Although he is still relatively new as an owner, Lindsey Rankin understands how rare it is to find a top racehorse. So he is trying to enjoy the ride with Lady Shadow to the fullest. Lady Shadow is among 22 horses in Wednesday's $298,100 Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. The field was divided into three eliminations, from which the top three in each will advance to the same-day final. The winner of 10 of 18 career races, Lady Shadow competes in the first elimination. She drew post No. 2 for the son-and-father team of driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair and is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Beach Gal, who is coming off a third-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, is the 5-2 favorite in the second elimination. She starts from post four for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Dave Menary. Gettingreadytoroll, who has won three in a row including the Simcoe Stakes and Miss New Jersey, is the 5-2 choice in the third division. She will start from post two with Yannick Gingras at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. Lady Shadow has earned $426,753 in her career, racing to this point only in Ontario. "We've only been in it for five years, but I think she's probably our once-in-a-lifetime horse," said Rankin, a Michigan resident who owns Lady Shadow with his wife, Connie. "So we're going to try to enjoy it. It would be nice to make the final. We have family and friends coming to see her. "She's got a lot of ability. She's a really nice filly. She's got a big heart. It's been a lot of fun." Lady Shadow won five of eight races last year, including the Battle of the Belles at Grand River Raceway, and finished second by a neck in the Ontario Sire Stakes championship. So far this season, Lady Shadow has won five of 10 starts, including the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association final and two preliminary divisions of the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series. She won her elimination for the Canadian Breeders Championship by more than eight lengths in a career-best 1:49.2 on July 12 at Mohawk, but went off stride at the start of the final on a sloppy track and finished sixth. But even with the miscue, which left her trailing the early leaders by 27 lengths after the first quarter and 21 lengths at the halfway point, she missed by just 1-3/4 lengths. "We're not really sure what happened," Rankin said. "Doug said she was fumbly gaited and just started to run. Once he set her, she was fine, but he wasn't real sure what that was all about. She did that once earlier this year too. She's kind of a hot head sometimes. She's settled down as the season has gone on, but at the beginning of the year she was a lot to handle. "She's got a lot of speed, but sometimes she's hard to rate. She likes to be put up in the front, in contention, from the get-go." Rankin owned horses for three years beginning in 1979, but got out of the sport because of the demands of running a business that supplies graphic design equipment. Five years ago, he asked his then 11-year-old daughter Abby if she wanted to get a horse, and when the young girl's eyes lit up, he was back in the game. "Now we're kind of hooked back into it," said the now-retired Rankin, who owns six horses. He bought Lady Shadow for $19,000 at the Forest City Sale in Ontario. The filly is a daughter of 2008 Little Brown Jug winner Shadow Play out of the mare Lady Camella. The dam's family includes 1962 Little Brown Jug winner Lehigh Hanover as well as famed trotter Peter Volo. "I liked a lot about her; her conformation," Rankin said. "She's always been high strung. We had a lot of issues with her when she was a yearling. She was always trying to do something stupid, but we got through it all. "We've been real happy with her this year. She paces a half-mile track just as well as she does a big track, so we think she deserves a shot." Below are the elimination fields for the Jugette in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds. Elim One: 1. Shell Bell, Kurt Sugg, Kurt Sugg, 12-1; 2. Lady Shadow, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair, 5-2; 3. Color's A Virgin, Trace Tetrick, Brian Brown, 4-1; 4. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-1; 5. Ali Blue, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-1; 6. Beach Body, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes, 10-1; 7. Also Encouraging, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 7-2. Elim Two: 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 4-1; 2. Allstar Rating, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 7-2; 3. Somethinincredible, Ron Pierce, Bob McIntosh, 8-1; 4. Beach Gal, Tim Tetrick, Dave Menary, 5-2; 5. Fits Well, Scott Zeron, Brian Brown, 12-1; 6. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 10-1; 7. A La Notte Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 8-1; 8. Sectionline Aqua, Brett Miller, Steve Bauder, 5-1. Elim Three: 1. Cut A Deal, Jim Pantaleano, Nick Surick, 12-1; 2. Gettingreadytoroll, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 3. Beautiful Lady, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 5-1; 4. Someislandsomwhere, Ron Pierce, Casie Coleman, 6-1; 5. Candy's A Virgin, Trace Tetrick, Brian Brown, 4-1; 6. Sandbetweenurtoes, Brett Miller, Larry Remmen, 7-2; 7. Beach Story, David Miller, Kelvin Harrison, 8-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 13 - Father Patrick, the 1-5 choice with harness racing driver Yannick Gingras, scored a popular one and three-quarter length victory in the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. Trainer Jimmy Takter held more than a strong hand going into this year's renewal for three-year-old trotters, sending out Hambletonian winner Trixton, a son of 2009 Classic winner Muscle Hill and Father Patrick, last year's divisional champion who had been expected to win the Meadowlands showcase event in August but made an unexpected early break. The toteboard reflected that, as Father Patrick was 1-5, Trixton 9-5 when they went behind the gate, while their five rivals ranged from 18-1 to 80-1. The two favourites, both of whom had won eight of their 10 starts this year, were expected to duke it out but this time it was Trixton, driven by Takter, who went off stride at the start to eliminate himself. It wasn't a walk in the park but the win at least put aside the nightmare of this year's Hambletonian for Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream. Parked in fourth for the first half-mile, as Damfoolrmillionair took the field through a quarter in :26.4 and the half in :55.2, Gingras sent Father Patrick up to challenge the pacesetter, took over before the three-quarters was reached in 1:24, then powered home for the win in 1:52.4. E L Titan came on for second, with Harper Blue Chip third. Owned by the Father Patrick Stable, of which Torontonian John Fielding is a partner, Father Patrick had won 15 straight prior to his gaffe in the Hambletonian. Since then, he'd won two of three and was hammered down to heavy favouritism in the Classic. "It's definitely huge (winning the Canadian Trotting Classic)," said Gingras. "That race (Hambletonian) is one I'd like to forget. He's a great horse. From here on out, I think he'll be the best horse, no doubt. He went a huge trip. He was out the whole way, never saw the rail. When I made my move, it was never in doubt." Added Fielding, "It was just a fantastic effort tonight. We've always thought this colt was the best colt I've ever owned. Jimmy, his wife Christina and myself have owned many, many great horses over the years. But this colt ranks up as probably number one of all of them. It was disappointing at the Hambletonian but tonight he was fantastic. It was just a great thrill. Tonight he showed himself well." With the win, Father Patrick went well over the $1 million in earnings for the season and is now closing in on the $2 million mark in career earnings. Prior to tonight, six of the last 10 winners of the Canadian Trotting Classic, including the last two (Royalty For Life in 2013, Market Share in 2012) had also prevailed in the storied Hambletonian. Takter previously won the Classic on two occasions, but surprisingly it had been awhile. Kadabra took the 2002 edition while Red Xing won in 1997. Father Patrick paid $2.70, $2.10 (no show wagering), combining with E L Titan ($14.60) for a $45.80 (6-1) exactor. A 6-1-2 (Harper Blue Chip) triactor was worth $158.10 while a $1 Superfecta [6-1-2-7 (Damfoolrmillioinair)] came back $282.20. Mark McKelvie
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 13 - Shake It Cerry, driven by Ron Pierce, destroyed nine harness racing rivals in the $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A daughter of Donato Hanover - Solveig, Shake It Cerry continued her sensational season Saturday evening with arguably her best performance to date. Sent off as the 4/5 favourite, Shake It Cerry was parked around the first turn in fourth and eventually would clear to the front as the field approached the half-mile pole. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3, Shake It Cerry found another gear and opened up on the field under a hand drive from Pierce. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Shake It Cerry cruised to a 9¼ length victory in a Track, Stakes and Canadian record equaling time of 1:52.1. "I asked her to go a little bit turning for home and she responded well and was just full of trot," said Pierce following the race. "I never turned the whip around, I never pulled her ear plugs, I just sat there, I was just a passenger. Jimmy had her tuned up and I just had to sit there." Takter's other starter in the Elegantimage final, Scream And Shout, finished second in a photograph over Vanity Matters. Shake It Cerry has now won nine of her eleven starts this season and 17 of 21 career appearances. Following the race, Takter had high praise for his star trotting filly. "I always said this is the best three-year-old filly in this crop," said Takter. "Lifetime Pursuit is quite good too, but I know with this filly she had a tough run in the Hambletonian (Oaks), but she is just a fantastic horse and bounces back every time and I think she's earned all the respect she can get." Owned by Solveig Racing Partners, Shake It Cerry increased her career earnings to $1,427,880 with her victory Saturday night. She paid $3.60 to win. Mark McKelvie
This is the last weekend before the revival of the $250,000 Prix D’Eté for the best four-year-old pacers in North America, to be held at Hippodrome 3R on Sunday, September 21. We take one last look at the major contenders for the $200,000 Prix D’Ete main event, and also spotlight a few horses who may race in the $50,000 Consolation. The numbers in the parentheses (5$/2LR) after the horse’s name indicate where on the money winning list a horse is, and what his ranking was in our last report (“x” means he was below the Top Ten); if he is in to race this coming weekend, such fact is noticed after his comment in (parentheses). SUNFIRE BLUE CHIP (5$/2LR) – On fire right now, with four straight wins at four different tracks for Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter, including a 1:49.2 victory at Pocono this past Saturday, with a 26.4 last quarter. Regular driver Yannick Gingras comes home with a likely favorite. MACH IT SO (2$/1LR) – He was third in the Pocono race that Sunfire Blue Chip won, coming from seventh at the half to be beaten in a photo for second. Before that he had reeled off three straight triumphs, including a 1:48.2 mile at Pocono. CAPTIVE AUDIENCE (3$/4LR) – Finished fourth against older horses in the Canadian Pacing Derby Final last Saturday at Mohawk, with the vaunted Sweet Lou trailing him at the wire. (In to go: Saturday at Mohawk in the Preferred.) SHAMBALLA (9$/xLR) -- The “sleeper” in the group. He’s never faced stakes horses, but he’s won five out of his last six, including a 1:49.3 win with a 26.4 last quarter at Mohawk. And it’s doubtful having Rick Zeron as trainer/driver will be a disadvantage in a Quebec race. WINDSONG JACK (6$/8LR) – Another late developer who comes out of the top-rated Ron Burke barn. Last week he was blocked much of the way, but then delivered a devastating last 1/16 to blow by the best horses at The Meadows. (In to go: Friday at The Meadows vs. the same type,) WORD POWER (4$/3LR) – Not quite as sharp as a few weeks ago. (In to go: Saturday at Yonkers.) LUCAN HANOVER (11$/xLR) – Raised his stock greatly with a 1:51.1 win at Yonkers last week. (In to go: Saturday at Yonkers.) APPRENTICE HANOVER (1$/6LR) – “The best” almost to midseason, but has tailed off. (In to go: Saturday at Mohawk.) TWILIGHT BONFIRE (13$/xLR) – Has been getting sharper by the week at The Meadows. (In to go: Friday at The Meadows.) SUNSHINE BEACH (21$/5LR) – Locally-trained, but off-form as of late. Track management has “beefed up” the Prix D’Ete race card on Sunday, September 21 and has now added to their overnite sheet a $15,000 Invitational Trot and Pace. Hoping to lore some of the trainers and owners coming for the Prix D’Ete to bring one or two more horses to race that day could develop into a superb under card to go with the $200,000 Prix D’Ete and the $50,000 consolation races. From the Quebec Jockey Club
Mohawk Racetrack offers a stakes laden harness racing card Saturday evening anchored by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic which has two top Ontario-sired colts taking on five very talented sophomores. The card also features the $385,000 Peaceful Way final with several OSS fillies in contention, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial with one lone Ontario-sired colt, and the $409,000 Elegantimage final with four OSS girls vying for their turn in the winner’s circle. In addition to those great trotting races, the program will also headline the top pacing mares in North America in two eliminations for the Milton Stakes which feature three OSS graduates including a Breeders Crown winner. In the showcase event Harper Blue Chip will attempt to duplicate his sire, Majestic Son’s, 2006 Canadian Trotting Classic victory. Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario, trained Majestic Son, who won the ’06 CTC by more than six lengths over a very talented field, and also conditions Harper Blue Chip. A son of Angus Hall, Majestic Son was a dominant force in the OSS during his sophomore season, winning seven of 10 OSS events. In total, he won $622,000 in the provincial program during his career. Majestic Son now stands at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ontario, and Harper Blue Chip, with $547,000 in earnings, is his second richest performer to date, behind only Charmed Life ($592,000). So far this year Harper Blue Chip has a summary of 4-2-2 in 10 starts and although he’s won two OSS Gold events and swept the Canadian Breeders, he’s best known for finishing third in the $1,006,125 Hambletonian last month at the Meadowlands. The Hambletonian winner, Trixton, is also slated to start in the CTC final, with post five. Trainer Jimmy Takter will drive the colt who has won eight of 10 starts this year. Tatker’s other talented colt in this division, Father Patrick (also eight for 10) is right alongside in post six. It’s a formidable duo facing Harper Blue Chip whose driver Sylvain Filion is cautiously optimistic, especially given that the colt has finally drawn a decent starting position, post two, compared to post 10 in the Goodtimes final and post nine in the Hambletonian. “He’s been drawing real bad all year and he finally gets a good post,” Filion noted earlier this week. “We’ve got a tough bunch of horses to race against, but he’s very good right now. I’m hoping for a good, close to the front trip and hopefully some top horses won’t be on their game, because we’ll need a lot of luck to beat those horses. It’s a very high quality group.” The other OSS colt joining Harper in the CTC final is Muscle Matters, a son of Muscle Mass who will start beside Harper Blue Chip in post three. Mario Baillargeon will be at the lines for his brother Ben who handles the colt’s training. Yet to win a race this year, Muscle Matters has been close, with five second place finishes in six starts, three of those to Harper Blue Chip. The CTC final goes as race nine on the card. In the third race, the $385,000 Peaceful Way final, there are six OSS fillies in the mix including a pair trained by John Bax, Stubborn Belle (post one, Paul MacDonell) and Juanitas Fury (post nine, Steve Condren). Both fillies have two OSS wins to their credit this season and both finished second in their respective Peaceful Way elims. Stubborn Belle was aptly named according to Bax. “She’s always been a lot like her name, that’s why she was named Stubborn Belle. She’s been a little hard to get to do it the way we want her to.” Despite that the Taurus Dream daughter, owned by Bax of Peterborough and Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ontario, has set two records so far this year – a track record at Rideau Carleton (1:55.4) in an OSS Gold event and a stakes record in a Champlain stake (1:54.2). Bax also starts the Muscle Hill filly Southwind Champagne in the Peaceful Way final. She has post six with Steve Byron at the controls. The other OSS rookies attempting to capture the event named for one of the greatest Ontario-sired trotting mares of all time, $3.2 million winner Peaceful Way, include Daneille Hall (post two, Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (post four, Roger Mayotte), Amoureuse Hanover (post eight, Doug McNair) and Lady Caterina (post 10, Phil Hudon). The dam of Elegant Serenity, Elegantimage, is the namesake for the seventh race on the program. A star of the OSS in the late 1990s, Elegantimage earned just shy of a million dollars during her impressive racing career. A quartet of three-year-old Ontario-sired fillies will attempt to capture the $409,000 event including Bax’s Riveting Rose (post three, Paul MacDonell), Tosca (post two, Per Henriksen), Sweetie Hearts (post eight, Randy Waples) and Muscle Babe (post 10, James MacDonald). The other major trotting stake on the program is named for one of Canada’s most respected horsemen of all time, the late William Wellwood, a member of Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame and a successful participant in the OSS since its inception 40 years ago. The only Ontario-sired rookie colt in contention for this event is a son of Infinitif, Dont Rush who has drawn post four with Chris Christoforou in the bike. The colt captured a division of the first Gold event for this group in early July which surprised his trainer/owner and breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario. “If you had told me in October he was going to win a Gold the first week of July I don’t think I would have believed you,” laughed Jones. “He’s exceeded my expectations since I brought him in the barn.” The OSS graduates competing in the two Milton eliminations are Monkey On My Wheel, a Breeders Crown winner at three and 10-2-6 in 24 starts this year for owner/breeder Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ontario. The winner of $1.5 million to date in her career has post seven in the sixth race which also features the Camluck mare Camille ($1.1 million to date) in post four. Voelz Hanover ($1.5 million lifetime) is the lone Ontario-sired distaffer in the second Milton elim, race 10. In addition to all of the on-track action, Mohawk is also celebrating their fans with Fan Appreciation Night Saturday featuring a first bet on the house, giveaways after each race and a $5 food voucher to the first 1,000 fans. To view the full card please click Mohawk Entries - September 13.
A field of 22 filly pacers will compete for the $298,100 Jugette on Wednesday, September 17 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. In the first elimination Lady Shadow (Doug McNair) has been named the 5-2 morning line favorite. The Shadow Play lass has won two straight races in Ontario Sire Stakes action and has bankrolled $236,861 this season for Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, MI. Beach Gal (Tim Tetrick) was tapped the top choice in the $39,746 second elimination. The Somebeachsomewhere filly owns a 1:49.3 mark at Mohawk Raceway and has limetime earnings of 358,096. Beach Gal is trained by David Menary for Kenneth Ewen, Hewvilla Farms, Denis Breton and Larry Menary all of Ontario. The final elimination is shaping up to be a battle between Gettingreadytoroll (Yannick Gingras) and Sandbetweenurtoes (Brett Miller) Gettingreadytoroll is coming into the Jugette off a 1:49.4 victory in the $191,074 Simcoe Stakes. Gettingreadytoroll is campaigned by John and Jim Fielding and the 2014 Lady Pace Honoree, Christina Takter. Jimmy Takter trains the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover. Sandbetweenurtoes has won eight of nine seasonal starts and has won nearly $250,000 this year. Larry Remmen trains the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere for Bradley Grant of Milton, Ontario. 44th Jugette -- Three-Year-Old Filly Pace PP Horse (Driver/Trainer) Odds 1st Elimination $39,746 1. Shell Bell (Kurt Sugg/Kurt Sugg) 12-1 2. Lady Shadow (Doug McNair/Gregg McNair) 5-2 3. Color’s A Virgin (Trace Tetrick/Brian Brown) 4-1 4. Southwind Silence (Matt Kakaley/Ron Burke) 6-1 5. Ali Blue (Yannick Gingras/Jimmy Takter) 5-1 6. Beach Body (Ron Pierce/Chris Oakes) 10-1 7. Also Encouraging (David Miller/Casie Coleman) 7-2 2nd Elimination $39,746 1. Uffizi Hanover (David Miller/Jimmy Takter) 4-1 2. Allstar Rating (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke) 7-2 3. Somethinincredible (John Campbell/Robert McIntosh) 8-1 4. Beach Gal (Tim Tetrick/David Menary) 5-2 5. Fits Well (Scott Zeron/Brian Brown) 12-1 6. Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell/Jim Campbell) 10-1 7. A La Notte Hanover (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke) 8-1 8. Sectionline Aqua (TBA/Steve Bauder) 5-1 3rd Elimination $39,746 1. Cut A Deal (Brett Miller/Nick Surick) 12-1 2. Gettingreadytoroll (Yannick Gingras/Jimmy Takter) 5-2 3. Beautiful Lady (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke) 5-1 4. Someislandsomwhere (Brett Miller/Casie Coleman) 6-1 5. Candy’s A Virgin (Trace Tetrick/Brian Brown) 4-1 6. Sandbetweenurtoes (Brett Miller/Larry Remmen) 7-2 7. Beach Story (Yannick Gingras/Kelvin Harrison) 8-1 Top three finishers in each elimination will return for the $178,862 final. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug
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.
Fifty-four of the 68 winners of the Little Brown Jug go back to Hal Dale. Two of those winners, Keystoner and Good Time, were his sons, while all the rest are linked to either his son, Adios, or his grandson Meadow Skipper, neither of whom won the Jug. Adios, who was born in 1940, pre-dated the Jug, which started in 1946. Meadow Skipper did participate, but he was parked most of the mile in the 1963 final and finished third to Overtrick, who set an all-age world record of 1:57.1. While Adios, who was twenty years older than Skipper, got a head start; eight sons and a grandson—Romeo Hanover—by Adios had won editions of the Jug before the principal of Skipper’s first crop, Most Happy Fella, won in 1970. Meadow Skipper certainly made up for lost time. Thirty-four of 43 Jugs since 1970 have been won by sons or other descendants of his—that’s about 80%. The only gap larger than one year during that run was the three year stretch at the beginning of the run, between 1971 and 1974, when Nansemond, Strike Out, Melvin’s Woe and Airliner were victorious. Between Hot Hitter’s win in 1979 and Abercrombie’s in 1993, there was a 13 year dry spell for Adios and any other progenitor not named Meadow Skipper. The last Adios line colt to win the Jug was Real Desire in 2007. Beyond his own failure to win the Little Brown Jug, Skipper’s prolific band of sons, grandsons and great grandsons, as successful as they have been at producing Jug winners, have a spotty record when it comes to winning the race. Yes, Most Happy Fella, Niatross and Bettor’s Delight won, but the list of Skipper’s descendants who produced winners but didn’t win it themselves is much longer: Cam Fella, Western Hanover, Falcon Almahurst, Western Ideal, No Nukes, Cam’s Card Shark, Rocknroll Hanover, The Panderosa, Tyler B, French Chef, Oil Burner, Tyler’s Mark…. While Adios had nine sons win the Jug, Meadow Skipper only had four. The difference is that while Adios only got four from his greatest son Bret Hanover and three via his great grandson Abercrombie, Skipper got twenty from the Most Happy Fella branch, eleven from the Cam Fella branch, and seven through Albatross. Since the turn of the century only three Adios Line colts have won the Jug—Astreos, Mr Feelgood and Real Desire—and none of those victories have come in the last six years. The other dozen were won by Skipper line stallions. This year’s Jug may prove to be a game changer, and there are a couple of ways that can happen. The field won’t be drawn until Saturday, but in his latest edition of Road to the Little Brown Jug, Delaware PR man Jay Wolf rates McWicked as the top contender. He, of course, is from the Adios line, being a son of McArdle, who has been keeping the Bret Hanover artery on life support in recent years. McArdle’s daddy, Falcon Seelster, wasn’t in the Jug, although he did set a world record of 1:51 at Delaware as a sophomore on Jug Day 1985. The call of that race by Roger Huston trumped the Jug itself, where Nihilator won in a time that was more than a second slower. A win by McWicked would prevent a seven race losing streak by Team Adios. Another way in which the 2014 Jug could be a game changer would be a win by a son of Somebeachsomewhere. Jay lists four possibilities on his Top Ten list: Ron Burke’s Limelight Beach, who just finished second to McWicked in the $260,000 PASS Championship Final; Jimmy Takter’s Cane winner, Lyonssomewhere; Bob McIntosh’s gelding, Somewhere In LA, who finished third to McWicked in the PASS Final; or Brent MacGrath’s Melmerby Beach, who won a split of the Simcoe over the weekend. This would represent a dramatic change because no member of the line running from Volomite through Sampson Hanover has ever won the Little Brown Jug, and no top line descendant of Volomite has won in 38 years, since Stanley Dancer’s Keystone Ore beat Joe O’Brien’s Armbro Ranger in 1976. The other two winners going back to Volomite are Overtrick in 1963 and Rum Customer in 1968. SBSW skipped the Jug, and last year Captaintreacherous, the star of his first crop, did the same. There may be no Jug winners on the branch he is now the figurehead for, coming down from his great, great, great grandsire Sampson Hanover, but that one was very handy on a half. In September, 1951, 4-year-old Sampson Hanover, who was converted from the trot as a three-year-old, became the first pacer or trotter to win a race in under two minutes on a half mile track. He accomplished that historic fete in the Almahurst Pace at Delaware, Ohio. So, we have the inspiration of Sampson Hanover’s Delaware heroics for the sons of SBSW and for McWicked his granddaddy Falcon Seelster’s world record mile over that track and his great granddaddy Bret Hanover’s world record of 1:57 in the Jug. Either way, it’s time for a colt not tied to Meadow Skipper to step up and take the prize. He’s Watching is quick as a cat around those turns and his pilot Tim Tetrick is no slouch. It won’t be easy, but it’s about that time. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/
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
Pennsylvania Championship night is always one to which we look forward at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. All summer long, we get to watch the best young pacers and trotters compete in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action, and only the finest of those get to reach the finals. This year Pocono hosted the 2-year-old championships, four stakes races separated by gender and gait and each carrying a lofty purse of $260,000. For a little extra spice, the night also included a pair of $50,000 invitational races for older horses, one of which allowed us to honor a standout performer who was taken from us far too soon. That's a lot of action, so let's get right to the performances. ADIEU TO THE ALMOST SUMMER PACE Yes, summer is fading from us fast, but 4-year-old stallion Sunfire Blue Chip is just warming up. Up against a field that included seven-figure earners Golden Receiver and Bolt The Duer, Sunfire Blue Chip, with Yannick Gingras in the bike for Jimmy Takter, followed up three straight wins in New York with an overpowering performance on the front end for a 3 Â½-length win in 1:49:3. 2-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES CHAMPIONSHIP Gingras continued his big night with a win aboard Southwind Roulette, who came into the night with wins in four of her five lifetime races. She got a challenge in the stretch from her stablemate Kays Dragon Lady, who closed to within a half-length win at the line but couldn't get to Southwind Roulette. She came home in 1:52:3. Trainer Ron Burke produced the top three finishers in this division. 2-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES CHAMPIONSHIP Wild Honey had swept the preliminary legs of his group, but the filly had never dealt with a post as far outside as her #7 hole on Saturday night. She had also never lost the lead in that winning streak like she did in the championship to an aggressive move by Speak To Me on the front stretch. Yet Gingras, this time teaming up with Takter, didn't panic and neither did his filly, who retook the lead on the final turn and trotted away to win by two lengths in 1:54:2. 2-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS CHAMPIONSHIP Billy Flynn, named after the character from the hit Broadway and movie musical Chicago, had flashed all that jazz in winning the first six starts of his career. He was only mid-pack early on in Saturday night's final, but once he kicked into gear for driver Brett Miller, there was no stopping him. Trained by Staffan Lind, Billy Flynn, who will looks the horse to beat in this division come Breeders Crown time, rolled away from his competitors to win by 2 Â¾ lengths in 1:55:2. 2-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS CHAMPIONSHIP In the tightest race of the night, Yankee Bounty, unbeaten after six career starts for trainer Burke, faced pressure on the front end, leaving him vulnerable to pocket horse Tomy Terror. Tomy Terror actually briefly took the lead in the stretch, but Gingras, who else, somehow coaxed more out of Yankee Bounty in the final strides to surge past by his foe by a nose in 1:50:3, a new track record for two-year-old pacing geldings on a surface listed in good condition on a rainy night. THE MODERN FAMILY TROT Modern Family was an exceptional trotter who came up with big wins against elite competition at several tracks in his career, including some impressive victories at Pocono. Following a race in Canada this summer, he died suddenly, a great tragedy to not just those horsemen who took such wonderful care of him but also to those racing fans who were lucky enough to witness his talent and courage on the track. This standout trotter was honored on Saturday night with a race that lived up to his lofty standards. At the top of the stretch just about every horse in the top-notch field had a chance still to win. But Gingras, his magic touch on the night impeccable, managed to squeak Wishing Stone, a 7-year-old warrior from the Burke barn, through a small hole in between horses in the stretch for a rallying win of 1:52:4. It was a fitting, poignant end to a spectacular night of racing, one which the spectators, yours truly happily included, won't soon forget. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 9 - The $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic headlines an outstanding harness racing stakes filled card this Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Along with this year's 'Trotting Classic', the $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial and the $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes are also carded for Saturday night. In total, over $2 million in purses are up for grabs on the 13-race card. The Canadian Trotting Classic is annually Canada's richest race for trotters. Established in 1976, the 'Trotting Classic' has been won by some of harness racing's greatest trotters, including Armbro Goal ('88), Yankee Paco ('00), Windsongs Legacy ('04), Donato Hanover ('07), Deweycheatumnhowe ('08) and Muscle Hill ('09). Leading the group of seven for this year's 'Trotting Classic' is the Jimmy Takter trained duo of Father Patrick and Trixton. Father Patrick (PP6), last year's Two-year-old Trotter of the Year on both sides of the border, has won 18 of his 21 career starts and is coming into the 'Trotting Classic' off victories in the $340,000 Zweig Memorial and the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship. A son of Cantab Hall - Gala Dream, Father Patrick, who will be driven by Yannick Gingras, won last year's William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk and is undefeated in three starts over the Campbellville oval. Father Patrick enters the $682,000 'Trotting Classic' with career earnings of more than $1.5 million. Trixton (PP5), this year's $1 million Hambletonian winner, is looking to defeat his stablemate once again in a rich stakes event and continue his dominance at Mohawk. Driven by trainer Jimmy Takter, Trixton captured this year's Hambletonian on August 2 at the Meadowlands, but never got the chance to go head-to-head with his stablemate as Father Patrick made a break at the start. A son of Muscle Hill - Emilie Cas El, Trixton has had plenty of success at Mohawk this season. He won the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14 and most recently captured the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes on August 30. He also holds the Mohawk Track Record for a three-year-old trotter of 1:51.3. Trixton has won 12 of 18 career starts and is approaching millionaire status with $961,876 in career earnings. Takter is seeking his third Canadian Trotting Classic title as a trainer and second as a driver. He trained and drove Red Xing to victory in 1997 and conditioned the great Kadabra in 2002. While most of the fanfare will surround the Tatker duo, local standout Harper Blue Chip will be looking to steal the spotlight. Trained by Mark Steacy, Harper Blue Chip (PP2) has dominated the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit this season and has held his own against Grand Circuit company. Harper Blue Chip finished third in the Hambletonian, won by Trixton, and fourth in the $500,000 Beal Memorial at Pocono, which was won by Father Patrick. Steacy will be looking for his second 'Trotting Classic' crown after he won the 2006 edition with Harper Blue Chip's sire, Majestic Son. Most recently, Harper Blue Chip made a rare appearance off the board when he finished fourth in the Simcoe Stakes, but driver Sylvain Filion was happy with the way his colt raced. "I thought he raced really well. He had a real bad post (post position ten)," said Filion. "He trotted large down the lane and had lots of trot at the wire." The luck of the draw was on Harper Blue Chip's side in the 'Trotting Classic', as he will start from post two and Filion hopes to build off that luck. "There's a lot of good horses in there, but we drew good and with a lucky trip you never know." As for what kind of trip Harper Blue Chip will need, Filion believes in a small field of seven the closer the better. "I think you've got to try and be close, especially in a short field like that. If you stay back there probably won't be a lot of early speed, so you will need to be close to the front." The son of Majestic Son - Winning Jonlin has won eight of 18 career starts and has a bankroll of $547,749. The other four starters in this year's Canadian Trotting Classic are E L Titan (PP1 - Chris Christoforou), Muscle Matters (PP3 - Mario Baillargeon), Il Sogno Dream (PP4 - Aaron Merriman) and Damfoolrmillionair (PP7 - Randy Waples). The 'Trotting Classic' is carded as Race 9 this Saturday night. The $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes, which has normally been contested in June, will be making it's Canadian Trotting Classic night debut. 11 of the sport's best sophomore trotting fillies will contest the rich final. Just like the 'Trotting Classic', Jimmy Takter sends out the favourite in the Elegantimage. Shake It Cerry (PP7) has won 16 of 21 career starts and banked over $1.2 million in career earnings. A daughter of Donato Hanover - Solveig, Shake It Cerry was a Breeders Crown champion as a two-year-old and this year has won events such as the Del Miller Memorial and Zweig Filly Trot. Takter will also send out Scream And Shout (PP6 - Brett Miller) and has already won the Elegantimage three times with Southwind Allaire ('03), Pampered Princess ('07) and Lantern Kronos ('08). Completing the field are Demanding Sam (PP1 - Paul Macdonell), Tosca (PP2 - Per Henriksen), Riveting Rosie (PP3 - Paul Macdonell), Vanity Matters (PP4 - Scott Zeron), Chivaree Hanover (PP5 - Doug McNair), Sweetie Hearts (PP8 - Randy Waples), Heavens Door (PP9 - Ake Svanstedt), Muscle Babe (PP10 - James MacDonald) and Designed To Be (PP11 - Sylvain Filion). The Elegantimage Stakes is carded as Race 7. The top freshman trotters will also be on display Saturday night. The $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes, for two-year-old filly trotters, features a World Champion in the group of ten that will line up behind the gate. Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill, won her elimination last week in a World Record time of 1:52.1. Trained by Ron Burke, Mission Brief had equaled the World Record in the Merrie Annabelle Stakes on August 2 at the Meadowlands, but in her Peaceful Way elimination she took sole possession of the World Record with her 3 Â¾ length victory. Following the elimination, driver Yannick Gingras said she could've gone even faster. "She had plenty left, she is scary scary fast," said Gingras. "When she raced in the Merrie Annabelle I told Ronnie (Burke) after the race I still have another second...believe me she could've won in 1:51 and change tonight." Mission Brief's connections selected post position five as her starting spot on Saturday night. The other elimination was won by Jolene Jolene, a daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Jonas Czernyson, in a career best equaling 1:55.1. Driven by David Miller, Jolene Jolene has won three consecutive starts and finished second to Mission Brief in the Merrie Annabelle. She will start from post position three on Saturday evening. Completing the field for the Peaceful Way Stakes are Stubborn Belle (PP1 - Paul Macdonell), Danielle Hall (PP2 - Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (PP4 - Roger Mayotte), Southwind Champane (PP6 - Steve Byron), Dynamite Dame (PP7 - Sylvain Filion), Amoureuse Hanover (PP8 - Doug McNair), Juanitas Fury (PP9 - Steve Condren) and Lady Caterina (PP10 - Phil Hudon). The Peaceful Way is carded as Race 3. Two eliminations were contested last Saturday to decide which ten two-year-old colts and geldings would advance to the final of the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to Shake It Cerry, won the first elimination in a career best time of 1:54.4. Trained by Takter, Uncle Lasse has won three of six career starts and has never been worse than third. He will start from post position three with driver Ron Pierce. The second elimination went to Lookslikeachpndale, a son of Muscle Hill trained by Luc Blais, in a career best 1:56.2. The 'elim' victory broke the maiden of Lookslikeachpndale and allowed his connections to select their post for the final. Lookslikeachpndale will start from post position two with driver Sylvain Filion. Completing the field for the William Wellwood Memorial are Gifted Way (PP1 - Scott Zeron), Dont Rush (PP4 - Chris Christoforou), Aldebaran Eagle (PP5 - Doug McNair), Habitat (PP6 - Yannick Gingras), Jetpedia (PP7 - Mike Saftic), Southwind Stryker (PP8 - Steve Condren), Wheels Ah Smoking (PP9 - Ake Svanstedt) and Big Rich (PP10 - Steve Condren). The William Wellwood Memorial is carded as Race 5. Also on Saturday, two $35,000 eliminations for the Milton Stakes will be contested. 16 of the sport's finest pacing mares have been split into two eight horse eliminations (Races 6 and 10). The first elimination features millionaire pacing mares Drop The Ball (PP2 - Corey Callahan), Camille (PP4 - Yannick Gingras), Krispy Apple (PP6 - Tim Tetrick) and Monkey On My Wheel (PP7 - Chris Christoforou). Completing the field are Aunt Caroline (PP1 - Scott Zeron), Mattie Terror Girl (PP3 - Scott Zeron), Summertime Lea (PP5 - Yannick Gingras) and Jerseylicious (PP8 - Brett Miller). In the second elimination, Rocklamation (PP8 - Yannick Gingras), last year's Milton Stakes winner, is back to defend her title. Trained by Ron Burke, the six-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover has earned over $2 million in her career. However, Rocklamation is not the richest mare in the field as that honour is held by Anndrovette (PP7 - Tim Tetrick). Trained by PJ Fraley, Anndrovette, who won the Roses Are Red Stakes back in June for the third consecutive year, has career earnings of more than $3 million. The other seven mares in the field are Charisma Hanover (PP1 - Yannick Gingras), Radar Contact (PP2 - Jack Moiseyev), Voelz Hanover (PP3 - Randy Waples), Ferrari Sena (PP4 - Sylvain Filion), Yagonnakissmeornot (PP5 - Jody Jamieson) and Shelliscape (PP6 - Tim Tetrick). The top five finishers from both eliminations will advance to the $286,000 final on Saturday, September 20. This Saturday night, Mohawk will also be holding 'Fan Appreciation Night' The first 1,000 fans on-track will receive a $5 food voucher and prizes will be given away after every race. More details are available at www.MohawkRacetrack.com Post time this Saturday is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
The current point leader in both the filly and colt standings for the Kindergarten series will be racing over the Kentucky clay at The Red Mile on Thursday night as no fewer than seven divisions will be contested, each for a $10,000 purse. Forty fillies made for a nice even four divisions of ten and the colts line up as a nine and two tens in the Grand Circuit event. Lady Clarabella sits atop the filly roster with 100 points as a result of her two-for-two record in the series. She won her division of leg two at Tioga in 1:57.2 and rewarded her backers handsomely with a $45 mutuel payoff. She begins from post 9 in the fourth race on Thursday at a generous 6-1 morning line. Andy McCarthy is aboard for Randy Beeckman who trains the Lear Jetta filly for breeder Paul Kinnear and his partner Dreamland Farms. Another homebred filly with a promising future is Allerage Star who will open the series action as the 3-1 pick in race two. She's won three of five this season, including a Kindergarten leg at The Meadowlands, Tompkins-Geers and most recently Reynolds Grand Circuit stakes for owner/breeder Jeff Gural's Little E, LLC and partners Jason Settlemoir, Dave Stolz and Art Geiger. She'll have the services of Scott Zeron in the sulky for conditioner Howie Okusko, Jr. on Thursday. The colt divisions are later in the card and series leader French Laundry looks to continue his perfect Kindergarten record for trainer/driver Jimmy Takter in race ten. French Laundry was a winner in the Champlain stakes at Mohawk in his last, a mere five days after a series success at Tioga. The nicely bred colt has now recover over $95,000 of his $115, 000 yearling purchase price for Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. He will encounter an interesting new shooter for the series in Indiana champ Airman Batten. This Swan For All colt has won seven of eight starts including three INSS finals and $161,500 for owners Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman and Greg Gillis. Erv Miller is the trainer and regular pilot Lewayne Miller is in for the drive. Those with Kindergarten eligibles are reminded that next week's leg has been rescheduled for Thursday, September 18 and entries are due for that one on Monday morning. Check the condition sheet for details. The fun starts at 7:00pm in Lexington on Thursday. From the press box at the Red Mile
Glenn Van Camp says there are similarities between 3-year-old gelding trotter Damfoolrmillionair and his award-winning half-brother San Pail. Whether the two will have similar careers still remains unknown, but Van Camp would be happy even if Damfoolrmillionair is only half as good. Damfoolrmillionair is among seven horses competing in Saturday's C$682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. He will start from post seven with driver Randy Waples at the lines for trainer Brad Maxwell. The field also includes Hambletonian winner Trixton and newly crowned Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Father Patrick, both from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter. Damfoolrmillionair enters the CTC off a second-place finish to Trixton in the Simcoe Stakes on Aug. 30 at Mohawk. For the year, he has won four of nine starts and earned $96,311 for owners Glenn and Paul Van Camp, as the P G Van Camp Stables. Of course, San Pail has won $3.01 million in his career, is a three-time winner of the Maple Leaf Trot, and was 2011 Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada. Glenn Van Camp bred San Pail and co-owns the now 10-year-old gelding, slowed by injury the last several years, with Rod Hughes. "This fella has got four white feet and San Pail doesn't, but he's quite a bit like him," Van Camp said about Damfoolrmillionair. "If you watch a video of him and San Pail, they've got about the same gait. Which isn't a bad gait. I said if he ever were half as good, he'd be a heck of a horse. That would be awful nice. "All we can do is keep our fingers crossed. Randy says he's got a lot of similarities, so that's good. You can't get much better than to be as good as that. We're quite pleased with him so far, so that's the main thing." The Van Camps bought Damfoolrmillionair, then named Bosston Whitesocks, for $33,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale. He is a son of stallion Muscles Yankee out of the mare Village Beauty. Van Camp owned Village Beauty until 2006, when she was purchased by current owner Alvin Beiler. "Brad was down at the sale and said he kind of liked the looks of the colt, so I said buy him," said Van Camp, adding with a laugh. "We changed the name because my father-in-law, who also was in the horse business all his life, said there are only two people that can be in the horse business, either a damn fool or a millionaire." Damfoolrmillionair won one of seven starts last year and finished second to Harper Blue Chip in a division of the Champlain Stakes. He also was third in his elimination for the William Wellwood Memorial, behind Harper Blue Chip and Il Sogno Dream, but finished eighth in the final after drawing post No. 9. He finished the season with a fifth-place finish in a division of the International Stallion Stakes, but was beaten only 1-1/4 lengths by Outburst despite starting from post eight in the eight-horse field. This year, Damfoolrmillionair competed in conditioned races until facing a stakes field in the Simcoe. He was eligible to the Hambletonian, but Van Camp said the horse "just wasn't ready." "He was coming along slowly, but that's what we were planning on doing anyway, bringing him along slowly." Damfoolrmillionair has finished no worse than third in any start this season, and held his own despite starting inside of post seven only twice in his last seven outings. "It's a good thing there isn't 10 horses in the (Canadian Trotting Classic), otherwise we'd have the 10 hole," Van Camp joked. "It's a smaller field, but we drew exactly the way we normally do. "He's a pretty good little horse," he added about Damfoolrmillionair. "He's raced very well all year. He's been in the money every time, but this is another step up for him. When you finish second to Trixton, you're doing alright. That Trixton is a very good horse. We've got our fingers crossed for Saturday night." Following is the Canadian Trotting Classic field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. E L Titan, Chris Christoforou, Riina Rekila; 2. Harper Blue Chip, Sylvain Filion, Mark Steacy; 3. Muscle Matters, Mario Baillargeon, Benoit Baillargeon; 4. Il Sogno Dream, Aaron Merriman, Chris Beaver; 5. Trixton, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 6. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 7. Damfoolrmillionair, Randy Waples, Brad Maxwell. By Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
Harrah’s Philadelphia harness racing track in Chester, PA was the scene of the $1.2 million Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship finals for three-year-old trotters and pacers Sunday. Four $260,000 finals plus four $50,000 consolation races were featured on the race program. McWicked may have established himself as the early race favorite for Little Brown Jug as he once again defeated a stellar field of three-year-old colt pacers in winning his PASS final. Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras) was the first on the lead with McWicked and driver David Miller securing the two-hole spot to the opening quarter mile in a quick :26.4. Miller then immediately moved McWicked to the outside and took command. They went untested past the half mile marker in :54.2. It was then that driver Brett Miller came first-over with Somewhere In L A but they were unable to look McWicked in the eye by the three-quarters in 1:22. With the remainder of the stretch to go, Miller kept McWicked in gear and they were able to go on to win by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:48.4. Limelight Beach came on for second place with Somewhere In L A third. Sired by McArdle, it was the ninth win in thirteen starts for McWicked, who is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by the S S G Stables of North Boston, NY. McWicked paid $2.80 to win as the 2/5 wagering favorite. With the winner's share of the purse at $130,000, McWicked became harness racing's newest million career winner. Lifetime Pursuit continued her winning ways since capturing the Hambletonian Oaks with her fifth straight win, capturing the $260,000 PASS Championship final for three-year-old trotting fillies in a track record clocking of 1:53.2. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Lifetime Pursuit floated out of the starting gate as Take The Money (Dave Palone) went to the early lead with Cantabs Fortune (Scott Zeron) grabbing the two-hold spot. By the opening quarter mile in :28.4, Gingras moved Lifetime Pursuit to the lead for good. They led to the half in :56.3 as Designed To Be and driver Brian Sears came first-over to challenge but through the backstretch to the three-quarters in 1:25, they were unable to collar Lifetime Pursuit. Then as they straighten out in the stretch, Lifetime Pursuit kicked in another gear and pulled away for a three and one-quarter length triumph. Designed To Be held for second place with Struck By Lindy (David Miller) third. Trained by Jimmy Takter and breeder/owner Brittany Farms, it was the seventh win this year for Lifetime Pursuit, a daughter of Cantab Hall. She paid $2.80 to win. Only two races later did trainer Jimmy Takter get to come back to the winner’s circle again, this time to celebrate as his Father Patrick won the PASS final for three-year-old trotting colts. It was stable mate Nuncio and driver John Campbell the first out of the gate, taking the lead from Don Dorado (Tim Tetrick) as Father Patrick floated on the outside for driver Yannick Gingras. But after the opening quarter in :27, Gingras urged Father Patrick on and they took command of the race for good. Past the half in :55.1 and then the three-quarters in 1:24.3 with just a minor challenge from Wheelsandthelegman (David Miller) who trained a first-over effort in vain. Then in the stretch, Campbell ducked to the inside with Nuncio to try a challenge but they could not gain any ground as Father Patrick and Gingras breezed to a one length triumph in 1:52.4. Nuncio was second with Don Dorado third. Sired by Cantab Hall, it was the eighth win in ten starts this year for Father Patrick. He is owned by the Father Patrick Stable of East Windsor, NJ and paid $2.40 to win. Sandbetweenurtoes saw her eight race unbeaten streak come to an end in the three-year-old filly pace final as she was unable to lead the entire mile, folding up as they came down the stretch and finished seventh. The race was won by 11-1 Weeper and driver Dave Palone, who were able to follow the outside flow third over behind Southwind Silence (Matt Kakaley) who was following first-over Beach Gal (Tim Tetrick) from the half mile marker. Weeper tipped out four-wide on the final turn and was able to gun down the field to win by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:51.1. Also Encouraging (David Miller) was second with Beach Gal third. Sired by Allamerican Native and trained by Kelly O’Donnell, it was the fifth win in ten starts this year for Weeper. She is locally owned by the Bay Pond Racing Stable of Paoli, PA and paid $25.40 to win. In the four $50,000 PASS consolation divisions, one for each class, saw the following winners. Somestartsomewhere (Yannick Gingras) won the three-year-old pacing colt consolation for trainer Ron Burke by a head over Kingofthejungle (Tony Morgan) in 1:50.4 and paid $32.20 to win. Ake Svanstedt’s Highest Peak won the filly trot consolation, wiring the field with ease by four open lengths in 1:56.1 for driver Tim Tetrick, paying $5.40 to win. The Linda Toscano trained Uva Hanover captured the trotting colt consolation race with a neck triumph for driver Tim Tetrick over Amped Up Hanover (Yannick Gingras) in 1:54. Katie Said and driver Marcus Miller won the filly pace consolation with game first-over move en route to a two and one-quarter length victory in 1:51. Trained by Julie Miller, Katie Said paid $5.00 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
WILKES-BARRE PA -- Sire Cantab Hall completed a Championship double, and another horse joined the select club of being a Sire Stakes “sweeper,” when Billy Flynn roared off cover to win in 1:55.2 in the off going for driver Brett Miller and trainer Staffan Lind. Billy Flynn raced atypically off the pace tonight, with Walter White on top at the 27.3 quarter, then yielding to Hurrikane Jonny K as that one put up middle splits of 57 and 1:26.1. Piercewave Hanover provided cover from first-over, and when Billy Flynn tipped off that cover, “he was great tonight – he felt great,” noted driver Miller, the colt not showing any of his previous bearing-out tendencies. Off-the-pace tactics proved best in this event, as Honor And Serve and Ralph R closing strongly for second and third, respectively. Billy Flynn joins Stormin Normand (2011) as the only freshman colt trotters to notch the “4+1” Sire Stakes season. Bender Sweden Inc own the emerging star, who is now undefeated in seven starts. Billy Flynn and Yankee Bounty are both now seven for seven in their careers, and both completed Sire Stakes “4+1” sweeps. That’s where the similarities end. Whereas Billy Flynn came off the pace to win easily, Yankee Bounty made an early move to take the lead near the 55.1 half (Dragon Eddy had insisted on the early lead in an astounding 26 before yielding), then fought off a nose-to-nose challenge from Lost For Words by and past the 1:22.2 3/4s. Maybe it’s good Yankee Bounty had the practice in winning duels – because another one soon loomed in the Pocono Pike in the form of Tomy Terror. The two geldings battled on even terms much of the stretch, with Yankee Bounty showing great heart to put his nose over first in 1:50.3 – a Pocono track record for 2PG, and just a tick behind the stakes mark of One More Laugh, whom Yankee Terror now joins in the 2PC Sire Stakes sweeping ranks. The victory made Yannick Gingras a three-time PASS winner on the card, giving him 10 in his career and moving him to (a distant) second behind Dave Palone (34) on the career list. Two of those victories came for trainer Ron Burke, who recently engineered the new ownership combine of Yankee Bounty Partnership and Frank Chick. The FFA trot was named the “Modern Family Trot” after the late Pocono-based world-class trotter, with Pocono-based trainer Daryl Bier and the horse’s connections on hand for winners circle ceremonies. Modern Family, always a game horse, would have admired the stretch tenacity of his frequent for Wishing Stone, who raced third on the rail and cleared “about three strides before the wire” according to his driver to edge out Not Afraid in 1:52.4 for Wishing Stone Syndicate. That driver, by the way, was Yannick Gingras, who along with trainer Ron Burke was in Pocono’s winners circle for the fifth time on the night. Wishing Stone also “saved” the 1-5 betting entry, as the more fancied horse, Market Share, made a break early. From the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association
WILKES-BARRE PA --Southwind Roulette headed a 1-2-3 sweep for trainer Ron Burke by winning her $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship for two-year-old pacing fillies Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She won in 1:52.3 over "good" going to become the richest pacer in one season of Sire Stakes competition, with $269,248 earned in her races for Keystone State-sired company. Kay's Dragon Lady closed well for secondbehind the victorious daughter of Somebeachsomwhere, driven by Yannick Gingras, with Well Hello There third. In the $260,000 PaSS 2TF Championship, Gingras came right back with "another talented filly, a real sweetheart," Wild Honey, who set a stakes record of 1:54.2 despite the good going, completing a "sweep" of her division -- wins in all four legs and the Championship, following in the footsteps of only Coulantine (2004) and Fashion Feline (2009). The Jimmy Takter-trained daughter of Cantab Hall withstood first-over Jersey Strong, with another Takterite, Smexi, third. Full reports on these and the other features of 2YO Sire Stakes Championship Night will be forthcoming. In features completed to this point: The "Adieu to the Almost Summer" Pace saw Sunfire Blue Chip make a quarter-move, then say "adieu" to the field with a 26.4 last quarter in driving rain for a 1:49.2 win for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Jimmy Taker, and the ownership combine of Taker, Fielding, Fielding, Brixton Medical AB and R A W Equine Inc. Perhaps "adieu" was just the right name for a race taken by the son of American Ideal, as the winner of four straight, at four different tracks, is the early favorite for the $200,000 Prix d'Ete, to be revived as a four-year-old event in two weeks at Hippodrome 3R in Quebec (a Gingras base before coming Stateside). 2YO Colt Trot Consolation -Not many horses break their maiden by missing their divisional world record by 2/5 of a second, but that's what the Broadway Hall gelding On The Sly did in winning his consolation event in 1:55.2. Hinting at promise with a second, a third, and a fourth in Sires preliminaries, On The Sly finally put it all together, swinging wide from third-over behind contested fractions and overhauling frontstepping Pierre late for driver Brett Miller, trainer Morgan McInnis, and the Revocable Trust of Barbara Boese. The 1:55.2 time was just short of Correctamundo's world standard, and only a tick shy of the local mark of It Really Matters. 2YO Filly Trot Consolation-If you need proof that "times have changed" in harness racing, consider this: Pius Soehnlen campaigned the iron-tough FFA trotter Dream Of Glory in the mid-70s, and that horse took a mark of 1:57.2. Tonight Soehnlen as owner won this consolation event with Matter Hatter, a daughter of Explosive Matter who also rallied from far back to tally over Bright Bay Blues for driver David Miller and trainer Jeff Cox. The lifetime for her second lifetime victory? 1:55.2 - two seconds faster than Dream Of Glory's lifetime mark! From the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association