjoys interacting with fans. "I love meeting fans...they message me of Facebook and Twitter. I think its wild and I thrive on it, I love meeting with the fans and doing whatever I can to meet fans." Jody says. A few summers ago, Woodbine asked Jody to go to a Jack Astor's opening in Toronto as the restaurant was doing simulcasting. "I went in my driver suit, not a soul knew who I was, not a soul and I had my suit on and they knew what I did at the end of the day they loved it. I loved it and meeting people who want to get to know me. Like I said, horses can't talk but I can and I want this industry I love to survive and prosper." By: Roderick Balgobin www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova
DOVER, Del.---- Casino Bags Carlo swept to victory in the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Three-Year-Old Male pace, the last of four $100,000 DSBF finals this week on the closing day of the 45th harness racing season at Dover Downs, Thursday, April 10 at Dover Downs. Bandolito romps in 1:48 winning $36,000 Preferred pace and Just A Jolt takes $33,000 Delaware Special. When front-pacing favorite Elite Awards suddenly broke stride on the final turn, Vince Copeland, sitting second with Casino Bags Carlo, shot into the lead and rushed home a 1:52.4 winner of the final DSBF three-year-old championships. The win was the third straight victory of an unbeaten campaign for Cavalli Pazzi Stables,. Copeland has trained and driven the Roddy's Bags Again-Casino Bus gelding now a winner of eight of 12 races and only once farther back that third while winning $70,000 this year and $168,911 lifetime. West Star Director (Ben Stafford Jr.) finished second for the third consecutive start. Forced Passage (Ross Wolfenden) was third. Driver George Dennis said he and Elite Awards saw a lose horseshoe shining brightly on the track along a pylon and the pacer was startled and broke stride, finishing out of the money for the first time in 12 races with 10 of them easy wins. Bandolito, a 1:48 winner last week, currently the fastest time of 2014, won even more impressively this week stepping up to the $36,000 Preferred Handicap. Trainer-driver Daryl Bier, co-owner with Charley Dombeck and David Bier, the Ponder-Sody's Home Brew brown four-year-old was never trouble chalking up his third win in four starts this year while winning $48,977 and $228,815 in his 16 race career. Tarpon Hanover (David Miller) ended a two-race win streak finishing second with Take It Back Terry (Ross Wolfenden) the show horse. When Nova Artist (Allan Davis) became involved in trouble in front of the grandstand when he received a broke race wheel, the $33,000 Delaware Special Handicap became a toss up. Feel Like a Fool (Dennis) took over the lead and led into the stretch when Tim Tetrick steered Just A Jolt to the front nearing the wire for a 1:50.2 triumph. Feel Like A Fool and Full Of Sand (Corey Callahan) were second and third respectively. Nova Artist pulled up before the clubhouse turn. Corey Callahan drove Joan Hamstead's homebred Lewiebyalength scooted to a 1:53.2 success in the $20,000 DSBF consolation. A 13-1 shot Three Day Forecast (Jonathan Roberts) was second with By Noggin (Tony Morgan) third. Callahan also guided Gateway Racing's Lollipop Kid to a 1:49.1 conquest in an $18,000 Male Winners-Over pace. The Dylan Davis-trainee is an altered son of Shady Character-Saly Pansen and won for the third time in 10 outings this year. Manhattan Rusty N (Ron Pierce) finished a strong second with Poker Hat (Tetrick) finishing third. In the $17,500 3,4&5-Year-Old Male Winners-Over pace, Troy and Todd Tribbett's Alittleaintenough notched his fourth win of the season with Ron Pierce driving, a 1:51 lifetime mark. The Artiscape-Mayland Beauty gelding trained by Joe Hunterpfund was followed home by Chesapeake Bay (David Miller) and Totally Kissed (Montrell Teague), the only sophomore in the field, who was third. Bret Brittingham drove the other $17,500 division winner, Leslie Betts' Teresa's Beach. The Somebeachsomewhere-GE's Jen four-year-old is trained by Johnny Waite and won #4 this year in 11 starts. Sea Harrier (Tetrick) accepted his first loss after two wins. Varsity Hanover (Kim Vincent) closed strongly to finish third. In between races ceremonies, Corey Callahan was presented the Leading Driver award. Dylan Davis won the Leading Trainer title, while Nova Artist, for the second time in three seasons, won Horse of the Meet honors. Dover Downs says 'so long' to its 45th season and thanks all who participating in making the 2013-14 meet successful. Thanks for being an important part of the banner season. Racing will resume next Fall. In the meantime, harness racing resumes on Monday, April 21 at Harrington Raceway. There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
Trainer Jonas Czernyson is getting Maven ready to defend her division title among older female trotters, but last year's Dan Patch Award winner is not his sole focus as he prepares her for the stakes season. Four additional older female trotters are receiving Czernyson's attention as he looks forward to the Miami Valley Distaff on May 4 at Ohio's new Miami Valley Raceway. Joining the 5-year-old Maven in the division for Team JC are 5-year-old D'Orsay and 4-year-olds Ma Chere Hall, Mistery Woman, and Coffeecake Hanover. All five were in qualifier action last week at the Meadowlands, and all should be returning there again Saturday morning for qualifying efforts. "It's going to be an interesting year," Czernyson said. "We're unfortunately going to have to race against each other, but we just have to hope for the best. When you have horses that are that good, they're going to go up against each other." Maven finished second by a half-length to older male trotter Uncle Peter in last week's qualifiers, timed in 1:56.1. Last season, Maven was the unanimous selection for the Dan Patch Award for best older female trotter after winning 10 of 14 races and $509,220 for owner Bill Donovan. Her wins included the Breeders Crown for older female trotters, Armbro Flight Stakes, and Miss Versatility Series championship. She trotted the fastest race mile ever on a half-mile track in winning the Miss Versatility in 1:51.4 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. "So far everything is very good," Czernyson said. "She did what we asked her to do (in her qualifier). We wanted to go somewhere between (1):56 and (1):57 and that's what she did. That was the beginning and we'll go from there." Where she goes could be overseas. Czernyson is considering sending Maven to Sweden for the Elitlopp on May 25. "We're thinking about that," said Czernyson, a native of Sweden. "We're trying to get some better shipping arrangements for that. That would be very fun. That would be very nice if we could go over there and win that race. "She's coming back as nice as she did before, but we'll see how she does racing. That's when we'll make the full decision whether we're going or not." For her career, Maven has won 25 of 40 races and $1.42 million. D'Orsay finished third in the qualifier with Uncle Peter and Maven. She trotted in 1:56.3. Last year, D'Orsay won four of 14 races and $189,928 for owner Consus Racing Stable. Her wins included the Muscle Hill Stakes and Ima Lula Series final and she finished third in the Breeders Crown. D'Orsay has won seven of 46 career starts and $348,335. "She's her own worst enemy," Czernyson said. "Unfortunately, when the gate leaves, she wants to leave with it. Hopefully we can get her to settle down a little more. She's sure fast enough. She's a lot better now than she was at 2; we just have to hope she keeps on maturing." Ma Chere Hall finished second by three-quarters of a length to Archangel in her qualifier. She was timed in 1:56.4. Last season as a 3-year-old, Ma Chere Hall won nine of 17 races and $506,869 for owners Walnut Hall Limited, Aldebaran Park, and Joe Sbrocco. Her victories included the Matron Stakes and Kentucky Sire Stakes championship. She ended the campaign with a second-place finish in the Moni Maker Stakes, which was won by Horse of the Year Bee A Magician. She also was second in the Kentucky Filly Futurity. For her career, Ma Chere Hall has won 12 of 29 races and $668,933. "She's coming back very nice," Czernyson said. Mistery Woman finished sixth in the qualifier with Ma Chere Hall, timed in 1:57.4. Last year, she won three of 15 starts and $292,323 for owners Millstream Inc., Misty Miller, Donovan, and Aldebaran Park. Her wins included the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Filly Memorial Trot and she was third in the Moni Maker. Lifetime, Mistery Woman has won six of 20 career races and $380,500. "She's also coming back very nice," Czernyson said. "(Driver David Miller) was happy with her. Hopefully she can step it up and go with the big girls." Coffeecake Hanover is a newcomer to the Team JC Stable. She was purchased for $140,000 by Czernyson's wife, Christine, at November's Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale. Last season in the stable of trainer Ron Burke, Coffeecake Hanover won four of 16 races and $194,473. She captured a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and was second to Frau Blucher in the Buckette Stakes. For her career, she has won eight of 27 races and $359,816. She finished fifth in her qualifier, one spot ahead of Mistery Woman, timed in 1:57.3. "(Christine) bought her as a future broodmare also," Czernyson said. "We'll try to make some of our money back at the racetrack first, and then we'll go from there. So far she's been training down really good. "I wish I saw better than a :30.2 last quarter in the qualifier, but there was a headwind and we didn't have her rigged right. We're going to make a few changes to her and hopefully she should be a little sharper for this week." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
Miller's Bird, A And G's Design, and Prima Dragon all knocked off heavy favorites to win divisions of the Bobby Weiss series on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were three divisions of the Weiss held for three and four-year-old fillies and mares on the pace, each carrying a purse of $15,000. Miller's Bird (McArdle-Bunting), with David Miller in the bike for trainer Alexander Rice Jr., pounced from the pocket to beat odds-on favorite R Journey Together in 1:55:3. A And G's Design (Allamerican Native-Colorado Creek), driven by Simon Allard and trained by Rene Allard, also utilized a pocket trip to dump 1-5 shot Stucklikeglue in 1:54:4. In the final Weiss split, Prima Dragon (Dragon Again-Zacharysprimadonna), with Brett Miller doing the driving for trainer Mike Dowdall, grinded first-over to upend favored Envious Hanover in 1:52:1. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs
DOVER, Del.---- Bandolito scored the fastest mile of the year on any size track while equaling the all-track record of 1:48 set in 2012 by Heston Blue Chip, while Casino Bags Carlo was the fastest of three Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) $20,000 2nd leg Pace preliminaries and in the $33,000 Delaware Special, Nova Artist won again on a strong Thursday, April 3 program at Dover Downs. Daryl Bier moved Bandolito up on the outside as Lollipop Kid (Corey Callahan) and Fancyfreeshark (Jonathan Roberts) continued to battle on the front end. Bandolito took the lead on the final turn and breezed home in track record equaling and track four-year-old record time of 1:48. Bier trains and co-owns the Ponder-Sody's Home Brew brown horse with Charles Dombeck and David Bier. It was his second win of the year and 11th lifetime and now has won purses of 210,815. Manhattan Rusty N (Ron Pierce) showed late speed to finish second in front of Lollipop Kid, third. . Casino Bags Carlo turned in the fastest of the three DSBF prelims, a 1:53.4 wire-to-wire performance for trainer, driver Vince Copeland and owner Cavalli Pazzi Stables. The Roddy's Bags Again-Casino Bus gelding won his second in two starts in 2014 and seventh, with two second and a third in his 11 career races banking $118,911. Forced Passage (Ross Wolfenden) was runner-up with Lewiebyalength (Corey Callahan) the show horse. In the second $20,000 DSBF pace, Elite Awards came from off-the-pace for driver George Dennis to take the lead from West Star Director (Ben Stafford Jr.) and then led his six rivals home for a 1:54.3 victory, his Third Straight this years and 10th in 11 starts lifetime earning $124,225. David Rearic conditions the Powerful Toy-Silk Slip gelding for owner Karen Walls. The third DSBF division was even more competitive. Tim Tetrick drove Art Retreat to a come-from-behind 1:54 decision. Go Big Spinder (Ron Pierce) closed well to take second while Hawker (David Miller), who vied for the early lead was the show finisher. Vern Cannon and trainer Jeff Clark owned the Artzina-Wild Retreat gelding who won for the first time in 13 starts which include five seconds and two thirds. Nova Artist in his customary style closed from fifth at the half to notch a 1:50.2 triumph in the $33,000 Delaware Special. Allan Davis was at the controls of the seven-year-old son of Real Artist-Avon Lady who recorded his fourth win of the year to go with two seconds and two thirds for owners trainer Eddy and Kathy Davis. The almost black pacer, who was the track's Horse of The Meet two seasons back, has won $85.350 this year and $849,917 in his career. Just A Jolt (Tim Tetrick) also rallied from off-the-pace to finish second in front of Feel Like A Fool (Dennis). Jet Blue Miracle came on strong in one of two $18,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over paces to rack up a 1:52.1 win. Ross Wolfenden teamed with trainer Les Givens to make owners Ed Maas, Arlene Paisley and Nanticoke Racing happy with their fourth win of the year. Major Bucks (Toby Lynch) finished second with Shiretown Pitbull (Sean Bier) third. In the other $18,000 event, Tim Tetrick roared down the lane driving Sea Harrier, a Jereme's Jet-Ingrid Bergrin gelding, to his sixth win of the meet in nine races for Paton Racing and trainer Jim King. Jolt Of Fire (Dennis) and Spinfiniti (Pierce) were second and third respectively. Frank Chick's So Much To Say, driven by Dennis for trainer Kevin Lare, posted a 1:52 victory in a $15,500 4&5-Year-Old pace. Art Of Escape (Pierce) was second followed by Heart Breaking (Davis), third. Morgan and Jeanne McInnis rejuvenated Cams Art in 1:51.2 won a close 1:51.2 decision at 12-1 odds in a $15,000 Male pace with Bret Brittingham driving. SB Mike's Hot Beach (Mike Rossi), off at 71-1, cut out the mile and finished second. Just Bettor (Pierce) came on from far back for third money. George Dennis had three wins while Allan Davis, Tim Tetrick and Bret Brittingham had doubles. A $20,000-$25,000 Claiming pace is the top race on Sunday when racing resumes. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book.
DOVER, Del--- Elite Awards, Casino Bags Carlo and Go Big Spinder, all unbeaten three-year-old pacers, tangle in three $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) 2nd leg of Male paces to set the stage for next week's closing day $100,000 at Dover Downs while a select six-horse field vies in the $33,000 Delaware Special on Thursday, April 3. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Karen Walls' Elite Awards, winner of the $100,000 freshman final last November at Harrington, will be driven by George Dennis in the first $20,000 division, Diane and Joel Halpern's West Star Director and Ben Stafford Jr. and Mike Gannon's By A Noggin, handled by Vic Kirby, head the opposition. Vince Copeland drives Cavalli Pazzi Stables' Casino Bags Carlo, in the second DSBF event against Joan Hamstead's fast homebred Lewiebyalength and Corey Callahan. Virginia Louthan bred, owns and trains Go Big Spender, with Ron Pierce at the controls takes on Winbak Farm's Hawker and Jeff Fout along with Vernon Cannon and trainer Jeff Clark's Art Retreat (Tim Tetrick) in the third $20,000 section. The top eight point-getters after the two prelim rounds return for the $100,000 finals all next weekdays. In the $33,000 Delaware Special, Eddie and Kathy Davis' Nova Artist (Allan Davis) and Mary Ann Larrimore's Believe This Bob (Pierce) renew their rivalry in a hard-hitting field of six starters. Included in the cast are John Dayton's impressive Just A Jolt (Tim Tetrick), four-time winner this meet, All Stienam (Callahan) racing for Green Racing and JJ&M Stable. Kovach Stable's Feel Like A Fool (G. Dennis) and Mike Horn and Bobby Rice Sr.'s Dirty Devil (David Miller) complete the line-up. A top group of pacing events highlight a strong undercard on the next-to-last Thursday program of the meet. Undefeated I Like My Boss wins again I Like My Boss made it six wins in six career starts all in Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) events, Toolbox and a 15-1 shot Streets Of Gold won $20,000 2nd leg Filly Trot preliminaries on Wednesday, April 2 at Dover Downs. Unlike in last week’s prelim, I Love My Boss came from behind to keep his all-win record in tack scoring a 1:56 triumph in his $20,000 division. Jonathan Roberts was content to race fourth at the half and then moved out slowly to finally catch front-trotting Bosston BNZ on the final turn. The duo raced side-by-side halfway down the lane before the Don Boss Vita-Wild One gelding pulled away to the win. Trainer Bobby Shahan, Jimmy and Angela Parsons owned the lifetime winner of $95,000. Whichwayrightrleft (Ross Wolfenden) made up for an unexpected misstep last week, to finish third. Gateway Stable’s unheralded Streets Of Gold picked up his best paycheck of a nine-race career taking a 2:01.2 upset in the other $20,000 DSBF soph trot. Eddie Davis Jr. piloted the longshot Linbo-Royalty Rates brown gelding to his first win besting AJ Commander (Wolfenden), finishing second. Goodtwogreat (Corey Callahan) took third. Race Favorite Briefs Or Boxers (Carlo Poliseno) broke stride at the start and then again after catching the field on the backstretch and finished out-of-the-money. Toolbox, driven by Bill Long-longtime Ocean Downs leading driver-escaped from being locked in fourth on the backstretch, finding room on the last turn and then roared four-wide down the lane to notch a 1:58.3 victory in his second start of the year for owner Crawford Rayne. An alter son of Giant Hit –NV Gemma, Toolbox was followed by My Boy Charlie (Roger Plante) and early leader Winbak Charles M (Jeff Fout). The top eight-pointers in each of the four sophomore sections return next week for $100,000 finals, Monday through meet closing day Thursday, April 10. On the non-stakes card, for the second straight week Enrico AS disposed of seven rival coming from off the pace to win the $18,000 Winners-Over trot in 1:54.1. Ron Pierce drove the Eric Ell-trained Allstar Hall-Caspian chestnut gelding to her third win of 2014 for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta. Guiltywithanexcuse (Daryl Bier) closed along the inside for second. I’m So Striking (Eddie Dennis) edged early leader Spunky Jack (Roger Plante) for show honors. Barbara Boese’s Awsome Valley equaled the fastest trotting time of the meet in one of two $14,500 sub-features. Tony Morgan steered the Valley Victor-Nannina Ambrosio gelding home wire-to-wire in 1:53. Earlier in the meet, Traverse Seelster won in that time. Looking Hanover (Kirby) and Royal Malinda (Wolfenden) were second and third. Beaver Creek Farm’s He Belongs Here, an Angus Hall-Flying Dove gelding, with Ron Pierce driving won the other $14,500 trot for 4&5-Year-Olds in 1:55.2. Dribble Drive (G.Dennis) was second in front of Zoli (Kirby). Ross Wolfenden, Vic Kirby and Tony Morgan drove two winners each. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
Shebestingin looked very impressive in making her 2014 debut in a qualifying race at the Meadowlands Saturday morning. The world's fastest female pacer, trained by Joe Holloway, had regular driver David Miller in the sulky for her first qualifier. They settled early into second behind Panera Hanover (Andy Miller) and sat the pocket through the :28.3 opening quarter before making a backside brush to the front. From there, Shebestingin raced comfortably on the lead through a :57.1 half and 1:25.3 third quarter before sprinting home in :27 to stop the timer in 1:52.2. Shebestingin (Bettors Delight - Armbro Tussle) made history last year with her 1:47 world record clocking over The Red Mile, making her the fastest female pacer in a race. She is owned by Val D' Or Farms of Millstone, N.J., Ted Gewertz, New York, N.Y. and the L And L Devisser LLC of Holland, Mich. “We’ll see how it plays out, but I think they’ll both compete very good as four-year-olds against the aged mares,” trainer Joe Holloway said earlier this month about Shebestingin and stablemate Somwherovrarainbow. “Right now, 'Sting' couldn’t train back any better. I think 'Rainbow' could have a really good year; I’m excited about her. But I’m very excited about 'Sting.'” Holloway plans to start Shebestingin in several overnight races before heading to the $50,000 Miami Valley Distaff on May 4 at Ohio’s new Miami Valley Raceway. Her first major stakes appearance should come in the Roses Are Red in June at Mohawk Racetrack. “Even though I don’t have the Matchmaker for her, you really can’t just sit around until June; you’ve got to be tight,” Holloway said. Also qualifying for Holloway on Saturday morning was three-year-old colt pacer Always B Miki, a North America Cup-eligible son of former Holloway standout-turned-stallion Always A Virgin. Always B Miki was a 1:53.1 winner in rein to Yannick Gingras. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com with files from www.standadbredcanada.ca
Cam's Card Shark, one of the leading stallions of his generation, has just been retired from stud duty, but hopes are high in Ohio that one of his greatest progeny can carry on his dynamic legacy in the breeding shed. Shark Gesture, whose earnings in excess of $2.8 million are the most of the more than 1,700 racehorses that Cam's Card Shark sired and one of the fastest with a speed mark of 1:48.1s, will be represented by a crop of two-year-olds this season. Abby Stables in Sugarcreek, Ohio, is standing the big, dark brown stallion. "Shark Gesture is the total package," Abby Stables' Teresa Maddox told Harness Racing Update." Shark Gesture developed into a horse for the ages. A $110,000 yearling purchase by Norm Smiley, Shark Gesture raced from two to four, posting some impressive victories. He was retired to the breeding shed due to an injury and stood as a stallion in Ontario for the 2008 season. Later that year, when the injury had fully healed and he trained excellently, Shark Gesture returned to the races and started three times. But it was as a six- and seven-year-old that he excelled, earning over $1.8 million. He beat some of the best aged pacers, including the likes of Foiled Again, Mister Big, Art Official, Boulder Creek, Artistic Fella, Shadow Play and Won The West 12 times, including by more than 10 lengths in the Hoosier Cup. Maddox said because Shark Gesture disappeared from the breeding scene for three years people may be confused about his history. "He really hasn't gotten a fair shake as a stallion," Maddox said. "If you go back and look at some of his races, he was phenomenal. He's well-mannered, he's intelligent and was a bear on the racetrack. It's just a breath of fresh air to have him in Ohio. We welcomed him with open arms." Shark Gesture can be seen in action on his page at www.abbystables.com . His web page comes complete with race footage, photos, pedigree, articles and both a downloadable and digital breeding contract. "There is no reason because he had 44 foals that raced from his first and only crop as a stallion, standing in Ontario and bred to mostly Ontario-bred mares, that people should have forgotten about him because he went back to the races," said Smiley. "He is still a good horse. This year he has two-year-olds that are training and I've got good reports on them. Trainer Fred Grant has a colt by Shark Gesture out of Boca Babe. Fred owns the dam and owns a piece of the colt and said, 'he's very good-gaited, very sound, very willing and has lots of speed. I just love him.'" Trainer David Miller, currently training a two-year-old Shark Gesture filly named Hex, described her as a "big, strong, great-gaited, intelligent filly who is showing excellent speed." Another trainer, Jenny Melander, has a nice sturdy black filly named When Sharks Fly and echoed Miller's comments about Shark Gesture's offspring. "His foals are big and sturdy, with heart, speed, intelligence and strength," she said. Shark Gesture is truly an anomaly. How many horses return to the races two years after retiring and earn almost twice as much, facing battled-hardened competitors? In total, he posted 31 sub-1:50 miles, 16 of those 1:49 or better and four of those sub-1:49. As a 2-year-old, he won the Bluegrass Stakes (recording a freshman mark of 1:51.3), the Simpson Stakes and an elimination of the Breeders Crown. At three, he won the Breeders Crown, the Tattersalls Pace (with a sophomore speed mark of 1:49.1), the Bluegrass Stakes, the Simpson Stakes and the Progress Pace. In an abbreviated four-year-old season, he won the New Hampshire Sweepstakes. In his return to the races, he won the William R. Haughton Memorial two years in a row, the Canadian Pacing Derby Final (with a lifetime mark of 1:48.1), the Graduate Series twice, the Dan Patch Invitational Pace and the Bettor's Delight. He broke track records at Tioga Downs and Hoosier Park and tied the track record when he won the Canadian Pacing Derby. "He's won all the big races, beat all the good horses," Maddox said. "He beat Foiled Again (the top aged pacer last year) more than once. He beat Won The West. He's beat them all at one point or another. His owners believed in him so much, they told us the story (of why he retired and then returned to the races) and it was just a no-brainer for us." 2010 Graduate Final William R. Haughton Memorial Smiley recalled why he bought Shark Gesture. Even though he was big and growthy, Smiley liked him, viewing him six times. "There are certain horses you go to the auction and put a price on and you go to that price or a few bucks more," Smiley said. "With him I said I was buying him, period." Smiley subsequently offered shares to his brother, Gerald, and Thomas and Louis Pantone. Typical of a Cam's Card Shark offspring, Shark Gesture grew into his body from two to three. He stood about 17 hands high and had a long stride. Early in Shark Gesture's two-year-old season, he won the Bluegrass in 1:51 3/5, but he was still developing and growing. As a three-year-old, he did some amazing things, none more so than winning the Breeders Crown only a week after he fell down in a mishap in his elimination race for the final. He finished third and was moved up to second, but Norm Smiley and trainer Erv Miller feared the colt might not survive the accident. Once the bike and equipment were removed, Shark Gesture stood up and walked off as if nothing had happened, although he did have some cuts and abrasions. Driver Brian Sears, Miller, Smiley and the horse's vet shook their heads in disbelief. "If that's not a tough horse, I don't know what is," Smiley said. A week later, he won the Breeders Crown with George Brennan, who would become his principle driver, steering him in what was a clean trip, racing on or near the pace. "Nobody knew that horse like Georgie," Smiley said. "George was tremendous with that horse from the first time he drove him." Shark Gesture raced only eight times in an abbreviated four-year-old season and was retired, his notable victory in the New Hampshire. Some of the notable offspring from the 32 starters from his first crop as a sire include stakes winner Piston Broke, 1:49.2s ($291,131) and Best Ears, 1:49.4f, ($188,483). After Shark Gesture recovered from his injury and trained solidly, Norm Smiley made the decision to bring the horse back to the races. It would prove to be a shrewd decision. In 2009 at the age of six, Shark Gesture came into his own, racing 29 times and winning seven, including the Haughton Memorial and Canadian Pacing Derby and topping all pacers with more than $900,000 in earnings. At age seven, he raced 12 times and winning seven, notably the Graduate, Bettors Delight, Dan Patch (by a whopping 10½ lengths), and repeating in the Haughton. He finished second by a length in the Franklin. He was retired at the end of the season. "He was just amazing," Norm Smiley said. "This horse never got the respect he deserved. He was a tremendous racehorse." By Perry Lefko, for Harness Racing Update
DOVER, Del.---- Elite Awards wins fastest of three $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) $20,000 Three-Year-Old Male pace preliminaries, with Casino Bags Carlo and Go Big Spinder, the others while Emeritus Maximus takes the $30,000 Preferred Handicap on a speed-filled Thursday, March 28 at Dover Downs. George Dennis took Elite Awards to the front and continued on for a 1:54.2 success in the first DSBF $20,000 prelim winning for the second-straight time this year and building his career record to nine wins and a second in 10 races. Karen Walls owns the Powerful Toy-Silk Slips gelding trained by Dave Rearic who now has earned $114,225 lifetime. Art Retreat (Tim Tetrick) came on strong to finish second ahead of Hawker (Jeff Fout). The second DSBF prelim was all Casino Bags Carlo as Vince Copeland sailed out of post 7 and never looked back in a 1:54.4 decision. Last November's $100,000 DSBF Final winner made his seasonal debut in this one for Cavalli Pazzi Stables. The Roddly's Bags Again-Casino Bus soph gelding won for the sixth time in his career and now has banked $108,911 in his two seasons of racing. West Star Director (Ben Stafford Jr.) flew down the lane to finish second ahead of By A Noggin (Vic Kirby). Go Big Spinder rushed down the passing lane to score a 1:54.4 triumph in the other $20,000 DSBF prelim with Ron Pierce in the bike. Virginia Louthan, bred, owns and trains toe No Spin Zone-David's Art colt posting his second straight win and fourth of the year. Bobbies Power Play (Bryan Truitt) was second with front-pacing Lewiebyalength (Callahan), third. The DSBF second leg events will be raced Monday through Thursday, next week. The top eight point-getters in the action return the last week of the meet, April 7-10 for $100,000 finals. In the top race on the regular program, Tom Cancelliere's big buy of last Winter, Emeritus Maximus, stepped up to the $30,000 Preferred pace and Ron Pierce did the rest taking the Rocknroll Hanover-Eternity's Delight four-year-old right to the top and made all quarters winning ones for a 1:50.1 conquest. The win was the third in-a-row for the Tom Cancelliere trainee. Lindwood Player (Callahan) charged down the lane to finish second with Feel Like A Fool (Dennis) the show horse. The fastest clocking on the card came in the $17,500 4&5-Year-Old Open Handicap when KDM Stable's Tarpon Hanover made his first local start a 1:49.2 lifetime best as David Miller guided the Badlands Hanover-Tarport Herald four-year-old conditioned by Nick Surick to his second straight win and third of the year. Just A Jolt (Tim Tetrick) was runner-up. EZ Noah (Pierce) took third. . David Miller piloted his second of three wins steering Mike Horn and Bobby Rice's Dirty Devil, a Real Artist-Ms Eyes And Thighs gelding, home in 1:51.2 to win the first of two $15,000 Male Winners-Over paces. Manhattan Rusty N (Callahan) and Poker Hat (Tetrick) were second and third respectively. In another $15,000 division, Kim Vincent left hard with Varsity Hanover and sat second behind Fire In The Belly, who raced outside from the start until reaching the backstretch. Varsity Hanover then came strong in the stretch for owner-trainer Jim Whalen Jr. to get up in 1:51.3 at 8-1 odds. Finishing second was the first loss after five consecutive wins for the game Fire In The Belly. Jolt Of Fire (Allan Davis) was third. Callahan, in his first action since returning from racing in Australia last week, and Miller had three wins each. Tetrick and Pierce made the winner's circle twice. There is no live racing on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday racing begins at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. To watch races and dine in the Winner's Circle restaurant, call 302-674-4600 for reservations. There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
Brad Grant saw winning streaks come to an end last week for Apprentice Hanover and Wake Up Peter, but the harness racing owner is hoping his 4-year-old pacers will return to posting victories Saturday night. Wake Up Peter competes in the $83,000 Clyde Hirt Series final at Meadowlands Racetrack while Apprentice Hanover races in the second round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers. Also in action for Grant in the Levy is Word Power. Last week, Wake Up Peter saw his four-race win streak halted by a ninth-place finish in his second leg of the Hirt Series. Wake Up Peter, driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Larry Remmen, lost a shoe and went off stride from the second-over position on the final turn. "We were disappointed with his race last week, but you throw it out," Grant said. "Hopefully he'll have a good week." Wake Up Peter has won four of five starts this year and earned $34,250. He won his first-round division of the Hirt Series from post nine in 1:51.3 before losing from post one last week. He drew post 10 for the final. "He drew the inside and didn't have any luck, and the week before he won out of the (nine) hole, so maybe it's a sign," Grant said, laughing. Avatartist, who won both his preliminary divisions of the series, drew post two for the final for trainer Tony O'Sullivan and driver David Miller. O'Sullivan's Ontario Success, who also won a prelim, got post seven with driver John Campbell while Teresa's Beach, who won his second round of the Hirt, got post eight for trainer Johnny Waite and driver Bret Brittingham. At Yonkers on Saturday, Apprentice Hanover will race in the third of four $50,000 second-round Levy divisions. Apprentice Hanover saw a nine-race win streak halted last week by a dead-heat second-place finish behind Foiled Again. "We caught a nine-race win streak, and then you run into the wall," Grant said, with the "wall" being 10-year-old Foiled Again, who is the richest harness racing horse in North American history and the three-time defending Dan Patch Award winner for best older male pacer. Apprentice Hanover, driven regularly by Jody Jamieson, won just two of his first 15 starts last year, but turned the corner for trainer Ben Wallace after being treated for an ulcer. "He had some health issues and he seems to be over them and responded well," Grant said. "Ben has worked hard at it; his people have worked hard at it. Jody brought him back carefully and drove him carefully. As much as it's good for me as an owner, it's nice to see their hard work rewarded. He's responded and hopefully he'll keep going." Apprentice Hanover will start from post one in his Levy division. His race also includes first-round winners Easy Again and Mach It So. Word Power, trained by Remmen and driven by Jamieson, will start from post four in his second round of the series. His split also includes first-round winner Bettor's Edge. Word Power finished fourth last week, beaten by three lengths by Mach It So, in his first start of the season. "I thought he could have done better the other night, but I understand because it was his first start out," Grant said. "Hindsight is a great thing; maybe if we had a race under his belt Jody would have gotten him into the race a little bit more. I thought we caught one of the lighter divisions that night and maybe it would have been a chance to take advantage of it, but it didn't work out that way. "I think the colt is competitive, but I don't think he matches up against some of the older veterans yet." Apprentice Hanover and Word Power have ample stakes schedules following the Levy Series while Wake Up Peter has the Whata Baron Series at the Meadowlands. "We're just going to race him around and see how it goes," Grant said about Wake Up Peter. "I don't think he's at the level of Apprentice or Word Power or the rest of the horses. He's a horse that this year we didn't plan on staking a lot. He's got one more series after this at the Meadowlands and really that's it for him." Wake Up Peter was winless in 19 races last year, but earned $307,091 while racing out of the stable of trainer Tony Alagna. Grant bought the horse in January. "I'd raced against him for the last two years and I always liked him," Grant said. "He comes out of a great barn and came to us in great shape. "He made a lot of money chasing horses, but he ain't going to make that kind of money chasing them anymore. He's got to get his confidence. Larry and Ray (Remmen) both feel this year we'll pick our spots and race him around and braven him up. Hopefully he'll get stronger and we'll see what next year brings." As for Apprentice Hanover, who has won 16 of 35 lifetime races and $597,105, and Word Power, who has won seven of 19 and banked $382,584, time will tell. "It's all going to depend how they perform as to how far we'll go with them," Grant said. "We're going to give them every opportunity, that's for sure. It's a tough transition year for a 4-year-old; the older horses are lasting longer, racing longer, racing better. "You've got The Captain (Captaintreacherous) coming back, you've got Vegas Vacation coming back, Sunshine Beach coming back, so there's a good crop of 4-year-olds out there plus the older horses that you've got to race against. It's going to be great racing for the fans. "This is a learning year for us. We're going to try to pick our spots and hopefully take home some of the spoils." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
With series action heating up and some more recognizable names populating the entries, Saturday nights at The Meadowlands are beginning to feel more event-like. Golden Receiver is back and delivered a gallant 1:49.3 win in the $30,000 FFA, out gaming Dovuto Hanover to the wire after having been headed by that one in mid-stretch. Corey Callahan had Golden Receiver on the good foot off the wings, crossed over before the first turn and was on a clear, comfortable lead past the half in 54.2. Dovuto Hanover had beaten Golden Receiver two weeks ago with an extended hard brush and driver Tim Tetrick attempted to repeat that bull rush strategy tonight. Dovuto won the stretch battle for several strides, poking his head in front temporarily before eventually losing the war. Golden Receiver was winning for the sixtieth time in his storied career for owners Our Horse Cents Stable and Nina Simmonds. Mark Harder has his stable stalwart prepared for another successful campaign. The $20,000 first leg of the Clyde Hirt series split three ways and division one opened the evening's card with a surprise winner in Ontario Success. The two post time favorites dueled through the first turn with Burkentine Hanover wrestling the lead from Sea And Ski just past the 27.4 quarter. When the pace slowed slightly as they neared the half, Sea And Ski got rough-gaited in the pocket and broke. Scott Zeron had placed Ontario Success well back early, moved behind live cover third over and swept by in the shadow of the wire for the 1:51.2 score. The winner returned $15.80 and coupled with 40-1 bomb Summer Smackdown second and mid-priced Stars Above third the $1,447 trifecta got the night off to a lucrative start for the few lucky ticket holders. Ontario Success is owned by Emerald Highlands Farm and trained by Tony O'Sullivan, who came right back to win the second division of the Hirt with another Woodbine shipper, Avatartist. Driver David Miller employed the "Go to the front and improve your position" strategy with Avatartist, clearing quickly from the outside post eight and sent an even pace throughout. Favored Andrew Luck pressed the leader around the final bend and before succumbing and dropped the place photo to Teresa's Beach. Avartist became harness racing's latest 1:50 performer with the win for owners William Hill, Peter Harrison, Mike Saftic and James Walker all from north of the border. The third division of the Clyde Hirt came down to a nose photo and the nose on the wire was Wake Up Peter. The 3-5 favorite, Wake Up Peter, sat a second over trip around the far turn which was paced in 27 seconds flat and used every inch of The Meadowlands stretch to just nail CC Heet Seeker on the wire, who cut the fractions at 17-1. For Wake Up Peter, it was the fourth win in as many starts and the third consecutive since Larry Remmen purchased him for owner Bradley Grant at the January Tatersalls Sale. The driver of Wake Up Peter had a big week as Scott Zeron won seven races over the three-day span at The Meadowlands, including three on tonight's program. Total handle for the Saturday program was $3,354,414 which included slight gains on-track. A reminder that The Meadowlands has added a live racing card and will race this coming Thursday, March 20th, with first post time at 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali
East Rutherford, NJ: Beginning on Saturday, March 22 The Meadowlands will host a six week tournament for drivers that pits the sport's established stars against the emerging new talent. Each Saturday night through April 19 (five legs) a point tally determined by each driver's order of finish will be kept over the course of the entire race card and the top point earner for each of those two groups will be awarded $2,000 for their efforts. The tournament will conclude on April 26 with a final in which the top point earners over the course of the five preliminary legs will compete in a series of races on the card. The winner of the final will be awarded $15,000, second place is worth $5,000, third $3,000 and all other finalists will receive $1,000. This event is jointly sponsored by Jeff Gural and The Meadowlands with no effect on the purse account. "During the Levy Series at Yonkers I thought this would be an opportunity to reward those drivers who remain loyal to the Meadowlands and at the same time create an opportunity for the younger drivers to earn some extra money," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "With increased competition for the handle looming we feel the need to generate promotions that will hold the interest of our customers. "I think this is also a great chance for out of town drivers to show off their skills at the sport's most competitive racetrack during a time when there will be increased opportunity for them to get drives. We welcome those young drivers that would like to try their luck at The Meadowlands." There will be no specifically dedicated races for this contest. All drivers will be competing for their own interests, there is no team element other than to determine the top point earners for the purpose of awarding the prizes. The contest will consist of all races on each of the Saturday programs and the process will remain as it normally is so far as entering horses and driver selections. The trainers will enter their horses listing the driver of their choice. The drivers will make their choices with the judges by scratch time and trainers will be required to call the judges and react to those choices, then name whomever they wish if their first choice has gone elsewhere. The "Legends" will be comprised of Yannick Gingras, David Miller, Corey Callahan, Tim Tetrick, Andy Miller and John Campbell (who expects to return to the sulky on March 28). The "Phenoms" will include Scott Zeron, Andy Mc Carthy, Joe Bongiorno, Marcus Miller, Jimmy Marohn, Jr, and Tyler Smith among others. Any drivers not listed above who race at The Meadowlands on the tournament Saturdays will compete as members of the "Phenoms" and are eligible for any prize awarded to that group. The drivers named above and any others will compete of their own volition, as their personal schedule allows. They may compete in as many or as few of the preliminary legs as they choose. Contact Nick Salvi at (607) 972-5500 with inquiries.
Trainer Joe Holloway hopes to have a good time racing 4-year-old female pacers Shebestingin and Somwherovrarainbow this season and thinks both mares could have strong campaigns as they make the jump to facing older foes. Shebestingin, who last year set the record for the fastest mile ever by a female pacer when she won in 1:47 at Lexington's Red Mile, likely is two weeks from qualifying. Somwherovrarainbow, who joined Holloway's stable at the end of last year, makes her seasonal debut Friday night in the B1/A2 handicap for fillies and mares at Meadowlands Racetrack. Somwherovrarainbow is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line, starting from post six with driver Tim Tetrick. Six-year-old Monkey On My Wheel, who won a Breeders Crown at age 3 and has earned $1.34 million lifetime, is the 2-1 favorite from post seven, with driver David Miller at the lines for trainer Andrew Harris. Friday's card at the Meadowlands also includes two opening-round divisions of the Horse & Groom Series for trotters and the second leg of the Winter Survivor Series for pacers. "We'll see how it plays out, but I think they'll both compete very good as 4-year-olds against the aged mares," Holloway said about Shebestingin and Somwherovrarainbow. "Right now, Sting couldn't train back any better. I think Rainbow could have a really good year; I'm excited about her. But I'm very excited about Sting." Somwherovrarainbow's start Friday is a prep for the upcoming Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway. Among the mares eligible to the Matchmaker, which begins March 21, are three-time defending Dan Patch Award winner Anndrovette and last year's series champion Feeling You. A daughter of two Horse of the Year winners - stallion Somebeachsomewhere and mare Rainbow Blue - Somwherovrarainbow was the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old filly pacer. Last year, she won five of 14 races and earned $359,103, pushing her career totals to 12 victories and $886,259. Bred by trainer George Teague Jr. and K&R Racing, she was owned most of last year by Teague, K&R Racing and Ted Gewertz. As of November, she has been owned by Gewertz and Diamond Creek Racing. She made one start for Holloway last season, finishing third in the $167,500 Nadia Lobell at the Meadowlands on Nov. 30. The race was won by Shebestingin. Somwherovrarainbow won two qualifiers last month at the Big M; the first in 1:55.2 and the second in 1:53.3, both with Brian Sears in the sulky. "Obviously she was a good horse before," Holloway said. "I think she's considerably better than she was at the end of last year. She's put on weight and doing well. She qualified well; Brian was happy with her." Holloway plans to start Shebestingin in several overnight races before heading to the $50,000 Miami Valley Distaff on May 4 at Ohio's new Miami Valley Raceway. Her first major stakes appearance should come in the Roses Are Red in June at Mohawk Racetrack in Canada. "Even though I don't have the Matchmaker for her, you really can't just sit around until June; you've got to be tight," Holloway said. "I never took Rainbow out of training because I thought she needed to put on weight and muscle. So we did two different types of (programs) bringing them back." Holloway, who trained 1996 Dan Patch Award winning older female pacer She's A Great Lady, expects this year's group of 4-year-olds to make the mare division even tougher in 2014. Shebestingin and Somwherovrarainbow ranked No. 2 and No. 4 in earnings among 3-year-old filly pacers last year; division champion I Luv The Nitelife and Charisma Hanover were first and third, respectively. "Last year's 3-year-old filly crop was very good, I thought the depth in that division was pretty good, so you've got some good ones coming into the division," Holloway said. "I don't think I would trade either one of mine. "With the mares, you might as well race them; you can only have one (foal) with them. And at least now they can make more money. Back when I raced She's A Great Lady you could win everything and make like $300,000. It's better than it used to be that way." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
Yannick Gingras says it will be a challenge for Time To Quit to win the Charles Singer Memorial Series at Meadowlands Racetrack, but for now the Big M's leading driver is focused on Thursday's second round. Time To Quit, who is unbeaten in four starts this season, races in the second of two $15,000 second-leg divisions of the restricted series for 3- and 4-year-old trotters. Trained by Ron Burke, the 4-year-old gelding is joined by entry mate Winbak Sullivan at 4-5 on the morning line. Perfect Alliance, a 4-year-old female trotter racing out of the stable of trainer Julie Miller and undefeated in three starts this season, is the 3-5 morning line choice in the first division. Last week, Time To Quit won his Singer division by a head over Clementine Dream in 1:56.2. Perfect Alliance, driven by Andy Miller, won her division by 7-3/4 lengths over Ray Hall in 1:53.3. This week, both trotters start from post eight in eight-horse fields. The $52,500 Charles Singer Memorial Series final is March 8. "I'm not sure he can go with Perfect Alliance," said Gingras, who leads all Meadowlands drivers with 55 victories this year and a 27 percent win rate. "Thankfully, she's in the other division again. She's done it three (starts) in a row. I think she's the only horse that can win from the outside, the rest need an inside post and a trip. "But there are some nice horses in there. Ray Hall is definitely a nice horse and Cajole Hanover and Clementine Dream have a chance too. It'll be interesting." Of course, Time To Quit first needs to get through this week. Mark Harder's Clementine Dream is the 5-2 second choice in the second Singer division, starting from post two with driver Scott Zeron, and Ross Croghan's Cajole Hanover is 5-1 from post five with driver David Miller. Time To Quit, a son of stallion Chocolatier out of the mare Lovable Truth, won the $46,500 Super Bowl Series final by 1-3/4 lengths over Clementine Dream on Jan. 22, one week after besting Cajole Hanover by a nose in the second round. "He's been really good and he'll be first-time Lasix this week, so that should help too," Gingras said. "He can carry his speed pretty well. He's been on the front a lot so far this year, but he doesn't need to be there. He can do it any way; he's a big, strong horse." In the first division of the Singer, Gingras drives Burke-trained You Rock My World. The horse starts from post one and is joined by entry mate Cocotier, driven by Zeron, at 10-1 on the morning line. You Rock My World, a 4-year-old gelding, won one of 19 starts last season, but finished the year by hitting the board in three consecutive conditioned races. He won a conditioned race in 1:57 at the Meadowlands on Feb. 6, but finished seventh in his first round of the Singer after leading the field to the opening quarter in :27.1. "It was too much early, a little more than he could handle," Gingras said. "But he's good to drive and good gaited." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
DOVER, Del.---- Baximum, who had been knocking for week's won last week's $20,000 Open Handicap trot beating Green Day and Cash On Delivery. All return for the Wednesday, Feb. 26 feature race at Dover Downs. First post is 4:30 p.m. Again Daryl Bier raced Baximum from off the pace for trainer Bobby Clark and owners Tina Clark and Joe Clark. The veteran trotter was last but three-wide at the three quarters before storming home a 1:54.4 winner. Walt Callam's Spunky Jack was racing second and made two missteps in the lane but was quickly returned to trotting by Roger Plante and still finished second. Corey Callahan hustled Mandabra, owned by C.A. Bonuccelli and Nick and Shaun Callahan, up to finish third. Mary Raymer's veteran Green Day has shown signs of returning to the form which enabled the 10-year-old to bank more than $1.3 million in his career. Vic Kirby will back in the driver's seat. David Miller's Cash On Delivery, teamed with Vince Copeland, appears to have returned to top form. Barbara Boese's Awsome Valley, driven by Tony Morgan, was not at his best a week ago, and starts from post 6 in the select field. A highly competitive $15,000 Winners-Over trot is the sub-feature, Chris Giaccio and driver Vic Kirby's Can Do steps up after an impressive win last Wednesday. Looking Hanover (Ron Pierce) another $1-million winner, is back in top form. I'm So Striking (Eddie Dennis) drew the rail for Lois and Earl Walters and E&K Stables while Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta's Enrico AS (Allan Davis) drops down from the Open ranks in the eight-horse field. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs