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
DAYTON, OH. - Foiled Again and Creatine have been installed as the morning line favorites for the $122,000 Dayton Pacing Derby and $160,000 Dayton Trotting Derby when the new track presents its first-ever Grand Circuit stakes on Friday night. Both will have plenty of competition, however, as the sixteen horses in the two races have combined earnings of $22,982,846-an average of $1,436,428. As the richest harness horse in history Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) has been designated the slight favorite in the pace at 9-5 opening odds. Stablemate Clear Vision (Brett Miller), who will be uncoupled in the wagering with Ohio State Racing Commission permission, will launch at 2-1 when the betting windows open. Also expected to get ample public support is local track record holder Dancin Yankee (Tyler Buter), a $15,000 supplement to the race who comes in off two consecutive wins at Dayton in aged Ohio Sires Stakes action. Based largely on his recent 1:51 triumph at Dayton, he'll open at 7-2, just better than Night Pro (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) who will open at 9-2 from the rail. Others in the elite field of seven will be Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) at 6-1, Santa Fe Beachboy (Josh Sutton) 8-1 and Beach Memories (Dave Palone) 10-1. A full field of nine have declared into the trot with Creatine (Dan Noble), based on wins in both the American National and Allerage stakes in his last two starts, earning 5-2 morning line favoritism. Market Share (Tim Tetrick), the richest of four millionaire trotters in the field, is second choice at 3-1, followed by Wishing Stone (Gingras) at 7-2 and Daylon Magician (Jack Moiseyev) at 9-2. There are a host of longshot possibilities for punters looking for longer odds. A case can be made for every horse in the field as all have won in 1:53 or faster this season. DW's NY Yank (Miller) 6-1, Fusion Man (TBA) 8-1, Fearless Man (Rick Zeron) 10-1, Opening Night (Wrenn Jr.) 12-1 and Southwind Pepino (Hugh Beatty) are the other combatants. First race post time is 6:35 on Friday night with the Dayton Derbies slated as races 11 and 12 on the 14-race program. From the press box at Dayton Raceway
DAYTON, OH. - Hollywood Dayton Raceway, the new kid on the harness racing block, is pleased to announce that the richest pacer in history and the hottest free-for-all trotter in North America are headed to the five-eighths mile oval for the inaugural Grand Circuit stakes at the two-week old track. The $150,000 (est.) Dayton Trotting Derby and companion $110,000 (est.) Dayton Pacing Derby will both be contested on the Friday, October 24 program and each has an impressive list of nominated horses. Foiled Again, the 10-year-old wonder horse whose $6,702,111 in earnings is the best in harness racing history, is among the early commitments to the lucrative Pacing Derby. A six-time winner this season for trainer Ron Burke, Foiled Again will enter the race off back-to-back runnerup finishes in the prestigious $179,000 American National at Balmoral Park and the $160,500 Allerage at The Red Mile. A total of 26 of the continent's best older pacers are staked to the new event including, but not limited to, other notables like Apprentice Hanover, Bolt The Duer, Clear Vision, Sunfire Blue Chip and Twilight Bonfire. Creatine is also headed to Dayton for the trotting division, according to his trainer Bob Stewart. In his last two starts, the son of Andover Hall has captured the $166,300 American National at Balmoral in a track-record setting time of 1:51.3; and triumphed in the $173,000 Allerage, edging Sebastian K by a head in 1:51.2. A total of 47 trotters remain eligible to the Dayton Trotting Derby, a list that reads like the "Who's Who" of the best current open squaregaiters. The list includes Sebastian K, Archangel, Daylon Magician, Wishing Stone and local Dayton track record holder Count Me In, among many notable others. All trainers are reminded that the box at Hollywood Dayton Raceway closes at 2 p.m. on Monday (October 20) for the gala Friday (October 24) card. Entries can be submitted through the USTA's Online Entry platform or by calling the Dayton race office at 937-235-7860 from noon to 2 p.m. on Monday. From the press box at Dayton Raceway
There's never quite been a horse like Foiled Again. This ageless harness racing wonder returns and battles and keeps on truckin' like no Standardbred ever has...and probably never will again. He's the richest pacer in history with $6,662,731 to his credit with stats of 82-54-32 in 219 career starts and has won some of harness racing biggest events, including the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace, at Pocono Downs on Oct. 19, 2013 in 1:49.2 over a sloppy track. He also has won this event, in 2011 in 1:51.4, and will be looking for a repeat triumph from post six in Saturday's 12th race, the $179,000 American National Aged Pace. Foiled Again's career didn't begin fashionably. Born on May 8, 2004 at Englishtown, NJ, the chocolate bay gelding was bred by Barbara Matthews of Aiken, SC, and was purchased for $20,000 as a yearling at the 2005 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg by Patrick Lacey of Yonkers, NY. He