The Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) will present the first look at the original painting of Foiled Again, the harness racing wonder and the highest earning pacer in the history of the sport on Monday, May 18th, 2015. The original 18"x24" oil painting will be in a custom floating frame and measure 21"x27". It will be up for grabs through telephone bidding, and live on site at SRF's auction during its 23rd Annual Charity Golf Outing. In addition to this fabulous item, a signed print will also be available along with a custom painted Spyder Bike, a Pennsbury Trainer, Giants' Tickets, a Jets' Package, TaylorMade Irons, Disney Hopper Tickets, Equine Home Decor and much much more. Visit SRF's website to view all items, then come May 18th, some will be available to bid online at that time. Please email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org to be set up for the telephone bidding. Those who have contacted SRF already should do so again due to email glitches. Sponsorships are still available and golf foursomes remain available for the event being hosted at Knob Hill Country Club, in Manalapan, New Jersey. All are welcome to join us for golf, cocktails, dinner, and to participate in the auctions. Visit http://www.adoptahorse.org to access the information or contact Kate at 732 446-4422, or email email@example.com. Standardbred Retirement Foundation | 353 Sweetmans Lane, Suite 101 | Millstone Twp. | NJ | 08535
Delaware, OH - Sugar Valley Farm and the Dragon Again Syndicate have announced that Dragon Again's book is full and closed for 2015. Sire of the richest pacer ever, Foiled Again p,1:48f ($6,925,031), Dragon Again p,1:48.3 ($2,343,428) is perennially ranked among harness racing’s leading pacing sires in both speed and earnings categories. Standing his second Ohio season in 2015, he has been enthusiastically received by breeders in the Buckeye state with full books in both 2014 and 2015. His first crop of Ohio-eligible foals will be yearlings in 2016. For further information, contact Sugar Valley Farm at 740.363.5618 or e-mai firstname.lastname@example.org.
WILKES-BARRE PA - Sparky Mark ($14.20), the next-to-longest shot in the field, made every pole a winning one in the $25,000 winners-over pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, with all-time money champion Foiled Again, having to go first-over after a rest of three weeks, finishing fifth, beaten less than four lengths in the 1:49.2 mile. The red-hot Brothers Allard, driver Simon and trainer Rene, teamed up behind the victorious son of Astreos, who hit the quarter in 26.3 and the half in 55, "walkin'-horse" time over the speedy red clay surface. Foiled Again came first-over but could get no closer than the winner's wheel at the 1:22.4 Â¾ pole, with Sparky Mark then turning on the sprint engine even further with a 26.4 dash home to win by a half-length over pocketsitting Luck Be Withyou, a 2013 Breeders Crown winner at Pocono (like Foiled Again) making his 2015 debut here. Kapildeo Singh and Michael Assante share ownership on Sparky Mark, who went over $900,000 in career earnings with the triumph. Foiled Again's all-time money total now stands at $6,925,031, with his Pocono record 12-5-3-2-$759,636. The 11YO's start on Saturday came a staggering 2780 days since his first appearance at the mountain oval, when as a three-year-old the altered son of Dragon Again was third in a Pennsylvania Sire Stake on July 3, 2007. ********** This Saturday is Kentucky Derby Day, which The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will celebrate with the only doubleheader of racing this season. The first race will go at 11:00 a.m., with the evening card set to go at 6:30 p.m. The highlight of the afternoon card is the debut of the stakes season at Pocono, with a Pennsylvania All-Stars for PA-sired three-year-olds featured next weekend and the one after that - the three-year-old trotting colts will be in the Saturday afternoon spotlight. The evening card feature will be the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Pace, named after the longtime sportswriter and handicapper of the area. PHHA / Pocono
April 22, 2015 - Millstone Twp., NJ - The Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) was gifted an original painting of the harness racing wonder, the richest pacer in history, Foiled Again. This framed original 18x24 oil painting will be up for grabs in SRF's live auction at their 23rd annual charity golf outing. The Florida artist, Debbie Pounders was commissioned by Chrissy (Haislip) Daniel to render a portrait from a photograph captured by US Trotting photographer, Mark Hall. The preview will be on May 20th on SRF's website. There will also be a framed numbered print signed by driver, Yannick Gingras. For those who cannot be in attendance phone bids will be accepted during the auction on the night of the outing, Tuesday, May 26th, 2015. The hosting golf course is Knob Hill, in Manalapan, NJ. All are welcome to join for golf, cocktails, dinner, and to participate in the two auctions. Visit www.adoptahorse.org to access the information or contact Tammy at 732 446-4422, or email email@example.com. Standardbred Retirement Foundation | 353 Sweetmans Lane, Suite 101 | Millstone Twp. | NJ | 08535
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 7, 2015-Yonkers Raceway's fourth round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series Saturday night attracted 18 entrants, thus neatly divided into three, $50,000 divisions (races 5,6 and 7). The math of three groupings and four horses entered does not work with the new one-horse-per-trainer-per-division rule, so Ron Burke had to "bench" someone... ...and that someone was Foiled Again. Harness racing's richest-ever horse ($6,923,781) was entered Tuesday morning, but "scratched" when there was not going to be a fourth division in this fourth round. Burke's in-to-go trio are Bettor's Edge (Yannick Gingras, post 4) in the first grouping, Take it Back Terry (George Brennan, post 2) in the second division and Clear Vision (Gingras, post 5) in the third. Those three currently rank 8th, 9th (tied) and 16th in the series standings, while Foiled Again-with a second, third and fifth in three series starts-sits in 13th place. Series leader (3-for-3) and defending champion P H Supercam is also a non-participant this time around. The fifth (final) preliminary round is scheduled for Saturday, April 18th, with the final (purse TBA) Saturday, April 25th. For the full Entries click here. Frank Drucker
