Vernon, N.Y. -- Pop I ($10.40) sustained steady first-over gains through the far turn and ultimately reeled in 3-5 favorite Rules of the Road in Saturday (September 3) evening's harness racing featured $9,000 Miracle Mile/Open Trot at Vernon Downs. Greg Merton situated the 6-year-old Andover Hall gelding in midfield early on before a last-to-first brush from Rules of the Road (Chuck Connor, Jr.) relegated Pop I to fourth at the completion of a :57.1 half mile. Pop I was quick to reclaim ground, angling first-over on approach to the far turn and steadily gaining on approach to the top of the stretch. Despite Rules of the Road's best attempts to evade her competition after a :28.2 third quarter, Pop I collared her in mid-stretch and drew off to a 1-3/4 length victory in 1:55. Wine Photo (Roman Lopez) made a stand-side rally from last to claim second, while Rules of the Road faded to third. Harry Landy trains Pop I for Glat Kosher Racing. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Labor Day (September 5). Monday's first race is slated for 1:25 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs
MANALAPAN, NJ - September 17, 2015 - Saturday is Open Space Pace Day at Freehold Raceway, but the racing highlight of the card is actually a trot -- a $20,000 preferred trot -- with nine going to post for a mile and a half race. That is three times around the half-mile track, and the first mile and a half race in the modern era of Freehold Raceway, or as long as anyone can remember. The traditional distance for most harness races is one mile. Gural Hanover, driven by Joe Bongiorno and trained by Ron Burke, has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite in the featured seventh race, the $20,000 Open Space Pace Preferred Trot Handicap. "This is the first featured mile and a half distance race at Freehold Raceway," said Director of Racing and Racing Secretary Karen Fagliarone. "We have an outstanding field of trotters, totaling lifetime earnings of over $3.3 million. We are excited to offer something new to both our patrons and horsemen. We are thankful to the group of trainers and owners who co-sponsored this event along with Freehold Raceway." New Jersey-based trainers and owners donated half the purse: Ross Croghan's Dockside Stables, Joe Holloway. Linda Toscano, Mark Harder, Weaver & Bruscemi Stable. Ron Burke, Tom Fanning, Scott DiDomenico, Julie and Andy Miller, and Tony Alagna. The field, from the rail out with driver, trainer and morning line odds: PL Eureka, Nick Surick, Tara Hynes, 10-1; Pip I, Harry Landy, Harry Landy, 15-1; Silver Credit, Steve Smith, Karen Garland, 12-1; In Nomine Patri, Joe Haney, Joe Haney, 15-1; Mugshot Jess, Pat Lachance, Taylor Gower, 10-1; Sevruga, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 4-1; Lucky Colby, Eric Abbatiello, Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, 9-2; Gural Hanover, Joe Bongiorno, Ron Burke, 8-5, and Photosavvy, Vincent Ginsburg, Robert Bresnahan Jr., 9-1. Photosavvy, the nine horse, will leave from the second tier. Longtime standardbred owners and the founding sponsors of the event, Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Landy will serve as grand marshals for the Fourth Annual Open Space Pace Day "Parade of Horses," starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Freehold Borough's Hall of Records and ending at Freehold Raceway. The parade will feature marching bands from Freehold Township and Freehold Borough high schools. After the parade, the festivities move to Freehold Raceway where there will be live harness racing, a petting zoo, vendor tables, food trucks and educational exhibits. There will be an autograph session with Julie Miller and Hannah Miller from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the winner's circle at Freehold Raceway A concert featuring Burlap to Cashmere and The Nerds begins at 3 p.m. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ
MANALAPAN, NJ - September 27 2014 - Harness racing two-year-olds Dealt A Winner and Strut My Stuff won the Lou Babic Pace Finals for New Jersey-sired two-year-olds on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. Dealt A Winner, a son of Cam's Card Shark, extended his winning streak to four and secured his fifth win in six career starts in the $100,000 Babic for colts, the ninth race. Sent off as the 1-9 favorite, the Ed Hart trainee drew away to an eight-length victory over Mitt Jagger [Rocknroll Hanover]. It was eight and a quarter lengths to Edward Teach [Rocknroll Hanover] in third. Dealt A Winner [$2.10], driven by Jason Bartlett, added the Babic title to wins in the Reynolds and Geers. He has now earned $119,879 for owner Jeffrey Snyder of New York City. In the $59,000 filly division, contested as the seventh race, 5-1 Strut My Stuff [Western Ideal] passed 1-5 Smart Zone [Rocknroll Hanover] in the stretch for the one-length victory in 1:57.4. It was two lengths to Hollyrocker [Rocknroll Hanover] in third. Strut My Stuff, driven by Jack Baggitt Jr. and trained by Ross Croghan, posted her Third Straight win and paid $12.20 to win. In nine starts, she has bankrolled $49,120 for the Let It Ride Stables of Boca Raton, FL and RBH Ventures Inc of New York City. Smart Zone, who held on for second, had her winning streak snapped at four. In a non-wagering New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, Cheyenne Louie was a half-length winner over Card Shock in 1:55.3. Both are sons of Cam's Card Shark. It was a length to Nubble Light [Rocknroll Hanover] in third. The Harry Landy trained and driven Cheyenne Louie has won two straight and five of 17 this year for Glat Kosher Racing of Monroe, NJ. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ
Pop I (Andover Hall) won his first ever local Open Trot on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Harry Landy trains and drives the four year old trotter who rode a two race win streak into Sunday's co-feature. Dismissed at odds of 22-1, Pop I followed the cover of Baby Boy Grin (Stephane Bouchard) throughout the second half of the mile before tracking him down in the final strides of the $17,000 Open Trot. The win for Pop I came in a career best 1:55.2 and the earnings from the win moved the Landy trainee's career bankroll to over the $100,000 mark. Baby Boy Grin was the runner up in the Open for the second consecutive week while the race's favorite Tac's Delight (Billy Dobson) had to settle for third. Road Bet (Bettor's Delight) prevailed in the Fillies and Mares Open for the second straight week in the matinee card's co-feature. Road Bet was driven by Frank Coppola Jr. who piloted for trainer Kyle Spagnola. Live racing resumes on Thursday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. Mike Sardella
MANALAPAN, NJ - August 27, 2014 - Trainer Ray Schnittker will send out a trio of Muscles Yankee colts in the first round of New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres Division action when Freehold Raceway re-opens for its 2014 Summer/Fall Meet on Thursday, August 28. The 48-day meet [August 28 through December 13] will occupy Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays each week along with a special Labor Day card on Monday, September 1. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Seven New Jersey-sired two-year-old trotting colts and geldings are scheduled to go postward in the $7,000 first leg of the Green Acres, the third of 10 races, with the Schnittker entry of Switchblade Hall, Cruizinwithmuscles and Broken Record installed as the 1-5 morning line favorite by the newly adopted TrackMaster automated morning line. Broken Record, leaving fro post six with Steve Smith in the sulky, has two wins and three thirds from six starts and earnings of $41,763 for the ownership of Schnittker and Ted Gewertz. He finished third in his last start, the Tompkins at Tioga Downs. Harry Landy will handle Switchblade Hall from post three while Pat Berry has the assignment behind Cruizinwithmuscles from post four. The other starters are Firestop [Muscles Yankee] from the rail with Eric Abbatiello driving at 12-1; Wolfpack Muscle [Muscles Yankee] with David Pinkney Jr. at 25-1 from post two; the Francisco Del Cid trained and driven Mountain Top [Muscle Hill], the 5-2 second choice from post five and Muscle Night [Muscles Yankee] with Jim Marshall III from post seven at 25-1. A free t-shirt will be distributed with a paid Freehold live racing program [while supplies last] on Thursday, August 28. With six in the box, there will be no eliminations on Friday of this week and all the three-year-old filly trotters entered will advance to the $40,000 Helen Smith Trot on Friday, September 5, 2014. The field includes Cee Bee Yes [Muscles Yankee], Celebrity Fantasy [Muscles Yankee], Mistressswithmuscle [Muscle Hill], She Likes Candy [Chocolatier], Yoga [Muscles Yankee] and You And I [Muscles Yankee]. The Julie Miller trained Cee Bee Yes has banked more than $273,000 for Jason and Douglas Allen of Vincentown, NJ, with six wins, five seconds and two thirds from 19 career starts. This year, she has two wins and two seconds in eight starts. She captured the $33,075 Lady Suffolk at Freehold on May 2 and was second in the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final at the Meadowlands on May 31. She qualified for the Hambletonian Oaks but broke at the start of the final and finished last. Labor Day is also Back to the Track, a cooperative effort by the United States Trotting Association, its member racetracks, and horsemen from coast-to-coast that combines exciting harness racing and fan-friendly promotions. Freehold's Labor Day festivities include a free Back to the Track cap with paid Freehold live program [while supplies last], 50-cent hot dogs, 50-cent sodas, drawings for a season's parking pass and Back to the Track t-shirts. Additionally, there will be a drivers' autograph session. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ
Bell On Wheels scored in the Fillies and Mares Open for the second consecutive Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The winner of the Aged Pacing Mare of the Year award at the Spa last year, Bell On Wheels (Western Hanover) won her first feature of the 2014 season last week and drew the rail on Sunday while seeking to repeat in the $17,000 Open for distaff pacers. Bruce Aldrich Jr.again sat behind the Harry Landy-trained mare as they sat the pocket behind rival Godiva Seelster (Wally Hennessey). Bell On Wheels flew late to reel in the top rival and stop the timer in 1:52.2, the fastest for a lady pacer at the track this year and just a fifth of a second off of the track record for aged pacing mares. Godiva Seelster was the runner up on Sunday while Aint No Dollatable (Billy Dobson) finished third in the condensed five horse feature. Live racing resumes on Thursday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway
Justa Rebel (Valley Victor) pulled off a rarely seen move in Friday's feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Stephen Reid-trainee went last to first to win the evening's $17,000 Open Trot. Justa Rebel finished third from post eight in his previous start and didn't have much post relief on Friday, starting from the seven hole. Driver Jim Devaux sat patiently with the 9-5 favorite before moving out of last after the start of the second lap. It took a four-wide move in the back stretch to get Justa Rebel passed all of his rivals and he wound up drawing away in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:58.2 over a tracked labeled "good". Slugfest (Jay Randall) closed up the inside to finish second while Victom As (Harry Landy) earned the show spot. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway
Victom As (Striking Sahbra) went wire to wire in Friday's Open Trot at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The six year old trotter made an easy lead in the $15,000 feature and after racing unopposed in lap one, stepped on the gas in the final half to sprint away to a 1:57.4 victory for trainer-driver Harry Landy. It was the second win in November for Victom As whose career earnings moved to just shy of the $300,000 mark. Easy Strength (Jim Devaux) finished second to hit the board for the fourth consecutive week in the local Friday feature while longshot Speed Hanover (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. The victory for Victom As was his seventh of the season. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post set for 6:45pm. by MIke Sardella for Saratoga Raceway
Victom As (Striking Sahbra) won the Open Trot on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway in 1:58.3. Trainer-driver Harry Landy moved the six year old trotter out to the lead in a quick opening quarter of 28.1 and held tough, turning back a host of rivals before hitting the line first. Victom As was making just his second start in over two months and followed up a third place finish last week with a victory in the $15,000 Friday feature. Slugfest (Phil Fluet) was the Open’s runner up for the third straight week while Easy Strength (Sam Schillaci) closed for third. Landy scored a training and driving double as his Fandango Dancer (Revenue S) prevailed earlier in the night. Live racing continues on Saturday night at the Spa with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella for Saratoga Raceway
Mr Web Page (Muscles Yankee) went from last to first to secure a win in the local Open for the second time in as many tries at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Roman Lopez-trained five year old won his local debut two weeks ago and was back in town following a second place finish at Vernon Downs in his previous race. Stephane Bouchard sat patiently in last with Mr Web Page while the fractions were fast in the early going. Moving three wide around the final turn, Mr Web Page swooped the group and drew away late to win in 1:58.3 to move his record in $15,000 Spa Opens to two-for-two. Lightly raced in 2013, Mr Web Page has now finished first or second in seven of his last eight starts. Slugfest (Phil Fluet) was the Open’s runner up for the second consecutive Friday night while Victom AS (Harry Landy) closed for third. Mr Web Page returned a solid $9.60 to win. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. by MIke Sardella for Saratoga Raceway
MANALAPAN, NJ – October 24, 2013 – Chocolate Delight could sweeten his bankroll on Friday in the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes – Green Acres Final for three-year-old trotting colts at Freehold Raceway. The son of Chocolatier, driven by Jim Meittinis and trained by Oyvind Hegdal, has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite in the field of six. The gelding will leave from post three. Chocolate Delight splits his time between the racetrack and the show ring. Twelve-year-old Victoria Hegdal of New Egypt, NJ has earned ribbons with the trotter, who is trained by her father and owned by her mother, Camilia. On the track, Chocolate Delight has three wins, two seconds and one third from 11 starts this year, banking $27,165 toward a career total of $36,225. Among his victories was the $27,000 New Jersey Futurity on October 3, posting his career best time of 1:59.3. The field from the rail out, with sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds: Fandango Tornado, Revenue, Harry Landy, James Porter, 3-1; Order By Road, Chocolatier, Jim Pantaleano, Syl King Jr., 4-1; Chocolate Delight, Chocolatier, Jim Meittinis, Oyvind Hegdal, 2-1; Marion Mayday, Chocolatier, Kyle DiBenedetto, Syl King Jr., 6-1; Power Wheel, Muscle Yankee, Steve Smith, Gary Cameron II, 5-1 and Dagget, Chocolatier, Tyler Butenschoen, John Butenschoen, 8-1. by Carol Hodes for the SBOA/NJ
MANALAPAN, NJ - October 5, 2013 - Rockaholic caught Sky Is The Limit to win the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres Final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings in the ninth race on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at Freehold Raceway. Driven by Eric Abbatiello and trained by Yogi Sheridan, Rockaholic [by Rocknroll Hanover] paced the mile in 1:54.1 for the half-length victory, snapping the two-race winning streak of Sky Is The Limit [Western Ideal]. It was a length and a quarter to Always There [Western Ideal] in third. Rockaholic [$6.00], racing for Joseph Zicchino of Point Pleasant, NJ, improved his record to three wins, three seconds and two thirds from 20 starts this year. Lifetime, the gelding has finished in-the-money in 15 of 32 starts for a bankroll of $66,780. Earlier in the card, two-year-old pacers competed in a pair of $7,000 preliminary Green Acres legs. Useful Hanover [by Western Ideal] was a length and a quarter winner over Rock Absorber [Rocknroll Hanover] in the second leg for pacing colts and geldings. Card Shock [Cam's Card Shark] was two lengths back in third. Useful Hanover [$3.80] was driven to victory by Jim Pantaleano for trainer Black MacIntosh, who co-owns with Harry Landy of Monroe, NJ. The mile was timed in 1:57.4. In the filly division, Ideal Helen [Western Ideal] extended her winning streak to four with a length and a quarter victory over Cut A Deal [Rocknroll Hanover] in 1:57.1. Ideal Helen paid $2.60 to win. Fanticipation [Rocknroll Hanover] was a length and a half back in third. Ideal Hanover, owned by breeder DR Van Witzenburg of Crest Hill, IL, has already recorded victories in the Babic Filly Final and the New Jersey Futurity for two-year-olds in recent weeks. She has six wins and two seconds in 11 starts and earnings that now top $100,000. by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ
Let’s Go Higher returned to town to compete in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga after a recent stint at Yonkers and Vernon Downs. The Heidi Rohr trainee recorded back to back jacks in the local Open in July and also secured a victory in the Vernon feature for distaff pacers but returned to the Spa after a difficult trip in her last race at Yonkers. Shawn Gray fired Let’s Go Higher (Cole Muffler) up in the early stages and made the lead with the mare through an opening quarter of 27.3. The five year old never really had an anxious moment in the mile and secured another Open score on Thursday night, stopping the timer in 1:54.2 in the $18,000 feature. Bell On Wheels (Harry Landy) sat the pocket to Let’s Go Higher and finished behind her while Ace Of Pace (Dan Cappello Jr) earned the show spot. Let’s Go Higher was the race’s second choice in the betting at odds of 5-2 as she won for the seventh time of the season. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella
Let’s Go Higher (Cole Muffler) won her first harness racing "Fillies and Mares Open" at Saratoga on June 30th. She went out to Vernon Downs and set a lifetime mark in their Open for distaff pacers in her last start. Thursday night, the Heidi Rohr trainee was back in town and wound up back in the winner’s circle. Let’s Go Higher sat the pocket to the race’s favorite Bell On Wheels and pounced on her in the stretch to record a 1:54 victory in the $18,000 feature. Bell On Wheels (Harry Landy) was the runner up while Persistent (Stephane Bouchard) earned the show spot. Let’s Go Higher won for the fifth time this season for owner Jesse De Long of Clinton, WI. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 7:05pm. MIke Sardella
Victom As (Striking Sahbra) pulled off the upset in the Friday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.
Victom As (Striking Sahbra) pulled off the upset in the Friday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.