earned just $59,540 as a 2- and 3-year-old in 2006 and 2007 and never raced for a purse of over $31,000 during those seasons. He also lost his final 17 starts as a sophomore. In fact, Foiled Again did not race in any event with a purse of $100,000 or higher until his 50th career start! But the Burke's saw something they liked in the son of Dragon Again-In A Safe Place-Artsplace so they bought him from Lacey for $62,500 in early July 2008. He went on to earn $337,139 that season putting up a 4-year-old record of 1:49.3f at Chester. Since those early days with team Burke, Foiled Again has been named Dan Patch Older Pacer of the Year on three consecutive occasions. The amount of money he's earned since turning seven years of age--some $4.31 million--is enough on its own to make him North America's richest pacer ever. As it stands, he's tied with the famous retired Italian trotter Varenne as one of only two horses in harness racing history to post three consecutive million dollar winning seasons (2011, 2012, 2013). "If people don't rate him, if not the greatest, as one of the greatest in history, I don't know what else he has to do," said Yannick Gingras, the gelding's regular driver. "He gives me chills, I can tell you that. It seems like every year he figures out a way to rewrite the record books." Owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables and trained by Ron Burke, Foiled Again, now 10-years-old, paced the fastest mile of his career, when he was race-timed in 1:47.1 while finishing third to Sweet Lou in a world-record 1:47 mile in the Ben Franklin Pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs this past June. He's also won the following races twice: The Kane at Batavia, the Levy at Yonkers, the Molson in Ontario and Northfield Park's Battle of Lake Erie. "I can't say enough about him and what he's done for our family and for our whole stable." said his trainer and co-owner Ronnie Burke. "He's been unbelievable." On Sept. 15, he captured the eighth annual $220,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway for an unprecedented third time in 1:50.2, the best winning time of his 10-year-old season. In 2013, Foiled Again earned $1,404,984, taking his lifetime best mark of 1:48 in a June race at Pocono Downs. He won 11 races last season in 29 starts, with six seconds and seven third. In 2012, Foiled Again earned $1.2 million, becoming at age 8, the oldest pacer to have a million-dollar year. He also was named the sport's best older male pacer for the second consecutive year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. In 2011, at the age of 7, Foiled Again was voted Pacer of the Year by USHWA, and was the first pacer older than age 4 to ever receive the honor. Gingras has sat behind Foiled Again in the majority of his starts since the pacer joined the Burke Stable. "I want him to get the recognition he deserves," Gingras said. "A lot of people think he's a small-track horse, and at the end of the day he's not the fastest horse but he outlasts every one of them. He's been through about three different groups of horses, guys that retired or went to stud, and he's still around and kicking butt against some 4-year-olds." Foiled Again is the second of nine foals out of the Artsplace mare In A Safe Place p,3,1:54.4M ($84,683) and is a half-brother to Manhattan Design (by The Panderosa) p,5,1:55.2 ($68,109); Pinball Machine (by Cambest) p,4,1:54.2m ($31,902) and to Place Your Best (by Cambest) p,3,1:58.4H. Foiled Again just never quits By Kimberly Rinker
Batavia, NY---Each year Batavia Downs signature event is the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial invitational pace. The race which is named for the former chairman of the board of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation, owner of Batavia Downs Gaming, has played host to some of the biggest names in harness racing. The six million dollar man, Foiled Again, won the race twice in 2009 and 2013 and Aracache Hanover set the all-time track record of 1:51.1 with his victory in 2011. This year's edition will be held on Saturday, October 18 and the condition sheet has already been released so that any interested horsemen can enter their horses as early as today. Besides the $50,000 Kane Memorial Pace, there are many other premium racing opportunities that night including the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Open trot, $10,000 horses and geldings Open pace, $10,000 filly and mares Open pace and $7,500 mares Open trot. The box for all races for that night closes on Wednesday, October 15 at 9 a.m. Entries can be made and inquiries can be placed by calling race secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6161. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
