Messini’s rise to harness racing stardom continued last night at Bendigo. The pacer, whose racing style is to keep his head low, stick his neck out and storm forward like a bullying gridiron hulk barging through would-be tacklers, never looked like getting beat. With Chris Alford in the sulky for trainer Brent Lilley, Messini came home with a 57-second last half to score a 4.6-metre victory in the ninth heat of the Roll With Joe Breeders Crown Series for three-year-old colts and geldings. The high-class son of Art Major led from gate three and toyed with his rivals, only Glen Craven’s lightly raced Jilliby Jagger able to get within a bull’s roar of the winner at the end, the Terang pacer 4.6m behind in second. With a 1:57.5 mile rate – easily the quickest of the three Crown heats on the night – Messini looks cherry ripe for the semi-finals, with a decision to be made regarding whether the pacer remains with Lilley for the business end of the series or heads back to Lilley’s close mate and New Zealand’s leading trainer, Mark Purdon. Purdon sent Messini and Kept Under Wraps to Lilley for the lead-up to the Breeders Crown and Lilley has both horses firing on all cylinders. Messini Other heat winners last night were Will Mach My Word for trainer Geoff Webster with Emmett Brosnan in the chair, the son of Mach Three leading from go to whoa, and Dream Away gelding Hectorjayjay for Bill and Simone Walker, which scored by over 12m in a rate of 2:00.4 in the last race on the card. Will Mach My Word Hectorjayjay by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria
Western Tsunami (Western Hanover-Rons Girl) rallied past the competition to extend his winning streak to four in a row in the $6,500 featured pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday night. Donna's Scape (Chris Lems) was the early pacesetter through a quarter in 27.2 and a half in 57 seconds. Once the field made the top of the stretch, however, there was a host of challengers to the leader. Western Tsunami had sat in mid-pack through the early stages, but got into the clear in the lane and charged past his rivals to win in a smart time of 1:52.3, courtesy of a well-timed drive by Roman Lopez. There was a dead-heat for the second position with Ashton Seelster (Gary Clark) and Moonlight Ransom (Jimmy Whittemore) involved. The complete order of finish: Western Tsunami, Ashton Seelster and Moonlight Ransom (Dead-Heat), Whitemountainpower, Donna's Scape, Some Or Lis, Sovereign Wealth, Gallic Warrior, and Midas Blue Chip. Western Tsunami is owned by Scott West of Vernon, New York and Katie Currie of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Scott West is also the trainer. Claude Huckabone III was the driving star on the Saturday night program at Vernon Downs, winning three times. He scored in the third race with My Edward (Village Jolt-Undercover Woman), the fifth race with Pedro's Dream (Dream Away-Twinkie Lo), and the ninth race with Willies Big Mac (Whelan Willie-Mac's Only Iris). Live racing will resume on Thursday night at Vernon Downs with a 10-race program. Post time on Thursday will be 6:45pm. by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs
1. National Debt, Scott Zeron, Ron Coyne Jr., 50-1 Last year, National Debt won all four of his starts while competing in Alberta for trainer/co-owner Kelly Hoerdt, who received Canada's 2013 O'Brien Award for Horsemanship. He was sent to New Jersey-based trainer Ron Coyne Jr. for the start of this season and captured the Gilmour Memorial Series during the winter. National Debt, who finished fifth in his Pace elimination, won by JK Endofanera, has won seven of 10 lifetime races and earned $76,073. Owned by Hoerdt, Blair and Erna Corbeil, and the J&T Silva Stables, National Debt had issues with allergies earlier this season while racing in Canada and missed nearly two months prior to his Pace elim. "He had a couple good tighteners in qualifiers, and this was his first test for speed against these colts, but all in all it went well," Coyne said. "He showed a good burst of speed at the end, he came home :26.2 and he finished up really nice, so I was really happy about that. It's all a matter of the post and the trip and we'll see if we get lucky. "We missed a few of the big dances, but we're ready to go again," Coyne said. For a feature about National Debt from earlier this year, read here. 2. JK Endofanera, Brian Sears, Ron Burke, 2-1 JK Endofanera (Art Major-Presidential Lady) won his elimination in 1:48.2 and is the 2-1 morning line favorite. He is trying to become the 10th horse to win both the North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace. For more, read here. 3. He's Watching, Tim Tetrick, David Menary, 5-2 He's Watching (American Ideal-Baberhood) won his elimination in 1:48.1 and is 5-2 on the morning line. He was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. For more, read here. 4. Tellitlikeitis, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 12-1 One of two horses in the race from the Takter Stable, Tellitlikeitis (Well Said-Kikikatie) is a son of 2009 Meadowlands Pace winner Well Said out of the million-dollar-earning mare Kikikatie. He led early in his Pace elimination, which was won by He's Watching, but finished fifth. Tellitlikeitis, owned by Lothlorien stable, has won four of 12 career races and $389,022. He finished second to JK Endofanera in the North America Cup. "I expect him to be better," Takter said. "He had three weeks off [prior to his Pace elim] and that's a long time in this group. I had to play it like that with him, unfortunately. I cannot race him every dance because he has issues. But he's got a perfect seat, the four post. If the pace is right, we know he can pace :25 the last quarter. If I get him a little bit better, he's quick enough that he can give you something." 5. Luck Be Withyou, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes, 6-1 The 2013 Breeders Crown champion finished third in his Pace elim, won by He's Watching. Luck Be Withyou has won once in five starts this season and captured six of 16 career races, good for $404,827. He is owned by John Craig and trained by Bill Cass in Canada, with Oakes taking over in the U.S. Luck Be Withyou is a son of Western Ideal out of the mare Trim Hanover. He is a three-quarter brother to millionaire female pacer American Jewel. 6. Lyonssomewhere, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 8-1 The colt tried to find room inside of JK Endofanera in the stretch, but was unable to get past the leader and finished third in his Pace elimination. Just three-quarters of a length separated JK Endofanera, runner-up Always B Miki, and Lyonssomewhere. Geoffrey Lyons Mound owns Lyonssomewhere, who is a son of 2008 Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Miss Kitty Hanover. He has won five of seven career races and $98,570. "He didn't have enough room, but I thought he raced really, really good," Takter said. "He can step out of the gate extremely well. It's hard not to take advantage of that, but by the same token, you pay a little bit for that. "At the Meadowlands, it's not necessarily the best spot to sit behind the leader unless he's a very good leader. If you don't get racing room, you're playing with luck. With luck, yes he can win, without a doubt, and we need to be lucky in this race. It will be an interesting race." 7. Jet Airway, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller, 15-1 Erv Miller is hoping for big things from the big horse as the year goes on. Jet Airway opened 2014 with a second-place finish to JK Endofanera in the Simpson Memorial at the Meadowlands. Owned by Miller, Tangie Massey, Paul Sunderhaus, and Larry Agle, Jet Airway has won six of 18 career races and $130,834. He is a son of Jereme's Jet out of the mare Aromatic. He raced 10 times as a 2-year-old, winning three races, but was shut down in early October. Marcus Miller, who recently got career win No. 2,000, is Erv's 25-year-old son. "He's a really fast horse, a big horse," Miller said about Jet Airway. "I think, hopefully, from midseason on he'll just keep getting better. It just seems he needed the racing to get going. He went a big mile [in his elim]. Marcus did a good job and he had a lot of pace finishing. "I could tell last year he was a pretty nice horse. I wanted to shut him down because he was real immature. I think as time goes, he'll just keep getting better." 8. Sometimes Said, Corey Callahan, Jim Campbell, 15-1 Always in the hunt, Sometimes Said has won only twice but hit the board in 14 of 18 career races. He finished second by a neck from post nine in last year's Breeders Crown, which was won by Luck Be Withyou, and was second in the 2013 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Owned by Fashion Farms, Sometimes Said is a son of Well Said out of the mare Lady Sometimes. He has earned $341,254 lifetime. Sometimes Said finished second in his Pace elim, beaten 2-3/4 lengths by He's Watching. "He's had a good week," Campbell said. "It's hard to say whether post eight will help him or hurt him, it depends how the race unfolds. It would probably be in his best interest if they're rolling along up front and he can get cover in the outer tier. "It's a tough group of horses. He went a big trip last week and he'll have to come back and be better than that this week." 9. Always B Miki, David Miller, Joe Holloway, 4-1 Came home the fastest of all Meadowlands Pace finalists with a :26.1 final quarter-mile to miss by a neck to JK Endofanera in his Pace elim. Always B Miki has won five of 20 career races and earned $219,916. He is owned by Bluewood Stable, Val D'Or Farms, and Roll The Dice Stable. Always B Miki was disqualified from third to fifth for interference in his Hempt Memorial elimination and went off stride in his North America Cup elim. He has three wins, including a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, and two second-place finishes (by a neck and a nose) in the five starts this year in which he's minded his manners. "I was apprehensive coming into [the Pace elimination] because he's just been a problem horse that way," Holloway said. "He's got a lot of speed, but he's not the easiest horse to deal with. He steered fairly well [in his elim] and raced well. He can go a tough trip, he's probably one of the tougher ones that way, but he is tough to deal with. "He's got the speed to go wherever they want to go. As long as he gets a decent trip he'll work it out from there." Always B Miki is a son of Always A Virgin, who was trained by Holloway and won two legs of the Pacing Triple Crown (Cane Pace and Messenger) in 2007, out of the mare Artstopper. He is a half-brother to Yagonnakissmeornot, who finished second in this year's Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final. 10. Doo Wop Hanover, John Campbell, Steve Elliott, 30-1 Elliott is the only trainer in the race to have won the Meadowlands Pace previously, having captured the trophy in 2006 with Artistic Fella and 2009 with Well Said. Only two trainers, Brett Pelling and Bill Robinson, have more Pace victories. Doo Wop Hanover finished fourth in his Pace elim, which was won by JK Endofanera. He is a son of 2005 Meadowlands Pace winner Rocknroll Hanover out of the mare Deer Valley Miss and is a three-quarter brother to stakes winner Knock Three Times. For his career, Doo Wop Hanover has won five of 19 races and $180,788. He won the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in May and the Hempt Memorial Consolation in a career-best 1:49 on June 28. He is owned by Peter Blood, Rick Berks and Gary Piontkowski. Post 10 has produced four Meadowlands Pace winners, tied for the third most of any starting spot, but none since The Panderosa in 1999. "I've had better draws," Elliott said with a laugh. "But when [Doo Wop Hanover] gets on the lead or first over, he wants to rock and roll, and he's better with a trip. We should be able to get a trip from there, we'll just hope it's not a bad one. "He's been good all year. He's a nice colt. He might be a notch below the best ones, but there's so many times now when the trip dictates the outcome. We just want to be somewhere in the live flow. You've got to be in it. If you're not in it, you can't win it." * * * Tim Tetrick and Ron Pierce have enjoyed multiple successes in the Meadowlands Pace in recent years, combining to win six of the last seven editions of the race. Pierce has won the Meadowlands Pace a total of four times, second to only John Campbell's seven Pace victories for the most among all drivers in history. Pierce's victories were with Dream Away (1997), Art Official (2008), Well Said (2009) and Roll With Joe (2011). He drives Luck Be Withyou in Saturday's race. Luck Be Withyou, who starts from post five and is 6-1 on the morning line, finished third in his Pace elimination, which was won by He's Watching. Pierce won last season's Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male pacers with Luck Be Withyou. Tetrick has won the Meadowlands Pace with Southwind Lynx (2007), One More Laugh (2010) and Captaintreacherous (2013). He drives He's Watching in Saturday's race, starting from post three. He's Watching, who won his Pace elimination in 1:48.1, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. He was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. "I sure would love to [win again]," Tetrick said. "I have a great horse to do it with. I like my chances. "There are some really nice colts in here and it's a tough group." Campbell will go for Meadowlands Pace win No. 8 with Doo Wop Hanover from post 10. Brian Sears, driving 2-1 morning line favorite JK Endofanera, tries for his second Pace triumph while Yannick Gingras, with Lyonssomewhere, also will be going for his second win. Scott Zeron (driving National Debt), Brett Miller (Tellitlikeitis), Marcus Miller (Jet Airway), Corey Callahan (Sometimes Said) and David Miller (Always B Miki) all are seeking their first Meadowlands Pace win. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
R I P Tony Chiaravalle. He owned the 1993 Pace winner Presidential Ball and was the original owner of the third place finisher that year Riyadh. R I P Matts Scooter-1988 Meadowlands Pace winner-sire of Mach Three 2002 Pace winner. Grandsire of Somebeachsomewhere-THE most prohibitive Pace favorite of the 21st century/ R I P Joe Muscara. He owned the 2002 Pace winner Mach Three and his Muscara Trust co-owns elim divisional winner He's Watching, one of the favorites in this Saturday's race. $776,000 Pace Purse. Not counting the two years with a supplemental entry, (2000 and 2008), this is the first time since 1990 that the purse is at least $100G higher than the previous year: 1989 $852,000 Dexter Nukes 1990 $1,153,500 Beach Towel Sire Well Said looks to do-with two chances-what has been done SEVEN TIMES in Meadowlands Pace history. Win the Pace with his first crop. (Sometimes Said, Tellitlikeitis) 1984 Happy Motoring sired On The Road Again 1985 Niatross sired Nihilator 1997 Artsplace sired Dream Away 1998 Life Sign sired Day In A Life 2005 Western Ideal sired Rocknroll Hanover 2008 Art Major sired Art Official 2013 Somebeachsomewhere sired Captaintreacherous If you're betting either He's Watching or Luck Be Withyou, you have recent history on your side. Tim Tetrick and Ron Pierce have won 6 of the last 7 editions of the Meadowlands Pace, THE most dominant TWO-driver run in the races 37 year history. (Of those 6 wins between them, 3 each, 4 of those 6 were NOT favored) Ron Burke will try and do what has been done THREE TIMES before. Be the Leading trainer at the Meadowlands for the meet AND win the Meadowlands Pace. J K Endofanera 1993 and 1994 Bill Robinson did it with Presidential Ball and Cams Card Shark 1997 Brett Pelling did it with Dream Away 2004 Mark Harder did it with Holborn Hanover, who was 2-22 lifetime coming into the race and lit up the board at 58-1 "MILLER TIME?" Maybe. There are three driving "MIllers" in the race-Dave and Brett and Marcus. That doesn't even count trainer Erv. The first ever TRAINER named Miller to be in the Pace-as well as the first ever drive-BOTH finished 3rd. Del Miller trainer 3rd 1980 Tyler B Jim Miller driver 1979 3rd with Tijuana Taxi THROWBACK TIME? Some Pace participants in 2014 were prominent at the Meadowlands in the 1980s. Val D'Or Farms (Always B Miki) 3 times made a 1980s Pace final. 4th with Masquerade in 1986, 7th and 11th with Ringaleevio and Paladium Lobell in the 1988 edition Steve Elliott was 10th with Souffle in the 1986 final of the Pace, and was 3rd and then 2nd in the 1988 and 1989 Trainer Standings here Joe Holloway won FOUR races at the Meadowlands in the 1970s-including twice with a pacer named Pentagon as a DRIVER. In the 1980s, Joe became the first ever Meadowlands trainer to win as many as 106 races in a singe meet-1988 Jim Campbell was the 1989 Meadowlands Training Leader. He also started in the Pace with a pair in 1987-3rd with Run The Table and 12th with Dictionary Peter Blood is one of the owners of Doo Wop Hanover. As a trainer here-he was second in the 1988 Wilson-the LAST one to go for $1 Million-with Nukes Image to Kassa Branca. The following year, he went 1-2 in the Wilson conso. Pierce Pace Potpourri Ron Pierce drove the shortest priced Pace winner of the new millennium-$2.80 Well Said 2009. Ron Pierce UPENDED the shortest priced Pace STARTER of the new millennium-Somebeachsomewhere-10 cents on the dollar-in 2008 with Art Official. (Art Official-incidentally-sold as a $4,000 WEANLING at a Meadowlands January sale) NUMBERS 17 of the 37 Pace winners were sired by a horse who himself raced in the Pace final. ONLY ONE-Real Desire is the ONLY horse to win $3 Million-be Horse Of The Year and win the Meadowlands Pace and NOT be in the Hall Of Fame ONLY ONE Pace winner won from the second tier-On The Road Again 1984 Post 12 THREE Homebreds in the Pace final field. The 2013 Hambletonian had three homebreds win all three eliminations and then the final. Creatine, Smilin Eli and Royalty For Life 20-1 or better-Tellitlikeitis will surely be one of the longshots in the 2014 Pace final field. Rarer than rare for the North America Cup FAVORITE-ALSO the Meadowlands Pace elimination FAVORITE, to be an also-ran in the wagering in the Pace final. FIVE catch-drivers have gone into the Hall Of Fame the past TWO decades. Only five. ANNIVERSARY 23 years to the day of Precious Bunny winning the 1991 Meadowlands Pace. July 12, 1991. That marked the first time in history a horse won TWO million $ races in the same year (Nihilator did it in 1984 and 1985) John Campbell drove him in the North America Cup to victory, but opted off for Artsplace in the Pace final and Jack Moiseyev won with the Cam Fella colt. HOY. It was also the first of four STRAIGHT Pace winners for Cam Fella as a stallion-ironic when you consider that Cam Fella finished his career 57 straight times on the board-the last time he MISSED the board? 1982 Meadowlands Pace elimination!! 7th Ron Pierce is on top in North America in $$$. 58 Years of age. This stat is especially interesting when you consider that-in 2006-he was and is the ONLY 50 Years Old to EVER lead the way, and now at 58 is threatening to do the same Golden Receiver's barn change-AFTER winning $2 Million-brings back memories of possibly the two greatest horses to ever undergo a barn change. Seatttle Slew and Artsplace. WIDE OPEN PACE?-2013 TOLD US EXACTLY THAT Many live candidates to win the 2014 Meadowlands Pace. And why not. In 2013-the LEADING 2 YO colt pacing earner made $390G-Arthur Blue Chip. This marked the first time since 1977 that the leading $$-winning freshman pacing colt did NOT have at least $400G on his card. No No Yankee had $211G in 1977 (Ironically-the FIRST year of the Pace) Dave Miller-John Campbell Dave Miller-6 days after entering the Hall Of Fame, hopes to do what only John Campbell has done prior. Go into the Hall Of Fame and win either the Hambletonian or the Meadowlands Pace the SAME year. 1990-John Hambo Harmonious. Dave handles Always B Miki IF Marcus Miller wins the Meadowlands Pace-he WILL become the YOUNGEST driver ever to do so. Tetrick also did it at 25 in 2007 with Southwind Lynx, Marcus a few months younger. Canadian Influence 5 of the 6 inside posts in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace have Canadian ownership. 6 of the first 12 Meadowlands Pace winners (1977-1986) had Canadian ownership. "Hall" Pass-OOPS Pace Five of the first 10 winners of the Meadowlands Pace had trainers who were Hall Of Famers. BUT-only ONE of the last 27 training winners of the Meadowlands Pace did it. Ray Remmen 1990 Beach Towel. Jimmy Takter has two shots at ending that 24 year 0-fer. Coyne-Operated Ron Coyne (National Debt) has been in the Pace before. 1999 with Washington VC. 8th. That colt then sired a $3 Million career earner by the name of Themightyquinn If either John Campbell or Ron Pierce win the Meadowlands Pace, they will be the oldest to do so. 59 and 58. Cat Manzi at 56 in 2006 with Artistic Fella currently holds than distinction. Steve Elliott is the ONLY trainer in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace field who has won this race before. And he did it twice. 2006 and 2009. There are only two trainers in Meadowlands Pace history who have won the Pace multiple times and were FAVORED in all of their wins: Elliott, Billy Haughton Billy Did it with Falcon Almhurst in 1978-9/5 choice over eventual HOY Abercrombie-and with Nihilator at 1-9 in 1985 heading a prohibitive 5 horse entry. "Starter" Kit NO 2014 Pace finalist has more than 8 starts in 2014. Yet 16 of the first 24 Meadowlands Pace winners had at LEAST NINE starts on the season entering the Pace final. Jimmy Takter (Tellitlikeitis and Lyonssomewhere) will try and do what Brett Pelling did last. Go 1-2 in the Pace. Pelling did it with Rocknroll Hanover in 2005 and Village Jolt second. He's Watching's June 13 foaling date would be THE latest ever for any Meadowlands Pace winner. (TWO of the more famous JUNE foals of all time used to be stablemates-Art Major and McArdle) SLOW STARTS? NO PROBLEM IN THE PACE Your year isn't going the greatest going INTO the Meadowlands Pace? This doesn't mean a whole lot-or at least it didn't to these brand names: 2001 Real Desire 1 for 5 going into the Pace 2000 Gallo Blue Chip 5 for 10 entering the Pace 2010 One More Laugh 2 for 6 going into the Pace 1988 Matts Scooter Just 2 for 9 entering the Pace (NOTE-the 2 YO Champion (He's Watching 2-5)-and the 2YO Breeders Crown winner (Luck Be With You 1-5)-are a combined 3/10 entering the 2014 Pace) The "OUTSIDERS?" The three outside horses in the Pace were all sired by a Pace favorite: Post 8 Sometimes Said (Well Said 2009) Post 9 Always B Miki (Always A Virgin 2007) Post 10 Doo Wop Hanover (Rocknroll Hanover 2005) Takter's Pace Breakthrough? NO Trainer in the 21st century who's campaigned a Horse Of The Year has made it to the Hall Of Fame. Jimmy Takter is the last trainer to do both-having won the HOY titles in 1997-1998-1999. Bob McIntosh went into the Hall Of Fame in 2002-and a full decade later-won his first MILLION $ race going 1-3 in the 2012 NA Cup. Jimmy Takter is looking for his very first Pace score. Ron Burke just scored his first Million $ win taking the NA Cup with J K Endofanera. The Two oldest drivers to hit the board in the Meadowlands Pace? 1978 Joe O'Brien 59-thid with Flight Director 1982 Billy Haughton 58 3rd with McKinzie Almahurst John Campbell is 59 and Ron Pierce 58 Campbell-Meadowlands Pace-Post 10 The man is amazing. Post 10 in the Meadowlands Pace in 2014 with Doo Wop Hanover. His history from post 10 in the Pace is almost beyond belief. ALL of the following are from Post 10-IN The Meadowlands Pace: 1982 Hilarion winner-first ever catch-driver to win a Million $$ race. 1997 At Point Blank second at 14-1 the colt was WINLESS (0-15) on the year!! 1999 The Panderosa got post 10 initially-AND on the redraw-and still dominated with a 26 flat final quarter in 1:49.3-then a record mile in the Pace and thus becoming the first horse ever to win TWO million $$ races BOTH in sub 1:50) 2004 3rd with Metropolitan from post 10 2007 third with Artriverderci from post 10. 5 different trainers from post 10-five times on the board. Consider that in the other 30 times any driver raced in the Pace from post 10-combined-those drivers were 3-30 ON THE BOARD! OTHER Post 10 notes...... Dave Miller's Pace debut-1995-Cinder Lane Sam came from post 10-5th-flying home in 26.1.....Pat Crowe drove exactly once in the Pace-from post 10-in 1984 12th with a colt by the name of Greener Pastures.....Brett Pelling made his Pace debut in 1993 from post 10 (No check)....Pinocchio raced in the Pace-from post 10 for Neal Shapiro... 15 times in history the Meadowlands Pace winner has been THAT YEAR'S Leading $$ winner among ALL Pacers.(MOST common of any race of the leaders) Just HOW tough is it to WIN The Meadowlands Pace? This stat might tell it best. The last THREE Triple Crown winners in the sport-NONE of those three finished first OR second in the Meadowlands Pace!! 2003 No Pan Intended 4th 1999 Blissful Hall 7th 1997 Western Dreamer 3rd Who are the three richest ever horses to have participated in the Meadowlands Pace final and NOT gotten a check? Boulder Creek $3,425,853 8th 2003 Red Bow Tie $2,673,920 9th 1997 Western Hanover $2,541,647 7th 1992 Super Tough Quiz: Can you name the three colts who led all pacers in year end earnings but did NOT compete in the Meadowlands Pace final? 1977 Governor Skipper $522,148 1998 Shady Character $1,070,569 2002 Art Major $1,562,779 Compiled by Bob "Hollywood" Heyden
The Meadows hosted its first qualifying races for two-year-olds on Friday (May 30), with five events, part of a 16-race qualifying card. Fiesta Lauxmont, trained by Ted Williams and driven by Aaron Johnston, became the first freshman to take a mark at the track this season, winning in 2:03.4. Fiesta Lauxmont is an Art's Card Trick filly out of the Rustler Hanover mare Party N Canada. The first 2YO trotter to earn a win did it in impressive fashion, as McMullen Stable's Mercer County won by over 21 lengths in 2:04.4 with a final quarter of 29.4. An Explosive Matter filly out of the Lindy Lane mare Aspen Hanover, Mercer County is trained and was driven by Wilbur Yoder. Light After Terror, a Western Terror colt out of the Dream Away mare Light Dreams, became the fastest freshman of the session with a 2:03 win for trainer Jason Bresnahan and driver Brady Brown. Other 2YO winners were Alpha Alpha, a trotting filly by Encore Encore out of the Pegasus Spur mare Pegasus On Ice, who trotted in 2:08.2 (30.1) for Yoder and trainer Rich Gillock. Another Western Terror youngster, Given Up Terror, won the final event in 2:04.2 with a 29 flat final quarter. The colt was driven by Tony Hall for trainer Lisa Beinhauer. Given Up Terror is out of the mare Ain't Given Up, by Jenna's Beach Boy. By Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA
Local Woorinen co-trainers Joe Costa and son Vince each provided a winner at the Nyah harness racing meeting held at the Swan Hill Racing Centre last Thursday. Joe landed the open class feature of the evening – the tab.com.au Pace for C6 or better class over 1609 metres with ultra-consistent Life Sign / Edna June five year old gelding Life Of Ted in a slashing mile rate of 1-56.7. Leading out from gate two, Life Of Ted was rated to perfection by Ararat’s Michael Bellman who does the bulk of the stable driving and kicked clear on straightening to score by 1.3 metres in advance of Shayne Cramp’s Washington Heritage (one/one – three wide home turn), with Well Oiled Lombo third after trailing the winner from the pole. Life Of Ted has recorded 10 wins (five this season) from 64 race appearances. Vince Costa’s very much in-form Dream Away / Royal Beach Girl four year old gelding Beachstar brought up a hat-trick of wins by taking the choicehotels.com.au Pace for C4 & C5 class over 2240 metres in a rate of 1-57. Again with Bellman in the sulky, Beachstar was trapped three wide from gate three, before crossing the polemarker Terre T entering the back straight on the first occasion. Given no peace by Shayne Cramp aboard Changing Code which moved from last to join him, the pair went head and head a long way from home, with Cramp trying to outstay the pacemaker. In quarters of 30, 30.1, a sizzling 26.8 and 30.8 for the last mile, Changing Code was the first to crack, allowing Beachstar to race clear on the final bend, with Terry T giving chase. Although out on his feet halfway up the running, Beachstar kept on giving to score by a meritorious three metres over Double Happy (three back the markers) which ran home nicely when finally extricated into the clear, with Terry T a further half metre away in third place. Budding superstar Vee Rock made it four from four with another outstanding performance to capture the 2nd Heat of the $7,505 Sky Racing Vicbred Platinum Country Series Q for C1 class over 2240 metres. A winner of the first heat held at Mildura the previous Friday, Vee Rock kicked up from the pole, before reinsman Mark Lee elected to hand over the front running to the second elect Illawong Fantasia drawn next to him. Immediately eased away from the inside not wanting to risk a pocket, Vee Rock then challenged for the lead and was allowed to cross and lead all within the space of a lap. Cruising for the remainder of the journey, Vee Rock coasted to the wire 15.3 metres in advance of Philtra Phella off a three wide trail approaching the home turn, with Illawong Fantasia a disappointing third. The mile rate 1-58. Bred by Swan Hill’s Mick Cirillo and Anne-Maree Short, Vee Rock trained at Cardross by Frank Merceica is a four year old gelded son of Universal Rock and Annie Teaghan and will be the logical favourite in the rich $10.275 Final to be held at Mildura next Wednesday. Len Baker Victoria Harness Racing
HARRINGTON, Del. - North State Street Stable's Monochromatic ($4.40, Jim Morand) returned off a three-month layoff with a harness racing victory Tuesday night at Harrington Raceway in the $17,000 Mares Open in 1:53.4. Trained by Dylan Davis, the 9-year-old Dream Away mare found room at the top of the stretch and surged by leader BJ's Sweetheart, who brushed to the front at the half-mile, for the win. Jeremes Sweetheart finished second, while Paradise Lost was third. Monochromatic has 49 career wins and has banked nearly $800,000 lifetime. Allan Davis had three wins on the program. Drivers Montrell Teague, Bret Brittingham and Victor Kirby each had driving doubles.
The Harness Racing Museum thanks the donors and bidders for a successful auction. The following breedings not receiving appropriate bids, as well as newly received services, are still available. Interested parties, who have not booked their mares, are urged to contact the Museum at 845-294-6330 or email Joanne Young at email@example.com. Some stallions have more than one breeding available. TROTTERS are indicated with upper case CAPS. DE -Dream Away IL - Yankee Skyscaper IN - Allthatgltrsisgold, Panspacificflight MD - CHARLIE DEVIE, Holy Guacamolie, Nuclear Breeze, Totally Western, Up Front Charlie NY - CONWAY COURT, Deweycheatumnhowe, Lislea, Lucky Chucky, Panther Hanover, Riverboat King, Village Jove OH - BREAK THE BANK K, COLIE'S, Manhardt, Northern Kid, Powerful Toy ON - Angus Hall, Classic Card Shark PA - Lear Jetta, Sierra Kosmos, Tom Ridge, Tuffofthetoughest From the Harness Racing Museum
The Caduceus Club Cup has a rich honour roll of talented three-year-old’s. Horses like Cosmic Under Fire, It Is I, Lanercost and even Jodie’s Babe readily spring to mind. And last year’s winner Macha broke the clock running a 53.9sec last half in a stunning display. This term there might be no breaking records, but that doesn’t mean the result won’t prove an eye to the future of the open-class pacing scene. One man that may well have the horse to win Friday night’s race is Pearcedale trainer Bill Walker. Handling the promising gelding Hectorjayjay, the second row draw may have been of serious concern for most trainers. But given the blistering speed he showed in a Vicbred Super Series Semi-final from a similar position, and an expected early burn, there may not be a lot to worry about for the laconic trainer. “Simone (Walker, driver) said the night he led from 13, she saw the opening just a fraction earlier than he did and then he just put himself through it. He’s just incredible, he’s got a mind of his own in a way, he just loves racing,” Walker said. “I think the turning point was the gelding. Even though he wasn’t a rogue, he didn’t have his mind on what he wanted to do. He’s just a gentleman now and he loves working.” That renewed attitude to racing has seen Hectorjayjay progress from a talented colt to one of Victoria’s best three-year-old geldings. And with the transformation in full swing, Walker has set about tackling the end of season features to see just where his beloved son of Dream Away is at in the overall scheme of things. “He’ll have a little let up now because we’ve always thought about the Sires Stakes and the Breeders Crown. It can be a very long taxing three-year-old year and in a year of good depth I think you have to look after your horse,” he said. “He’s one of the most loved horses in our stable that’s for sure.” Hectorjayjay is currently a $3.40 chance with TAB fixed odds.
Rose Run Logan trotted to victory in the $10,000 Open Trot on Monday (March 31) in Northfield Park's eighth race. He is owned and trained by Jeff Hochstetler of Urichsville, Ohio. Josh Sutton was aboard for the winning drive. It was one of Sutton's eight wins on the card. Rose Run Logan (Armbro Laser-How Miraculous-Baltic Speed) started from post seven and was parked through fractions of :28.3 and :57.2. He took the lead approaching the three-quarter pole and completed the mile with times of 1:26.2 and 1:55.4. He was an uncontested 2 Â¼-lengths in front at the wire. Completing the race were Pembroke Snapshot, Julians Caesar, Kahoku, Wind Surfer, Talladega Hanover, Herbie L and Action-Broadway. Rose Run Logan now has 12 career successes and has won six of seven starts in 2014. Monday's victory pushed his bankroll to $35,198. He paid $6.00 to win. Forever Good captured the $10,000 Open Pace in the evening's ninth race. Barry Langley trains the 10 year-old for the VIP Internet Stable of Piscataway, New Jersey. Chris Page was the winning driver. Forever Good (Dream Away-Lasting Approval-Western Hanover) started from post three and let his competition carve out fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:24.2 before taking the lead in the stretch and besting his competition by a length in 1:53.4. Completing the race were Lyons JosephJNR, Hall Of Memories, Man He Can Skoot, Western Churchill, Goodnite Goodluck, T Red and Our McLovin. Monday's triumph increased Forever Good's lifetime win tally to 32 and his earnings to $345,436. He returned $13.40 to win. Monday hosted two divisions of the first legs of both the Legend Series and Hall of Fame Series. Both series are for $8,000 claimers with the Legend Series being for pacers and the Hall of Fame Series for trotters. I Know Your Lookin (trainer Harla Loney / driver Josh Sutton) and Chase The Sun (trainer Brian Loney / driver Josh Sutton) won the divisions of the Legend Series. Mr Jesse (trainer Ron Burke / driver Chris Page) and Life Long Hanover (trainer Crist Hershberger / driver Josh Sutton) captured the divisions of the Hall of Fame Series. Four horses were claimed out of the first leg of the series and Life Long Hanover, M A Roy, Nordic Venture and Soulful Delight have moved to new homes. Driver Josh Sutton dominated most of the evening, posting eight successful drives on the night. Sutton, 31, began driving in 2000 and has since garnered 2,297 career victories and is approaching $13,000,000 in purse earnings. He has posted 99 victories so far this year over Northfield's Flying Turns, ranking him second in the local driving ranks. Only Ronnie Wrenn Jr. (102) has more local wins this year than Josh Sutton. Chasing Wrenn and Sutton are: Aaron Merriman (77), David Lake (44) and Robin Miller (42). Sutton has been driving at Miami Valley on Northfield Park's nights off and he has been winning there as well. He has 128 driving wins so far in 2014, ranking him as the seventh winningest driver so far this year in North America. Only Aaron Merriman (161), Corey Callahan (153), Ronnie Wrenn Jr. (147), Ron Pierce (146), Brian Sears (140) and Dave Palone (134) have more wins this year than Josh Sutton. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park
DOVER. Del.--- An on-line auction of 2014-season stallion breedings is being held this week to benefit the "Janet Davis Fundraiser." Eight quality stallion breedings - five of which are for stallions standing in Delaware - one in Maryland, one in Indiana and one in Ontario, will be available to bid on beginning this Tuesday, March 25 at 12 Noon and continue until 12 Noon on Friday, March 28. The Delaware stallions are, in alphabetical order and (donor):pacer, Badlands Nitro (George Teague); pacer, Dream Away (Winbak Farm of Delaware); trotter, Keystone Activator ( Leigh and Tyler Raymer);and pacer, Roddy's Bags Again (Norma Messick and Tim Torbert). Now standing in Maryland are pacing stallions; Rusty's All In (Fox Den Farm) and Total Truth (by Only Money Inc.), standing in Indiana is pacer, Proper Respect (Carlo Poliseno) and standing in Ontario is Badlands Hanover (Joe Holloway). For those bidding, contact: www.ongait.com website. DSBF opening round at Dover on Monday The 2014 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) 1st leg $20,000 preliminaries gets underway for three-year-old filly pacers on Monday, March 24 while in the $20,000 Mares Open pace, Alexachase takes on five foes in the overnight feature at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. In the first $20,000 DSBF prelim, seven time freshman winner Seboomook Fool Yah, bred and owned by Garnet O’Marrow, seeks to continue his efforts following a $100,000 winning final last November. Allan Davis will be in the bike for trainer Wayne Givens. Winbak Farm’s Fashion Guru has been racing this year and is a winner of three with two seconds in six starts with Ben Stafford Jr. in the bike. Vic Kirby will drive Jeff Bartels’ Crushed Again, a winner of three with four seconds in seven races in 2013. The Wiz Kids Stable’s Jonigold (Bart Dalious), second in the two-year-old $100,000 final, leads the second DSBF division. Virginia Louthan bred, owned and trained Megginspin (Ron Pierce) has shown great improvement in her recent starts prepping for this event. Santa Baby (Montrell Teague), owned by Paul and trainer Lorie Davos. Burris and Chaney is well qualified. I’m Won Rum Wiser, a five-time winner at two, leads the third $20,000 prelim for The Wiz Kids Stable and Tina and driver George Dennis. Ed Walls’ Mommom’s Little C (Jonathan Roberts) and Henry Faragalli III, T.P. Johnson and Joe Thomson’s Treasure Valley (Jim Morand) head the challengers. On the regular card, Bret Brittingham, who is enjoyed one of his best winning seasons, drives Alexachase for owners Kimberley and trainer Johnny Waite. Not to be overlooked is Spend It All, driven by Jim Morand for owners Steve Head and Brooke Givens, i0n only her second start of her four-year-old season. The one to catch in the select field is Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta’s Jeremes Sweetheart, with Ron Pierce. Owner-trainer Bob Winkelman’s Paradise Lost is racing at the top of his game for Ross Wolfenden. Ash LaRue, and George Dennis, drew post 1 while Mike Horn and Bobby Rice Sr.’s Gottaseeaboutagirl, handled by Vic Kirby, closed strongly in last week’s feature test. Colt beats older rivals at Dover Sunday Thetruthaboutdavid, the only sophomore in the field, recorded his third win of the year and reduced his lifetime record to 1:54.4 winning the $9,500 3,4&5-Year-Old pace on Sunday, to start the third from last week of the Dover Downs 2013-2014 meet began on March 23. A George Teague homebred, Thetruthaboutdavid closed strongly for driver Montrell Teague in only his eighth career race. The Total Truth-Start The Game gelding has been either first or second in seven starts. Pantheon Seelster (Jonathan Roberts) too second money with White Sportscoat (Ross Wolfenden) the third-place finisher. Tony Morgan, the all-time fifth leading driver in the sport, chalked up a four-bagger, with two for trainer Tim Crissman. Jim Morand, Montrell Teague and trainer George Teague had doubles. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
PROMINENT Tasmanian harness racing owner Mick Alexander has raced some handy horses over the years but the way Falco Peregrinus delivered the knockout blow to his rivals in the Westbury Cup at Carrick on Friday he might be the best. Falco Peregrinus (Dream Away-Peregrine NZ) settled last and understandably from his sole 20-metre back mark but he was still near the rear turning for home and looked unlikely to even run a place when they straightened. But when novice driver Dylan Ford took him to the outside of the track and called on the seven-year-old gelding for the supreme effort he rattled home at the rate of knots to score by almost three metres from race leader High Flyin Ruler with Put Mback three metres away third. It was a herculean performance to win from that position in such a high grade race open to C4 plus performers. The gelding began his career in Victoria where he won a C0 and two C1 races at Ballarat and Stawell in 2010 before heading to Menangle the following season where he won a 4YO over 1609m. After three more minor placings at that track the following preparation he was dispatched to Tasmania just over a year ago and won first-up for Grant Hodges. He was transferred to Keith Toulmin and in his care he notched four minor placings leading up to this latest win. By Peter Staples
The Harness Racing Museum would like to thank all of the donors and bidders for a successful stallion breeding auction. Due to several newly received services, as well as some breedings that did not receive appropriate bids, the following is a list of stallions that are still available. TROTTERS are indicated with upper case CAPS. Delaware - Cr Commando, Dream Away Illinois - Yankee Skyscaper Indiana - Allthatgltrsisgold, GUCCIO, Panspacificflight Maryland - CHARLIE DE VIE, FOUR STARZ ROBRO, GROTON HALL, Holy Guacamolie, Nuclear Breeze, Totally Western, Up Front Charlie New York - Conway Hall, Deweycheatumnhowe, Lislea, Lucky Chucky, Panther Hanover, Riverboat King Ohio - COLIE'S, Manhardt, Northern Kid, Powerful Toy, Valley Victor, Woodstock Ontario - Angus Hall, Artistic Fella, Badlands Hanover, Classic Card Shark Pennsylvania - Lear Jetta, Sierra Kosmos, Tom Ridge, Tuffofthetoughest In addition, the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is proud to offer a newly acquired breeding to GUCCIO as part of our stallion breeding auction. This is a unique opportunity as his book is sure to be full and closed very shortly. The world champion and million-dollar winning trotter Guccio 4,1:51.1f ($1,021,809) begins stud duty at Victory Hill Farm, one of the leading farms in Indiana. He will stand for a fee of $5,000 for the 2014 breeding season. Income raised by the stallion auction, nearly $540,000 over the past 15 years, supports the Museum's General Operating Fund. It helps to ensure quality services, special exhibitions, traveling exhibits, promotional support and educational programming for children and adults. Our efforts also help to encourage new owners and fans! For additional information on the auction, to donate breedings, or to receive a complete list of stallions and conditions for bidding, please contact Joanne Young at 845.294.6330, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.harnessmuseum.com, where updates will also be posted. Some stallions have more than one breeding available. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour 4 p.m.). Thanks to USTA support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. From the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame
Dover Downs is capital of the sport this Sunday (Feb. 23). The U.S. Harness Writers Association's (USHWA) Night of Champions comes to Dover Downs for its 67th annual awards-dinner in the Rollins Center. The highlight of the evening will be announcement of the 2013 Horse of the Year. Among champion division winning horses and individuals being honored are three local horsepersons, Corey Callahan receives the "Rising Star Award," Judy Davis -Wilson is USHWAn of the Year while Janet Davis receives the Harness Horse Youth Foundations 'Service to Youth' award for her charitable voluntary work to make the Christmas season a happy time for hundreds of youngster in Delaware. Complete information on the awards-dinner visit the USHWA website: www.ushwa.org. ----------------------------------- For those not at the USHWA 'Night of Champions' at Dover Downs, check the USTA website: ustrotting.com for video streaming of the sports biggest night of the year starting at approximately 6 p.m. ---------------------------------------- Also on Sunday, a Dan Patch dinner auction will take place with items such as: Yannick Gingras colors and helmet, personally autographed; an original Mary Lou Dondarski acrylic painting of Bee A Magician and another acrylic painting of Captaintreacherous; Bill Haught's winning engraved clock trophy training Nihilator in the $2-million Woodrow Wilson Pace.; Now River bracelets, LV Harkness-etched clock; a breeding to Dream Away amony many more items. Those not at the banquet can bid on any or all of the items by calling 954-654-3757 or 732-306-6713 or 732-547-9459 until 7 p.m. ------------------------------------------ Statistics for the early 2014 season show Dover Downs regulars Corey Callahan and Ron Piece off to fast starts. Currently, Callahan leads all drivers in the sport with more than 100 wins. Ron Pierce is now second in the standing some 25 behind. Ross Wolfenden is 11th with 48 wins, ------------------------------------------------------------- Corey Callahan is alone at the top of the track leading driver category in quest of a fifth consecutive track title. This meet, Callahan has won 178 races. Ross Wolfenden has moved into second place with 887 wins. Allan Davis is third with 61 winners. Ron Pierce has moved into third with 75 wins and Vic Kirby, fifth, with 74 wins. ------------------------------------ Callahan's second win on Thursday (2/20), came with #8 Chrusher Man in the 5th race. The 8-1 official odds turned out 55-1 and Callahan drove the four-year-old pacer to one of his four wins that night, a lifetime mark of 153. By the way, the horse went off at 55-1 and paid $113.40 for a $2-dollar win ticket ------------------------------------------ Dylan Davis has extended his first place lead in the trainer standings with 50 wins. Wayne Givens is second with 39 winners. Trish Foulk is third with 37 wins. Joe Hundertpfund is fourth, 36 wins and Les Givens, 33, is fifth in the standings. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
Coral Springs, FL - Would you like to own Yannick Gingras's helmet and colors, personally autographed to you? Or perhaps Bill Haughton's trainer trophy clock from winning the $2 million Woodrow Wilson Pace with Nihilator? Maybe a Mary Lou Dondarski original painting of the trotter Bee A Magician or the pacer Captaintreacherous? These items and many more are all up for grabs in the United States Harness Writers Association silent and live auction at the upcoming Dan Patch Awards dinner at Dover Downs, Delaware this Sunday, February 23. But you don't have to be there to be a winner! You can call in your bids now for all of the items in the auction. And best of all is that all proceeds go directly to the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and USHWA. All you have to do is call any of these numbers for detailed information; 954.654.3757; 732-306-6713; 317.908.0029 or 732.547.9459. and place your bid order on any or all of the auction items. You will be able to bid via telephone up until 7 p.m. on Sunday (February 23) so please don't delay and miss out on these great items. Most of the items can be seen on the internet at www.ushwa.org. Here are all the items that are in the live and silent auction: Yannick Gingras colors and helmet (personalized by Yannick) Original Mary Lou Dondarski acrylic painting Bee A Magician Bill Haughton's engraved clock trophy as winning trainer of Nihilator in world's richest race, $2 million Woodrow Wilson Pace Original Mary Lou Dondarski acrylic painting Captaintreacherous Original Michele Hogan painting "Racing under the Moon" Horse Motive Quilt Throw Collectable silver coin with horse engraved Large "Colts Frolic" Bronze Statue Bow River Bracelets LV Harkness etched clock Complete bobble head collection (23 items) in showcase Breeding to Dream Away (Winbak Farm - Delaware) Rock N Roll Heaven halter with Breeders Crown Casino Chips (Display case) Hambletonian whiskey decanter (empty), Bank Barn collector's plate and horseshoe wall hanging Hand-painted Round Barn fruit bowl (13 inches) By Steve Wolf, president of USHWA
TASMANIA has long been known for its ability to produce top drivers with many following a family tradition in taking to the sulky. At Carrick last Saturday Chris Aylett notched his first winner when he guided Liams Dream to victory in the Dakin Refrigeration Pace over 2150 metres and it was a drive to be remembered. Liams Dream is also trained by Aylett who is the youngest son of Phil Aylett who has earned a reputation as a master horseman and astute trainer of standardbreds. Liams Dream went into the race with modest form, although his previous outing in Launceston and the gelding had worked well during the week leading up to this latest assignment. It was a great result for the Aylett family and it was Chris’ first win from only a handful of drives. Liams Dream faced the breeze for most of the race outside of the leader Heres Your Chocky. When Aylett called on Liams Dream to sprint turning for home the gelding forged to the lead and had enough in reserve to stave off a late challenges from Boozy Rouge with Heres Your Chocky hanging on for third four metres astern. Phil Aylett has obviously passed on plenty of advice on how to get the best out of Liams Dream that is lucky to be still racing. Liams Dream (Dream Away-Marlee Jayne) was bred by Col Johnson who had enormous success with progeny of the mare Marlee Jayne. The gelding suffered suspensory injuries and was about to be retired but was eventually gifted to Phil Aylett who opted to take the horse to Victoria for stem cell treatment. “The stem cell treatment worked fine and while the horse still has to be carefully managed he is sound and has a bright future,” Phil Aylett said. Peter Staples