Day At The Track
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HARRINGTON, Del. - Frank Chick's Majestic Mistress ($24.20, Russell Foster) was a 1:56.4 winner in the $18,000 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. The 6-year-old Majestic Son mare led every call for trainer Kevin Lare in achieving her 8th win of the year. It was the first start in her last eight which her odds were greater than 6-to-1. Blownoutofthewater rallied for second while Jammin Jack, who had won three straight, finished third. Mike Cole and Art Stafford Jr. had three wins on the program.   Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - Artrageous ($3.60, Art Stafford Jr.) notched her second straight harness racing win Tuesday at Harrington Raceway with a 1:53 triumph in the $18,000 Mares Open. Trained by Andrew Stafford for the partnership group of Bonnie Benson, John Johannsen, Andrew Stafford and Holly Case, the 5-year-old Art Major mare left the gate from post position five and authored fractions of 27.2, 56 and 1:24.4 before holding off Valuable Art, who finished a game second, to the wire. Sayulita was third. It was the 16th career win for Artrageous, whose earned $326,915 in her career. It was the second straight win on the card for driver Stafford, who had previously guided Better Decision N to victory in the 5th, a sub-featured $10,000 conditioned pace for co-owner/trainer Josh Parker. Live racing continues on a Monday through Wednesday schedule. Post time is 5 p.m.   Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - George Leager's Slick Tony ($6.80, Russell Foster) was a repeat harness racing winner Monday in the featured $16,000 Open at Harrington Raceway in 1:51.4. The win looked like an instant replay from his win on May 13 as he once again battled first-over against leader Blazing Bobby Sox and used a steady and sustained charge to clear the lead and draw away from his rivals late for owner/trainer Leager. Q's Cruise closed well late to be second, while Blazing Bobby Sox was third. It was the 24th career win for Slick Tony, a 4-year-old No Spin Zone stallion, who has banked more than $80,000 this year and nearly $500,000 in his career.   Matthew Sparacino  

HARRINGTON, Del. - Artrageous ($3.20, Art Stafford Jr.) was a 1:53.4 winner in the $11,000 Mares Open II Tuesday at Harrington Raceway. The 5-year-old Art Major mare led every call for trainer Andrew Stafford, who co-owns the mare with partners Bonnie Benson, John Johannsen and Holly Case. Moments of Joy was second with Roselily third. Artrageous notched her 15th career win in 53 lifetime starts for trainer and co-owner Andrew Stafford. Stafford Jr., Victor Kirby, and Mike Cole each won three races on the card.   Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - Victor Kirby's Jammin Jack ($3, Kirby) won his third straight harness race as he marched to a 1:56.2 triumph in the $18,000 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. Majestic Mistress took the early lead from post eight and led the field of six through fractions of 28.1, 57.4 and 1:27.2 while favorite Jammin Jack started his first over grind. "Jack" began to wear down the leaders near the three-quarters and drew away from the field as Majestic Mistress went off stride. Jammin Jack opened up multiple lengths on the field and hit the wire first as Battle Mage was second and Five Towns held third. Jammin Jack has already eclipsed his 3-year-old earnings with more than $60,000 banked in 2019. The 4-year-old Angus Hall gelding has won 11 of 31 lifetime starts. Driver Mike Cole had three wins on the program. Art Stafford Jr. and Kirby each had a double.   Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - George Teague Jr. and Teague Racing Partnership's Daiymir ($3, Montrell Teague) was a 1:51.3 winner in the $17,000 harnes racing Open Monday at Harrington Raceway. The 5-year-old Mr. Wiggles stallion utilized his rail post position to control the tempo throughout as he won by a length over Blazing Bobby Sox, who rallied for second, and third place finisher Little Ben. It was his fifth win of the year. Trained by Clyde Francis, it was his 19th career victory. Tiger Thompson N ($2.80, Art Stafford Jr.) won the $11,000 sub-feature in 1:52.1 over Silver Fox J and Ideal Kiss. Trained by Josh Parker for owners Nanticoke Racing, Parker, Steve Messick and Prestige Stables, it was the fifth win of the season for the 6-year-old Big Jim gelding. Ross Wolfenden, Stafford, Teague and Victor Kirby each had two wins on the card.   Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - Frank Chick's Majestic Mistress ($7.80, Russell Foster) was a 1:56.4 winner in the featured $18,000 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. The 6-year-old Majestic Son harness racing mare sat second much of the mile behind pacesetter Ridgeway Springs, before surging clear in the stretch via the passing lane for an open length win for trainer Kevin Lare. It was the seventh win of the year for Majestic Mistress. Battle Mage finished second, while favored Jack Vernon closed late for third. Majestic Mistress, who had been racing in Pennsylvania, returned to Harrington a winner. She was the scourge of the Open ranks for a stint last year when she won three straight over the half-mile track. Mike Cole had three wins on the card. Sean Bier had a double.   Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - George Leager's Slick Tony ($5.80, Russell Foster) was a 1:52.4 winner in the $18,000 Open Monday at Harrington Raceway. The 4-year-old No Spin Zone stallion surged to the lead in the stretch, passing pacesetter Blazing Bobby Sox for his fourth harness racing win of the year. Sicily was third. Slick Tony settled in fourth position early before a game first over bid under confident handling by Foster. Trained by Leager, it was the 22nd career win in 48 starts for "Tony," who was the youngest horse in the field. Jo Ann Looney-King's Little Ben ($3.60, Victor Kirby) won the sub-featured $11,000 Open II in 1:52.3 for trainer Jim King Jr. Kirby and Ross Wolfenden each had four wins.   Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - Legacy Racing of Delaware's Delishka N ($6, Art Stafford Jr.) was a repeat harness racing winner in the $16,000 Mares Open Tuesday at Harrington Raceway in 1:54.1. A field of seven went post ward in the top weekly event for distaff pacers. Delishka N was sent off as the second choice at odds of 2-to-1 in her bid for a fifth win on the season. The 6-year-old Bettors Delight mare left alertly from post position six and never relented in her wire-to-wire score over She's A Billionair and Sayulita. Trained by Wayne Givens, Delishka notched her 20th career win. It was the third win on the card for Stafford Jr. Donnie Long and Ross Wolfenden each had a double.   Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - Bill Emmons' Battle Mage ($12, Ross Wolfenden) was a 1:56.4 harness racing upset winner in the $11,000 Open II Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. The 7-year-old daughter of Kadabra cleared early leader Majestic Marvel late for her second win of the season. Ridgeway Springs was third. Trained by Eric Ell, "Mage" registered her 18th career win. Veteran trotter Uwantapieceofme ($63.20, Mike Cole) notched his 50th career win in upset fashion for owners George and Tina Dennis in 1:58.1. The Joe Columbo-trainee assumed command late after second-choice Blownoutofthewater made a break in the final turn. The 13-year-old son of SJ's Photo has banked nearly $500,000 lifetime in 359 career starts. Matt Sparacino    

HARRINGTON, Del. - Delishka N ($3.80, Art Stafford Jr.) continued her stellar 2019 harness racing campaign with a 1:54.2 victory in the $18,000 Mares Open at Harrington Raceway Tuesday. Owned by Legacy Racing, Nanticoke Racing, Reginald Hazzard and Gary Calloway, the 6-year-old Bettors Delight pulled the pocket on pacesetter Nerida Franco N shortly after the half-mile and battled on the outside before edging clear of the latter in deep stretch for a narrow win. Shes A Billionair was third. Trained by Wayne Givens, Delishka notched her fourth win of the year. She was recently named Horse of the Meet by the Delaware Valley Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. It was one of three wins on the card for Stafford. Mike Cole, Victor Kirby, Montrell Teague and Tony Morgan each had a pair of wins. Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harrington Raceway's 73rd season of live harness racing kicked off Monday with a 12-race program that saw wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour. Inside horses ruled the program as horses from post three or better won 10 of 12 races. Not until the seventh race, the $15,000 featured Delaware Special did a horse outside post three reign victorious. George Leager's Slick Tony ($23.20, Russell Foster), who started from post position four was a 1:54 winner over Daiymir and Q's Cruise. The Leager-trainee notched his third win of the year after nabbing the lead late and holding off a late charge from Daiymir. It wasn't until race 11 that a horse outside post four prevailed when Silver Fox J ($7, Mike Cole) triumphed. Victor Kirby had a driving triple, while last year's leading trainer/driver combination of Joe Columbo and Mike Cole each had a double. Live racing will continue on a Monday through Wednesday schedule   Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harrington Raceway's 73rd season of live harness racing opens Monday April 15 with a 12-race program a new 4:30 p.m. nightly post time. Racing will be conducted on a Monday through Wednesday schedule until the break on June 26. The opening day feature is a $15,000 Delaware Special for pacers, featuring claimer extraordinaire William Sartin's Always The Sun (3/1, Allan Davis), who was runner up for horse of the meet honors at Dover Downs after a stellar campaign in which he won his last three races in succession and 10 total at the meet. He will start from post two in a stout field of six that also includes morning line favorite Q's Cruise (5/2, Ross Wolfenden) for owner Jo Ann Looney-King, who recently won in a high-level conditioned event at Yonkers Raceway (Ny). George and Tina Dennis' Forty Five Red (5/1, Mike Cole), George Leager's Slick Tony (6/1, Russell Foster), Legacy Racing of Delaware and Reggie Hazzard's Sicily (4/1, Victor Kirby) and George Teague Jr. and Teague Racing Partnership's Daimyir (9/2, Montrell Teague) complete the field. The wagering format features a 50-cent based pick four in races 3 through 6 and also the last four races on the program (9-12). Superfecta wagering is available in the even-numbered races. Reservations in the trackside clubhouse dining venue are recommended through the season and can be obtained by calling 302-398-5928.   Matthew Sparacino

Tim Torbert got to race New Zealand-bred harness racing mare Terro Franco only a handful of times, but he has enjoyed a good deal of success with her offspring. The most recent of the group, filly pacer Roddys At It Again, was a Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund champion last year at age 2 and will try to add another title Wednesday (April 3) at Dover Downs. Roddys At It Again, co-bred by Torbert and owned by his fiance Katie Killen, is by stakes-winning stallion Roddy's Bags Again. Torbert trained Roddy's Bags Again for much of his career for then-owner Robert Messick. He also trained the stallion's mom, Get The Bags, so he's well connected to Roddys At It Again's family. "Roddy's mother was the first horse I bought for Mr. Messick," said Torbert, a 43-year-old resident of Harrington, Del. "With me training Roddy and all, it all works out nice. "If she has any qualities from either one (of her parents) it's her versatility. I could leave and put her on the front or she's just as happy to race from off the pace. I'd have no problem with her getting away in the middle of the field and pulling early. She's pretty good either way." Roddys At It Again is the sixth foal out of Terro Franco, who saw her career ended by injury after only five starts for Torbert, and the fourth to reach six figures in purses. Two of Roddys At It Again's siblings, Roddy's Girl and Fran Luck, were runners-up in DSBF finals for Torbert. Last year, Roddys At It Again won four of nine races and earned $94,500. She was third in the DSBF final for 2-year-old filly pacers at Harrington in October and captured the DSBF championship at Dover Downs in November. "It was about what I expected," Torbert said of the filly's 2018 campaign. "I think I got a little lucky winning the final last year. It seems like all the better ones got sick and I got over it a little sooner than they did. In my opinion, there are like four of us in there that are very equal. It's just going to depend on the trip." This season, Roddys At It Again has started twice and finished second both times. She enters the $100,000 DSBF final for 3-year-old filly pacers off a neck setback to The Lady Sheriff in 1:54. She will start Wednesday from post four with driver Art Stafford Jr. and is 9-2 on the morning line. In And Out Again, a winner in both her DSBF eliminations, is the 5-2 favorite for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jason Skinner. "I had some issues with (Roddys At It Again) early but I've got that all straightened out," Torbert said. "I was tickled with her mile last week and I think she's heading into the final the best she can be. I expect a little better effort. If we get beat, we get beat. But they're going to know we're there." The DSBF championship is race eight on Wednesday's card. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). For Wednesday's complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com  

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harrington Raceway's 73rd season of live harness racing will commence on April 15 with a few changes for the coming season. A new 4:30 p.m. nightly post time is in place for the 62-day live racing schedule, which will be conducted primarily on Monday through Wednesday with a few exceptions. When racing resumes on August 19, racing for the balance of the month will be on Mondays and Tuesdays until the normal three-day schedule resumes on September 2. As has been customary for many years, there will be one day of racing in July, on July 25 during the Delaware State Fair for the annual Governor's Day card (special 7 p.m. post time). Also new this season is that long-time assistant race secretary Mark Short has been named racing secretary. Short, who has worked in racing for nearly 25 years, has worked under the guidance of many race secretaries, including Ted Leonard, Bruce Munn, Don Knapton, Rod Newhart, Mick Myers and Kevin Mack. Mack is the current Director of Racing at Harrington. Short, also has served in various other capacities at the racetrack, including photo finish operator. "Mark has a wealth of experience in the race office," said Harrington Raceway COO of Racing Jim Boese. "He works well with everyone and is an asset to our operation." Horsemen are reminded that April 1 is the deadline for racing applications, which are available on the Harrington Raceway website. The first draw is April 9 and first qualifying races are April 10.   Matt Sparacino  

Fifty years ago this month, private citizen David Penrose Buckson greeted some 8,000 curious patrons to his creation, Dover Downs, and thoroughbred racing. They bet over $500,000. Fifty years ago this year, Attorney General David Penrose Buckson headed up the First State’s newly created Department of Justice, effectively ending Delaware’s commission form of government. Buckson had laid the groundwork by placing the AG’s offices in all counties rather than only in Wilmington. The affable Buckson bought some 200 acres of prime land just outside Dover from businessman Tom Murray, whose property previously was owned by our great, great grandfather. In Dover Downs, Buckson envisioned a year-round facility of harness racing, thoroughbred racing, auto racing, and more. Buckson built a 5/8-mile horse racing track surrounded by a mile auto racing track. He flew to Charlotte N.C. and brought the France family and NASCAR to Dover with Richard Petty, the Allision’s, and Yarborough’s tagging along. Buckson drove to Nazareth PA and brought Mario Andretti to drive his Indy car in a short-run series (because the banking was too steep for Indy cars). Dave got his harness racing friends to compete: future Hall of Famers Stanley Dancer, Billy Haughton, Herve Filion, et al. Local standout, Eddie Davis displayed his talents here. He brought in a major Philadelphia concessionaire to run his restaurant — all first class! With the introduction of gambling in Atlantic City, Dover Downs experienced financial problems as did all neighboring facilities such as Brandywine, Liberty Bell and Garden State Park. Wilmington entrepreneur, John Rollins, who was Buckson’s partner in Purple and Red Racing Stables, came to the rescue. When the Horse Racing Redevelopment Act of 1994 passed the State Legislature, slots and harness racing once again flourished in Dover. Although Dover Downs management honored him in death as his ashes were spread around the track he built and where he raced his national season champion trotter Ms Becky Pick, and his pacer Jefferic Adios (named for Rollins’ son, Jeff, and Buckson’s son, Eric), Buckson is mainly long forgotten. Dover Downs hosts two of harness racing’s oldest stakes events in late fall: the Matron and the Progress — eliminations and finals. One was recently named after a former Rollins Brandywine official and later Dover Downs president. Hopefully, new owner, Twin River, will remember Dover Downs founder David P Buckson by honoring him this same way. Perhaps, Dover Motorsports CEO, Denis McGlynn, who has been at Dover for most of the 50 years might find something in the two NASCAR events televised around the world. We would be remiss if we did not mention that David has been consistently controversial over the years. Buckson is a name remembered by thousands of children he helped and families he kept together in his 20 years as judge in Kent County’s Family Court. He is remembered in Columbus, Ohio by the United States Trotting Association where he was elected as a district director; at the Harness Racing Hall of Fame for Goshen, N.Y. where he had been proclaimed Amateur Diver of the Year; in Charlotte N.C., home of NASCAR, at Harness Horse International, a horseman’s organization he co-founded; at Cloverleaf Owner’s Association, a horseman’s organization where he served as president. Celia Cohen did not forget him in her book, “Only in Delaware”. Tom Carper did not forget Buckson as he was a regular birthday greeter and visitor. But, at the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame, where he has been nominated half a dozen times, at the Delaware Department of Justice, and at Dover Downs, he is totally forgotten. Just think of all the people employed at Dover Downs over the years, think of all the taxes paid; think of all the purses paid in horse racing; think of all the prize money in auto racing; think of all the tourism; think of all the worldwide TV enjoyment from NASCAR and simulcasting; think of all the DOJ decisions and effects; think of all the Deputy AG’s who started there. Dammit, think of Dave Buckson as George Bernard Shaw stated so eloquently “. . . some people see things as they are and say. Why?; I dream things that never were and say, Why not?” Dave Buckson personifies the “Why Not?” Daniel M Wilson, a resident of Cleveland, formerly lived in Dover and Dewey Beach. Reprinted with permission of the Delaware State News    

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