This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series second legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features two $40,000 divisions on Friday (March 27) in the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 28) card at Yonkers will see four $50,000 divisions in the second round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Trainer Jeff Bamond Jr. and driver Jason Bartlett were the stars in the opening round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Series last weekend at Yonkers. For the weekend, Bamond earned a total of 39 Grand Circuit training points and Bartlett posted 34 driving points. Bamond and Bartlett kicked things off on March 20 by teaming up to capture a Blue Chip Matchmaker division with Venus Delight. Bamond also won another Matchmaker split with Krispy Apple with Tim Tetrick in the bike. P H Supercam edged Foiled Again at the wire in their Levy division. Then on March 21 in the George Morton Levy series, the Bamond/Bartlett duo were back in the winner's circle with P H Supercam as they defeated Foiled Again by a head in a time of 1:53. Foiled Again, rounding the bend toward $7 million and making his 225th lifetime start, was in play early from outside post position No. 7. He worked around the two inside numbers -- 3-2 favorite P H Supercam and a bit-wide Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) -- making the lead just past a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. After a soft :56.4 intermission, Foiled Again found a seemingly-comfy 1:25 three-quarters, taking a 1-1/2 length lead into the lane. However, P H Supercam ducked inside and passed harness racing's richest-ever horse late, winning by a hard-fought head in 1:53. Third went to Dancin Yankee, with Frankie's Dragon and Apprentice Hanover settling for the remainder. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the opening weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett - 34; 2. Yannick Gingras - 27; 3t. George Brennan - 20; 3t. Daniel Dube - 20; 5. Tim Tetrick - 14. Trainers: 1. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 39; 2. Ron Burke - 37; 3t. Mark Ford - 10; 3t. Rene Allard - 10; 3t. Mark Silva - 10; 3t.Tony O'Sullivan - 10. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 33; 2. Jeff Snyder - 10; 3t. Burke Racing - 8.90; 3t. Weaver Bruscemi - 8.90; 5. Joseph Davino - 6. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the first three weekends in April. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 25. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 21, 2015-The annual rite of spring known as the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series began Saturday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting five, $50,000 divisions for the best Free-For-Allers in training. The featured foray did not disappoint, as last season's champ, P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett), picking off the season-debuting, 11-year-old Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) in the third grouping. Foiled Again, rounding the bend toward $7 million and making his 225th lifetime start, was in play early from outside post position No. 7. He worked around the two inside numbers-3-2 favorite "Supercam" and a bit-wide Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson)--making the lead just past a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. After a soft :56.4 intermission, Big N Bad (Dan Dube) moved from fifth, with Dancin' Yankee (Brett Miller) in behind. Meanwhile, Foiled Again found a seemingly-comfy 1:25 three-quarters, taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, P H Supercam ducked inside and snapped harness racing's richest-ever horse late, winning by a hard-fought head in 1:53. Third went to Dancin' Yankee, with Frankie's Dragon (George Brennan) and Apprentice Hanover settling for the remainder. For P H Supercam, an 8-year-old Million Dollar Cam gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeff Bamond Jr., he returned $5 for his third win in six seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $22.60, with the triple returning $90.50. "A lot of things went right for him tonight," Bartlett said. "Obviously, the draw and the fact (Foiled Again) wasn't going much up front. The best thing about me horse is he can sprint, but Foiled Again is a great horse and tough to get by. I thought we were going right by, especially since (Foiled Again) was making his first start of the season, but it's always special to beat a horse that's so good." Millionaire Warrawee Needy (Mark MacDonald, $7.30). was left alone on the lead (:28, :57) and made 'em pay (1:24.2, 1:52.1) in the fourth Levy division. From post No. 2, he whipped a closing 50-1 Windsong Jack (Eric Carlson) by three-quarters of a length. Clear Vision (Gingras) was third, while 11-10 choice Bigtown Hero (Dan Dube) was a tiring pocket sixth. For Warrawee Needy, a 6-year-old son of E Dee's Cam co-owned by (trainer) Mark Ford, David Shea and Carl Jamieson, he's now 4-for-7 this season. The exacta paid $131.50, with the triple returning $433.50. Saturday night's other Levy events were won by... --Beach Memories,g,5 (by Somebeachsomewhere); co-owners Strollin Stable,AWS Stables,King McNamara,Country Club Acres/trainer Ron Burke/driver Gingras; 1:52.2/$5.30; --Polak A,7 (by Pacific Fella); co-owners Frank Bellino & Sons,Frank J Bellino,Joseph Bellino/trainer Tony O'Sullivan/driver Gingras; (U-S parimutuel debut) 1:52/$5.30; --Michael's Power,g,6 (by Camluck); breeder-owner Jeff Snyder/trainer Mark Silva/driver Dube; 1:52.1/$21. Saturday night's $42,000 Open Handicap Trot went to Not Afraid (Dube, $3.20), overcoming an assigned eight-hole (1:56.1) for a fourth consecutive victory. The Raceway's live season continues Monday night (post time 7:10 PM). After that, it's Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily (save for Palm and Easter Sundays, March 29 & April 5). Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Thursday, March 12, 2015 - Yonkers Raceway has announced the list of eligibles for its "big boy" and "big girl" pacing series, the 2015 edition of the George Morton Levy Memorial and Blue Chip Matchmaker. Connections of 62 of the best Free For Allers in training-39 Levy and 23 Matchmaker-have paid to play as both series get underway next weekend (Matchmaker Friday, March 20 and GM Levy Saturday, March 21). As is traditionally the case, any number of career seven-figure performers shall be invading Westchester for these events. Leading the list for the Levy is, of course, Foiled Again. Harness racing's richest-ever horse, with career cash approaching $7 million, is to begin his 11-year-old campaign in this series. He won the Levy consecutively in 2008-09. Defending series champ P H Supercam is also among the eligibles, along with the likes of Apprentice Hanover, Big Boy Dreams, Clear Vision, Dancin' Yankee, Lucan Hanover and Warrawee Needy. Somwherovrarainbow, who won the Matchmaker a season ago, is among the leading lasses this season. Anndrovette, a four-time consecutive (once in a dead-heat) older female pacer of the year, is also Matchmaker-bound, along with Carolsideal, Sayitall BB and Yagonnakissmeornot. Both the Levy ($50,000 per race) and Matchmaker ($40,000 per event) offer five preliminary legs, with finals (and consolations) scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 25. A list of eligibles for both series accompanies this release. Changing subjects, a friendly reminder that tonight's (Thursday, March 12) Pick 5 offers a carryover of $3,178.11 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). 2015 George Morton Levy Memorial Pace Open FFA Pacing Series $1,500,000 Estimated Late Closing Series at Yonkers Raceway 1st Preliminary - Saturday, March 21, 2015 - $50,000 Ea. 2nd Preliminary - Saturday, March 28, 2015 - $50,000 Ea. 3rd Preliminary - Saturday, April 4, 2015- $50,000 Ea. 4th Preliminary - Saturday, April 11, 2015 - $50,000 Ea. 5th Preliminary - Saturday, April 18, 2015 - $50,000 Ea. Consolation - Saturday, April 25, 2015 - $100,000 G Final - Saturday, April 25, 2015 - $200,000 A Name of Horse Sire Dam Age Nominator 1 American Venture - American Ideal - Pleasant Journey 5 Little Bapa LLC 2 Apprentice Hanover - Somebeachsomewhere - Allamerican Nadia 5 Joannes Stkg. 3 Aslan Mach Three Skyview 6 Joannes Stkg. 4 Beach Memories Somebeachsomewhere Allamerican Memoir 5 B. Brown Stb. 5 Best Said Well Said Dreamoftreasure 4 Bluegrass Stkg. 6 Bettors Edge Bettors Delight Spring Wind 6 Bluegrass Stkg. 7 Big Boy Dreams If I Can Dream Stefani Bluechip 4 Joannes Stkg. 8 Big N Bad Badlands Hanover Just Sassy 5 Chapmans Stkg. 9 BigTownHero American Ideal Art Account 7 R. Allard 10 Capital Account American Ideal Copywriter 4 R. Bendis Rcng, 11 Capozzo Bettors Delight Annie McGuireN 4 Bluegrass Stkg. 12 Clear Vision Western Hanover Artistic Vision 9 Bluegrass Stkg. 13 Dancin Yankee Yankee Cruiser Dancewiththebest 7 Bluegrass Stkg. 14 Dapper Dude The Panderosa Dressto Suggest 6 Bluegrass Stkg. 15 Domethatagain Bettors Delight Road Sign 6 R. Allard 16 Dream out Loud N Bettors Delight Nothinbutadreamer 8 D. Cassar 17 Fat Mans Alley Rocknrolhanover Roller Cam 7 J. Bamond 18 Foiled Again Dragon Again In a Safe Place 11 Bluegrass Stkg. 19 Frankie's Dragon Dragon Again Real Fool 6 Chapmans Stkg. 20 Heez Orl Black N In the Pocket Cracker Kate 7 A. Vallee 21 Holdingallthecards Cams Card Shark Ivory Tower 6 S. DiDomenico 22 Lucan Hanover Western Ideal Lauren Order 5 Joannes Stkg. 23 Mach It So Mach Three Beach Dancer 5 J. Bamond 24 Machs Beach Boy Mach Three Lets go Sparkle 6 P. Lachance 25 McErlean McArdle Igottwowordsforyou 6 D. Cassar 26 Michaels Power Camluck Michelles Jackpot 6 Joannes Stkg. 27 National Debt Allamerican Native Our Inheritance 4 Joannes Stkg. 28 Pancetta No Pan Intended GingerbreadSquare 6 R. Morita 29 PH Supercam Million Dollar Cam Callwood Ivy 8 J. Bamond 30 Polak A Pacific Fella Capture a Million 7 Frellino & Sons 31 Sapphire City Metropolitan Spectre Almahurst 7 Centaur Stable 32 Smooth Criminal Blue Burner Gunslingin Gal 6 Little Bapa LLC 33 Speckled Door Mach Three Spoutin Off 4 Joannes Stkg. 34 Take it back Terry Western Terror Second Symphony 6 M. Weaver 35 Texican N Bettors Delight Bury my Heart 7 H. VonKnoblauch 36 That'll be the Rei Cheyenne Rei Unspeakable Joy 5 Harmon Racing 37 Validus Deo Lis Mara Madam Countess 6 J. Bamond 38 Warrawee Needy E Dee's Cam Great Memories 6 Bluegrass Stkg. 39 Windsong Jack Santana Bluechip Milliondollarsmile 5 Little Bapa LLC 2015 BLUE CHIP MATCHMAKER Mare FFA Pacing Series $1,000,000 Estimated Late Closing Series at Yonkers Raceway Featuring Breedings to 'American Ideal' 'Art Major' 'Bettor's Delight' 'Rock N Roll Heaven' ' Roll With Joe' , Shadow Play' & 'Sunshine Beach' 1st Preliminary - Friday, March 20, 2015 - $40,000 2nd Preliminary - Friday, March 27, 2015 - $40,000 3rd Preliminary - Friday, April 3, 2015- $40,000 4th Preliminary - Friday, April 10, 2015- $40,000 5th Preliminary - Friday, April 17, 2015 - $40,000 Final - Saturday, April 25, 2015- $125,000 A Consolation - Saturday, April 25, 2015 - $75,000 G Name of Horse Sire Dam Age Nominator 1 Anndrovette Riverboat King Easy Miss 8 J. Bamond 2 Camille Camluck Art of Design 7 M. Weaver 3 Carols Ideal Western Ideal Cam Carol 6 R. Allard 4 Charisma Hanover Dragon Again Caughtthebouquet 5 Bluegrass Stkg. 5 Coffee Addict Dragon Again Kahlua Queen 5 J. Clarke 6 Fancy Desire Real Desire Fancycreekmemory 4 Bluegrass Stkg. 7 For the Ladies N Jeremes Jet For the Don 6 H. Von Knoblauch 8 Handsoffmycookie Art Major Observe Me 5 Chapmans Stkg. 9 It Was Fascination American Ideal On the Catwalk 3 Chapmans Stkg. 10 Krispy Apple Western Ideal Apple Krisp 7 J. Bamond 11 Medusa Bettors Delight Mythical 4 M. Weaver 12 Monkey on my Wheel Mach Three Legislation 7 Joannes Stkg. 13 Palm Patrol Mach Three Top Time Patrol 6 Auciello Stb. 14 Rockaround Sue Rocknroll Hanover Promysquoslady 6 J. Bamond 15 Rocknrollxample Rocknrollhanover RXample 4 R. Hamather 16 Sayitall BB Tell All Challo BB 4 Bluegrass Stkg. 17 Shebestingin Bettors Delight Armbro Tussle 5 Bluegrass Stkg. 18 SomeIslandSomwhere Somebeachsomewhere Trinity Islands 4 Little Bapa LLC 19 Somwherovrarainbow Somebeachsomewhere Rainbow Blue 5 Bluegrass Stkg. 20 Strings HiHoSilverheels SharpsNFlats 5 Little Bapa LLC 21 Venus Delight Bettors Delight Venus Killean 5 J. Bamond 22 Voelz Hanover Astreos Vassar Hanover 10 P. LaChance 23 Yagoonakissmeornot The Ponderosa Artstopper 6 R. Allard **SUBJECT TO ADDITIONS, CORRECTIONS & OMISSIONS****
Freehold, NJ --- The USTA website provides periodic glimpses at some of harness racing’s stars as they prepare for harness racing action this year. Today, we look at ageless record-setting pacer Foiled Again. FOILED AGAIN Dragon Again – In A Safe Place – Artsplace Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, JJK Stables Breeder: Barbara Matthews Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Yannick Gingras 2014 Record: 26-6-8-5; $863,563; 1:50.2h Career: 224-83-56-32; $6.90 million; 1:48f Honors: Dan Patch Award for best older male pacer in 2013, 2012, 2011. Dan Patch Award for Pacer of the Year in 2011. O’Brien Award for best older male pacer in 2013, 2011. The road back: The 11-year-old Foiled Again qualified in 1:54.3 at the Meadowlands on March 7 and will return to the Big M on Friday for another qualifier as he prepares for the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. The Levy begins March 21. Foiled Again won the series in 2010 and 2009. He finished second in the final in 2013 and 2012 and was third in 2014 and 2011. “It was good,” trainer Ron Burke said about Foiled Again’s first qualifier of the year. “He did everything we asked of him, so we were happy with him. “We lost some time with the weather, but he’ll be fine. He couldn’t be any better. He’s training back as good or better than any other year. He’s an incredible horse. He just gets better and better all the time.” Bittersweet: Last year, Foiled Again finished second to now-retired stablemateSweet Lou in earnings among older pacers. Sweet Lou, who set a record with six consecutive wins in faster than 1:48, was named best older male pacer and Pacer of the Year. Sweet Lou won six of the races in which Foiled Again competed, with Foiled Again finishing second on three occasions. Overall for the year, Foiled Again’s second-place finishes included the TVG Free For All Series Championship, Canadian Pacing Derby, Dayton Pacing Derby, American-National, Allerage, and Mohawk Gold Cup. “Foiled’s schedule this year is basically the same as in the past,” Burke said. “I decided to have him be one of my top two horses for the big races. I don’t think anybody has his consistency. I’m going to have to stay the course and hope the races are a little weaker this year. Without (Sweet) Lou being in it should help him a little bit. Lou hurt him because he just couldn’t pace as fast as Lou. No matter what he did, he couldn’t get to him. If Foiled can get to a horse, he’ll usually beat him. But he just could never get to him.” Oh, that’s rich: No horse in harness racing history has banked more money than Foiled Again’s $6.90 million in lifetime North American purses. Foiled Again is the richest 7-year-old in history ($1.40 million in 2011), richest 8-year-old ($1.20 million in 2012), richest 9-year-old ($1.40 million in 2013) and richest 10-year-old ($863,563 in 2014). Combine the earnings of the next three richest 10-year-olds on the all-time list and they fall nearly $66,000 short of Foiled Again’s 2014 campaign. One in a million: Foiled Again is the only horse in North American harness racing history to have three million-dollar seasons. “I don’t know if there will be another one that can do it for so many years at the top level,” driver Yannick Gingras said. “He’s one of a kind. I know at this point that he’s got less ahead of him than he has behind him, so I’m enjoying him a lot more. I know every race is a privilege. He’s a very special horse and I’m thankful I get to drive him.” As easy as 1-2-3: For his career, Foiled Again has hit the board 57 times in races worth at least $100,000. Size doesn’t matter: Foiled Again has won at least one race worth more than $450,000 on every sized racetrack in North America -- half, five-eighths, seven-eighths and mile. “I hate to say it, but it’s almost now where we take him for granted,” Burke said. “It’s just because he’s so consistent. You never have to worry about him. You never have to worry that he’s going to race bad this week. He’s not going to; he races good every week.” Rambling on: The only older male pacers to receive three consecutive Dan Patch Awards are Foiled Again and Rambling Willie (1975-77). Interestingly, until Silent Swing’s $155,270 season in 2013, Rambling Willie was the sport’s richest 11-year-old pacer of all time, with $151,599 earned in 1981. “I think the most remarkable thing about Foiled is that he’s an 11-year-old and we’re still talking about him,” Burke said. “You just don’t see horses that are even ages 8 or 9 that are a major factor in their class. He’s 11 years old and nobody can say they’re definitely going to beat him this year. He’s got as good a chance as anybody at the end of the year to be talked about for aged pacer of the year.” Crowning moment: Foiled Again won the 2013 Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs by a nose over Pet Rock in the slop to become at age 9 the oldest Breeders Crown champion in history. “I really believe that race sums his career up,” said Gingras, who pumped his fist three times in celebration that night when the photo-finish result was posted on the tote board. “Doing it the way he did, roughing it up; he never had a breather at any point during the race. He was able to beat the best there was and no one had any excuse. He just refused to lose.” by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications
Nestled away in Wingate, North Carolina, 75 miles west of Pinehurst, is the Olive Branch Farm. It is the "Go To" turnout farm in harness racing, serving many of the leading horsemen in North America. It has become over the years the idealistic resort and rehab location for harness racing’s world champion equine performers. And the people who run the place, Chris & Georgia Coyle, are renowned within the industry as people who do a great job and are dedicated to the horses! Their Olive Branch Farm is an equine retreat. Their roster of horses who come here for some much needed rest and relaxation have read like the award winners page at the O’Brien or Dan Patch dinners for many years now. Here are many of them, in alphabetical order, and Chris smiles every time he mentions their names. All Bet's Off Bettor's Edge Classic Martine Clear Vision Foiled Again Frau Blucher Habitat He's Watching JK Endofanera JK She'salady Jolene Jolene Limelight Beach Luck Be With You Mission Brief Market Share Sassa Hanover Yagonnakissmeornot Yankee Bounty Chris Coyle first got hooked on harness racing when his father Charlie took him and his brother Tim to the track when they were young boys in the 1970's. He grew up in New Hampshire and first started working in harness racing at Rockingham Park and Foxboro raceway. He studied at the University of New Hampshire and worked at the track for eight years before switching to the farm end of the industry. He worked at Blue Chip Farms in NY for nine years, then Walnridge Farm in NJ for eight years before going on his own. They have two daughters, Carrie (30) and Christie (27). Georgia Coyle is a native of Charlotte, NC and is an avid equestrian who worked for years with the Show Jumpers at the Olympic level caring for some of the greats in that sport. “We first got the farm and have been open since 1998,” Chris said. “We have 110 acres and are in a quiet, rural section of North Carolina which helps the horses to be horses here. That is what they need the most.” He worked at Blue Chip Farms in NY for nine years, then Walnridge Farm in NJ for eight years before going on his own. With him and helping run the farm is his wife of 31 years, Georgia. They have two daughters, Carrie (30) and Christie (27). “Generally we have 75 to 80 head on the farm most of the time.” Chris explained. “We have five employee and my wife Georgia, she’s the boss.” Trainers and owners throughout the industry send their horses to Chris and Georgia to relax and rest. They stay for a varied length of time depending on their injuries and condition. They work up programs for them depending on their race schedule the following year. “We feed the best nutrition and supplements,” Chris said “and we have great veterinarians who perform a lot of different procedures on these athletes. We pride ourselves in the quality of our service and it shows as we have so many repeat customers. They love it here, both the horses, and the trainers when they get their prized steeds back. “I owe a lot to my mentors who have taught me so much,” Chris added, “including Bill Brown, Doc, David and Richard Meirs, Ted Wing, Jim Larente, Bill Lancaster, Doug Ackerman, Jack Parker and of course Doc Gill. Chris says he was fortunate to have cared for many of the greatest horses in the game during his career either in breeding or on their farm. He has cared for stallions; Most Happy Fella, Niatross, On The Road Again, Beach Towel, Direct Scooter and Pine Chip. And Chris has also taken care of world class broodmares too including Miss Easy, Fan Hanover, Pammy Lobell, Albaquel, Immortality, Cheery Hello, Halcyon, Naught But Nice, Semalu D'amour, Peaches N Cream, Treasure Blue Chip, Bruce's Lady, Armbro Regina, Valley Victoria, and Sunraycer. “I have to thank the late Gary Cameron who changed my life,” Chris said. “I also wish to thank and credit Gordon Corey, Bob Bloodgood, Mickey Burke, Polie Mallar, John Swart, Ray Durmazolu, The Rosenfeld Family, Dan & Ann Mari Daley, Linda Toscano, Buck & Scott Norris and all the horsemen at Pinehurst who helped get us started here in North Carolina. “I guess we were put here on earth to care for the horses,” Chris & Georgia said. “It's an honor and a privilege to do it every day.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
Maven has been the darling of the harness racing press and a hefty chunk of the sport’s fan base for the past few months. She’s taken the crown from Foiled Again, who held that distinction for a couple of years. The six-year-old daughter of Glidemaster—the only top tier trotter that sire has produced in North America—only won four races during 2014, and only one of those was a grade one stakes race. She set a track record in winning the Muscle Hill at Vernon Downs in November. Her other three wins came in the Miami Valley Distaff in mid-May, a preferred trot at Pocono in August and the BC elimination at the Meadowlands. Maven finished out in three legs of the Miss Versatility Series, which she won in 2013, and was third in the final at Delaware, which division champ Classic Martine won. She earned $333,027 between her dozen starts in NA and a pair in Europe. So what’s all the fuss about? Why is Maven the flame of the Twittersphere and the horse harness scribes have elevated to the top of the pile? Her pedestrian numbers during the past year scream journeyman in a slump—not superstar. Racing in Europe adds some panache to her resume, but she has one third place finish to show for five European starts last season and this. Maven’s popularity obviously extends to the sales ring as she brought a record $750,000 bid from Herb Liverman at Harrisburg in November. And he already owned a piece of rival Bee A Magician. One of Maven’s problems is that Liverman is determined not to have the pair go head to head. That means Maven is stuck in Europe, or destined to take on the boys back home. Neither of those scenarios looks promising at the moment. Contrast Maven’s overseas performance with the much less celebrated Arch Madness, who made eight starts in Europe during 2011, 2012 and 2013. He won two of them, the 2011 Oslo Grand Prix and a heat of the Elitlop. He finished second in the latter twice and was third three times in European races. Arch got some publicity for all of this, particularly in Canada, but Maven seems to be leaving him in the PR dust despite a much shorter record of accomplishment. Something similar has been happening on the pacing side. Eleven-year-old Foiled Again is still the most popular pacer in NA. He was second to Sweet Lou in division earnings in 2014, thanks to making the board in 19 of 26 starts, but he had no grade one stakes wins. The Quillen was his only significant victory, and that one isn’t very important at this point. He won four legs of the Levy, then went winless for the season except for his Quillen elimination and final. In 2013 he was wildly popular and a candidate for Pacer of the Year, despite suffering 18 losses. Foiled’s hook is excellence over many years, consistency and the money record for pacers that he holds. Maven was good at two and three, winning 15 times and earning more than $900,000, but she took a back seat to Check Me Out until the late fall of her sophomore campaign. She was the standout in her division at four, winning 10 times and banking more than a half million dollars, and had an off year in 2014. This exaltation on the part of fans and the press is curious. Some of it has to do with her newsworthy passage from Jonas Czernyson to Ron Burke to Jimmy Takter. And participating today in the premier race in France for last year’s trainer and driver of the year doesn’t hurt. But with each non-competitive loss on the Continent, we should get less cheerleading and more questions about why she has been placed on a pedestal. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/
After four straight weeks of pickin'em pretty good, I finally ran into a brick wall Breeders Crown weekend. But you can't win'em all so back to the drawing board. Sadly the stakes season is drawing to a close this weekend with the TVG finals at the Meadowlands and then next week the rich Progress Pace at Dover Downs. Then we get into tough winter overnights and some good late closing series throughout the county. Good Luck! $49,000 Pace 3YO's n/w $100,000 in 2014 Meadowlands 3rd race SATURDAY - It is too tough to try and go against the triple entry of Hall Bro, Lord Of Misrule and Journeyman. Both Hall Bro and Journeyman are coming off very strong winning efforts and with good inside post position they will be very tough to beat in here. Use Caviart Chase and Caviart Luca in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Open Handicap Yonkers Raceway 6th race SATURDAY - Beach Memories or P H Supercam....I nearly flipped a coin to decide in here but came away going with Beach Memories. He has the better inside post and the gate speed to insure good positioning to score from. Has been first and second twice in photos last three starts. Use P H Supercam and Holdallthecards in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace TVG FFA Final Meadowlands 7th race SATURDAY - This is the last big bang for the older pacers and it's a great field to close out the season with. Sweet Lou and Foiled Again do their swan song for the end of their great racing careers. I'm going with Sweet Lou as in his last two starts he seemly had the race won only to get nipped at the wire. I don't think this world champion will get caught tonight. Use Thinking Out Loud and State Treasurer in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot TVG FFA Final Meadowlands 10th race SATURDAY - It didn't "All come down to the Breeders Crown" last week as it does in here. Sebastian K could sew up Harness Horse of the Year honors with a convincing victory in here but both Maven and Bee A Magician will be all out to not let that happen. Don't look for a super-fast mile as it will be clear but only in the low 30's at post time. But I think if the "old" Sebastian K shows up he will take this field and then maybe beat out JK She'salady for top honors in the Dan Patch Voting. He has truly been a champion this year. Use Maven and Bee A Magician in exotic plays. $30,000 Pace FFA Handicap Meadowlands 11th race SATURDAY - Everyone will lead toward Aslan as he has been the strong horse with two straight convincing wins in this class. But I like Wake Up Peter who last week was strong on the front end and may be able to turn the tables on Aslan in here. Use Aslan and Speed Again in exotic plays. $46,000 Trot Open Handicap 1¼ mile Yonkers Raceway 1st race SUNDAY - It's the France Handicap with a super full field of 12 trotters going the extra distance in the Yonkers-France matinee. Great to see such full fields going the extra quarter mile. Thus I have no fear in promoting Dancehall Mistress, one of four mares in the field against male rivals. She beat the pants off everyone last week with a four length romp at 11-1 and can do it again. Use Somebody AS and Super Manning in exotic plays. $17,000 Trot Open Handicap Saratoga Raceway 7th race SUNDAY - After having his head handed to him the last couple of starts against the best at Yonkers, Zooming takes a big drop in class and switch to Saratoga. This should aid him big time, even if he did get the far outside post eight. Still have the class to overcome the post problem as he did before trying his luck at Yonkers. Use You Rock My World and Slugfest in exotic plays. $25,000 Pace Winners over $25,000 Harrah's Philadelphia 11th race SUNDAY - With six of the eight starters in here all coming off wins in their last start it makes for a great competitive race. I don't think Dial Or Nodial can repeat because of outside post. Thus I am going with Mach It So. He was a game second from post eight last week but draws better in here and can win as long as he can grab some live cover. Use Dial Or Nodial and Voice Of Truth in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Progress Preview 3YO Colts Dover Downs 10th race SUNDAY - This will be a great preview towards next weeks $300,000 final. Superb field of colts will do battle big time. I like McWicked to repeat after his impressive Breeders Crown victory. He flashed his brilliant early season form last week with big 1:49 effort and draws the rail
East Rutherford, NJ - What is a racetrack to do when faced with following a Breeders Crown weekend chock full of thrills? Why at The Meadowlands the response is to come right back with the $1 million TVG Series Championship featuring the very finest of the older set on both the trot and pace. After following a season-long trail of top class events that began in May and concluded with last Saturday's Crown Finals, the TVG Championships close out a fantastic season for the top Free For Allers with year-end awards hanging in the balance. The $500,000 Pacing Championship comes as the seventh race on the card and offers a renewal of the thrilling rivalry between Thinking Out Loud and Sweet Lou who have been duking it out in headline events for the past three years. "Lou" put together an unprecedented string of six straight sub-1:48 miles during the heart of the summer season, winning ten in a row once united with Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce. He's the division's top seasonal money winner with more than $1.1 million this season and has amassed a lifetime bankroll of over $3.2 million for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. They've enjoyed a great ride with the son of Yankee Cruiser from Sweet Future who remains the fastest freshman of all time with his 1:49 score in the 2011 Breeders Crown. Ron Burke has trained Sweet Lou throughout his career, which comes to a close on Saturday as he goes to stud at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. Thinking Out Loud is a pure homebred, by Ponder from the mare Los Angeles, both raced in the stable of his Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh who shares ownership with brother Al McIntosh and long-time patrons CSX Stable (brothers Keith, Ken and Mike Carpenter). The winner of the 2012 North America Cup, Thinking Out Loud has amassed over $1.8 million career-wise with $200,000 coming in last Saturday's Breeders Crown Final where he and driver John Campbell used every inch of the long Meadowlands stretch to nail Sweet Lou on the wire. Known for his late rallying style and nail-biting finishes, Thinking Out Loud comes to this race near his best form. Space does not permit the tale be told of the depth present for the TVG Pacing Championship. Suffice to say that these eight champions have amassed nearly $18.5 million in earnings and among those not mentioned above are both the richest at $6.77 million, 2013 TVG champion Foiled Again and co-fastest, Warrawee Needy at 1:46.4, pacers in the history of the sport. Hoosier Pacing Derby winner Bettor's Edge, Canadian Pacing Derby champ Modern Legend, winner of the inaugural Dayton Pacing Derby Clear Vision and Allerage Farms Open victor State Treasurer complete the All Star line-up. If it were possible to out-do the race that I have just described, it could likely occur just three races later in the $500,000 TVG Trotting Championship, where the career earnings of the ten participants is over $21 million! The Trotting Championship has something for everybody; including the fastest trotter ever in Sebastian K who set the trotting world on its ear with his epic 1:49 masterpiece at Pocono this summer. Though his air of invincibility may have been breached, the majestic Swedish invader racing for Knutsson Trotting has a chance to reassert himself in Horse of the Year balloting in this contest. Ake Svanstedt trains and drives the champion. The competition is fierce, led by a pair femme fatales who are just now finding their best form of the season. From Sebastian K's inside starts 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician. She is the winner of the Breeders Crown Mare Open Trot, thus the lone invitee to this race as allowed by the TVG conditions. She was devastating in victory, scorching the first quarter in 26.1 to line up the competition in her wake, then sprinting home in 27.2 to hold them off in 1:51.4. Brian Sears was at his best in orchestrating the winning trip on behalf of trainer Nifty Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. Maven made headlines when she commanded a king's ransom of $750,000 when offered at auction just three weeks ago and has made buyer Herb Liverman look like the Warren Buffet of horse racing since. Declining the chance to race the girls, she went into the Open division of the Breeders Crown and won the elimination despite the disadvantage of post ten. Another brave performance followed in the final of that race where she not only survived a long, uncovered bid into International champion Commander Crowe but was still inching in on his lead when the wire came in 1:51. Maven begins again from the far outside here but asks no quarter from her rivals. Top driver Yannick Gingras will attempt to overcome the poor starting position in his quest to find the best course to victory, as the pair has done many times. She is most recently trained by Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter and Mr. Liverman now has John Fielding and Joyce McClelland as partners in the mare. Beyond those three lurk such talented trotters as last year's TVG Champion, the $3.5 million winning Market Share, Allerage Farms Open and American National winner Creatine, International star and classics winner Wishing Stone, Maple Leaf Trot winner Intimidate, ageless wonder, $4.2 million, multiple classics winning world record holder Arch Madness, 2013 Ontario Sires Stakes champ Flanagan Memory and the iron tough DW's NY Yank. These are but the highlights of a titillating thirteen race Saturday night program at The Meadowlands. First post is 7:15pm and the wagering options are many; multiple guaranteed Pick 4's and the brand new Super Hi Five wager with a building jackpot. More details may be found at www.playmeadowlands.com . From The Meadowlands Media Relations Department
This Week: TVG Series finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will be at Meadowlands Racetrack this Saturday (Nov. 29) for the $500,000 TVG Series final for 3-year-old and up open pacers and the $500,000 TVG Series final for 3-year-old and up open trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Twelve classes competed in Breeders Crown finals this past weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. Let's take a look at some of the highlights: Commander Crowe won the $500,000 Open Trot by three-quarters of a length over favorite Maven in a stakes-record-equaling 1:51. Le Grand Blond -- European star Commander Crowe -- provided a grand finale to Saturday's eight Breeders Crown races, winning the $500,000 Open Trot by three-quarters of a length over favorite Maven in a stakes-record-equaling 1:51. An 11-year-old chestnut, Commander Crowe became the oldest Breeders Crown champion in history. Foiled Again, who won last season's Breeders Crown Open Pace at the age of 9, held the record for oldest winner. The Swedish-born Commander Crowe, who has won 61 of 106 career races and earned $5.09 million, captured his first Breeders Crown after third-place finishes in 2011 and 2012 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. His earnings rank No. 4 among all trotters in history and his triumphs include the Elitlopp Invitational, which he captured in 2012. Commander Crowe, trained by Fabrice Souloy, was driven to victory by Orjan Kihlstrom. Maven, who was trying to become the first mare since Moni Maker in 1998 to win the Breeders Crown Open Trot, raced on the outside from the half-mile point, closing from fourth to second, but getting no nearer. Creatine finished third, followed by Flanagan Memory. Three of the Crown winners put themselves in prime contention for Horse of the Year honors. On Friday, Shake It Cerry and Ron Pierce made it back-to-back Breeders Crown victories as the duo won the $500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Trot edition in a stakes record time of 1:52.2, two-fifths of a second better than the old mark set by Bee A Magician last year. Shake It Cerry shook off the competition and left the field behind to win by 2-1/4 lengths. Cee Bee Yes was second and Struck By Lindy closed strongly for third. It was the 19th Breeders Crown for her trainer Jimmy Takter and 30th for driver Ron Pierce, and she was the first trotting filly to win back-to-back Crowns since Cameron Hall in 2001-2002. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig is owned by Sloveig's Racing Partners. Make that an even dozen in as many tries for JK She'salady as she and driver Tim Tetrick won the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. She covered the mile in 1:50.2, a track and stakes record. Tetrick kept JK She'salady to her task and went straight to the finish line by 1-3/4 lengths in front of second place finisher Sassa Hanover and Bettor Be Steppin in third. JK She'salady is trained by Nancy Johansson and owned by 3 Brothers Stables of New York. It was the first winner for 33-year-old Johansson, who is the daughter of Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. If she would be voted the Horse of the Year, the homebred daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady would be the first 2-year-old pacing filly accorded that honor. "Redemption for Father Patrick. He is blessed with a Breeders Crown," called out track announcer Ken Warkentin as Father Patrick hit the wire to win the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old trotting colts by a neck in a stakes record time of 1:51.4 on Saturday. E L Titan was second and Nuncio, who was looking for late racing room along the rail, was third. Harper Blue Chip was fourth. Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream, is owned by the Father Patrick Stable, is trained by Jimmy Takter and was driven to victory by Yannick Gingras. He has won 12 of 17 starts this year, good for earnings of $1,693,081. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 2,267; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,162; 3. David Miller - 1,003.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 852.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 647. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 2,445.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,908; 3. Erv Miller - 446.5; 4. Joe Holloway - 411; 5. Julie Miller - 347. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 540.48; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 490.48; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 357; 4. Brittany Farms - 294.45; 5. Robert Key - 272. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs as the Delaware track will host the Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
I was on a pretty good roll last week, selecting 10 of 16 race winners and ending the weekend with a $19.00 profit plus some decent straight trifectas and exactas. So how best to cap a good weekend like that? To do even better this weekend! It all comes down to the Breeders Crown so we are totally focused on the 12 Breeders Crown Championship Finals Friday and Saturday at the Meadowlands. Many of these races may decide divisional honors for a lot of Dan Patch Horse of the Year award winners. Good Luck! $250,000 Trot Breeders Crown Final Mares Open 7th race FRIDAY - Usually I would jump all over Bee A Magician in here but something told me last week that CLASSIC MARTINE is back in prime shape and ready to cut loose for the Chris Oaks Stable. She has a good inside post to either try and wire the field or get great cover to score from. Use Bee A Magician and Handover Belle in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Breeders Crown Final 2yo Fillies 8th race FRIDAY - Here is one of the races that could decide divisional horse of the year finals. Mission Brief has been super-fast but also very erratic with making breaks. Last week she was at her best in three length score. But WILD HONEY never makes breaks, has won ten straight races and should get perfect cover behind Mission Brief and beat her to the wire. Use Mission Brief and Danielle Hall in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Breeders Crown Final 3yo Fillies 9th race FRIDAY - With eight straight wins and 14 scores in 16 starts there is no way I can pick against SHAKE IT CERRY. She has been nearly perfect all season long and has beaten most everyone in this field this season and should be able to do it again. Use Lifetime Pursuit and Cee Bee Yes in exotic plays. $593,750 Pace Breeders Crown Final 3yo Fillies 10th race FRIDAY - This could be the grand finale of a superb season for COLOR'S A VIRGIN. All she needs to do is have one more parked-first-over-and-grind-it-out victory in here. She's done it all since winning Jugette and seals the season with her eight straight win and 14th score of the year. Use Gallie Bythe Beach and Precocious Beauty in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Breeders Crown Final 2yo Colts 4th race SATURDAY - This will be one of the top races of the weekend with Pinkman the favorite going against top colts French Laundry and Habitat. I am going with HABITAT as he drew a good inside post, figures to leave enough to insure great live cover from French Laundry or Pinkman and beat either one or both in a classic stretch drive. Use French Laundry and Pinkman in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace Breeders Crown Final 2yo Fillies 5th race SATURDAY - This should be the chalk race of the evening. Undefeated JK SHE'SALADY goes for her 12th straight win in a nearly perfect season. Somewhat safe to say that if she can win tonight she could become the first two-year-old filly ever to be name Harness Horse of the Year and deservingly so. No one has been within a length of this top filly since early August. Use Sassa Hanover and Heart Major in exotic plays. $400,000 Pace Breeders Crown Final Open Horses 6th race SATURDAY - Sweet Lou or Bettor's Edge may end up being the race favorites in this good match-up but with the big money on the line I am looking to the class of the field to win, FOILED AGAIN. Three of his last five losses were by photo finishes and he needs just to get a good trip and he can beat his younger rivals. Use Bettors Edge and Sweet Lou in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace Breeders Crown Final 2yo Colts 7th race SATURDAY - Provided Brian Sears can leave and get position and not stung to a :26 opening quarter, IN THE ARSENAL can overcome the outside post 10 and take this field. Before last week he had between two top undefeated colts in back-to-back stakes and last week he was still a game third place finisher. Use Go Daddy Go and Lyons Levi Lewis in exotic plays. $281,250 Pace Breeders Crown Final Open Mares 8th race SATURDAY - Wow is this a great match-up. Nearly every horse in this field has the ability to dig down deep and come up with a winning effort and not surprise me the least. I am going to go with YAGONNAKISSMEORNOT from post five. She can leave enough to get good cover and if need be also grind it out. She leads all mares in this field with 14 wins. Use Anndrovette and Somwherovrarainbow in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Breeders Crown Final 3yo Colts 9th race SATURDAY - This is where the slogan, "It All Comes Down To The Breeders Crown" really comes into play. If Nuncio beats his stable mate, Father Patrick here, he will sew up divisional Horse of the Year honors. If Father Patrick can win over Nuncio, then it will be a toss-up between the two horses. I think NUNCIO is just so consistently great that he will get to the front and not look back. Use Father Patrick and Harper Blue Chip in exotic plays. $531,250 Pace Breeders Crown Final 3yo Colts 10th race SATURDAY - Another classic battle will take place in here. Nearly every top sophomore colt in the sport is in this field. I see ALWAYS B MIKI continuing his winning ways with his 6th straight win. Winless in first six starts and now has won 12 of his last 13 starts. But he will have to be at his best once again to win in here. Use Let's Drink On It and Limelight Beach in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Breeders Crown Final Open Horses 11th race SATURDAY - Can the invading world champion from Europe come here and beat North America's best or can the lone lady of the field show her heels to the boys for a second straight week. I have to go with MAVEN to repeat. She won against good horses last week from post ten and draws much better in here. Use Commander Crowe and Your So Vain in exotic plays.
As the races for divisional honors head toward the finish line, trainer Ron Burke is hoping for continued strong performances from his horses down the stretch. Burke sends 18 horses into Friday's stakes action at Hoosier Park, not to mention five more to Vernon Downs for stakes engagements on Saturday. Among Burke's top contenders at Hoosier are 3-year-old male pacers JK Endofanera and Limelight Beach in the $275,000 Monument Circle, older male pacers Clear Vision, Foiled Again and Sweet Lou in the $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, and 3-year-old female trotter Market Rally in the $193,000 Moni Maker Stakes. "There is still money left out there, so you want to finish up strong with some of these," Burke said. "We usually tend to do good in races at the end of the year. We've always done that. It's been more of a tradition that we tend to start poorly and do better late. Hopefully it will continue." Burke's stable already has earned a record $23.75 million this year and is nearing 1,000 wins for the second consecutive season. His earnings are the most for any trainer in horse racing, more than $3.70 million ahead of Thoroughbred leader Todd Pletcher. Last year, Burke's horses won 262 races over the final three months of the campaign. Only three other trainers won more races - in the entire year. This season, Burke has 109 victories in October, including 25 in stakes events. JK Endofanera is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Monument Circle, a race won by Burke two of the past three years. JK Endofanera brings a four-race win streak to the race, including victories in the American-National Stakes and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. Last week he won a division of the Circle City at Hoosier. For the year, the son of Art Major-Presidential Lady has won 10 of 15 races and $936,145 for breeder/owner 3 Brothers Stables. Joe Holloway-trained Always B Miki, who also won a Tattersalls division and has captured seven of his last eight starts, is the 5-2 second choice, followed by Limelight Beach at 3-1. Limelight Beach has won four of his last five races, including the Little Brown Jug. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere-Benear has banked $539,118 this season. He is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable, and Wingfield Brothers. "All my 3-year-olds have been real good recently," said Burke, who also has At Press Time, Forty Five Red, and Big Boy Dreams entered in the Monument Circle. "They're finishing up the year strong. I'm glad about that. "The Monument Circle is our best two shots (Friday) with JK (Endofanera) and Limelight Beach. We'll see how that works. They've got to beat Always B Miki." McWicked leads all 3-year-old male pacers in purses, with $1.01 million, followed by JK Endofanera, All Bets Off, He's Watching, Always B Miki, and Limelight Beach. "There are three or four horses (that could win divisional honors); whoever wins the Breeders Crown is probably the 3-year-old of the year," Burke said. "It's going to be exciting. It's not like last year, where it already was all decided (with Captaintreacherous). Coming into the Breeders Crown this year, there's still a lot up for grabs." Clear Vision is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, followed by Foiled Again at 5-2 and Sweet Lou at 7-2. Burke-trained Bettor's Edge and Easy Again also are part of the 10-horse field. Foiled Again won the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby - then named the Indiana Pacing Derby and raced at Indiana Downs - in 2011 and 2012. Clear Vision is coming off a win last week in the Dayton Pacing Derby, where he edged Foiled Again by a nose. Sweet Lou won 10 consecutive races during the summer, and has earned $958,558 this year, but heads to the Pacing Derby trying to snap a three-race losing streak. "Lou trained great this week," Burke said. "I went out and trained him myself on Tuesday and I was very happy with him. I think he'll be back to himself. "Bettor's Edge and Clear Vision drew great spots and Foiled is still Foiled. Hopefully we should do alright. They've stayed sound all year, all of them, and raced great. I could see them finishing up the year great too." Burke's Rose Run Parker is the 4-1 second choice in the $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old male trotters. Multiple-stakes-winner Father Patrick, from the stable of Jimmy Takter, is the 3-5 morning line favorite. Takter also has the top choices in the Moni Maker - Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit - followed by Burke's Market Rally, who is a two-time New York Sire Stakes champion trying open stakes company for only the third time in her career. "She's in very tough, against very good horses," Burke said. "But I've always wanted to see what Market Rally would do against top horses, so I'm excited to see what she'll do there." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications