HARRINGTON, Del. - Jim Morand entered the record books Tuesday at Harrington Raceway becoming just the 15th driver in North American harness racing history to reach 9,000 wins. Morand, who drove three winners on the program, achieved the milestone win aboard Brenda Teague's Remus Blue Chip ($17.80) in the 13th race. Morand, a native of Windsor, Ontario, learned harness racing under the tutelage of his step father Gerry Bookmyer after moving to Ohio at a young age. He's driven such top horses as Little Brown Jug elimination winner Kiev Hanover, Nuclear Breeze, 2004 Horse of the Year Rainbow Blue, Stampede Hanover, among many others through the course of his career. "I've been lucky to drive a lot of good horses over the years for a lot of great people," said Morand humbly in the winner's circle. "We moved to Delaware shortly after the slots came and it's a nice place to live." Before making the move to Delaware, Morand spent most of his career at Rosecroft Raceway where he dominated the Maryland circuit for many years. His wife Melanie, and three children, sons Kyle and James and daughter Olivia were on hand to see their father reach hallowed ground. Prior to Morand, Ron Pierce was the last to reach 9,000 wins in 2013. Another driving milestone was reached on the Harrington program as Bret Brittingham drove his 2,000th winner aboard Fleeting Flirt N ($5.80) in the ninth race. Brittingham has been a regular on the Delaware circuit for years along with his father, trainer Don Brittingham. The Brittingham stable has trained three recent Horse of the Meet winners at Harrington, including As Bad As Thunder, Raritan Bay and Artciano. Driver George Dennis also had a driving triple on the program. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway
DOVER, Del.---- DVC Jazzy Jolt was strongest in the stretch to win the first of two $9,500 3,4&5-Year-Old co-feature on a rainy Sunday over a 'sloppy' track on March 2 at Dover Downs. Driver Ross Wolfenden had a 'grand slam,' including Company After Six in the other division. Ross Wolfenden drove both co-feature races. He scored the second of consecutive winning drives piloting trainer Ursula Berndt and Frank Bianchi's Village Jolt-Jazzy Jam gelding to his first win of 2014. While White Sports coat (Ron Pierce) cut out the early fractions, Wolfeden was content to wait fourth until the stretch before making a speedy bid to overtake the leader. Martz Creek Perry (Tony Morgan) got up to edge Thetruthaboutdavid for third. Chris Short's Company After Six was another Wolfenden win. The New Zealand-born chauffeur guided the Company Stock-T's Kicks After Six gelding home in a lifetime fastest 1:55 besting Tune Up (Bret Brittingham) and So Unexpected (Allan Davis), second and third respectively; Wolfenden completed his four winning drives connecting with Jeanmarie Kurowski's Osceola Gold in 1:56.2 taking a Delaware $7,500 Claiming Alllowance. In addition to Wolfenden's four; Allan Davis, Bret Brittingham and trainer Don Brittingham had doubles. Paradise Lost, last week's upset winner, Jeremes Sweetheart and streaking JK Letitgo lead the Monday $20,000 distaff feature. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. There is no live racing on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday racing begins at 5:30 p.m. To watch races and dine in the Winner's Circle restaurant, call 302-674-4600 3for 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 in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. 0 by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
DOVER, Del.---- While drivers Corey Callahan and Vic Kirby dominated most of the action winning 10 races between them; Raritan Bay chalked up a 1:52.3 victory in the $20,000 Male Claiming Allowance pace at Dover Downs on Tuesday, Feb. 11. Vic Kirby had his biggest day of the meet driving his five winners, Corey Callahan, who leads all drivers in the sport in 2014, also had a five-bagger. After an early speed duel between race favorite Lord Terror (Vic Kirby) and Rojette's Best (Tyler Raymer) which continued until the stretch, Bret Brittingham drove Raritan Bay down the lane to overtake Lord Terror with 22-1 Adams Hanover (Ross Wolfenden) coming on to finish a close-up third. Raritan Bay, now two for four this year, is a family win for the Brittinghams. Son, Bret, co-owned and drove Raritan Bay owned by his mother, Elizabeth, and trained by his dad, Don Brittingham. In a $20,000 4&5-Year-Old Claimer, Montrell Teague piloted Here Is The Future to victory in 1:53.4. The Four Starzzz Shark-Future Destiny gelding owned by George Teague and K&R Racing, bested Seerightthruhim (Frank Milby) and Cactus Billy (Allan Davis), second and third respectively. Kirby steered both winners of the two $15,000 Male Claiming Allowances sub-features. In one, Ise The By Boy came from off-the-pace in a 1:54.1 triumph. Eric Ell trains the Mach Three-Prince Lee Fiesta gelding for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta. Lieutenant Steve (Trace Tetrick) closed fast to finish second. Eyes Only For You (Corey Callahan) was third. The other $15,000 claimer was won by Kirby driving owner-trainer Leigh Raymer's Doubletrouble, a Richess Hanover-Fox Valley Monka gelding, home in 1:54 overtaking Roman Conqueror N (Callahan) and front-pacing Four Starz Louie (George Dennis), the leader until the last steps. While Kirby won both sub-feature paces in his five winner performance, Callahan drove both ends of the daily double among his five wins. Nick Callahan had a training double. Traverse Seelster heads Dover Wednesday feature Traverse Seelster, a winner of two $20,000 Open Handicap trots in January, returns to the week’s top trot in the Lincoln’s birthday feature on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at Dover Downs. First post is 4:30 p.m. Handicapped with starting from the outside in a field of six, Traverse Seelster, with the sports leading driver Corey Callahan, is the official program favorite. The Josh Green trainee takes on Barbara Boese’s sharp Awsome Valley, and driver Tony Morgan, who already has won three-times this meet and Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta Enrico AS, a strong second last Wednesday for Allan Davis. David Miller’s Cash On Delivery makes only his second start of the New Year with driver and Vince Copeland while $1.3-million winner Green Day, appears back in form, with Vic Kirby driving for owner Mary Raymer. Trace Tetrick drives Dawn Gannon, Yannick Gingras and Dom Costanzo’s Jersey Boy from the rail. in one of two $15,000 Winners-Over trots. Tim Tetrick will drive Powerful Charger that he owns with Jim King. Dawn Gannon and Yannick Gingras’ $1-million winning Looking Hanover (Ron Pierce),Walt Callam’s steady Spunky Jack (Roger Plante), Tina Clark and Joe Clark’s Baximum (Daryl Bier). Two winners last time out step up in company, Mike Mammes’ Amiga Valley (Montrell Teague) and Crawford Partners’ Flyhawk Jester (Vic Kirby). by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
DOVER, Del. ---- Raritan Bay, a winner by a neck, last week, leads a field of eight in the $20,000 Male Claiming Allowance pace, Sunday, Jan. 26 at Dover Downs. Raritan Bay, a Brittingham family horse, owned by Betty Brittingham, trained by her husband Don Brittingham and driven by their son, Bret Brittingham, scored a 1:52.2 victory last Sunday winning by a neck. Chief challengers are Bill Emmons' Lord Terror and driver. Vic Kirby, already a winner this year, leaves from the rail, Archie Peel's Coastal Storm, first and second in two 2014 starts, and Nicole Ratledge and Crissman Inc.'s steady Bad Rusty, with Tony Morgan. Ron Pierce will drive Greg Simendinger and trainer Eli Scott's Its Outta Here. Claimed last week, Cash Cab with George Dennis will make his first start for owner Angela Coombs. Hasty Western and Allan Davis will be a factor for Mark Givens and Legacy Racing and Bill and Barbara Kinsey's Idealist handled by Jim Morand. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; post time is 4:30 p.m. Each Friday and Saturday, the track will be dark for racing. On Sunday, races begin at 5:30 p.m. For those planning to watch racing and dine in the Winner's Circle Restaurant, reservations are suggested. Call 302-674-4600. There is no charge for parking or admission at Dover Downs. Daily simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing daily begins 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs
Tickets are now available for the prestigious "Dan Patch Awards," which will be held on Sunday, Feb. 23 in the Rollins Center at Dover Downs. The event features the top horse and human awards for the 2013 season .This year's U.S. Harness Writers Association awards-dinner is the third time in less than two decades in Dover. Highlight of the evening will be the naming of the 2013 Horse of the Year. Two of Delaware's own will be among the award winners, Dover Downs leading driver for the past four seasons, and the current leading win-driver in the sport, Corey Callahan, is winner of the "Rising Star" award. In addition, former USHWA president and current treasurer, Judy Davis-Wilson, is honored as the USHWAn of the Year. For ticket information and a complete roster of honorees, visit the website: www.ushwa.org . --------------------------------- At Dover Downs and the sport as well, again this season, Corey Callahan is off to another fast start winning races in 2014. Callahan led the sport for the first half of 2013, and finished fourth in the sport last year. Callahan is currently the early leader from all drivers in the sport. With six wins on Thursday (1/23) Callahan leads the Dover Downs 2013-14 standings seeking a fifth consecutive meet title, with an overwhelming meet-leading total of 130 wins. Allan Davis is runner-up with 68 wins. Ross Wolfenden is third in the standings with 61 wins. Vic Kirby is fourth winning 53. Tony Morgan completes the top five with 51 wins. ------------------------------------ There is a dead-heat at the top of the leading trainer standings. Wayne Givens and Dylan Davis both have 34 winners. Trish Foulk is third with 31. Joe Hundertpfund has 24 wins while Les Givens has 23 wins for fourth and fifth places respectively. ---------------------------------- The leading percentage-winning drivers list is headed by Matt Kakaley with a .383 average. Jason Lynch is second at .360. Ron Pierce, third, at .330, Corey Callahan is fourth, .329 and Ben Stafford Jr., fifth, with a .265 UDRS (Universal Drivers Rating Statistic). ------------------------------------------------- Among trainers, Josh Green is leader with a .630 average, Trish Foulk is runner-up at .465, Don Brittingham ranks third at .440, Eric Ell is fourth with a .415 average and Joe Hundertpfund's .413 is fifth, after 53 days of racing. by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs
This Sunday, the 15-race card offers three major events with total purses of more than $500,000. The biggest race is the track's signature event, the $284,160 Progress Pace featuring eight of the fastest three-year-olds now in training. Also on the final stakes card of the season is a pair of $100,000 finals for Delaware-sired freshman pacers. One, for colts & geldings, the other, for fillies. In each of the events, the top eight in the three events return for their lucrative finals. In addition, each of the DSBF events has a $20,000 consolation. Vegas out of Progress Pace Among the missing in the Progress Pace Final is Vegas Vacation, winner of the $160,388 Matron, the week before with a near track record 1:48.3 victory. Vegas Vacation was scratched by trainer Casie Coleman when he came out of the Matron, "not 100 percent." In the $35,000 Progress Pace elimination, 20-1 longshot Twilight Bonfire edged race favorite Sunshine Beach for the win. $100,000 DSBF Finals Kelsey's Commando, driven by Vic Kirby won the first of four $100,000 Delaware Standarbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) finals on Monday (Nov. 25). On Tuesday (Nov.26), I Love The Boss, longtime Delaware horseman, trainer and part-owner Bob Shahan's biggest win, won the $100,000 DSBF freshman male trot. Seven striaght for Up Front Ben Nine-year-old trotter Up Front Ben won his seventh consecutive win and 11th in 12 races this season when Tony Morgan guided the Eric Ell trainee to victory. In other news, owner Ken Wood announced that his outstanding trotter, Anders Bluestone, has been retired and will stand stallion duty at Linda MacDonald's Merrie Medo Farm in 2014. Cahallan going for 5th driving title Track defending driver champion, Corey Callahan, seeking his fifth straight track leading driver title, came up with his biggest night of the meet driving seven winners on Tuesday (Nov.26). Now, through Wednesday, Nov. 27, Callahan has made the winner's circle 50 times. Allan Davis, currently enjoying his finest season, is second in the standings with 22 wins. Vic Kirby is third with 19 wins; George Dennis has 18 winners for fourth place. Tony Morgan has 17 wins to complete the top five. Dylan Davis leads all trainers Dylan Davis has moved into first place among trainers with 11 wins. Wayne Givens and Eric Ell are deadlocked second with 10 winners. Les Givens has haltered nine winners and Don Brittingham is fifth with eight, Supporting Anthony Coletta Fund Dover Downs horsemen are among the many throughout the country supporting driver Anthony Coletta, critically injured in a racing accident at Harrah's Philadelphia on Nov. 10. A "Stay Strong A. Coletta,"fund has been set up by his close friend, trainer Anthony DeFrancesco to aid Coletta and his family. To contribute, donations can be sent to: Stay Strong A Coletta, c/o TD Bank, 2653 S. 5th St., Phila. PA 19148. Janet Davis is selling bands in the Dover Downs paddock priced at $5.00 to support the Coletta fund. Christmas Drive Fund Christmas is right around the corner, and again this season, Janet Davis has already begun her "Fourth Annual Horsemen's Christmas Drive." All proceeds go to enable local families and children to have a Merry Christmas. Last year, 77 families and more than 220 children I Kent County, Del. had a Christmas to remember. by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs
HARRINGTON, Del. - Going into the final night of the 2013 live racing meet at Harrington Raceway, drivers Ross Wolfenden, George Dennis and Allan Davis were separated by just two wins in the race for the driving championship. When the dust settled, Dennis and Wolfenden would finish in a deadlock with 144 wins, while Allan Davis put up a gallant fight in third with 142. Dennis entered the night trailing Wolfenden by one but quickly won the second with Grandview Hanover ($3) and third with Bareboat ($10) to forge ahead by one. Wolfenden captured the eighth with Yagot Class ($2.40) to knot the race at 144 wins apiece. Allan Davis won the sixth with Six Gun Hall ($22.80) and finished the season with 142 wins and secured a third place finish. Earlier in the program, Elizabeth and Bret Brittingham's Raritan Bay was honored with the annual Horse of the Meet award by the Delaware Valley chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. Raritan Bay amassed 10 wins in 13 starts and was never off the board, banking nearly $40,000 at the current meet for trainer Don Brittingham. He currently has a nine race winning streak and a seasonal mark at Harrington of 1:52.3. by Matt Sparacino for Harrington Raceway
HARRINGTON, Del. - George and Tina Dennis' and The Wiz Kids Stable's I'm Won Rum Wiser ($4.40, George Dennis) improved to 4-for-4 in her young career with a win in the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) $100,000 Final for 2-year pacing fillies Monday at Harrington Raceway in 1:57.1. The Headmaster-sired filly grinded away first-over at pacesetter Seboomook Fool Yah, who strolled through fractions of 28.1, 58.1 and 1:27.3. Meanwhile I'm Won Rum Wiser edged clear at the wire and held off a fierce late rally by Crushed Again, who was second. Seboomook Fool Yah was third in an incredibly tight photo finish. Trained by co-owner/driver Dennis, I'm Won Rum Wiser is a homebred out of Dennis' broodmare La Gloria Cubana and sire Headmaster, whom Wiz Kids Stable owner Frank Deliberti owned until recently. In the overnight feature, Jlrl LLC's Rock On Moe ($13.40, Allan Davis) captured the $19,000 Open in wire-to-wire fashion in 1:54.1 for trainer Rosemary Smutz. Earlier on the program, Elizabeth and Bret Brittingham's Raritan Bay (Bret Brittingham) won his ninth consecutive race for trainer Don Brittingham. The pacing colts will take center stage Tuesday on the Harrington program as arch rivals Elite Awards (5/2) and Hawker (3-1) are set to matchup in a field of eight in their $100,000 final, scheduled 10th on the 15 race program. Wednesday will feature the trotting finals for fillies and colts as the Harrington meet winds down its final week of racing for 2013. by Matt Sparacino for Harrington Raceway
HARRINGTON, Del. - Three $20,000 divisions of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies were contested on the Harrington Raceway program on Monday. George and Tina Dennis and The Wiz Kids Stable's I'm Won Rum Wiser ($4.20, George Dennis) was the fastest winner with a 1:58.4 triumph from post seven in the third division. Trained by co-owner Dennis, the Headmaster-sired filly was able to grab the early lead before yielding to favorite Crushed Again. I'm Won Rum Wiser would reclaim the lead at the top of the stretch to prevail by a length. Hen's Playmate was third. It was the second win in two lifetime starts for I'm Won Rum Wiser. Garnet O'Marrow's Seboomook Fool Yah ($2.40, Allan Davis) was a well-backed winner in the second division as the daughter of Gamblers Dream cruised to a two-length win over Mom Mom's Little C in 2:00.3. Treasure Valley was third. Trained by Wayne Givens, it was the second career win in four lifetime starts for Sebomook Fool Yah. The first division, which was contested off the wagering program, was won by Kim and Shayna Dashiell's Heart of Steel (Jim Morand), who also won in 2:00.3. Aggie's Dream was second with Reflected Art third. Heart of Steel, sired by Artzina, was trained by Doug Lewis. In the overnight feature on the program, Dandee Racing and Lightning 5 Racing Stable's Mojo Terror ($3.80, Eric Carlson) notched his seventh win of the year with a 1:53 victory in the $19,000 Open. Earlier on the program, Elizabeth and Bret Brittingham's Raritan Bay won his eighth consecutive race for trainer Don Brittingham with a 1:54.4 score. Allan Davis and Eric Carlson each had three driving winners on the 15-race program. George Dennis, Tony Morgan and Corey Callahan each had a driving double. Matt Sparacino
Next week in this column, we'll be highlighting all the action on Super Stakes Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, a stunning program of harness racing in which just about all of the sport's top superstars will compete. That should be a special evening, but, in the meantime, we were witness to another excellent week of racing at Pocono, and it's time to celebrate the best of that action by handing out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: STONEHOUSE ADAM This six-year-old gelding from the Ron Burke barn is having the best year of his career in 2013. His earnings of over six figures this season have practically doubled his lifetime bank account. On Saturday night, he stepped up in class to the toughest condition group on the grounds for a purse of $21,000. Two weeks previous to that, Stonehouse Adam had come up just short in that class with a hard-luck second-place finish. Yet he bounced back last week with a confidence-building win in lesser company in a career-best 1:50 flat. Building off that, driver Matt Kakaley sent the gelding to the front end early in Saturday night, a move that was made easier by an inside post position. Kakaley rated the speed brilliantly for the first half-mile, and his horse needed every bit of his energy through the second half of the mile as competitors came at him from all sides. Stonehouse Adam dug in for the stretch drive and persevered for the victory in 1:50:2. With two straight gutsy wins, this veteran pacer seems to be hitting not only the best stride of his season, but also of his entire career. Other top pacers this week include: Blissfull Dreamer (Ron Pierce, Rene Allard), a mare who rolled to victory over a field of $12,500 claimers on Friday night in 1:53, giving her wins in her last four starts; Rick's Crossroads (Matt Kakaley, Brewer Adams), who moved up in class on Friday night for a $7,500 claiming victory in 1:51:3, making it two wins in a row at Pocono and three in a row overall; and Atochia (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), the acclaimed veteran whose win in a condition pace on Saturday night in 1:49 matched a career-best and was the fastest of the week at MSPD. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: HYANNIS HANOVER It's unusual for us to name a 2-year-old as one of the Weekly Award winners. It's even more unusual for it to be a 2-year-old with only two races under his belt. Yet Hyannis Hanover is the choice this week, not only for the fact that he won the first two races of his career, but also for the circumstances surrounding those wins. In his debut on August 7 against other two-year-olds, the gelding sired by Cantab Hall went off at towering odds of 90-1 in his debut. Yet there he was at the end, rallying from way back in the pack to upset the field in 2:01:1. The modest winning time and the fact that several horses in the race broke stride made the race look like a bit of a fluke, which was probably why Hyannis Hanover was let go at 9-1 as he moved up into a Stallion Series race on Tuesday night. This time around it was no fluke. Driver Bret Brittingham maneuvered Hyannis Hanover from the outside post into a pocket seat behind even-money favorite Broadway Charm, then pounced when the leader faltered. In trotting away to win by 2 ½ lengths in 1:58:3, Hyannis Hanover, trained by Don Brittingham, looked more like 1-9 than 9-1. The lesson: Underestimate this freshman trotter at your own peril. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Flashbacks (Drew Chellis, Wendy Chellis), who surprised a condition group at 9-1 on Friday night and did so in 1:53:1, the fastest trotting time at Pocono this week; Zumba Mouse (Anthony Napolitano, Randy Bendis), a mare who scored her second straight upset win against claiming handicap competition on Tuesday night, this one coming in 1:54:3; and Lexis Amigo (Andy Miller, Jeffrey Smith), who picked up a win in rugged condition company on Friday night in 1:53:3. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: FAUST That name might implay a deal with the devil, but Faust simply out-trotted his foes in Stallion Series action Tuesday night with Howard Parker driving at 17-1 for a $37.20 win payout. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Mike Simons One of Pocono's favorite drivers came up with a milestone win on Wednesday night aboard Mac's Bad Boy, as Mike picked up his 3,000th career victory. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Jim Campbell Campbell always has a strong contingent of younger horses, and he showed it off Tuesday night by training two winners of Stallion Series races for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the trot. That will do if for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jim Beviglia
Six divisions of the Stallion Series highlighted the Tuesday night harness racing card at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The races, contested by two-year-old colts and geldings on the trot, each carried a purse of $20,000. The Stallion Series winners for the night: Faust (Glidemaster-Nirvana Blue Chip), driven by Howard Parker and trained by Jim Raymer, in 1:57:3; Hyannis Hanover (Cantab Hall-High Sobriety), driven by Bret Brittingham and trained by Don Brittingham, in 1:58:3; Outburst (Explosive Matter-Exquisite Lady), driven by Andrew McCarthy and trained by Noel Daley, in 1:58; Who Wants Soup (Explosive Matter-Audra Hall), driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Jim Campbell, in 1:57:4; Monkey Man (Glidemaster-Armbro Vanity), driven by Andrew McCarthy and trained by Michael Palone, in 1:57:1; and Yankee Fashion (Yankee Glide-Tori Ann), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Jim Campbell, in 1:57:1. Jim Beviglia
After controlling a nondescript early pace, Johnny and Kimberley Waite's Alexachase ($18.80) was an upset winner in Wednesday's harness racing $40,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace on Wednesday (March 13) afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia.
Alexachase was up to old tricks coming from off-the-pace to win the $23,000 Mares Open Handicap over a sloppy track Monday, Feb. 11 at Dover Downs.
Alexachase and Mystra were harness racing winners of the $16,000 Mares Winners-Over pace double-feature paces at Dover Downs on Monday Jan. 28. Years ago, thoroughbred racing once had a famed horse named Silky Sullivan who would close from last to first to win races.
She certainly was no slouch while under her owner's conditioning program the past two years, as Alexachase earned $187,659 from 43 trips to the post, but the soon to turn harness racing 5-year-old seems to have achieved peak form since Don Brittingham took over her training regimen in October.