The old proverb “You Win Some and You Lose Some” certainly fits as far as the entries for Saturday’s American National Night at Balmoral Park. One of the biggest losses occurred when the nation’s top older pacer Sweet Lou wasn’t entered for the $250,000 Aged Pace, one of eight American National stakes to be contested on the Crete, IL big track. “Sweet Lou is on his way back to New Jersey,” trainer Ron Burke told me in a phone conversation. “The horse hasn’t been right so I sent him back home. I did enter three of my other older pacers: Foiled Again, Clear Vision and Bettor’s Edge, so I feel pretty comfortable going into that race.” I’ll have more on Burke’s Big Guns in Saturday’s Notes & Quotes column. Sweet Lou was to make his last Chicago appearance in the American National but has it turns out, his fourth place in last year’s American National was his final start in Chicago. It was announced a few weeks ago that Sweet Lou is being retired after this season and will stand stud at the Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. Burke did enter the powerful one-two punch of Limelight Beach and JK Endofanera in Saturday’s $227,000 American National 3-year-old colt pace. Both sophomores come off strong wins in Kentucky. Limelight Beach ($515,038) comes off a 1:49.1 triumph in a division of the Bluegrass two weeks ago. He captured the prestigious $310,800 Little Brown Jug in his previous start with Yanick Gingras who will come to town to drive the colt and a few other Burke trainees. JK Endofanera ($816,725) captured a division of the Tattersall’s last weekend at The Red Mile. Back in June he was the winner of the $920,000 North America Cup at Mohawk in 1:48.4, two ticks off his lifetime mark of 1:48.2 set in his Meadowlands Pace elimination. Plenty of other big names will be here for the circuit’s richest and most prominent evening of racing in Illinois: Market Share, Creatine and Master Of Law in the $166,300 Aged Trot; State Treasurer and Al’s Hammered along with Burke’s big three in the $179,000 Aged Pace; Limelight Beach, JK Endofanera, Unlocked and Let’s Drink On It in the $227,000 3-year-old colt pace; Gettingreadytoroll, Act Now, Weeper and Katie Said in the $173,500 3-year-old filly pace; Father Patrick and E L Titan and in the $203,000 3-year-old colt trot and Lifetime Pursuit, Cee Bee Yes and Shake It Cerry in the $150,000 3-year-old filly trot. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA
Adam Bowden was in the Kentucky Futurity winner's circle last year with Creatine and he hopes to return there following Sunday's 122nd edition of the trotting classic, this time with Father Patrick. Bowden and his father, Chris, operate Diamond Creek Farm, which is part of Father Patrick's ownership group. Father Patrick, who has won 20 of 23 career races and $1.92 million, drew post No. 1 for Sunday's $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at The Red Mile in Lexington. Nine horses entered the Futurity, so eliminations are unnecessary. Yannick Gingras will drive Father Patrick for trainer Jimmy Takter in the one-dash-for-the-cash event. Rounding out the field in post order are Il Sogno Dream, Martiniwithmuscle, Datsyuk, Hillustrious, Nuncio, Mr Lindy, DD's Hitman, and Lightning Force. Sunday's card also includes the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, $173,000 Allerage Farm Open Trot, $160,500 Allerage Farm Open Pace, $90,000 Allerage Farm Mare Pace, and $89,000 Allerage Farm Mare Trot. Father Patrick brings a four-race win streak to the Futurity, including a 4-1/2 length victory over Lightning Force in 1:50.4 in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile last Sunday. He also has won the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic, $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and $340,000 Zweig Memorial since losing by a half-length to Datsyuk in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. "Last week he was on cruise control and still trotted in sub-1:51," said Bowden, who owns Father Patrick with John Fielding, Christina Takter, Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical AB, and the group of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. "Hopefully, we're in the winner's circle on Sunday. Jimmy gives me two thumbs up. I'm hoping that's going to be the case." Last year, the Diamond Creek-bred-and-owned Creatine won the Futurity for hometown trainer Bob Stewart. Bowden had planned to sell Creatine when he was a yearling, but the horse was withdrawn from the auction because of an infected hock and remained with Diamond Creek. Creatine races Sunday in the Allerage Farm Open Trot. "We've been with Bob since the beginning and for him to be a Kentucky guy, no offense, I love Father Patrick, but I don't think anything is going to top last year," Bowden said. "That was the most exciting thing for me. It was the first time. It was a homebred with a good friend of mine. We always believed in the horse and we finally won one of the big ones. That was exciting." The Bowdens started Diamond Creek Farm in 2005 in Paris, Ky., and now have a second location in Pennsylvania. Diamond Creek will stand Father Patrick as a stallion at the conclusion of his racing career. Father Patrick, bred by Brittany Farms, is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Gala Dream. He is a full brother to million-dollar-earner Pastor Stephen. "We're very happy and lucky; we want to stand the best horses," Bowden said. "After his 2-year-old year, we took a huge risk that (Father Patrick) was going to come back and be dominant at 3. Right now it looks like our gamble is going to pay off. Cantab Hall is arguably the hottest sire in the sport, along with Muscle Hill, and here's his greatest son so far. It's a great sire line and we're hoping it continues with Father Patrick." The Kentucky Futurity is the second jewel in this year's Trotting Triple Crown. Trixton won the first, the Hambletonian, but has since been retired because of injury. The third jewel, the Yonkers Trot, is Oct. 25. Takter trained and drove Trixton in the Hambletonian. Another of his charges, Nuncio, finished second in the race. Father Patrick went off stride from post 10 and finished off the board for the only time in his career. Nuncio will be driven by John Campbell, his regular pilot, in Sunday's Futurity. Nuncio has won 12 of 22 career races and finished second in the other 10. Eight of those runner-up finishes have come behind Father Patrick. "Nuncio is one tough horse," Bowden said. "He's a great horse and in any other year he's the best horse. "One of these days you think he's going to beat his stablemate. But I hope it's not Sunday." Takter sends out the likely favorite in the Kentucky Filly Futurity, Shake It Cerry. She was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter and has won 10 of 12 races this season. She will start from post three with driver Ron Pierce. Scream And Shout and Heaven's Door will start inside of Shake It Cerry while to her outside are Highest Peak, Chivaree Hanover, Vanity Matters, and Yoga. Scream And Shout and Yoga also are from the Takter Stable. The Allerage Farm Open Trot features Sebastian K, the fastest horse in harness racing history thanks to his 1:49 win earlier this year, two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share, 2010 Kentucky Futurity winner Wishing Stone and recent Centaur Trotting Classic winner Master Of Law. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, and multiple-stakes-winner Classic Martine lead the way in the Allerage Farm Mare Trot, where they will encounter Dan Patch Award-winner and defending race winner Maven. Sweet Lou, who has won 10 of 15 races and nearly $1 million this year, and Foiled Again, North American harness racing's all-time money-winner, are among the 10 horses in the Allerage Farm Open Pace. Eleven horses were entered in the Allerage Farm Mare Pace, including three-time Dan Patch Award-winner Anndrovette, stakes-winners Rocklamation and Somwherovrarainbow, world champion Shebestingin, last year's race winner Shelliscape, and 2012 winner Drop The Ball. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
Harness racing's top pacer this year -- Sweet Lou -- and the sport's top money-winner of all time -- Foiled Again -- headline Saturday's $200,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational at Scioto Downs. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke, who recently topped $20 million in purses for the year. It is the second consecutive season Burke has eclipsed $20 million, following his record-setting $22.2 million campaign in 2013. Burke broke his own record of $19.6 million established in 2012. Sweet Lou, who is the 7-5 morning line favorite in the field of eight older male pacers, is returning to action for the first time since having his 10-race win streak snapped in the Canadian Pacing Derby on Aug. 30 at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. During his win streak, the 5-year-old Sweet Lou set a record with six consecutive victories in faster than 1:48. His triumphs this year include the Ben Franklin Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, Dan Patch Invitational, and Roll With Joe. "Horses get beat," Burke said about Sweet Lou's setback in the Canadian Pacing Derby, where he finished sixth. "They went at it hard. They were 1:20.1 (to three-quarters) and every one of my horses was on his second or third move by the time we hit the top of the lane." Sweet Lou, who is the No. 2-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10, behind only trotter Sebastian K, got to relax a bit following the CPD. He prepped for the Ewart with a 1:52.1 qualifier on Sept. 18 at The Meadows. "I just kind of let him mess around for two weeks and then we put him back on his normal schedule," Burke said. "He couldn't have been better. As always, the break does him wonders. He really seems sharp. I'm sure he's ready to go." Sweet Lou has won 10 of 14 races this year and 32 of 69 lifetime, good for $3.05 million in purses. He was the 2011 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. Ron Pierce, who drove Sweet Lou in each of his previous 11 starts, will again be at the lines in the Ewart. Foiled Again, with lifetime earnings of $6.62 million, is still going strong at age 10. He has won back-to-back starts, including the Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway in Delaware. For the season, he has won six of 19 races and finished among the top three on 15 occasions. The three-time defending Dan Patch Award winner for best older male pacer, Foiled Again will start the Ewart from post No. 1 with driver Matt Kakaley and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. "Every time he gets beat, people are saying we should retire him," Burke said. "Then we should retire everybody he beats, too, and there would be about three horses a year left. "I can't be happier with him. He's as good as he's ever been in his career. He ran into Lou when Lou was on probably as good a streak as any horse had seen, in the last decade at least. There's no shame there. A lot of horses were having trouble with him." The remainder of the Ewart field is Kanaris, Night Pro, Bigtown Hero, Bolt The Duer, Beach Memories, and Domethatagain. Now that Burke has surpassed $20 million in purses again, he seems likely to soon break the earnings record he established last year. Burke's earnings have increased every season since taking over the stable fulltime from his father, Mickey, in 2009. "I really thought (breaking the earnings record) would be the hardest thing for us to do," Burke said. "But we got off to such a good strong start this year, better than even normal, and that made a lot of difference. "If everything keeps going like it's going we should be alright." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
Bigtown Hero set a new world record for aged harness racing geldings on the pace in a Preferred Handicap victory on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $25,000. Leaving from post position #4 in a field of seven as the 8-5 second choice, Bigtown Hero (American Ideal-Art Account), a 6-year-old gelding from the Rene Allard barn, burned his way to the early lead. Driver Ron Pierce decided to cut the gelding loose, creating unforgiving fractions of 26:3, 53:3, and 1:19:4 and a huge lead. In the stretch, Bigtown Hero started to slow slightly, allowing for wild closing rallies by second-place Aslan and third-place Dancin Yankee, the 4-5 favorite, that came up a half-length short of the winner. The winning time of 1:47:3 shattered the mark of 1:48 for aged geldings on a 5/8-mile oval, which was set by Foiled Again in June of 2013 at Pocono and then matched a week later at the track by Abelard Hanover. Bigtown Hero, owned by Allard Racing Inc. and Yves Sarrazin, was fresh off an Open Handicap win at Yonkers and now has 9 wins in 27 2014 races. It was his 24th career victory, pushing his lifetime earnings to $187,823. Earlier in the night at Pocono in a $25,000 Preferred trot, Sevruga (S J's Caviar-Stunning Lindsey), a 6-year-old gelding from the Kevin Carr, scored his first win since the spring by flashing early speed that held up in the final strides. The 3-5 favorite in a field of six, Sevruga, with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, led at every pole and dug deep late to hold off Wind Of The North by a nose in 1:52:1. Not Afraid finished third. Jim Beviglia
HARRINGTON, Del. - The venerable 10-year-old pacing superstar Foiled Again ($3.20, Yannick Gingras) prevailed in the eighth annual $220,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial Monday at Harrington Raceway in 1:50.2. A large crowd filled the Harrington grandstand, watching harness racing's heavyweights among the older horse pacing ranks battle it out on Delaware's half-mile racetrack. Owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables, the 10-year-old Foiled Again assumed command from his rail post position just past the quarter mile in 26.3. He led the rich field of eight, whose combined lifetime bankroll is near $15 million, to the half mile in 55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.1. Stable mate Clear Vision, who won the 2013 Quillen, received his marching orders from driver Brett Miller at the half mile and battled first over but could not get closer than a half length from Foiled Again at the wire. Bettor's Edge finished third. "It seems like every year, he rewrites the record books," said Gingras. "It was great to come out on top tonight." Foiled Again, the richest horse in harness racing, boosted his lifetime bankroll to more than $6.6 million. It was his sixth consecutive year in Harrington's marquee event. Clear Vision was making his fourth consecutive start. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke. The race honors the memory of the late Delaware legislator Bobby Quillen, who was a racetrack regular and always had the horsemen's best interest at heart. Quillen's sister Grace Wanda Quillen, and brothers Francis and Frank Quillen were on hand for the winner's circle presentation. In the overnight feature, John Dayton's Just A Jolt ($5.20, Victor Kirby) recorded a 1:51.1 triumph in the $17,000 Open for trainer Jim King Jr. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway
HARRINGTON, Del. - One year removed from their epic duel in last year's event, two of harness racing's heavyweights among the pacing division, Foiled Again and Clear Vision, are among an accomplished field in the 8th annual $220,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway Monday (September 15). Those who didn't get to see last year's legendary battle or have amnesia from its stale date can view it here. The combined lifetime bankroll for this year's Quillen final is a stalwart-filled $15 million, a record for the event. The sport's richest horse of all time and winner of more than $6.5 million, Foiled Again (2-1, Yannick Gingras), owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables' is making his record sixth start in the Quillen and has won it twice previously. He tuned up for the final with an equivalent training mile win in 1:51.3 in his elimination on September 8. "It was good for him to get a win and not beat him up too much," said his driver Yannick Gingras. "It's usually right around this time of year that he turns the corner. He loves the cooler weather." The path to a third Quillen title will not likely come easy however and the road may come through one of his Ron Burke-trained stable mates, namely Clear Vision (5/2, Brett Miller), who prevailed in his elimination in a sizzling 1:49.3. Driver Brett Miller has fond memories of last year's battle. "It's pretty amazing in regards to these two horses (Foiled Again and Clear Vision)," he said. "Anytime you are in a horse race and there's a finish like that, it's very exciting. To actually win it, was that much better. Clear Vision feels just as good as he did last year going into the race." Burke conditions five horses in the field, while trainer Linda Toscano ships in last year's third place finisher Heston Blue Chip (5-1, Tim Tetrick) and Doctor Butch (12-1, Tony Morgan). Completing the field are Easy Again (10-1, Ron Pierce), Tarpon Hanover (6-1, Marcus Miller), Bettors Edge (4-1, Matt Kakaley) and Aracache Hanover (8-1, Ross Wolfenden). On the wagering front, a $7,500 guaranteed pick four pool (races 3-6) has been added in conjunction with the strategic wagering program offered by the United States Trotting Association (USTA). On-track patrons are encouraged to take advantage of $2 Bud/Bud Light specials and $1 hot dogs as well as a t-shirt giveaway (while supplies last) commencing at 5 p.m. in the lower grandstand. The race honors the memory of late legislator Bobby Quillen. Quillen always fought for the best interest of the horsemen and was a regular at the racetrack, while also serving on both the Delaware State Fair and Harrington Raceway Board of Directors. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway
Last weekend I was on a pretty good roll and ended up picking 12 winners out of 14 races and turned a $2 per race win wager into a $16.00 profit for the weekend! This weekend we have so much great racing throughout North America we can’t cover it all. Mohawk’s has the richest purses but Yonkers and Balmoral have their “Super Nights” Sire Stakes finals and in toll there are millions in purse money to be given away Saturday. Good Luck! $225,000 Pace Final NYSS 3YO Fillies Yonkers Raceway 3rd race SATURDAY – I tried a few times to find anyone in this race that can beat Spreester. But I couldn’t. She has been sensational having won six of her last eight starts and the two losses were by a head and neck. She can win from on and off the pace. Use Table Talk and Major Dancer in exotic plays. $385,000 Trot Final Peaceful Way 2YO Fillies Mohawk 3rd race SATURDAY – It is going to be hit or miss with Mission Brief once again. Superb filly is lightning fast but a bit erratic. If she minds her manners she wires the field. If she breaks she is totally out of it. My money is that she stays flat and sets a track record! Use Jolene Jolene and Stubborn Belle in exotic plays. $225,000 Trot Final NYSS 2YO Colts Yonkers Raceway 6th race SATURDAY – With just six career starts, Buen Camino has been outstanding for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer with four wins, last three straight and has found new life on the front end. Can wire the field even from post 6. Use Crazy Wow and Wings Of Royalty in exotic plays. $390,000 Trot Final William Wellwood Memorial Mohawk 5th race SATURDAY – This could end up being a very competitive race. I like Uncle Lassie as he shows awesome front end speed and thus he should be able to go right to the lead and not look back. But some others in here could prevent him from getting away with it. Use Habitat and Alderbaran Eagle in exotic plays. $162,000 Pace Final ISS 2YO Fillies Balmoral Park 4th race SATURDAY – Mr. Leland’s Filly may be on a five-race win streak but I have a feeling that Sportsmuffler could bring an end to that. He has been super sharp in her last two starts including 1 :54.3 triumph that if repeated could make her a lot richer after this race. Use Mr. Leland’s Filly and Lex in exotic plays. $225,000 Pace Final NYSS 2YO Colts Yonkers Raceway 8th race SATURDAY – Just in his last two starts Betting Exchange has shown me enough. He wins from on and off the pace impressively. Can handle a half mile oval and I think for the big bucks in here he can wire the field tonight. Use Southwind Masimo and Cartoon Daddy in exotic plays. $409,000 Trot Final Elegant Image 3YO Fillies Mohawk 7th race SATURDAY – She may have not been right in her only two losses this year so Shake It Cerry is back to her winning ways and should be able to either get the jump on the field early or bide her time, work her way to the front and win once again for the Jimmy Takter Stable. Use Designed To Be and Sweetie Hearts in exotic plays. $225,000 Trot Final NYSS 3YO Colts Yonkers Raceway 9th race SATURDAY – Boy oh boy will this be a great showdown race. Flyhawk El Durado vs Gural Hanover. Both are superb trotters this season and if they finish in a dead heat that would be too cool. I have to give the edge and my vote in here to Gural Hanover as he has now won his last eight starts, wiring the field most times and is part of an entry with Lukas Hall, but it was a coin toss to pick one over the other. Use Flyhawk El Durado and Daley Lovin in exotic plays. $682,000 Trot Canadian Trotting Classic 3YO Colts Mohawk 9th race SATURDAY – I was one of the only ones to say that on a big track that Trixton can beat Father Patrick and I was right on Hambletonian Day and I think I will be right again in here. Two great horses will go at it but right now I like Trixton to beat his stable mate. Use Father Patrick and Harper Blue Chip in exotics. $145,000 Pace Final ISS 3YO Colts Balmoral Park 9th race SATURDAY – Erv Miller’s Unlocked has been super game with his four straight wins, all in stakes events. Grinds his way to the top in most cases by the opening quarter mile and has yet to be caught in a month. Use Fox Valley Deuce and Sleazeburgernfries in exotic plays. $186,000 Pace Final ISS 2YO Colts Balmoral Park 14th race SATURDAY – Very good match up in this Super Night finale. I ended up going with Lucpark and he has the great Hall of Fame driver Dave Magee in the sulky and that can make a difference. He has won last two starts both by a neck after getting perfect trips and Magee can work his magic once again. Use Earndawg and Rockin Cassinova in exotic plays. $220,000 Pace Final Bobby Quillen Memorial Harrington Raceway 8th race MONDAY - We will one day see trainer Ron Burke have every starter in a stakes race from his barn? We nearly did in here as he has five of the eight in the final from his stable. I am going with the class of the field, Foiled Again. He nearly won this last year and off his excellent 1:51.3 score in his elim last week he seems prime with the rail to wire the field once again. Use Clear Vision and Easy Again in exotic plays.
This Week: Kindergarten Series, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y; Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial final, Peaceful Way final and Milton Stake eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Bobby Quillen Memorial final, Harrington Raceway, Harrington, Del. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 11) at The Red Mile with four $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Sept. 12) program at Tioga Downs features four divisions in the $91,908 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old colt pacers and three divisions in the $77,309 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 13) with the C$682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$409,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$390,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old open trotters, the C$385,000 Peaceful Way final for 2-year-old filly trotters, and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Milton Stake for older pacing mares. On Monday (Sept. 15), Harrington Raceway will host the $200,000 (est.) Bobby Quillen Memorial final for older pacing horses. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: Mohawk Racetrack had several Grand Circuit races during the past week. Among the most noteworthy were a pair of Simcoe Stakes divisions for 3-year-old open pacers. Dancin Hill and Scott Zeron were 1:50.1 winners in a Simcoe division at Mohawk. In the first Simcoe Stakes division, Dancin Hill and driver Scott Zeron picked up the victory in a career-best clocking of 1:50.1. Dancin Hill powered by Western Vintage in the lane and paced strong to the wire to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Winds Of Change. Carracci Hanover took the show spot. A son of Rocknroll Hanover-Beyonce Blue Chip, Dancin Hill has now won two of his last three starts and improved his seasonal record to three wins in 12 starts. Dancin Hill is owned by Tom Hill of Lancashire, Great Britain and is trained by Tony Alagna. Melmerby Beach and Paul Macdonell scored their second victory in back-to-back weeks to take the second division. In the stretch, Melmerby Beach dug in and held off Play It Again Sam to win by a half-length in 1:50.2. Jet Airway couldn't find his best stride and finished third. A son of Somebeachsomewhere-Db Blue Chip, Melmerby Beach has now won three of his last five starts. Trained by Brent MacGrath for Schooner II Stable, Melmerby Beach has now won six of his 14 starts this year. The eighth annual Bobby Quillen Memorial stakes for older pacers commenced Monday (Sept. 8) at Harrington Raceway with a pair of $20,000 elimination divisions. Two-time Quillen champ Foiled Again was making his record sixth start in the Quillen, while 2013 champion Clear Vision was making his fourth. Those two rivals battled for a memorable finish in the 2013 event that resulted in a narrow win by Clear Vision over his stablemate. After Monday's eliminations, they appeared to be headed for a potential repeat duel as Foiled Again cruised to an effortless 1:51.3 triumph in his division, while Clear Vision was a 1:49.3 victor. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke. They will lead a field of eight into the Monday (Sept. 15) final at Harrington. 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 - 966; 2. Tim Tetrick - 551; 3. David Miller - 471.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 423.5; 5. Brett Miller - 266. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,276.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 764; 3. Tony Alagna - 235: 4. Ake Svanstedt - 222; 5. Julie Miller - 210. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 274.05; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 246.55; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 182; 4. Robert Key - 175; 5. Bamond Racing - 156.5. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Balmoral Park, The Red Mile, Mohawk Racetrack, Hoosier Park and Hippodrome 3R. Delaware will be hosting ten Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds; Balmoral will host American-National events for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; The Red Mile will feature another leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; Mohawk will feature the final of the Milton Stake for pacing mares; Hoosier will host the Kentuckiana Stallion Management for freshman filly pacers and trotters and the Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers; and Hippodrome 3R will feature the Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
HARRINGTON, Del. - The eighth annual Bobby Quillen Memorial stakes for older pacers commenced Monday at Harrington Raceway with a pair of $20,000 elimination divisions. Two-time Quillen champ Foiled Again was making his record sixth start in the Quillen, while 2013 champion, Clear Vision was making his fourth. Those two rivals battled for a memorable finish in the 2013 event that resulted in a narrow win by Clear Vision over his stable mate. After Monday's eliminations, they appeared to be headed for a potential repeat duel as Foiled Again cruised to an effortless 1:51.3 triumph in his division, while Clear Vision was a 1:49.3 victor. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke. Owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Panhellenic Stable, Clear Vision ($11.60, Brett Miller) made a menacing move approaching three-quarters to surge by leader Aracache Hanover to prevail by two lengths. Aracache Hanover, who cleared fifth place finisher and retreating race favorite Dancin Yankee at the half mile in a punishing 53.4 seconds, was passed by stable mate Bettors Edge late but held on for third. Heston Blue Chip finished fourth and was the last to qualify for next week's (September 15) $220,000 final. "This horse stays so sharp," said Miller. "It's great to be back here. Last year's race was a lot of fun and featured a great battle between two great horses." Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables' Foiled Again ($2.10, Yannick Gingras), the sport's richest horse of all-time, assumed command early from Easy Again and uncorked a 26.3 last quarter for a dominant win. Easy Again held second while Tarpon Hanover and Doctor Butch completed the top four and will also advance to the final. "He did it real easy tonight," said Gingras. "He never ceases to amaze me. Hopefully the draw goes our way next week." Earlier in the night KDM Stables' Versado ($2.60, Gingras) capped a guaranteed pick four pool that brought a healthy $1,106 payout. Next Monday's program will boast a $7,500 guaranteed pick four pool. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway
HARRINGTON, Del. - Harrington Raceway will offer a $6,000 guaranteed pick four pool on the Monday (September 6) program, which also features two Bobby Quillen Memorial eliminations, hosting some of racing's top older pacers. The Quillen eliminations are slated as races 8 and 10, while the pick four begins in race three. The guaranteed pick four is offered in conjunction with the USTA's strategic wagering program. Handicappers wanting a sneak peak at the pick four and the entire Monday program can download it for free here. A total of 11 horses entered the eighth annual Quillen this year, including last year's champion Clear Vision, and two-time previous champ Foiled Again are among a stellar group that also includes recent Joe Gerrity Memorial (Saratoga) winner, Dancin Yankee. Racing fans who witnessed the 2013 Quillen final saw arguably one of the best stretch battles of the season as stable mates Foiled Again and Clear Vision battled head and head throughout the entire final quarter mile with Clear Vision eventually edging clear of his ageless stable mate in an epic finish. The 10-year-old Foiled Again, the richest standardbred in history, is making a record sixth start in the Quillen, while Clear Vision is entering his fourth. Both horses are part of a powerful Ron Burke-trained stable. Their rivalry will have to wait at least a week to be renewed as both previous Quillen regulars drew into different splits in the eliminations. Foiled Again (8/5, Yannick Gingras), owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables, drew post five in the first elimination and heads a five horse field that includes I Like Dreamin (3/1, Pat Lachance), Tarpon Hanover (9/2, Brett Miller), Easy Again (2/1, Matt Kakaley) and Doctor Butch (4/1, Tim Tetrick). Clear Vision (2/1, Miller) drew post five in the second elim, in a field with Dancin Yankee (9/2, Tyler Buter), Heston Blue Chip (9/2, Tetrick), who finished third in last year's Quillen final, Bettor's Edge (4/1, Kakaley), Aracache Hanover (5/1, Gingras), and Statesman N (6/1, Corey Callahan). The top four finishers from the two divisions will return to compete in the $220,000 Final on Monday, September 15. Post time is 5:30 p.m. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway